UCF's Homecoming Week 2006 Keeping up with the reputation that led Florida Leader Magazine to distinguish UCF for having the Best Homecoming in Florida in 2004, the school went all-out this year — concerts, movies, carnival, comedy, parade and football. Already underway, Homecoming Week slides to a close Saturday, when the Golden Knights face off against the East Carolina Pirates at the Florida Citrus Bowl after a festive downtown parade. Also leading up to the game is Thursday's show by comedians Bob Saget and Alonzo Bodden at the UCF Arena (8 p.m., $22.25). And students are all talking about Friday's Spirit Splash pep rally (2:30 p.m. at Reflection Pond), a free-for-all that's earned its must-attend reputation: It's the one day of the year when jumping into the UCF fountain won't land you a felony charge, and the kids go nuts with the leash off. Orlando band Big 10-4 and other entertainment are set to accompany the water party. All homecoming events are free to UCF students. (parade 11 a.m. Saturday, rolls down North Orange Avenue from West Amelia Street, free; football game 4 p.m. Saturday at Florida Citrus Bowl, $24-$30; 407-823-1000;



Melvins The most surprising thing about the Melvins is simply their existence. A band predicated on the dual notions of gut- rumbling sonic violence and general anti-social asshole-ishness should not have a discography as long as their guitarist's hair is tall. But here they are, more than 20 years after they started, as relentless and unyielding as they've ever been. Having taken Sonic Youth's notion of effective dissonance and turned it into a downtuned riff carnival of horror, the Melvins keep releasing album after challenging album in a breakneck, stylistically inconsistent manner that's the equivalent of drop-D ADHD. Their latest adventure, (A) Senile Animal, finds them enlisting the members of the like-minded Big Business for battle, not as guests, but as full-fledged bandmates who happen to do double duty as tour openers. (with Big Business; 9 p.m. at the Social; $15-$17; 407-246-1419)



The Orlando Strongman Contest We've met the super-hot Signature Fitness and Signature Compounding Pharmacy folks, who are organizing this event. Ever since they came over to our office for a pep talk, we've been hopped up on broccoli (the natural Viagra) and hormones (everybody needs more testosterone), buzzing around the office like horny flies. We've also installed a training gym in which we've been spending our lunch hour bulging our delts and cutting our traps in preparation for this "1st Annual" strongman contest. Seriously, though, anyone of any shape can watch the competitors battle it out for $1,500 in prize money and "sculpted trophies." All proceeds are earmarked for the "prevention of childhood obesity." OoooooRAH! (11 a.m. at Signature Fitness; $5; 407-447-9550;

World Art Car Day A handful of zealous artists and their mobile creations will gather at Stardust Video and Coffee and then trek to Whole Foods for a moving celebration of their beloved art form — transforming cars with any number of glued, bolted, painted and sewn attachments. Though smaller than Mount Dora's popular August event, this rally zeroes in on the locals and their signature works, such as Carl Knickerbocker's Honda Element magnet paintings, Deanna Sheffield and Bernard Morey's Dr. Seuss—inspired "Thing Three," Carolyn Stapleton's "Stink Bug," and couple Regina Smith and Tom Bazinette with "Mama's Clutter Heap," the "Sun N Sand Work Van" and the "wedding car." Like most nuts, they hope their enthusiasm encourages others to take up the hobby. (11 a.m. at Whole Foods, Winter Park; free; 321-356-5860)

Worldwide Dungeons and Dragons Game Day Fans of the famous live action role-playing game come out of their mothers' basements and descend on more than 700 stores hosting games as part of this international celebration. Five local enterprises are jumping into the action: all three Coliseum of Comics stores (East Colonial Drive, 407-228-1210; South Orange Blossom Trail, 407-240-7882; Kissimmee, 407-870-5322), Borders Books and Music in Altamonte Springs (407-772-0411) and Cool Stuff Games in Winter Park (407-478-3311). All participating humans, dwarves and elves are promised some free stuff at the event, but that's not why they come to play. The organizers have decided that this game will find the players trapped in the dangerous — and cursed — Temple of Pelor due to a ferocious ice storm. Creepy! (call for times at various locations; free;



Assistant Thief The chitlin' circuit (or, as Ebony magazine calls it, the "urban theater circuit") holds a special place in American history. Although many of the gospel plays and performances that travel from traditionally black venue to venue throughout the Southeast are often unjustly deemed low-quality, the historical fact is that these plays have been an integral part of the African Diaspora for more than a century. This fall, the Jamaican comedy Assistant Thief is trying its luck on the circuit and makes a one-performance stop here in town. Starring famed Jamaican actor Oliver Samuels and penned by Jamaican playwright Patrick Brown, the play spins off from the meeting of two very different thieves who coincidentally break into a house on the same night. It's reportedly full of hilarious punch lines delivered in a raucous patois, so lovers of African-American and Caribbean theater alike should be delighted. (7 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre; $35; 407-299-3856;

The Cult Which guilty pleasure do we partake in on this particular Sunday? The indefensible one (Def Leppard, below) or the merely shameful one? Like, duh. It's all about the Cult. Not a day goes by when our trusty iPod doesn't remind us how much we freaking love this band. OK, maybe not this band, but the band that made Love and Electric and even those Death Cult records. The swagger and juvenile melodrama has always been doled out by Ian Astbury in precise proportions that perfectly complement the simple-but-effective, rock-but-not-quite guitar work of Billy Duffy; despite their protestations, these guys never completely shook off their goth roots, making for some of the most sublimely overblown hard-rock records of the '80s and '90s. And we ate 'em up … hell, we're still eating 'em up. This tour is a blatant cash grab — there's not even a hint of a new album —which means we can count on hearing every single song we want to. (7 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; all ages; $30-$40; 407-351-5483)

Def Leppard/Journey If you've still got your hearing but not your hair, then why not live through your tortured adolescence from the vantage point of middle age? Indie rock may have tried to convince you that big hair and bigger hooks were anathema to proper rock etiquette, but how much staring at your shoes can one introvert do? Journey is without their proven singer, Steve Perry, and there's no getting around the fact that it's a problem. However, Def Leppard soldiers on, having released a rowdy collection of covers (Yeah!) and a deluxe reissue of Hysteria. As Winston Churchill once put it, "If at 20 you don't hate power ballads, you have no balls. And if at 40, you don't have an underlying appreciation for the absolute cheesiness of '80s hard rock, you must've missed it the first time around." (7:30 p.m. at TD Waterhouse Centre; all ages; $38.50-$74; 407-849-2020)

Tilly & the Wall Normally, we're not suckers for cheek-pinching adorability. And we hate resorting to the four-letter "C" word. But, man, is this Omaha pop troupe cute! Maybe it's their breathless girlishness or the bubbly perfection of their melodies, or maybe it's because there's a tap dancer (!!!) in the band. But it's probably because they're all of that in an impressively, magnificently unabashed way. It's big-time schtick, to be sure, but they've got the quirky originality and sheer inventiveness that the indie world cherishes in spades. Besides, there's true pop mastery at work: sparkling harmonies, sugared voices, patty-cake percussion — we simply can't resist. Must. Surrender. Now. (with Pony Up; 7 p.m. at the Social; all ages; $12-$14; 407-246-1419)



Detroit Cobras The Cobras may be the coolest cover band ever, remaking and stoking vintage R&B songs you've probably never heard before, but it's the aggregate impact that makes this show golden. Opening the evening will be the King Khan & BBQ Show (who play a separate show at Copper Rocket the following night), which pairs two impressive primitives from the rock & roll fringe whose bag is a frayed clutter of Chuck Berry, doo-wop and punk rock. Also on the bill: Taylor Hollingsworth, a baby-faced guitar-slinger from Alabama who's a supernova disciple of the great American tradition. It's a lineup so red-hot that the rock & roll's going to break out like a wicked case of the herp. This one's for anyone who understands that Bob Seger ain't got shit to do with "old-time rock & roll." (9 p.m. at the Social; $10-$12; 407-246-1419)

Contributors: Amber Foster, Jonathan Cunningham, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Rob O'Connor, Bart Zino

Contributors: Amber Foster, Jonathan Cunningham, Jason Ferguson, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Rob O'Connor, Bart Zino

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