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1/20/2005

Selections > Selections

The Cinema Eye, Cylob, Jad Fair, Aloha, Nikki Giovanni and more

 

Thursday • 20

ORLANDO FOR CHANGE MEETUP For sure the presidential election is over, but local Kerry diehards aren't giving up the game. This group organized by Sherry Haluszka, aka Sherry4Kerry, is asking the question: "Why did they win?" And to find the answer, she says, "We need to look at a less isolated period of time and a broader spectrum of influences within our borders." We have to give credit to anyone who's brushing off defeat and rallying the troops to deal with the ongoing battle against the forces of evil. (7 p.m. at IBEW Union Hall; free; RSVP to johnkerry.meetup.com/)

Friday • 21

ALOHA The last time Aloha made it through town a rousing crowd of about 13 people saw the band go through the motions of their set at The Social. But honestly, except for a few bright spots, the group's debut album That's Your Fire (which they were touring behind then) pegged them as another post-rock also-ran, complete with a vibraphone player. It wasn't until the second full-length, Sugar, that Aloha embraced pop sensibility and finally reached its potential. The new batch of songs relied less on noodling Tortoise-esque explorations and more on guitarist/singer Tony Cavallario's vocal melody. Particularly, the effortless and fluid movement through Sugar shows off a band that has musical chops to spare, but also knows when to rein it in for the sake of writing a good song. Though we've only been able to hear a couple of songs from their latest release, Here Comes Everyone, it appears Aloha are continuing in the same Sugar-y vein. Let's hope more than a dozen people make it out to the show. (with Cex, Weather; 9 p.m. at Will's Pub; 407-898-5070; $8)

Saturday • 22

JAD FAIR Ever since our first exposure to Half Japanese on the Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation, we've never really known what to make of them. We remember wearing that record out listening to the tracks by Black Flag, D.O.A., Dead Kennedys and Bad Brains – and after so many listens we even got to liking "Prostitution" by Really Red and "Joke's on You" by Christian Lunch, but when it came time for Half Japanese's "Fun Again," we always skipped it (not an easy task on a record player, mind you). We've taken that approach for most of Jad Fair's (the man behind Half Japanese) career and never looked back. So now that Fair is making his way to town for a performance and art showing, we feel compelled to check out the cult figure's more recent musical output to see if we just got off on the wrong foot. We can respect that the music Fair is making is original and different, in that nothing else sounds like it, but if a DJ spun and mixed between two round pieces of corduroy, we wouldn't go see him either. (with Sounds of a Fat American, DJ Freedom; 10 p.m. at The Peacock Room; 407-228-0048; $6)

INXS 'ROCK STAR' AUDITIONS Don't know what autoerotic asphyxiation means? Don't know the words to any INXS songs? That's OK. Apparently the only skills you need to qualify for a shot at being the next singer of INXS are to be over the age of 21, capable of singing (any) three songs and appealing to the judges who will be convened at this audition judging your every move. INXS has gone through brief stints with various vocalists ever since Michael Hutchence fell victim to fetishism gone awry. So to help find a permanent frontman, the remaining members have taken the shameless road of reality TV. Rock Star, tentatively scheduled to air on CBS this July, is to capture the band's search for a singer in 16 cities across the globe, with the winner being chosen by the band, viewers and judges. The brain behind the show, Mark Burnett, is also behind Survivor, a show he licensed for the U.S. market from a British company called Planet 24. You know who was one of the owners of Planet 24? Bob Geldof, the Boomtown Rats dude who was married to Paula Yates. Who's Paula Yates? The woman Hutchence was schtupping in the hotel room the night he died. (8 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Club at Firestone; 407-872-0066; www.inxsrockstar.com)

THE CINEMA EYE Lest you think that the women's liberation movement has stalled, check this: Back in the '80s and '90s, chicks – wait, we mean women – in coed alt-bands were almost always relegated to playing bass. Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, Laura Ballance, Juliana Hatfield, the list goes on and on to lengths that are so ridiculous, the very thought of a non-bass-guitar-playing female band member is somewhat odd. But this is the oughts, y'all, and sisters are doing it for themselves these days. Witness The Cinema Eye, in which the lone female does not play bass guitar. No, she plays bass keyboard (as opposed to "lead keyboard," which, of course, is handled by a dude). OK, that's not really fair, because in this case, Mollie Wells is not only handling the low keys, she's also belting out some spastically vicious vocals. TCE engages in a hyped-up electro-punk that's très Le Tigre, but way more muscular and way less catchy. Dig it. (with An Albatross, Aqui; 6 p.m. at Screamers; 407-244-0299; $8)

Sunday • 23

CYLOB We really liked Cylob the first time we heard him; his "Living in the 1980s" single came out in the late '90s. It predated the current retro fascination with neon pink and keyboards, but was still far enough removed from the decade that it mimicked to have a postmodern braniac flavor. The fact that it was released on Richard James' Rephlex label didn't hurt either. Apparently, though, the dude is still making music and – what's this? – is way more influential than we knew. Rather than giving up after a few excellent singles, Cylob has continued churning out forward-looking, intelligent electronica that (thankfully) is not without humor. His '01 single "Cut the Midrange, Drop the Bass" is one of those cuts that can get all the skinny guys with bad teeth to lay their pocket protectors on the bar and dance, while the girls who were already out there go completely apeshit. And, if there was any doubt as to his geek credentials, check out this clarification from his website: "'Live' means I run my own sequencing programs completely live and mix multiple outputs in real time while screwing around with the sounds and structure of my tracks. I maintain a continuous mix between these and the program Ableton Live, in which I have prerecorded separate channels from my music, which are then similarly mixed and structured on the go. 'DJ' means playing other people's tracks, as well as my own, off a laptop running Native Instruments Traktor (just like every other laptop DJ!)." If you're still awake, this will be a "live" show. (with Flashbulb, Mr. Antonym; 9 p.m. at Screamers; 407-244-0299; $8, $10)

Wednesday • 26

NIKKI GIOVANNI Readings by nationally celebrated African-American poet/activists are not typical fare in this town, making this appearance by Nikki Giovanni all the more special. Since the 1960s, Giovanni has been highly visible on the civil rights scene, contributing her razor-sharp observations in the form of poetry and spoken word. Now 61, and a cancer survivor to boot, Giovanni will open the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities with an evening of her own distinctive alphabet art. In 1968 she published her first book, Black Feeling Black Talk, and in 2002, she released Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems to critical acclaim. This is a woman who continues to walk it like she talks it, and her performance on this night will prove her passion. (8 p.m. at The Plaza Theatre; 407-647-3307; free)

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