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4/14/2005

Selections > Selections

Ravi & Anoushka Shankar, Megaphone, Dizzee Rascal, Comedians of Comedy and more

 

Friday • 15

SAM RIVERS We're not sure if we're jaded or spoiled, but weekly gigs by one of our favorite avant-garde legends at one of our favorite local bars have somewhat raised the bar for what we expect out of a jazz show. Even though we love the fire of Rivers' small-group stuff more than the swinging, oceanic intensity of his big-band pieces, it's been great to watch him put his band through the paces at their weekly Will's Pub gig. Those paces will get put to use at this double big-band gig, which teams up Rivers' Rivbea Orchestra with the UCF Jazz Ensemble. Though there's some overlap in the membership, this collaboration will most certainly add an unprecedented sonic wallop to what are some already impressive numbers. Sure, we'd like to see Sam's band get smaller rather than larger; other people are nuts about the big band setup. And hey, the simple fact that we get to see him often enough to have preferences says a lot about how lucky we are. (8 p.m. at UCF Visual Arts Building Auditorium; 407-823-5411; free)

RAVI & ANOUSHKA SHANKAR We've been excited about this show ever since it showed up on the King Center's calendar last year. There are living legends and then there's Ravi Shankar, who's sort of Glenn Gould, Miles Davis and The Beatles all in one. A classically trained master of his instrument, fully possessed of his music's rich history, he's Indian classical music's single most important ambassador. He's apparently also a bit of a badass with an astonishing sense of humor, even at the ripe old age of 85. Plus, the dude's got some way-powerful genetic mojo, fathering not one but two incredible musicians. (He's bringing his favorite one on the road with him as part of this birthday celebration tour.) Anoushka displays phenomenal ability on the sitar, and though her playing is sometimes a little stilted, she's far superior to most other players her age, having gleaned much of her father's deep knowledge, as well as a few free lessons, we're sure. (8 p.m. at King Center for the Performing Arts-Melbourne; 321-242-2219; $30-$50)

MEGAPHONE We've gotta come clean: When we say "we," it often doesn't really mean "we." We know, we know, you thought the crack team of Selections contributors got together every week and wrote all this stuff together, coming to a consensus on each and every word. Well, you'd be forgiven, as we try diligently to cover our individual tracks. However, when it comes to Megaphone, we must admit some dissent in the camp. Some of us like Megaphone, others of us aren't so sure. On one side, the band's full-bodied pop is a great live treat, sitting near the intersection of Anthemic, Catchy and I'll Have Another Beer. The opposition contends that Megaphone is insubstantial and uninspired, especially on their recordings. Which means we can both be kind of right, right? Anyway, you can get the best and worst of both worlds at this show, since it's a CD release show. That way, you can be impressed by the band's performance and then be disappointed by their recordings. Kinda like "us." (with Rev 7, Wreck of the Month; 9 p.m. at Back Booth; 407-999-2570; $5)

Saturday • 16

THE OOPS GUYS Like a CD box set or any other career retrospective, The OOPS Guys' cabaret spectacular Still Offensive After All These Years! is less a sounding board for freshly subversive ideas than a recap of a theatrical demolition job well done. But the inclusion of "little-heard" and "reconfigured" material is reason enough to recommend the OOPSters' contribution to Mad Cow Theatre's third annual Orlando Cabaret Festival. The 60-minute show tells how, over the course of 15 years, partners Fiely A. Matias and Dennis Giacino evolved from performing children's songs in Corvallis, Ore., ("A Child's Garden of Verses," we kid you not) to generating riskier fare like "Put on Your Birthday Suit" and the relatively obscure "I'll See You in Hell (My Christmas Wish)." This adults-only revue is the boys' first full Orlando performance since May 2004 (and their last until next May, at the earliest), so you'll want to soak up all the sacred-cow-slaughtering action, including an encore appearance by the act's third, uh, member – the oversize prosthetic phallus they haul out for "I'm a Teenage Mutant Boy Scout From the Nuclear Fallout Zone." This time, the penile prop even launches confetti. According to Giacino, the idea came from a disillusioned theatergoer, who after viewing the then-nonfunctioning appendage, lamented, "I really thought that it was going to shoot." Talk about getting your hopes up. (9:30 p.m. at Mad Cow Theatre; also 7:30 p.m. April 23; festival continues through April 24; 407-297-8788 or www.orlandocabaret.com; $15)

THE BAMBOO KIDS With all the accolades recently visited on up-and-comers the Bamboo Kids in the press, we thought that maybe they were dabbling in the same sort of sonic experimentation as fellow Big Apple inhabitants TV on the Radio or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Instead, their sound is predictably reminiscent of the New York Dolls and the Ramones, with just enough melodic touches of The Jam or an Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones – surely not exactly what we'd call the most compelling confluence of influences. The snot-nosed anthems on the recent self-titled CD prove catchy enough – what the trio lacks in originality they almost atone for in energy and exuberance – but in a deliberate, Marvelous 3 sort of way. In any event, they sound like they'd be a much better prospect live. And we're pretty sure they could kick the Strokes' asses. (with Derek Lyn Plastic, Bradleo and the Heartstoppers; 9 p.m. at Will's Pub; 407-898-5070; $5, $7)

Monday • 18

DIZZEE RASCAL Oh, to be a mega-hyped hip-hop pioneer from the U.K. To make a kind of music so fresh and daring (or just unintelligible) that everyone in your country goes apeshit for it, but most of the rest of the world is left wondering what the big deal is. Coast into the States on a whirlwind of international acclaim, command high ticket prices, be received rapturously by teeming throngs of hipsters. Return home, self-satisfied and convinced of the inevitable longevity of your career. Allow 14 minutes to pass. Wonder what the fuck happened. (9 p.m. at The Social; 407-246-1419; $15)

LTJ BUKEM & MC CONRAD See above. Replace "hip-hop" with "drum and bass." (with Circle K, MC Collaborator; 9 p.m. at Alpha Bar; 407-841-6544; $5)

Wednesday • 20

ZAKIR HUSSAIN Wow. What a treat of a week for Central Florida's ever-growing Indian community. First the family-style tag team of Ravi and Anoushka Shankar in Melbourne and then a performance by legendary tabla player Zakir Hussain ... in a freakin' high school. Unbelievable. We found out about this show almost by accident, but we're glad we did, because we certainly wouldn't miss it. Hussain's percussion experiments have gained him some acclaim outside the Indian classical realm, but that's not to say that he's not a phenomenally well-trained traditionalist. In all likelihood, this performance will focus primarily on classical pieces, which is fine by us, especially if he and santoor player Shivkumar Sharma find time to collaborate, as they've done in the past. (with Shivkumar Sharma; 8 p.m. at Dr. Phillips High School; 407-333-3667; $20-$50)

VULTURES AND THEIR MANY SCAVENGER FRIENDS Neither politicians nor pimps will be the topic of this Sierra Club Educational Program lecture by self-professed "Nature Nerd" Steve DeCresie – it'll be the real feathered fiends of roadkill. Just don't call 'em buzzards, because that's ignorant. And DeCresie, who works at the Central Florida Zoological Park, will have a bunch more misunderstandings to set straight on the subject of these followers of death. The Florida naturalist is an old hand at talking/teaching; catch him on break, maybe he'll share some breaking news from his current research projects: Florida box turtles, relationships between lichens and tree snails, stuff like that. Arrive an hour before the lecture and browse around the spring-blooming gardens for free. (7 p.m.-8:45 p.m. at Harry P. Leu Gardens; 407-246-2620; free)

AGNOSTIC FRONT Back in the early '80s nothing was heavier than Agnostic Front – except for maybe the Cro-Mags, or Corrosion of Conformity ... oh wait, we can't forget about DRI. Come to think of it, there were a ton of bands doing the metal-crossover thing back then. Yet throughout its 22-year, 13-album career – barring jail time and rehabs – AF have never broken up, released any embarrassing attempts at radio metal (anyone who's heard the Cro-Mags' Alpha-Omega or any of COC's output after Technocracy knows exactly what we're talking about) or deviated far from the original formula that's made them legends of New Yawk hawdcore. It seems that the only thing that could put a thorn in the side of the Front is if founding members Roger Miret or Vinnie Stigma suddenly found Jesus. Of course, then they'd have to call the band Agnostic Behind. (with Martyr AD, Love Is Red, All Shall Perish; 6 p.m. at Back Booth; 407-999-2570; $15)

COMEDIANS OF COMEDY Skribbity-flappity-doo! Patton Oswalt's verbal rendering of cheesy '80s guitar-wanking was all we could think of when we heard this show was being put on, David Cross-style, at The Social and not some stale comedy club. This tour is being filmed for release on DVD, so pretty soon the whole world will know and love Oswalt, but we first decided we loved him when we saw his half-hour comedy special, in which he covered not just '80s metal, but also gruesome Court TV programs ("'The killer was wearing a necklace of vaginas'") and facts about midgets ("If you hit a midget on the head with a stick, he turns into 40 gold coins"). Many of those reflections are included on his new CD, Feelin' Kinda Patton. This tour unites him with Brian Posehn – that tall-ass, Big-Bird-looking dude you've seen on Mr. Show and Just Shoot Me (don't front, you know you watched it). Other dates will include Zach Galifianakis, but he had a prior gig booked, so Orlando will be treated to Eugene Mirman, "the amazing crooning child," instead. So yes, the world's on the verge of a complete Patton Oswalt takeover, but don't try to resist. As Defamer.com said, "We laughed so hard we almost vomited. Is there any better endorsement than that?" (8 p.m. at The Social; 407-246-1419; $15)

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