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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Cypress Hill, Tiny Waves and the New Lows

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Sorry for the unannounced column break last week – you know I typically give you guys advance notice. But it was due to the sudden passing of my grandfather, one of the best men I've ever known. It's a poor consolation prize to him actually being here, but I'm most thankful this year for the presence and example he lent to my life.

Still, even though I took a needed break, I did sneak out to catch a couple shows. Restoring a sense of normalcy, they say, is important in times like these, and shows are my normal reality. And though they're somewhat distant history by now, I wanted to officially log some notable local things that happened.

First, I want to officially weigh in on the New Lows. They're a band I've been delinquent in reviewing for no particularly good reason. Perhaps their deceptively straightforward sensibility or grown-up lack of urgency and hustle made it easy for me to overlook them. Whatever the case, their new album, I Couldn't Sleep, grabbed me. So, I went to the release party (Nov. 10, Will's Pub) and was even more impressed with their A-gaming performance. This record and this show, well, that's pop-punk done right. As always, go see them for yourself at RalphFest 2 (Nov. 24, multiple venues downtown), which you should be attending anyway, if you're at all invested in Orlando music.

Part of the bill was what was widely rumored to be the final show by pioneering Orlando rhythm beast Basements of Florida. However, their public swan song will actually be this weekend at the aforementioned RalphFest. Now, bandleader Phil Longo tells me it might continue under a different name, but that sounds like a pretty definitive closing of a chapter to me. This performance featured special guest appearances by Tiny Waves' Steve Head and Maximino's Gerald Perez, who's been omnipresent enough to be in the express lane to becoming the next

Phil Longo himself. While Basements have gotten progressively more expansive, more noodly and less concentrated recently, they're still one of the best Orlando bands ever. So, consider me officially bummed at this goodbye.

Speaking of Steve Head, the expanded version of his parking lot project that floored me at the Tiny Waves anniversary party also went down as an official but somewhat on-the-QT part of the Accidental Music Festival (Nov. 9, Plaza Live parking lot). With more added cars, the sonic experience was still utterly enveloping. The interpretive dance component, well, I can take it or leave it – save for the single bird-kite part, which was just beautiful. In fact, it would've been much more poetic if it was simply a gaggle of them to the music alone. Like that plastic bag scene in American Beauty times a thousand, I was most transported when I stared at just that while the real-space surround sound washed all around me.

The Beat

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