Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best new music event
Festival of Light & Sound
Community-based cultural events abound in this city, but this newcomer festival is the year's gold standard. The Festival of Light & Sound drew more than 1,000 people in its debut this spring. They packed into the Plaza Live and its parking lot for a night of quality local music, organic well-being and positive, family-friendly vibes. Co-organizer Alexandrah Sarton says it was planned as a one-time event but the jaw-dropping turnout and requests for more have her crew contemplating making it an annual thing.
Best local music scene celebration
Phil Longo's 40th birthday show
Leave it to the man who's played thirstily in countless bands over the years to span generation and genre to unify all the best aspects of the area's indie scene in one place for a single purpose. The occasion was his birthday, but what the capacity crowd truly ended up celebrating was the music culture of our city. From beloved reunions (the Heathens, Country Slashers, Shyster) to the current rising class of artists, this was an open-ended time capsule and the most galvanizing event for Orlando's forward-thinking music scene.
Best new local music persona
Orlando MC Swamburger (Solillaquists of Sound) is famous for many things – consciousness, intellect, enlightened militancy –
but not so much for being humorous. His alter ego Black Gallery, however, is a whole other muthafuckin' thing entirely. The alleged Internet star loudly pimps the crass bombast of rap culture – "niggas," "bitches" and all – in a hilariously satirical way. Although the caricature is deliberately oversized, the sharpness of the comedy is as much of a surprise as the source.
Best island of misfit instruments
Accidental Music Festival
It really was a happy accident – local composer (and occasional OW contributor) Christopher Belt had scheduled a series of shows by local modern-
classical composers at Urban Rethink; his shows coincided with another series of experimental music performances scheduled by the Civic Minded 5 at Timucua White House. Somebody joked that it was like an "accidental music festival," and a concept was born. For 10 days in September 2011, fans of forward-thinking music were treated to world premieres of compositions by local luminaries Keith Lay, John Alvarez and Matt McCarthy, the Florida premiere of an opera by internationally renowned composer Juan Trigos, concerts and workshops with accomplished local musicians, including Michael Welch, Jim Ivy and Kris Gruda, and performances by experimental musicians like Emily Hay and Wayne Peet. The Accidental Music Festival was truly an accident in 2011, but in 2012, it's taking on a more organized and intentional tone – look for it from Nov. 8-18, sponsored by the Timucua Arts Foundation.