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BOO 2012

Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks

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180 Grey Goose Lounge


 

Best improved concert calendar

The Peacock Room
thepeacockroom.com

For better or for worse, the Peacock Room's event calendar has always been a mixed bag. While that adds to the bar's charm, eclecticism and accessibility, it doesn't always lend itself to consistent quality. However, the knowledge, taste and scene connectivity of new bartender Phil Longo has given the bar's show calendar its most potent shot of freshness in many years, upping the menu with a higher caliber of folk, country, punk, metal and indie rock.

 

Best underutilized concert space

Wally's parking lot
wallysonmills.com

Cumbersome logistics abound any time you repurpose a space for an outside event involving live music and alcohol (permits, stage, sound, security, time restrictions, etc.). But Southern Fried Sunday and Orange You Glad Music Festival recently showed how surprisingly effective the parking lot for Wally's Mills Avenue Liquors could be for concerts. In the city's most budding cultural corridor, this alley lot is the ripest exterior event space on the strip to emerge so far. And the management of the O.G. dive bar tells us their ears are wide open when it comes to local music shows.

Best place to get wired

White Cup Coffeehouse
125 W. First St., Sanford
thewhitecupcoffeehouse.com

Downtown Sanford saw its cool factor rise exponentially this year, and on perhaps its coolest block lives this appropriately weird java hang. Local art adorns the walls; the specially roasted coffee beans pack an extra caffeine kick, and an open mic stands dauntingly to the side, awaiting fresh saliva, while the owner tinkers away at a refurbished guitar in a tiny workshop next to the bar. Yes, White Cup Coffeehouse will restring, retune and reanimate your used-up axes and even offers in-house lessons.

 

Best animatronics

Mayer Hawthorne's/MGMT's Rock-afire Explosions
youtube.com/watch?v=MmZexg8sxyk

Several years ago, Aaron Fechter, creator of those animatronic singing bears (aka the Rock-afire Explosion) you may remember from when ShowBiz Pizza Place was an actual place, raised the band from the dead with a series of viral YouTube videos. Rediscovered interest in the countrified outfit culminated with an acclaimed 2008 documentary, and since then, Fechter's robots have been everywhere. A year after the doc, MGMT gave Rock-afire Explosion a cameo in their trippy video for "Electric Feel," and late last year, after locating the nondescript warehouse where the animatronic band is stored, we uncovered neo-soul act Mayer Hawthorne hanging out with Billy Bob, Rolfe and the others. By November, the sighting made more sense in the form of the band's video for Mayer Hawthorne's song "Dreaming," starring none other than the Rock-afire Explosion.

Best of Orlando 2012
  • Local Color - Reader' Picks This year's Best of Orlando issue was written, edited, tallied, combined and compiled with the blood, sweat and tears of Marcus Griggs, Holly V. Kapherr, Faiyaz Kara... | 7/18/2012
  • Local Color - Staff Picks Gracing the cover of Orlando Weekly's 2012 Best of Orlando issue is no sweat, when you're Jose Melendez. Better known as Orlando's Mr. Gold, Melendez is the... | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Reader' Picks Best adult entertainment store 1st Fairvilla Megastore, 1740 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-6005; 7631 | 7/18/2012
  • Goods & Services - Staff Picks Nameplates! Doorknockers! Gucci bamboo hoops! Cuban links, herringbones, dookie ropes! Medallions! Dog tags! Caps and grills! On strictly utilitarian... | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Reader' Picks Best Caribbean 1st Bahama Breeze, multiple locations, bahamabreeze.com 2nd Mama Millie's, 12273 University Blvd., 407-382-3570, mamamillies.com | 7/18/2012
  • Food & Drink - Staff Picks Best attention-grabber beverage Beet & green apple juice from Café 118 | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks If you're afraid of heights, stay away: Aptly named after its striking 180-degree view of downtown Orlando, this chic sanctuary sits at the top of Amway Center's... | 7/18/2012
  • Music & Nightlife - Reader' Picks Best Club DJ 1ST Baby Lac, @djbabylac 2ND Lemy Currey, facebook.com/lemycurrey 3rd Jimmy Joslin, facebook.com/JimmyJoslin | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Reader' Picks Best Arts Event/Festival 1st The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, orlandofringe.org 2nd Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org 3rd Nude Nite Art Exposé, nudenite.com | 7/18/2012
  • Arts & Culture - Staff Picks Best public art that doubles as a weapon "Symphony," 1989, by Paul Marco Mennello Museum of American Art 900 East Princeton Street 407-246-4278 mennellomuseum.com If you've ever thought of an "ice knife" as the perfect murder weapon (it melts! No finger | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Reader' Picks Best billiards hall 1st Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com 2nd Cue-Phoria Billiards and Café, 2050 Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 321-972-1867, cuephoria.com 3rd Trick Shots Billiards, multiple locations | 7/18/2012
  • Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks First word we received about this Gaelic jumble of a sport was when Orlando Hurling Club hosted their Clash of the Ash tournament last September. | 7/18/2012
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