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Our live music columnist reviews Total Bummer Fest, Midaz the Beast and New Madrid

This Little Underground

Photo: James Dechert, License: N/A

James Dechert

Of the full bands from Detroit, Lord Scrummage (Will’s Pub) brought lots of street buzz with their splashy, party-starting dance-rock kaleidoscope. Their stylistic ambition sometimes sprawls to a blur, but they overflow with ideas, attitude and live energy. But fellow Detroiters Jamaican Queens (Orange Studio) were unconditionally exceptional with organic psych-pop that bursts and shines like fireworks in the sky. Their music is unpredictable but natural, and beaming with joy.

In terms of Sunshine State representation, one surprise discovery was St. Augustine’s Uncle Marty (Lil Indies), whose funny-goofy-cool soul jams are surprisingly tender and melodically astute, despite his screwy sensibility.

Amid all the Total Bummer hum, another significant Orlando celebration rocked the north end of Mills Ave.: the debut LP release party for rapper Midaz the Beast (Aug. 31, Peacock Room). Any record release by a local roots-rap luminary is notable enough, but AU: Artificial Universe is especially momentous because it’s a signed release on HiPNOTT, the indie label founded by hip-hop blogger Kevin Nottingham. And the turnout was as live as the performance.

Outside of the festival, the first-ever Florida appearance of Athens’ New Madrid (Sept. 3, Will’s Pub) was a nice surprise. With tight pop chops, irrepressible spirit and echoey textures, the crystalline melodies of their Southern psych-rock shoots through a dreamy mist like a more free-spirited, less country-fried Futurebirds. Signing to Normaltown/New West Records earlier this year, this band may only be a few steps away from being a real force.

Check out photos from Total Bummer 4EVER 2013:

Trippy photos from the first night of Total Bummer 4EVER Music Festival
More pictures of Total Bummer 4EVER madness
Photos from Colorsphere’s last show at Total Bummer 4EVER
Final photos from Total Bummer 4EVER 2013

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