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This Little Underground

Our local music columnist checks out Band of Skulls, the Swamp Abyss Sorcery Fest, Langhorne Slim and the Law and more

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For nightlife pros and chronics, Halloween out on the town is way scarier than any stupid haunted house, what with all those amateur cockroaches infesting our usual spots. But this year's witching season is looking amazing for good music. Remember the legendary autumn of 2010 (aka Rocktober)? Well, the days surrounding this year's Halloween look a lot like a compressed-and-loaded little sister to that. Besides actual Halloween-night festivities featuring Gainesville sensation Hundred Waters (BackBooth) and Maserati (Will's Pub), the whole week is solid gold with a stampede of stars including Why? (Oct. 27, The Social), Aesop Rock (Oct. 27, Plaza Live), Alejandro Escovedo (Oct. 27, BackBooth), King Tuff (Oct. 28, Will's Pub), Sharon Van Etten (Oct. 28, The Social) and Black Moth Super Rainbow (Oct. 29, The Social).

So slap on your shark-jumped zombie makeup or whatever and shake a goddamned leg, people.

The Beat

Recently, long-running Orlando fanzine Kick Bright Zine has been doing showcases to spotlight out-of-state bands they dig. The latest featured Chicago's Absolutely Not (Oct. 13, Peacock Room), whose sparkplug combo of garage punk and live-wire pop jolted the room with high voltage. They nail the bull's-eye because their urgency verges on wild, but their playing always remains on-rails tight. And though their catalog was entirely new to me, this high-impact performance ripped forth like an all-hits set list. And that says a lot about their songs.

Absolutely Not? Definitely yes.

As for openers, it's been a while since I've seen Hot Hands - the duo of KBZ author Jeffrey Howard and wife Kristin - and I'm again amazed by how heavy they've gotten. They were a bit of scruffy fun before but this is beyond kitsch and into something much lustier. I never thought I'd be saying this about Hot Hands, but this is fairly sexy stuff. With added guitar beef and some feral rock & roll screams, they're less garage pop now and just more all-out rock.

Speaking of more rock, tasteful Florida heavy music marathon Swamp Abyss Sorcery Fest (BackBooth) dropped serious boulders downtown earlier that night. Man, could Jacksonville-DeLand's Hollow Leg get any better? Maybe, but I simply cannot imagine it. Alongside an all-heavy lineup, these sludge stoners actually show how much nastier they are than all else. While much of metal simply fantasizes darkness, these guys are pure sweet murder. And it's about time a crowd got violent to their set. Now, you know me and how ride-or-die I am for Florida, but Georgia guest Demonaut also deserves serious ups for being nearly as monstrous with a charging dual-bass sound that comes on like a stoned, raging elephant.

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