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This Little Underground

This week, Bao Le-Huu covers Dan Deacon, Iris DeMent, Bog Prophet and more

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Usually, it's larger, coordinated events like music festivals that underscore the welling critical mass of Mills Avenue. But the night of Dec. 6 showed how close the strip's usual offering of colorful natives doing their own thing is to being of national caliber.

First, Will's Pub featured a two-piece band blowout headlined by dazzling Cleveland virtuosos Mr. Gnome and supported by premium Orlando duos Bob on Blonde and Yogurt Smoothness. Second, Uncle Lou's hosted – get this – a double-feature appearance of what's likely to be the final tour of Bomb the Music Industry (the early show was supported by exceptional locals Jr. Meowzer, and the late show by also-local You Blew It!). Finally, Peacock Room was the scene of the momentous return of heavy-music booking mafia Orlandooom, who cannonballed back into the local pool with a big, expansive lineup of heavies including Neurot Recordings band Across Tundras, Tennessee stoners Hellbender, local ax-murderers Junior Bruce and the debut of Orlando sludge band Bog Prophet. So, yeah, wow. Thassa lotta high-profile action in one night for a five-block stretch. I simply couldn't make it all, but that's a dilemma I'll take any day.

According to promoter Bradley Ryan, both Bomb the Music Industry shows sold out. And from what I saw of Mr. Gnome, they're still the highest functioning duo around. But my eye was on the resuscitation of Orlandooom, who came back hard with an interesting, signed band in Tennessee's Across Tundras. Even more psychedelic live, with references beyond typical metal terrain, their doomed twang is what Dead Meadow might sound like if they headed into the green hills and traded their mushrooms for 'shine.

And look out, guys. There's a hairy new monster on the prowl in Orlando. It debuted here and its name is Bog Prophet. It's a scraping, heaving beast that you'll know by the roars that scorch your face and the riffs built for blunt-force trauma. Dirty, crushing and no fucking around – this is how I like my metal.

Welcome back, Orlandooom. And good going in general by all who either produced or attended any of these shows. If we all keep working hard like this, could this be what Mills Avenue always looks like within a year?

The Beat

It's good to see Dan Deacon's still doing his thing (Dec. 5, the Social). Even though the Wham City poster boy returns years later with a significantly higher profile, he's still upholding his DIY warehouse ethos and conducting his shows as up-close congregations, performing on the floor among the audience members.

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