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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist talks about a new record club and reviews Tera Melos and Blood Ceremony.

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Are you following this story on the city’s suspiciously quiet campaign to change downtown regulations? If you’re an owner of a bar, club or venue, you better be.

At first glance, what pops most is the extended hour of drinking Thursday through Saturday. Extending bar hours – the white whale of Orlando nightlife – is itself a fine idea. But in its totality, the overall bundle of proposals is just fucking stupid. I’ve seen one version of the presentation the city made to bar owners and it’s misguided, half-baked and illogical. As it looks now, it’s the kind of unfair thing that happens when government over-regulates.

Bar/club/venue owners, pay attention to this. Downtown sources have expressed to me lots of serious and legitimate concern. So far, the city’s backed off of some aspects of the proposal due to pushback from downtown homeowners, which shows they’re somewhat sensitive to public outcry. That’s why business owners need to mobilize and get more vocal to be heard. It’s a still-developing story (Editor’s note: Check OW next week for our reporting), but the gears of the machine are in motion. Get into the conversation, pressure your city commissioner and make sure it’s not happening in the dark. Those in the immediately affected urban core should reach out to Commissioner Daisy Lynum (daisy.lynum@cityoforlando.net), Commissioner Patty Sheehan (patty.sheehan@cityoforlando.net) or, hell, Hizzoner himself (buddy.dyer@cityoforlando.net).

The Beat

As one of the city’s best-known music critics, Jason Ferguson is famous for his high-concept writing as an OW contributor, his high-concept music events and just his all-around, high-concept self. His latest is a record club, an idea that’s simple but ambitious. It’s the first such effort of real public profile I know of. In theory, I love it, but in practice, so much could flop. That’s why I’m especially happy to report it didn’t.

From what I could tell, the inaugural congress (May 13, Lil’ Indies) – which convened to absorb Prince’s Dirty Mind – drew about a dozen or so people specifically for the occasion (including some notable local musicians) and not just casual bar patrons. Lo and behold, actual spirited discussion organically combusted after the listening.

Is your idea of music listening bigger than ear buds on your personal device? Then this is for you. It’s an open group (facebook.com/groups/orlandorecordclub) that meets monthly. By totally random drawing, I was selected to pick the next record we’ll be digesting. I have ideas but am open to suggestions.

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