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This Little Underground: The Pauses party like it’s 1994

Plus, the Social/Beacham’s downtown coup, Wet Nurse, Black Pussy, Royal Thunder, O’Brother, Leisure Chief

Photo: Photo by Michael Lothrop, License: N/A

Photo by Michael Lothrop


Forget the attractions, man. This week, Orlando nightlife was the area’s most dizzying ride. Besides Roxy closing, the bombshell was the turning of a legendary downtown trust (Bar-BQ Bar, Eye Spy and Sky 60) over to the live-music juggernaut of the Social/Beacham group. Some changes will happen as we’ve reported, but more will be revealed soon. This seismic development on the deepest and best block in downtown will have defining shockwaves. Stay tuned.

The Beat

Themed events continue to be this year’s local motif, and the Pauses pulled off the latest home run: 1994 (Aug. 2, Will’s Pub). Even though the ’90s were the beginning of the end in some ways with alternative becoming mainstream, there’s much to celebrate. This show, besides being an occasional reminder of bad pop-culture decisions, was a great nostalgia trip.

Seeing prestige bands perform live mixtapes like this was pure entertainment and constant surprise. Songs ranged from the cognoscenti-approved (The New Lows covering Jawbreaker) to guilty radio pleasures (Wet Nurse covering Ace of Base). Probably because they were all too young to be cool in 1994, Wet Nurse really exploited the zeitgeist for a fun, excellent set. They completely hotwired the Offspring’s “Self Esteem” and turned the aforementioned Swedish scourge of the ’90s airwaves into a vehicle to certify the gold of their own pure pop ability.

Cut. It. Out.: 50 photos from the 1994 cover show at Will’s Pub

But besides having the genius to tackle Portishead, the Pauses also showed what Dinosaur Jr. would sound like with a good singer. And just when I wasn’t entirely buying their take on NIN’s “Closer,” frontwoman Tierney Tough hurled stuffed animals into the crowd, yelling, “I wanna fuck you like an animal.” Classic Pauses humor.

With pussy being the new black in music, it’s an inevitability that a band named Black Pussy (July 28, Will’s Pub) would rise. More Nashville Pussy than Perfect Pussy, these Portland guys are total throwbacks to the hard and heavy side of the ’70s. And holy rock Jesus do they look every inch the part, with bell-bottoms, hair for miles and enough vintage gear to fill a garage.

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