The Fest is Central Florida’s biggest music festival: three days, 20 venues, and over 100 different artists. If you can’t spend $100 on a ticket, Will’s Pub is hosting a pre-fest show featuring five international acts, all of whom have traveled thousands of miles to fuck up Central Florida. Here’s a taste of the bands, and if you like what you hear, come down to Will’s for the real thing. Enjoy.

Tickets are only $6! Get them now!

Laura Palmer (Australia)


Hear more on Laura Palmer’s Bandcamp.

Bear Trade (England)


Hear more on Bear Trade’s Bandcamp.

Cigarette Crossfire (Finland)


Hear more on Cigarette Crossfire’s Bandcamp.



Hear more on MALEMUTE kID’s Bandcamp.

Low Dérive (Italy)


Hear more on Low Dérive’s Bandcamp.


Bring Me Your Loves: St. Vincent @ The Beacham

St. Vincent is the musical moniker of art rock singer and guitar chemist, Annie Clark. On Clark’s latest self-titled album, released earlier this year, she inflated her persona from a incredibly talented pop artist to a grey-haired queen, seated atop her bizarre theatrical rock throne, not unlike the one on her latest album cover. Naturally, this god-like transformation garnered comparison to David Bowie’s 70’s space alien character, Ziggy Stardust. Yesterday, I got the chance to see Clark perform live, and with big theatrical rock shoes to fill, she had much to prove. Enjoy.


If Ziggy Stardust was an alien space explorer from mars, than St. Vincent is his new-age robot counterpart. During the songs “Huey Newton,” “Bring Me Your Loves,” and “Birth in Reverse,” Clark glitched around the stage with her rhythm guitarist in perfect unison. Marching about, shifting their bodies, and joining heads, the two mirrored each other’s motions like robots from Chuck E Cheese. Even on her own, Clark rarely broke character while performing. She continued to tick her body parts in quick, precise jolts, all the while, holding the same stoic facial expression.

Entertainment is in Clark’s programming, and with tracks spanning her four solo albums, last night’s set did just that. Her guitar virtuoso shined through on every song, but absolutely stunned me with the psych-funk solo during “Prince Johnny” and the fuzz assaults on “Cheerleader” and “Huey Newton.” Vocally, the night goes to the heavenly sacrilegious “I Prefer Your Love.” The lyrics of Clark preferring her mother’s admiration to Christ created a beautifully touching atmosphere. But for Clark, this was just written in her circuits.


Bluesman Jack White has contested that each live show should feel unrehearsed and unique; you should never tell the same joke twice, because the audience will feel the authenticity. St. Vincent obviously doesn’t follow this line of thinking. Everything felt rehearsed and choreographed. Her chats with the audience were few in numbers and brief, but felt like monologues in a play. Some may say this takes away from Clark’s performance, but I think it added an artistic beauty to the evening. Upon returning to the stage for a solo performance of “Strange Mercy,” she stood atop an elevated platform, with one spotlight refracting off her guitar. It was the show’s most intimate moment and felt like a Shakespearean actor performing the death monologue from Hamlet.

If you missed the show, you can listen to the entire setlist bellow:

Why Joyce Manor Matters.

I could say Torrance, CA punk quartet Joyce Manor played a tireless set at BackBooth Tuesday night, full of quick, bombastic blasts of energy from throughout their catalog, because all of that is 100% true. But, I think that would be short-changing Joyce Manor, because most punk shows are of a similar design. What truly hit me, what I actually walked away from the show with, was much, much more important. Enjoy.

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“IF being violent at a show is something you think you’re entitled to, then – FUCK YOU!”

Amongst all loud, angst-ridden, and brilliant music that spilled out of BackBooth, this quote shined as the crux of the evening. Almost instantaneously, Joyce Manor lead vocalist and guitarist, Barry Johnson changed the night’s climate from a great punk show to one of great social importance.

Earlier in the evening, my photographer Karina explained to me that the band had started a conversation on Twitter about violence at punk shows, and how many fans, unintentionally or not, hurt others by hurling their bodies into the crowd. The band had warned their fans about the possibly-violent act of stage diving – in particular, the number of women hurt by much larger men at shows – and although there was an incredible support for the band’s stance, many “punk purist” have bashed the band for their views.

But seriously, fuck those people. I applaud Joyce Manor for their words on Twitter, and am even more impressed that in the moment, they would fearlessly defend and criticize their own fans, because they feel so strongly about them. But I shouldn’t have to praise Joyce Manor. Because its members are not declaring themselves activists and protesters, they simply expect all of their fans, regardless of gender, to respect each other. An opinion that should go without saying, but for some reason, has been ignored for decades.

In the early-90’s, Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna spoke similar unabashed criticism towards the same kind of violence that Joyce Manor did Tuesday night. Sadly however, it seems punk fans have forgotten Hanna’s words. Johnson’s spirited PSA did evoke a strong cheer from the audience, but during the very next song, I witnessed a fan jump from the back of the audience onto the heads unsuspecting concert-goers. The young man then attempted to reach the band by crawling on the skulls of others. I believe Johnson too took notice of this.

Later in evening, Johnson delivered another impassioned speech about the guilt he feels when he sees Joyce Manor’s music used as the soundtrack for violent behavior. His sincerity was unquestionable and, despite the electric performance, I believe the issue weighed heavily on his mind throughout the performance. I also believe that if their shows continue to end in injuries, many bands, including Joyce Manor, could lose the drive to tour out of safety for their fans.

And it’s horrible that this issue had to take precedence that night. Joyce Manor put on an incredible show, as did Des Ark and The Exquisites. But as the night closed, I could only think about how the lyrics to the show’s encore, “Leather Jacket,” and how they clearly mirrored some of the fans shouting them.

“In your new leather jacket, you’re somebody else.”

Punk-ass photos by Karina Curto:

THIS FRIDAY!! A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Diamond Youth, Prawn, & Field Mouse @ BACKBOOTH

There are going some dope – yes, I said dope, that’s how real I am – shows coming to Orlando in the next few months, and this one just happens to be the closest. On Friday, Topshelf Records invades Orlando, and their bringing the moderately loud noise. Enjoy.

Buy your tickets now!

A Great Big Pile of Leaves

AGBPOL are riding hot after the re-release of their 2010 album, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?. In the past, they’ve toured with Orlando act You Blew It!, a longtime live favorite, but I haven’t yet gotten the chance to see AGBPOL live. Look at this gorgeous limited edition vinyl. You just want to lick it.

Hear the whole album at AGBPOL’s Soundcloud!

 Diamond Youth

In February, Baltimore boys Diamond Youth released their second EP Shake. “Can’t Shake the Feeling” is a particularly rad song from the EP, but don’t take my word for it, listen to the whole thing!


New Jersey folk Prawn have a couple releases of their own, most notably their two LPs with Topshelf, 2011’s You Can Just Leave It All  and 2012’s Ships. “Why You Always Leave A Note” is off their 2014 split with Joie De Vivre.

Hear more from Prawn on Spotify.

Field Mouse

Field Mouse is destined to be the pleasant wildcard of the evening. They’re a bit different from the other acts, but their different is refreshing. Listen to the swirling synths and sweat vocal melodies off the band’s July 2014 release, Hold Still Life.

Hear all of Hold Still Life on Field Mouse’s Soundcloud.

Hometown Heroes: The Pauses Release 1994 Show Footage

Last month, The Pauses, Wet Nurse, and The New Lows all covered songs from 1994, a year that produced a baffling amount of legendary songs. The show was a big hit, containing tributes from the obvious, The Pauses playing Soundgarden, to the more surprising, Wet Nurse taking on Ace of Base. If you missed the show, you can still peek into the night, and watch The Pauses bang out four tunes from the year that rocked. My personal favorite is the megaphone on “Vasoline”. Enjoy.


Live Review: Kendrick Lamar @ CFE Arena

Easter is a sacred day where people gather together for worship, family meals, and, in my experience at least, to collectively shout “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower, so I can fuck the world for 72 hours.” If my reference went over your head, then allow me rephrase: I spent the evening of Jesus’ rebirth with thousands of other college-aged “hip-hop-heads,” (I use quotations because this is how one of the Caucasian openers describe the audience and I would never use such a silly phrase) all there to see Compton-based MC Kendrick Lamar. Lamar’s latest output, 2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, passed by me at first, but more recently, has infiltrated my ears. I was excited to share the good news with Lamar, as well as, see if rap’s hottest MC is any good live. Enjoy.

Good Kid, S.H.O.W. Shitty

Now, I don’t want to seem too harsh on Kendrick, but I had very high expectations for Sunday’s show, and for the most part, they were not met. All of the opening acts aren’t worth mentioning, with the exception of MC Chief *something’s*”hype man.” I’ve seen a lot of people. But, Sunday night was the first time I have ever seen a white man with a blond permanent, dancing around to another white man’s sub-par verses while waving around a concert tee. And for the length of approximately six songs, he sold that shit. This young man paraded around the stage like Vanilla Ice possessed with the spirit of Billy Mays. At the end of his master’s set, this unnamed hero finally put an end to his teasing, and bestowed the shirt on the crowd, in a moment I can only compare to Jesus turning water into wine. <- another Easter joke

Enough rambling about less than stellar openers, let’s move on to rambling about the less than stellar closer. I can’t even remember what Kendrick opened with, but what I do remember is that it was very underwhelming. The 26-year-old MC was introduced by a less than enthusiastic *insert air horn here*DJ, and simply walked onto the stage. Now, I’m not expecting him to be lowered down from the rafters a la Gene Simmons, but this was a theme present throughout the evening. Kendrick Lamar, walking around the stage rapping without passion. And it was disappointing. Between/during songs, he used numerous concert cliches in a failed attempt to hype up the crowd. “Let’s see which side of the arena is the loudest.” “Repeat the chorus after me.” “Give me your money while you do a lackluster rendition of one of my best songs.”

But, maybe I am giving Kendrick a hard time. There were really exciting moments, but they were separated by minutes and minutes of filler. (Note: minutes are hours while seeing live music.) “Backseat Freestyle” was an obvious highlight. The beat was nasty, the crowd was into it, and Kendrick sounded hungrier. But, referring back to the cliches I listed earlier, at the end of the song, he cut the music and repeated the chorus numerous times while the audience sung back to him. To all musical performers who are trying to be better live: THIS IS BORING! We know the words, and we know you know the words.

Now, I have a hypothesis to why this concert was a flop, and it’s closely related to why Kendrick’s singles weren’t appealing to me at first. Within the environment of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, a song like “Money Trees” has a much deeper meaning.  It’s preceded by depictions of the harsh Compton influence, and feels like a hopeless cry for help. But live, we’re pulled out of that landscape, and the song looses all its visceral meaning. “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is another example of how context twists the message. ACTUALLY, the context within the song by itself is pretty much the same: a young man battling with the temptations of abusing alcohol, while coming from a family with a history of alcoholism. BUT, the song has been morphed into a vapid celebration of drinking by idiotic “fans.” And because Kendrick’s set was more than just a front to back performance of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, the show lacked genuine feelings. But Kendrick is a genuine artist with genuine music, and he needs to push for more live authenticity then what I saw in the semi-anti-climatic, yet still very awesome, closer of the show. “YACK, YACK, YACK YACK!”

Live Music: “Greetings from Orlando” Release Show (feat. DoGs, Thee Wilt Chamberlain, The Welzeins, and Wet Nurse)

And you thought I was done talking about Greetings from Orlando. Hell no. Wednesday’s show marked the official release of the compilation, and featured performances by numerous bands who took part in the Orlando tape. Oh you missed it? Too bad. Kill yourself. There will never be a show of the same caliber. But, there probably will be. This is Orlando. Enjoy.

Wet Nurse is playing a secret show TONIGHT @ The Peacock Room. I sadly have to work, but go out and wish them well!

I reviewed Greetings from Orlando in its entirety. READ PARTS ONEDEUCETHIRDNEXT TO LAST, AND FIN NOW!!!!


You would think that with all my journalistic expertise, I would know the importance of punctuality. Nope. I fucked around, and missed DoGs. But, I did I run into the band at Lou’s, and they are awesome guys. I’ve been giving their album Sports Beer some pretty heavy rotation, and thoroughly enjoy all of it. You’ll hear more about this three-piece very soon. They’re also playing a handful of shows in March, with the last one on the 29th @ Will’s.

Thee Wilt Chamberlain

Thee Wilt Chamberlain brought the feel good energy to Lou’s with their instrumental surf rock sound. In recent news, the band inspired gourmet fast food chain Taco Bell to try breakfast. But, these entrepreneurs true talent lies in their music. On Wednesday, Thee Wilt Chamberlain dished out song after song of head bobbing, toe tapping, hand jiving jams. When’s the last time anyone from Taco Bell did that? Your move TB.

The Welzeins

The Welzeins did what they do best. They brought high energy, catchy tunes, and left bodies in their wake. The high point of their set was the electrifying “Zhark Attack,” the only song in recent history to deserve The Rock’s signature adjective. No date has been announced for the release of their debut-album, but their performance at Lou’s made me giddy with anticipation. Hopefully, they will be able to translate their explosive onto CD without destroying all of Orlando’s eardrums. Though, that would be impressive. Your move boys.

Wet Nurse

Every wonder about a universe without Wet Nurse? Well in this hellish place, both the compilation and the show don’t exist. Those poor bastards. Wet Nurse, freshly practiced and ready to tour, pulled out all the stops. New songs. Old songs. Mosh pits. Guitar solos. AND THOSE HARMONIZED VOCALS. I cannot get enough of this band’s ability to have perfect two part vocal melodies. This was by far the best Wet Nurse show I have ever been to, and SXSW is not ready for fuck storm this foursome is going to unleash. That’s right. A storm of fuck. Hide your dads, kids.