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ORL Creative Henderson Nguyen Says Goodbye at Spacebar

Like many local creatives, Henderson Nguyen came to Orlando to study at the University of Central Florida. For his first couple of years, he stuck with the label of “student,” until a block party in the Milk District brought the Orlando arts community into the forefront of his mind. Since then, Henderson has fully submerged himself in the culture, modeling and shooting for local brands (NoXcape & CHROMATIQUE), filming music videos (SugarPlum & TOKYOxP), and creating his own niche as a photographer. His style is perfectly posed, bright images that tell a short, impactful story. One of his favorite subjects to work with is cigarettes; the aesthetic of the object and the multiple connotations — death, counterculture, cool — associated with smoking are all explored in his images. Sadly, this talent is off to LA to pursue his dreams, but he’s leaving us with a bittersweet send-off this Sunday (TODAY) at Spacebar, featuring rapper TEDD.GIF, DJ EMRLDTRACE, and indie pop sweetheart, SugarPlum. 

Featured Image by @anand.vision.

Each of the artists performing has deep ties to Henderson and his time in Orlando. TEDD.GIF was instrumental in Hendy’s introduction to the ORL creative community, and he says that the two share similar mindsets when it comes to personal branding. EMRLDTRACE and Henderson went to high school in West Palm Beach and grew close once they started at UCF — and they’re moving to LA together. Henderson heard SugarPlum before anyone else; she had always wanted to give music a shot but wasn’t sure if anyone would listen. We’re lucky she did. He perfectly captured her sunny, colorful persona in his video for her song “All the Time.”

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Poster by Maggie Scott.

Henderson plans to keep ORL on his tongue while meeting creatives in Los Angles. He looks forward to seeing the growth of (musicians) TEDD.GIF, SugarPlum, TOKYOxP, Tony Phat, Lanlord, (clothing brands) NoXcape, CHROMATIQUE, Phalse, (photographers) dy_n, daniel moncada, and (promoters) TSA Showcase. Come say goodbye to this awesome dude tonight at Spacebar!

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The House That Waffles Built: An After-Show Interview With DONKNG (w/photos)

DONKNG’s influences stretch from The Velvet Underground’s inspired art rock to irresistible pop, filched from The Stroke’s Is This It?. They are original, vigorous, and impaling. Hang with them; they have a vibe. If you don’t know what it’s all about, put on your red pajamas and go find out.

DONKNG : Camilo Isaza & Juan Salguero

Interviewer : Andy Andrade

[EDITORS NOTE: These photos are not from the Uncle Lou’s show. The were taken a few weeks later when DONKNG played a house show put on by Ugly Orange & Always Nothing.]

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A: Alright, so let’s start with names…

J: Juan Salguero, drums.

C: Camilo Isaza, uh, guitar.

*Someone approaches us from Lou’s*

“Hey, thanks for the show guys. Are you going to cover the Eagles anytime soon?”

C: Too many guitars, I need the triple neck.

A: *laughs* So you told me there’s an EP coming out?

A: Where are you recording it? Is it going to be digital or analog?

C: It’s  a recording set up by our friend’s from Endless Pool, a band up in Gainesville. They have a huge practice space.

J: Yeah they made it into a studio and we have the option to record it on tape.

C: I think we’ll end up doing that. Maybe for the EP, we’ll just do a Bandcamp release.

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A: How many tracks? Four? Five?

C: We have a set list of twelve.  But we might narrow it down to seven.

J: Just to give people a taste of what we’ve got. We don’t want to put out our tracks all out at once…

C: Without a base.

J: Exactly.

A: Where are you planning on playing before going back to Gainesville?

J: We’re currently in South Florida for the summer so we’re trying to get some shows in Miami, like at The Granary or The Church.

C: Hopefully, if we’re not losing too much money on gas, we’ll play Orlando more often.

A: Are you guys thinking of keeping it a two piece?

C: I think we’re open to getting a bassist. Juan and I have been friends since 4th grade and we’ve been playing music since like 10th grade.

J: One of us picked up music and the other followed. We were maybe 15 years old. Our chemistry is tight.

C: And our friendship too.

A: You can notice it on stage; it’s fluid and energetic.

C: We used to be a three piece before, called The Cornerstones. Just some instrumental stuff. We’re definitely interested, just not pursing it.

J: It’s just got to be the right feel.

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A: Current influences? Anything influencing your live performance?

C: With live performance, Slumberjack.

J: Yeah we love them. Velvet Underground too, for our sound.

C: Current Joy’s, Titus Andronicus, The Strokes.

A: How do you write your lyrics?

C: Juan’s an English major, so we’ll start coordinating lyrics and co-writing more songs together since we’ll be living together. What I do is recycle my lyrics and then cut and paste them were Juan think they should go to make them  more interesting. I’m just trying to catch up, because we have all these instrumentals when we used to be The Cornerstones.

A: So this chemistry is constant, throughout the writing process.

J & C: Yeah.

A: You guys played a killer set tonight. What’s your favorite place to go hangout or eat afterwards?

J: We love Waffle House.

C: The first show we played was this all-age venue in South Florida called Tom’s Farm.  We’re loading up our gear and someone put the bass on top of the car.

J: It was like a 12-minute drive and we completely forgot it was there. So I’m saying, “Where’s the bass??? Where’s the bass Camilo?” And there it was, still sitting on top of the car.

C: [That’s why] Waffle House is definitely our after-show spot.

Photos by matthew warhol. 

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Slumberjack: The Florida Controlled Burn Tour (new ep out now!)

I’m on tour w/ the awesome twosome, Slumberjack. Tuesday night, they lay awake on a shared pull-out couch, perfecting the cover art for their new EP, Black Lodge. Wednesday morning, it’s out. Listen to that, view a few tour shots, and watch the teaser for a documentary  below; come to a show!

Slumberjack The Florida Controlled Burn Tour

“Barbarous yet melodic. oddly calm. sad boy mathcore. an angry sorrow. it’s lit.”
— Slumberjack on Black Lodge

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Tiger Fawn’s “Little Fuckin’ Birdie Tour”: PLACES (photos pt. 2)

If you feel lost, and this all feels new,
then start from the start, because this is part two. 

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

— Dr. Seuss (Oh, The Places You’ll Go)

On Tour with Me Chinese: Skinny-Dipping at Miami Beach (Day 4)

Boy, we’ve been through a lot. But, we’ve reached the end of tour, and we’re finishing this shit out strong. Day 3.5 picks back up at Kill Your Idols with Me Chinese’s last set of the tour. The lighting at the bar was horrible, so Karina finished off the disposables capturing the boys’ playing at their drunkest. That, combined with some equipment failure, made for a pretty shaky performance. But, fuck it. This is touring. Enjoy.

Previous Entries:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 2.5
Day 3

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KYI Drink Tally:

Artie: 2 shots + 3 beers + 2 drinks
Matt: (laughs) breakfast started @ 1
Rachel: 3
Ben: some?
Kyle ? > some
Justin: 4 tequilas “I love tequila”
Me: 1 tequila OJ

Have you every interviewed a drunk Swedish guy with a microphone that’s not plugged in? I have.

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As a drummer, no one is better than Kyle. He plays with so much furry. He also swings his hair around with much fervor, while always cracking a huge grin.

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Last night, I met Miami-based electronic artist, Otto Von Schirach. The brothers in Me Chinese recognized him at Dueces in South Beach. Dressed in a muscle shirt, an animal pelt hat, and gold grills, this stocky wild man was nothing but welcoming and loving. Matt Kamm referred to him as “a hero.”

Otto Von Schirach is a remarkable person. Not only was he dressed to kill; Otto welcomed us into his band of merry folk, arms wide, waiting to hug. Matt was awestruck. He was giddy like a kiddy meeting Buzz Lightyear for the first time. What ensued was probably illegal, at least for the man with his pen15 out. *I ain’t no rat* 

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At 5 a.m., this Motley Crue mad its way onto the cold sand of South Beach. Homebase was  a lifeguard stand, and our uniforms were tired eyes and a life being lived. Then, the unit stormed the beach and headed into the frigid waves. The night’s experience was a combination of an Ernest Hemingway monologue and the best fucking Miley Cyrus video you’ve never seen.

Melt Banana @ BackBooth (review + photos)

Is it possible to control a packed, sweaty crowd with a remote control? And if so, does that make us fans into television characters, dancing around for our master’s enjoyment? For Japanese noise rock duo, Melt Banana, this remote control mosh pit seems to be a nightly occurrence.

Late last week, Melt Banana played Orlando for the first time in four years. I and my main goon/incredible photographer (all my friends are photographers) Johnny B showed up prepared for mayhem. But, we definitely weren’t prepared for Melt Banana’s brand of ear-busting madness. Enjoy.

In the past, Melt Banana has had live drums. They’ve had two official drummers and a number of guest drummers for touring and studio recordings. But, pretty much every band has a drummer. And Melt Banana, in both sound and performance, is pretty much like no other band. They descended upon Orlando with grit, furry, and power. Yasuko Onuki constantly bombarded the crowd, and their eardrums, with her brutal vocals, never breaking throughout their 45-minute set. She also wielded the aforementioned remote that commanded pre-recorded drums.

The reason I keep coming back to this remote is because throughout the show, it kept the pace of the night’s energy. Onuki repeatedly raised the illuminated rectangle above her head, stopping the barrage of sound, before swinging it down, dropping a bomb of adrenaline onto the audience. Like a twisted conductor, her movements controlled the sea of bodies before her.

But, Melt Banana has a co-conductor. And he’s just as twisted. The piercing sound of guitarist Ichirou Agata was the true perpetrator in the stabbing of my ears. He masterfully looped guitar lines atop of each other to create a wave of static. During each song, Agata would run through a string of riffs, quickly switching along with his partner’s remote. The entire night felt like flipping through channels, endlessly overcome with stimuli, until your head finally explodes.