By: Graham Johnson
This past Saturday, Gainesville was given yet another dope house show at current the DIY favorite venue, The Dumpster. However, what makes this show memorable is that old friend and colleague, Matthew Weller, drove all the way from Orlando that night just to present this show to the eager ears of Gainesville’s avid music listeners. Weller owns a music blog, and now zine, in the Orlando area called The Vinyl Warhol. Recently, he’s been managing one woman loop group, Tiger Fawn, and taking her all around Florida to play in some of the coolest venues he can find. On this occasion, he brought, not only Tiger Fawn, but the intimate Zoya Zafar from Orlando with him to round out Gainesville’s in-your-face rock with Orlando’s heavily emotional and spiritual vibe.
The first band was an amalgamation of a few friends that only get together and play music for the fun of it. Taking on the front man’s full name, “Theo Burrows” is a rockin four piece that’ll send shivers down your spine. The first thing one will notice is Theo’s mellow voice swimming along underneath the shells of percussion and the fires of strings raging overhead. Though, I assure you, this was not a chaotic cacophony, as the lead guitar and bass, often times, would be intertwining together in perfect harmony as twin serpents creating a mesmerizing pattern. Theo keeps the rhythm guitar simple and solid for most of their music, holding down the percussion’s intricate rhythm while still layering in his own syncopation and little single note fills.
Theo Burrows mesmerizing the crowd at The Dumpster. (Click the image for larger view)
Shortly after Theo and his boys left the stage and, presumably, went outside for a rest and smoke, the stage was taken by a lone girl that I have come to know as “Zoya Zafar” and the first of Weller’s gifts to Gainesville that night. My first impression was that Zoya is a very honest person, as her lyrics depict what I can only assume to be vignettes of her own life projected to us through blue light and sorrow. Though, her lyrics also bespeak a strength of character and will to keep fighting whether it seems hopeless, or not. Zoya was very intimate with the crowd, as well. She stood with no barrier a single foot away from the closest person. She made eye contact with many individuals in the crowd and, to me at least, felt as if she was simply having a conversation with us, rather than playing for or to us.
Zoya Zafar gifting her calming but haunting music to a captured crowd. (Click the image for larger view)
Once Zoya had drifted back out of the spotlight, another Orlando native and beautifully spiritual artist, “Tiger Fawn,” began to set up. Which, I must say, quickly became part of her main show. In a most unprecedented turn of events, Dani Lacerda kept the crowd engaged as she was laying out her loop station consisting of a small keyboard, a Roland drum pad that she allegedly found in a shed, her own multi-channel mixer, and what looked like a Boss multi-looper. As she’s known for, she played her ukulele during most of the set, but has incorporated a thick rumbley bass since the last time I’ve seen her perform. Naturally, Tiger Fawn was a beautiful amalgamation of 90s hip hop and psychedelic, while keeping the rhythm with raw tribal beats on both that beautiful Roland, and her well trained vocal cords. I want to give Dani a special shout out, though. When she got there, she relayed to me that she wasn’t planning on playing one of her very early songs, which is regarded as a classic in the Orlando scene. Luckily, she decided to play it, at the last-minute. ‘Praise Jesus and Pass the Pipe’ is an homage to toking in every sense of the term, in all fashions and modes, and with anyone that’ll sit down and have a smoke. Thanks, Dani! You’re a dream!
Tiger Fawn bringing the soul to The Dumpster, with Matt Weller hiding in the background. (Click the image for larger view)
Always last, but never least, it is once again time to put “DONKNG” back on the pedestal to attempt a description of an experience that one can only receive live, though I will try. DONKNG was harder than tempered steel, as they have a habit of being, and seems to be growing harder exponentially as time goes on. They went so hard that, at one point, the combined weight of the jumping crowd was flexing the floor so bad, it was groaning and ready to give way. Somehow these boys just keep finding more and more energy to add to their set, keeping this writer insanely stoked for every subsequent show they play.
DONKNG acting artsy but playing like a rebels. (Click the image for larger view) These images were by the talented Darien Moore.
I would have to say that the most recent dumpster show was a success and I extend a huge warm thank you to Cam, Juan, and Jeremy for allowing us to tear up their house and party like there are no rules. At the same time, this particular show would not be possible without Matthew Weller of The Vinyl Warhol, so if you had fun or like our blog please follow The Vinyl Warhol and Tiger Fawn to show your support for their awesome scene and so shows like this continue to happen!