Five Favorite Orlando Songs

(Originally appeared in Orlando Weekly as part of “Let It Linger: Our 50 Favorite Orlando Songs of the Last 15 Years,” in which various locals submitted their favorite – not necessarily “best” – Orlando songs.)

Nutrajet: “Celebrity Fist”
Hearing this song clinched my decision to move to Orlando, so you can either blame or thank Greg Reinel for that one. Any city that could produce a duo that meshed Jucifer-size volume assaults with punk rock that split the difference between Cheap Trick and Stiff Little Fingers was all right by me.

Bloom: “Remote Control”
Another nostalgic pick but also easily defensible: Bloom was the first local band I saw upon arriving in town. Between frontman Devin Moore’s smartass attitude, his brother’s fanatical devotion to mind-blowing guitar tones, and the spot-on arrangements of dark power-pop nuggets like “Remote Control,” I knew I had made a pretty good decision.

New Mexican Disaster Squad: “Coughing Up Blood”
This song was in a close race with the Attack’s “Getaway Car” for “Local Punk Song That Makes Me Want To Be A Teenage Hooligan.” NMDS won out due to the fact that this little anthem flies the middle finger, punches the sky and is sort of gross.

The Punching Contest: “Fire, Bitches”
The tightly wound spazzcore of the Punching Contest was a sight to behold. The band managed to pack an unbelievable number of ideas and structures and changes and sounds and wildness into their songs. “Fire, Bitches” is seven-and-a-half minutes long (nearly twice the length of most of their songs), so it’s got a lot to say. Revelatory, brutal, assaultive, beautiful, angry, dramatic and completely exhausting.

Summerbirds in the Cellar: “The Machines Won’t Fail”
It’s definitely not their best song, but this three-minute instrumental opening to the Summerbirds’ 2005 debut album is a warm bath in Eno-blessed waters of swirling analog keyboards. And I can listen to it all day, every day. As a statement, it’s not only bold but also declarative, as it positioned their formidable skills with melody and songcraft as secondary to a thoughtful and near-artful sense of atmosphere.

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