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‘The Godfathers of Hardcore’ Film Embraces Agnostic Front’s Drive and Passion By Sandra Carr

Hardcore pioneers, Agnostic Front, have always been true to their music and fans. The documentary The Godfathers of Hardcore, directed by Ian McFarland and appearing at the Florida Film Festival, chronicles Agnostic Front’s history and provides fans with a raw view into the band’s career and lives on and off the road.

The Godfathers of Hardcore Movie Poster

Hardcore is a rebellious form of punk-rock music with hard, fast, in-your-face, thrash rhythms. Agnostic Front has inspired numerous bands by taking the genre to a whole new level and extreme.

The group is still experiencing the rock ‘n’ roll dream after living and playing in New York City’s dark and seedy Lower East Side nearly 40 years ago. Agnostic Front’s musical mantra hasn’t changed as they continue to question authority and society and seek the truth.

The Godfathers of Hardcore Film

Agnostic Front in concert. Image courtesy of the Florida Film Festival

The film illustrates the chemistry and brotherly bond between Agnostic Front’s founder and lead guitarist Vinnie Stigma and lead vocalist Roger Miret.

There are many heartfelt occurrences with Miret and his family and laugh-out-loud moments with Stigma throughout the movie. Stigma is the real deal and a trip! He could easily have his own stand-up comedy act! I have visited New York City in the past, but Stigma is the person who I would love to provide me with an underground tour.

The documentary also discusses the turmoil, trials and tribulations Miret and Stigma dealt with growing up and how the hardcore scene saved their lives and became their family.

The movie features classic footage and photos from the band’s heyday, including performances at CBGB, the birthplace of punk-rock music, and by other bands like Murphy’s Law.

McFarland captured Agnostic Front’s essence, heart and soul in his film especially, with shots that showcased Miret and Stigma’s personalities and honesty. Four of my favorite scenes featured Miret opening a trunk and looking at a time capsule of band memories and sitting in a chair reflecting on his life at his home in Phoenix, Ariz. along with Stigma standing on the rooftop of his apartment building with a spectacular view of New York City and having his hairstylist create his mohawk.

Miret and McFarland made an appearance and participated in a question-and-answer-session after the first film screening at the Winter Park Regal Cinema last Saturday night. The documentary touched Miret.

“I was teary-eyed and blown away while experiencing an emotional roller coaster ride when I saw the film for the first time,” said Miret. “The film is in a league of its own. I’m proud and honored and think Ian did a great job.”

I asked Miret about how the documentary will leave Agnostic Front’s musical footprint.

“The film really shows the band as human beings and not as mythical creatures,” he exclaimed. “I think that connects more with people because our whole intention from day one was being genuine and real to people. We never called them fans. We called them friends.”

Sandra and Roger Miret

Agnostic Front’s lead vocalist Roger Miret signed his book “My Riot: Agnostic Front Grit, Guts & Glory” and posed for a photo after the film screening.

I also asked McFarland if he faced any challenges while making the movie.

“I think the biggest challenge for me was telling a band and family’s story and doing it in a way where they can sit back in the theater and watch it,” he said. “It was really tough getting through a film like this for the past three years. I not only directed the film, but edited it, which is a very tough thing to do and destroys you mentally and physically. I sacrificed a lot of time away from my family and work. It was very tough to do it, but luckily I had a support system.”

Agnostic Front fan and filmmaker McFarland put his blood, sweat and tears into creating a masterpiece that’s a must-see for other fans and music enthusiasts. His film tells a story that has never been told about this legendary band and will continue to rock for years to come.

The Godfathers of Hardcore screens again on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. at the Winter Park Regal Cinema. Tickets are $11. Click here for more information about the film and to purchase tickets.

Help the documentary receive a mainstream release at theaters nationwide by writing an Internet Movie Database (IMDB) review.

The Godfathers of Hardcore

 

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Moviegoers Embark on a Story-Gazing Journey during the Florida Film Festival By Sandra Carr

Films tell tales about personal triumph, deception, challenges, heroes and hilarity. This year’s Florida Film Festival, now in its 27th year, doesn’t disappoint and invites moviegoers to go story gazing while watching 183 films representing 38 countries.

The juried flick fete also features 152 films with premiere status, including 23 world premieres along with celebrity guest appearances, forums and parties at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Fla. and Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater in Winter Park, Fla. from April 6-15, 2018.

FFF Story Gazing

The 27th Annual Florida Film Festival is April 6-15, 2018.

The Florida Film Festival is accredited as a qualifying festival for the Oscars in the live action short, documentary short and animated short film categories. The winner of the grand jury award in each of these categories will automatically qualify to enter during next year’s Academy Awards.

Oscars

The opening-night film and party is happening on Friday, April 6 at the Enzian Theater and features American Animals, a true story and dramedy about four young men who attempt to steal priceless Audubon publications and rare books from the Transylvania University’s special collections library. The movie stars Blake Jenner who portrays Chas Allen. He also portrayed Ryder Lynn in Glee and Jake in Everybody Wants Some!! Jenner will be making an appearance and discussing American Animals following the screening.

American Animals

Blake Jenner

Actor Blake Jenner will be making an appearance during the Florida Film Festival’s opening-night party.

Clink glasses and say cheers during a champagne reception at 6 p.m. American Animals begins at 7 p.m. and the party follows at 8:30 p.m. The cinematic celebration will include cuisine, cake and craft cocktail and brew samples provided by Eden BarFirefly Kitchen and Bar, Hourglass BrewingNothing Bundt Cakes, Roque PubTen10 Brewing Company and other local bars and restaurants. The film and party admission is $140 and the party only ticket cost $125.

Opening Night Party

Hang out with moviegoers during the Festival Block Party on Saturday, April 7 from 3-5 p.m. at the Winter Park Village’s fountain across from the Regal Cinema. The festivities include free drinks and appetizers from select Winter Park Village restaurants and live entertainment. The free event is for Florida Film Festival ticket and pass holders only. Space is limited.

Florida Film Festival Block Party

Festival Block Party

Indulge yourself in a film and farm-to-table feast during Locally Fresh! on Sunday, April 8 from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The foodie function will include cooking demonstrations and scrumptious samples. Admission is $12. Afterwards, shop for fresh-from-the-field produce and products during a free Farmer’s Market from noon-2:30 p.m. on the lawn next to Eden Bar.

Locally Fresh

If you can’t wait to eat during Locally Fresh!, then enjoy a brunch buffet beforehand from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Eden Bar for $13.99 per person. The brunch will also occur during the last day of the film festival on Sunday, April 15.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

Soar into the sky and find out how a flight attendant orchestrated a scheme to keep smuggled cash from an arms dealer during the film screening of  Jackie Brown, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Pam Grier, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster and Bridget Fonda, on Sunday, April 8 from 7-11 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The movie is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch. The event includes a question-and-answer session with Grier following the film screening. General admission is $50 and $125 for a backstage pass, which includes the film screening and meet and greet and photo opportunity afterwards. Please provide your own camera for the photo opportunity.

Jackie Brown Movie Poster

Take a drug-filled ride during the psychological drama Requiem for a Dream, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans, on Friday, April 13 from 7:30-11 p.m. at the Enzian Theater. The film is based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr. with whom director Darren Aronofsky wrote the screenplay. The event includes a question-and-answer session with Burstyn after the screening. General admission is $50. Producer-pass holders will have an opportunity to meet the actress following the event.

Requiem for a Dream

Quench your thirst during the free Sip and Savor: Cocktail Tasting on Wednesday, April 11 from 6-8 p.m. at Eden Bar. Sample flavorful concoctions provided by Diageo.

Cocktail Tasting

Tennis, anyone? Watch Björn Borg versus John McEnroe at Wimbledon during the summer of 1980 in the sports drama Borg McEnroe, starring Shia LaBeouf.

Borg McEnroe Photo

Actress Charlize Theron portrays Marlo, a stay-at-home mom who is overwhelmed with taking care of her three children in Tully. Her wealthy brother gifts Marlo with a nanny who she forms a unique bond with that will change both of their lives forever. The screenplay was written by Diablo Cody who also wrote Juno and Young Adult.

Tully

A teenage boy becomes attached to a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete. He steals the horse before the owner disposes it and ends up on an unexpected adventure. The film Lean on Pete also touches on poverty and homelessness in the U.S. Actors Steve Buscemi and Charlie Plummer star in the film.

Lean on Pete

In the mystery thriller Tatterdemalion, Army veteran Fern, who is portrayed by actress Leven Rambin, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and returns home to the Ozarks where she finds an abandoned boy named Cecil in the woods. She searches for clues about the boy’s identity while discovering local folklore of a spirit who appears as a child.

Tatterdemalion

Actor and director Romany Malco (The 40 Year Old VirginWeeds) stars in Prison Logic. He portrays Tijuana Jackson, an aspiring world-renowned motivational speaker who is being followed by a documentary film crew before he’s released from prison. The movie has Florida flavor since it was filmed in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando and features Central Florida local Alkoya Brunson (AtlantaHidden Figures) who portrays Jackson’s sidekick Lil’ Eric. The ex-con’s reality-show dream has to overcome obstacles because of his court-mandated probation in the movie. Actress Regina Hall (Girls Trip, the Scary Movie franchise) portrays Jackson’s parole officer and prospective love interest and Tami Roman (Basketball Wives) rounds out the cast as Jackson’s sister Sharea.

Prison Logic

King Cohen is a documentary about legendary B-movie film producer, director and screenwriter Larry Cohen.

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Watch the RBG documentary about 84-year-old Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, gender equality warrior and pop-culture icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a.k.a. Notorious RBG).

RBG

Music makes its mark during the Florida Film Festival with documentaries about new wave musician, model and actress Grace Jones (Grace Jones: Blindlight and Bami), jam band Magic Music (40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie) and the hardcore group Agnostic Front (The Godfathers of Hardcore).

Agnostic Front’s lead vocalist Roger Miret and director Ian McFarland will be making an appearance and participating in a question-and-answer session following the The Godfathers of Hardcore screening on Saturday, April 7 at 9 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater.

Grace Jones Bloodlight and Bami

The Godfathers of Hardcore Movie Poster

Magic Music

Magic Music

Rollins College alumnus Fred Rogers was the host and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and worked tirelessly for more than three decades to help children understand difficult and complex situations and learn how to deal with their feelings through the use of puppetry. Rogers believed that we were all part of a global neighborhood in which everyone should be valued for being “just the way you are.” The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? pays homage to Rogers who was an advocate for children’s TV programming during most of his life.

Mister Rogers

Local radio personalities and powerhouse podcasters Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis of A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan, are featured in the Mediocre Documentary with Tom and Dan. The film takes the audience behind the scenes of the duo’s live podcast at the Hard Rock Live Orlando. Vann and Dennis will be making an appearance and participating in a question-and-answer session following the screening on Sunday, April 15 at 4:45 p.m. at the Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village Stadium 20 Movie Theater. The film is on standby.

Tom and Dan

A Mediocre Documentary with Tom and Dan

Eighteen films during this year’s fest feature LBGTQ themes, including The Feels, an amusing romp about a bachelorette party for a lesbian couple.

The Feels

Another movie, The Cakemaker, features a gay baker who is involved in an unusual love triangle with his deceased lover and his widow.

The Cakemaker

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood is a documentary about former pimp to the stars Scotty Bowers, 94, who organized clandestine encounters with young men for actors Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cole Porter and Rock Hudson and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

Do I Have Boobs Now? is a documentary short about trans woman and activist Courtney Demone sharing photos of her breast development after undergoing hormone replacement therapy on social media.

Do I Have Boobs Now

TransMilitary features four U.S. transgender military members whom are married to each other and served our country. The documentary showcases their journey since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2011 and during the current political climate since the 2016 presidential election.

TransMilitary

Americana artist Robert Townsend is fascinated with a lady wearing cat-eye glasses in vacation photograph slides and is on a quest to learn more about this happy, mystery woman in the film My Indiana Muse.

My Indiana Muse

Bodacious New York City burlesque dancers strut their stuff in Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story.

Getting Naked A Burlesque Story

Ask the Sexpert is a documentary about 93-year-old Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a sex columnist for the Mumbai Mirror, who responds to readers sexual questions.

Ask the Sexpert

Long Time Coming hits a home run during the Florida Film Festival. The film discusses the monumental victory of the State of Florida’s 1955 Little League Championship, featuring the all-black Pensacola Jaycees versus the Orlando Kiwanis, which was one of the first racially-integrated Little League baseball games in the South. The two team captains reunite to discuss for the first time how that historic night felt for both of them more than six decades ago.

City of Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer will be joining city commissioners and the Edward E. Haddock Jr. Family Foundation to celebrate and honor the baseball teams during A Baseball & Civil Rights Reunion on Tuesday, April 10 from 10-11 a.m. at Lake Lorna Doone Park, located at 1519 W. Church St. in Orlando near the Camping World Stadium.

The documentary is directed by Jon Strong and produced by Common Pictures. The film includes Major League Baseball and civil rights icons Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Andrew Young. The Florida Film Festival will host the film’s world premiere on Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. with an encore screening on Tuesday, April 10 at 3:30 p.m.

Long Time Coming

Former felon turned law school grad Desmond Meade is on a mission to restore voting rights for Florida’s convicted felons who have served their time in the documentary Let My People Vote.

Let My People Vote

Soufra chronicles the culinary journey of Mariam Shaar, a Palestinian born and raised in the Burj El Barajnak refugee camp outside of Beirut, who starts her own catering and food truck business with other Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese women refugees.

Soufra

Feline films include Samantha’s Amazing Acro Cats, a documentary that follows a traveling cat circus and the animated short Catherine about a girl and her cat named Kitty.

Samantha's Amazing Acro Cats

Catherine

The Florida Film Festival closes by celebrating the 75-year anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, a film about an uncle who travels from New York to California to visit his family and is wanted for murder. The psychological thriller was Hitchcock’s favorite film, and is considered one of the King of Suspense’s most chilling movies during his career.

Shadow of a Doubt

Individual film tickets are $11, packages are $50-$180 and passes are $99-$1,500 per person.

Browse the film schedule by downloading the free Florida Film Festival app for iPhones and Android mobile devices. For more information, including the Florida Film Festival schedule, visit floridafilmfestival.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Party for a Cause with Pints and Pooches By Sandra Carr

Dressed up dogs wagging their tails in delight and more than 100 craft beer samples from local and national breweries took center stage during the Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Fest in downtown Sanford.

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The seventh annual Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Fest drew large crowds in downtown Sanford.

The annual event, hosted by the West End Trading Co. and Celery City Craft, featured emcees Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis of A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan podcast judging a dog trick contest, live music, food trucks and vendors. Proceeds benefited Dolly’s Foundation and Pet Rescue by Judy.

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Emcees Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis of “A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan” podcast judged the dog trick contest.

On the beer front, my husband Dan and I sampled Wop’s Hops Brewing Company’s Good Boy Dexter Australian Ale and Solstice Ginger Wheat brew selections. I’m a wheat beer girl, so I enjoyed the Solstice, which had a kick with ginger beer.

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Wop’s Hops Brewing Company

Dan enjoyed sampling IPA and stout beers while I savored the sweeter brews. The Islamorada Beer Company’s Citrus Ale was refreshing and the perfect beer to sip on a hot, summer day. The Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale was like drinking a creamsicle with a hint of bourbon. I also liked Bugnutty Brewing Company’s Red Wheat and Blue Fruit Beer, which was flavorful, but not too sweet. For those who like Mountain Dew, then I recommend trying Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Mountain Ale.

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Islamorada Beer Company

Guinness is normally too much for my palate, but was pleasantly surprised with its smooth, Blonde American Lager. Pabst Blue Ribbon also featured its American Pale Ale during the beer festival.

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My husband Dan sampled Pabst Blue Ribbon’s American Pale Ale during the Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Fest in downtown Sanford.

Cider also made its mark. My favorite cider was 3 Daughters Brewing’s Key Lime Cider. The apple and key lime flavors blended nicely and was delicious. I also enjoyed Original Sin Hard Cider’s crisp and tasty Pear Cider.

Besides beer, Southern Comfort featured its Nola & Cola and Bourbon St. Mule concoctions and the Odd Elixir served its Abbey Normal and Charlie Chaplin mead during the festivities.

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Southern Comfort

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Odd Elixir

Nonprofit organization Pinups for Pitbulls educated the public about the history and temperament of the American pit bull terrier and pit bull-type dogs with literature and information and raised funds by selling T-shirts, pictures and dog-related items during the event. The group’s big fundraiser is their annual pinup calendar, featuring gussied-up women wearing retro attire and posing with their canine.

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Pinups for Pitbulls’ Central Florida team raised awareness about the American pit bull terrier during the Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Fest in downtown Sanford.

Pit bull advocate and Central Florida Pinups for Pitbulls’ team leader Rose Tremblay owns a three-legged pit bull named Shila. She’s passionate about pit bull education and wants to make a difference with the group.

“Pinups for Pitbulls hopes to end breed discrimination and feels the breed-specific laws aren’t making communities safer,” said Tremblay. “Breed-specific laws are being overturned because communities realize that they’re not seeing a difference in their dog bite statistics. A lot of times, dog bites are the same or higher than they were before the banning of a specific breed.”

She says events like Pints n’ Paws Craft Beer Fest provide wonderful promotional opportunities.

“Participating in an event that’s geared towards dogs, but not specifically for dogs that brings tons of people together provides us with more exposure.”

Rose and Sandra

I’m posing with Rose Tremblay of Pinups for Pitbulls.

The 2019 pinup calendar submission deadline is Tuesday, April 3, 2018. For more information about the calendar, visit: https://pinupsforpitbulls.org/model

Pinups for Pitbulls Calendar

Pinups for Pitbulls calendar.

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Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race Roars into Bike Week By Sandra Carr

History was in motion as antique motorcycles, many at least 100 years old, zoomed around around the track under clear blue skies during Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race at the New Smyrna Speedway on St. Patrick’s Day.

Sons of Speed, founded by custom-bike builder Billy Lane of Choppers Inc., is an American Flat Track motorcycle competition inspired by early 20th-century board-track races.

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Billy Lane pushes his antique Harley-Davidson motorcycle to the track before the Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race at the New Smyrna Speedway.

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I’m posing next to Billy Lane’s antique Harley-Davidson motorcycle before the race.

Besides being racing machines, the vintage bikes are works of art with fabricated handlebars, fenders, foot pegs and fuel and oil tanks.

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This antique Indian motorcycle raced around the track during Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race at the New Smyrna Speedway.

 

The second annual event during Bike Week featured 45 Shoot-Out (45 cubic-inch flathead racers), Early 61 (older and slower 61 cubic-inch board-track racers) and Hot 61 (faster 61 cubic-inch board-track racers) heats around a half-mile track.

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Antique motorcycles raced around the track during Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race at the New Smyrna Speedway.

Two of the winners were Doug Young and Matt Walksler. Other antique motorcycle racers included Lane, Moonshiner Josh Owens of the Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners,” who was injured during the race, Brittney Olsen and Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe, one of the owners of Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach.

Girl power prevailed during the motorcycle race with Rossmeyer-Pepe placing second during the Early 61 and still riding her antique Harley-Davidson motorcycle while using one of her hands to keep the carburetor in place and preventing her bike from stalling during the 45 Shoot-Out.

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Shelly Rossmeyer-Pepe zooms down the track during the Early 61 heat at the New Smyrna Speedway.

Olsen placed second with her 1938 Indian during the 45 Shoot-Out and third place during the Hot 61. She was determined to race with an antique motorcycle.

“There is something romantic about the older bikes and I was told racing an antique motorcycle couldn’t be done,” said Olsen. “In the beginning, there were two antique board-track fast races and now we’re up to eight. There also haven’t been many women in history racing motorcycles and I feel this is the year of the woman and there’s no better time than now to race a motorcycle.”

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I’m posing with antique motorcycle racer Brittney Olsen during Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Race at the New Smyrna Speedway.

Antique motorcycle racers are keeping the passion and spirit alive for years to come.

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Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed Vintage Motorcycle Racers pose for a group photo during Bike Week at the New Smyrna Speedway.

 

 

 

 

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Something Fishy Reels in Delicacies from the Sea By Sandra Carr

Savory seafood, nautical décor, a wall mural featuring jellyfish floating in the ocean and welcoming staff provide a warm and inviting ambiance at Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant in Apopka.

Owner and chef Terence Phillips’ seafood fascination is inspired by his fond memories of fishing near the Montauk Lighthouse in New York every summer as a child.  He’s a self-taught chef who has always been passionate about creating seafood dishes during family dinners and gatherings. After Phillips retired, he decided to share his recipes and dishes with the masses by opening the Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant.

Something Fishy Phillips Family

Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant’s owner and chef Terence Phillips and his family.

“I have always cooked and my dream of opening a seafood restaurant has come true,” said Phillips. “I saw a need for a restaurant that served a variety of seafood dishes in the Apopka area. We’re serving blackened and pan-seared seafood dishes along with fish that you don’t normally eat on the East Coast like the unicorn fish.”

During the past two years, Something Fishy has made its mark in the Apopka community by receiving accolades, including top honors at the Taste of Apopka and has been recognized for serving the best seafood in the Apopka area.

In celebration of the restaurant’s two-year anniversary, Phillips created new menu selections. I had an opportunity to sample his scrumptious seafood dishes during a media tasting event.

The first course was a smooth and creamy lobster bisque with chunks of lobster followed by a fried fish slider with cilantro mayonnaise paired with sweet hush puppies and French fries.

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Lobster bisque

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Fried fish slider, hush puppies and French fries

The dish that made the biggest splash of the evening was the pan-seared shrimp soft tacos with house coleslaw, black beans, corn salsa and avocado Aioli. The tacos were overflowing with healthy goodness and a fusion of flavors.

Sandra Carr2

I’m pictured with Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant’s tasty pan-seared shrimp tacos.

The next dish was a mini crab cake topped with cilantro mayonnaise paired with wasabi coleslaw. I was hesitant about sampling the coleslaw at first since wasabi is too pungent for my palate. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The wasabi was part of the mixture, but wasn’t overbearing and played nice with the other ingredients.

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Mini crab cake with wasabi coleslaw

The fourth course was a bowl of seared ahi tuna served on a bed of jasmine cilantro lime rice. The dish took my taste buds on a Polynesian voyage with a kick of ahi poke, soy and chili sauce.

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Seared ahi tuna and jasmine cilantro lime rice bowl

Last but not least, the restaurant introduced its Something Sweet dessert menu during the tasting. Attendees sampled carrot, chocolate, lemon, red velvet and strawberry cupcakes. I sampled the strawberry cupcake, which satisfied my sweet tooth.

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Something Sweet desserts

Swim by the Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant’s two-year anniversary block party this Saturday, Feb. 24 from noon to 4 p.m. The festivities will include complimentary food and drinks, DJ Johnnie Blaze spinning the beats, face painting and games. Ten percent of the proceeds will be benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Something Fishy Two-Year Anniversary Block Party February 24 2018

Something Fishy Seafood Restaurant’s two-year anniversary block party.

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Garage-Rock Music is All the Rage at Field Trip South By Sandra Carr

An explosion of raw, garage-rock energy kept frenzied fans wanting more during Hidden Volume Records’ second annual Field Trip South music festival at Will’s Pub.

The rock ‘n’ roll excursion is the brainchild of Hidden Volume Records’ owner and founder, bassist of numerous bands and homey turned Baltimorian Scott Sugiuchi.

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I’m posing with Hidden Volume Records’ owner and founder and Field Trip South co-organizer Scott Sugiuchi.

For the past two years, he has exposed garage-rock bands featured on his record label and other amazing acts to Orlando music fans during his two-day shindig with his co-organizer and partner in crime Carol Nowlin.

Field Trip South Feb. 2018

Field Trip South 2018

This year’s festival featured 14 bands from the East and West Coasts along with local faves, master of ceremonies and musician Nadeem Khan, mod DJs Elevator Operator, Richard Whig and Girlgroup Girl, Hidden Volume Records and band merchandise and vendors.

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Field Trip South’s master of ceremonies Nadeem Khan.

Attendees received a complimentary record bag, festival button and an exclusive magazine with flexi disc, featuring two unreleased cuts by The BellTowers and The Improbables.

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Hidden Volume Records’ merchandise.

 

Rockabilly trio The WildTones took us back to the hip 1950s with a rockin’ set, including their big hit “Love Machine” when they opened Field Trip South.

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The WildTones

Duo Sash the Bash presented a Cramps-esque performance overflowing with angst and accompanied by orgasmic moans along with singing about a douchebag during their Field Trip South debut.

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Sash the Bash

Philly’s 1960s sound was revitalized during the Groovy Movie’s set. The band’s song “Beautiful Day” felt timeless and really took me back to the decade that changed the world.

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Groovy Movies

Local garage rockers and soulsters The Woolly Bushmen pumped out the beats and gave out-of-towners a taste of Orlando during an energetic and entertaining set that included being cleansed with hand sanitizer. The festival-goers danced to the band’s songs, especially during the organ-powered tune “The Routine.”

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The Woolly Bushmen

New York City-based Baby Shakes showed the Field Trip South crowd what punk-rock music was all about with their catchy lyrics and guitar riffs, Pantene-perfect hair, denim jackets and fishnet stockings. This girl-power-plus-one-guy package is worth a listen.

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Baby Shakes

The festival’s first-night headliner was the legendary Untamed Youth, featuring rockabilly crooner Deke Dickerson. This garage- and surf-rock quartet, including The Hate Bombs’ drummer Ken Chiodini, pulled no punches during its rockin’ and Pabst Blue Ribbon-infused set. The group also invited The Trashmen’s bassist Bob Reed’s son Robin Reed to play drums during the band’s cover of “Surfin Bird – Bird is the Word.” Plus, it was the first time the group had ever performed in front of a vigorous Orlando audience who would like to see them return for a future show.

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The Untamed Youth

The volume got even louder during night two of Field Trip South. Link Wray tribute band Blind RAGE and Violence were the openers and would have made the rock-guitar legend proud. The trio wore black attire and masks and looked like they were about to execute a big-money heist. Lead man BLIND Rage (Deke Dickerson) and his bandmates Chain Link and Hot Link psyched-out the crowd and brought Wray’s “Rumble” and other classic instrumentals and guitar riffs back to life.

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Blind RAGE and Violence

The BellTowers delivered their melodic songs effortlessly during their 1960s time-capsule set. The band isn’t shy about wearing its influences (The Byrds and Hoodoo Gurus, just to name a few) on its sleeve. The group invited WFMU DJ Matt Clarke who is also Quitty and the Don’ts bassist, to perform with them during a memorable music moment on stage.

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The BellTowers

Philly was represented once again by garage-rock band The Improbables. The band gave the crowd a rock ‘n’ roll workout. Self-promotion was evident when lucky festival-goers caught the group’s T-shirts that were thrown into the audience during the set.

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The Improbables

New York garage- and punk-rock band THE OTHERMEN blew Orlando’s mind and were worth the wait during its rescheduled Field Trip South appearance. Erratic guitar riffs, in-your-face persona by front man Max Frechette and girl-next-door quirkiness by organist Kayla Asbell along with cool licks by Oweinama Biu and ballistic drum beats by Ben Heymann were some of the key ingredients during the band’s fully-charged performance.

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THE OTHERMEN

It was a real treat to see Sugiuchi perform with one of his Baltimore and Washington, D.C.-based bands The Hall Monitors. The band’s set included a surprise performance by The Phantom Surfers’ guitarist Russell Quan. The garage-rock spirit shined brightly with this quartet.

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The Hall Monitors

The Blind Owls may look sweet and innocent, but they didn’t come to Field Trip South to sing sappy love songs. These guys know how to rock and proved it during their festival appearance. I see these Texans keeping the garage-rock faith for years to come.

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The Blind Owls

The titillating lounge sounds of The Delusionaires kept the audience swaying on the dance floor. The band has colorful and flamboyant tastes from bassist Nadeem Khan wearing a gold short suit with a dunce cap, drummer Dennie Carter accessorizing with his white sailor cap and various sunglasses, including a pair that said swag and saxophonist Jim Ivy wearing a Bahia Shriners’ fez. Lead man Aaron Jarvis (a.k.a. Senator Artie Mondello) showcased bursts of guitar-powered rage, but had a soft spot for the ladies. During the band’s set, Jarvis picked up Ivy’s wife Jennifer while playing his guitar on the floor. The band also invited Simon Palombi of The Woolly Bushmen and Max Frechette and Kayla Asbell of THE OTHERMEN to perform The Royal Teens’ “Short Shorts” before calling it a night.

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The Delusionaires

The Phantom Surfers were the second night’s headliner. The surf-rock band looked dashing and debonair, but deadly with its blue smoking jackets and black bow ties and Lone Ranger masks. The group finished its festival performance by smashing a guitar on stage and giving Orlando music fans a performance they will never forget.

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The Phantom Surfers

Hidden Volume Records

 

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A Havana Hootenanny Awaits at Mango’s Tropical Café By Sandra Carr

Sexy showgirls wearing colorful, flamboyant headdresses sing and sashay across the Mango’s Tropical Café stage while entertaining guests who are dining and experiencing 1950s Havana during its heyday in a modern Tropicana Club right here in Orlando along the I-Drive corridor.

Mango's Tropical Cafe Showgirl

Image courtesy of Mango’s Tropical Café.

The beautifully decorated tropical ambiance features palm trees, bamboo panels and comfy couches overflowing with wild cat prints.

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I’m enjoying a tropical cocktail while lounging on a small couch overflowing with wild cat power!

Besides the entertainment and gorgeous décor, the food is one of the main attractions. Executive chef Angel Ramirez of Mango’s Tropical Café in South Beach shared his delicious dishes during a media tasting event on Feb. 9. The fabulous fare is making its debut on the Orlando restaurant’s menu.

I was able to chow down on delectable dishes during the tasting. My hands-down favorite was the lobster ravioli. I was accustomed to being served small raviolis with just a taste of lobster at area restaurants. That’s not the case with this executive chef’s entrée!

I had an opportunity to chat with Ramirez about the new menu offerings, including the lobster ravioli.

“The menu offerings are the dishes that I created for the Mango’s Tropical Café menu in South Beach,” he said. “I’m glad you liked the lobster ravioli especially, since it’s stuffed with huge portions of lobster.”

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Lobster ravioli at Mango’s Tropical Café.

Other menu options included chicken parmigiana sliders, Mango’s Tropical ceviche, a Cuban sandwich, churrasco flatbread, ropa vieja tacos and Mango’s famous churrasco steak with shrimp au gratin.

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Delectable dishes were served during the Mango’s Tropical Café media tasting.

The Cuban sandwich and churrasco flatbread were tasty and had a hint of sweetness, which my palate appreciated! The chicken parmigiana sliders had massive pieces of chicken covered with parmigiana and were very filling.

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Churrasco flatbread was one of the delicious dining offerings during the Mango’s Tropical Café media tasting.

The full-liquor bars were overflowing with beer, wine and concoctions created by mixologists.

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Fully stocked bars are decorated with fantasy-style artwork at Mango’s Tropical Café.

The evening also included celebrating Mango’s Tropical Café chief operating officer and SKYPLEX developer Joshua Wallack’s birthday, a conga line, marriage proposal and an amazing performance by a Michael Jackson impersonator and his dancers. This talented entertainer is keeping the King of Pop’s legacy alive and carrying the torch for generations to come.

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A Michael Jackson tribute performance.

Fall in love with cupid on Valentine’s Day! Lovebirds can enjoy a romantic three-course gourmet dinner for two, each with choice of entrée from the Mango’s Tropical Café signature Floribbean cuisine menu, soup or salad, shared chocolate cake and a special Love Potion 8126 passion fruit cocktail for two served in a keepsake glass along with a live stage show in rose-adorned surroundings for $99 per couple.

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando Valentine's Day February 14 2018

 

 

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