BY CELIA ALMEIDA
Living in Gainesville provides local music fans the opportunity to continually hear great music on the cheap. On a typical night downtown, it is common to catch three or four of the town’s best bands for six bucks.
This Sunday at :08 Seconds, starting at 3 p.m., local music fans will have the opportunity to be truly spoiled and catch 18 bands on two stages–at no cost–during the AM/FM Music Showcase, being billed as “Gainesville’s Only Free and Local Music Celebration.”
While there are other well-known music festivals that take place in Gainesville, showcase creator Dante Lima says that AM/FM is different. For starters, the showcase is totally free of charge to fans. It also sets out to provide a broader range of musical styles, from the party hip-hop of D.P., to Greenland is Melting’s sci-fi folk, to Ancient River’s psychedelic drenched blues and Deputy’s whiskey-mouthed cock rock.
Other highlights include the premiere of the new line-up of Lima’s own Pseudo Kids and the Collin Whitlock-fronted Dark Horse. Lima believes this is another element to what makes AM/FM unique: bands choose to try out new material or side projects at the event.
With these showcases, which take place roughly every six months, Lima and his friends, local musicians Jose Peruyero and Marshal Patrick, aim to create “a network of bands that play together and support each other.” Lima says, “We are trying to build a musical community” that includes musicians of different scenes and different ages. He adds that in putting together the showcase, they look for “bands that are receptive to the idea of creating a musical community.”
This spirit is evident in the organization of the showcases. After looking into the cost of putting on such a show in both indoor and outdoor venues around town, Rob Zeller, owner of Gator City and :08 Seconds, offered up the latter venue for free after hearing about the idea behind the festival. Danny and Joy Hughes of Loosey’s offered up their space for what Lima calls their “AM/FM Headquarters”, in which a pre-party featuring Bang Bang Boom, Nook & Cranny, and Orlando band Great Deceivers will take place on Friday night, as well as a post-party after the main event.
The showcase is already showing signs of expansion with a main stage and floor stage. This way, “the music flows continuously and there is less reason for people to leave,” Lima said. In the future he would like the AM/FM Showcase to move on to multiple venues and days. Local band desire to play the showcase is growing with each installment.
For now, fans have an opportunity to catch some of Gainesville’s best-known (and lesser known) acts at the showcase, featuring sets by Blacksnake, Janna Pelle and the Half Steps, and Company Man.
Hardcore and casual fans of the local scene alike have no reason to miss out.