On the way to Florida, Title Fight brings pop punk to Orlando.

Title Fight, the ban from Kingston, Penn., is bringing their pop-punk music to Orlando next week.

ORLANDO — Ned Russin has been on a world tour for the past year, and his travels have even taken him to Japan – where, as it turns out, audiences love to hear the sounds of a really good punk band.
“It was a really different experience,” said Russin, the bass player for the indie band Title Fight. “I think the big thing is that English isn’t really popular in Japan. A lot of people aren’t fluent in English at all. We can’t even communicate with people after shows, and we didn’t even know what to expect.”
So Russin and his band mates — Jamie Rhoden on guitar and vocals, Ned’s twin brother Ben Russin on drums, and Shane Moran on second guitar – tried their hand at a more universal language: pop-punk. It worked.
“We just started playing, and a lot of people who have never heard of us or seen us were excited to hear us and were dancing with us, and it was really cool,” Russin said. “It was pretty similar to an American concert. People were singing along, and going crazy. I think it’s kind of a universal language when you play to an audience.”
The band will test that theory again next week when they come to Orlando on Tuesday, Nov. 15 with the Alt Press Fall Tour, and perform at Beacham Theatre.
“We’ve played Florida several times,” Russin said in an interview with Freeline Media. “We’ve played in Orlando and Pensacola and Tallahassee. Florida is good. We’ve made some good friends down in Florida and we have a lot of fun down there. It’s a different environment than where we’re from.”
The band was formed in 2003 in their home town of Kingston, Penn., and began performing locally around the Kingston and Wilkes-Barre area.
“We were just 13 years old, Jamie, Ben and myself, and my older brother had been in bands since we were seven years old,” Russin said. “So I just kind of grew up with it. We just always wanted to do it. Finally we decided to get together and start playing.”
They took advantage of local clubs – although they were definitely not the kind of music arenas that fans would expect from a big city like Orlando, he added.
“The venues that we had are pretty small, 200-capacity rooms,” he said. “We didn’t have any (clubs) for a little while, and then we ended up opening our own place. It was really small, bare bones, a stage and a sound system, and that’s it. Kingston is not an area where big bands come through.”
They began recording demos in 2005, and in 2010 Title Fight was featured on Triple B Record’s compilation, “America’s Hardcore,” with a new song, “Dreamcatchers.” In January, Title Fight signed to SideOneDummy Records and released an album, Shed, last May.
And they hit the road, touring extensively throughout the year.
“We didn’t go looking for greener pastures, we went looking for other places to perform,” he said.
Title Fight has also been able to take advantage of the Internet and social media as a way to reach out to fans.
“We kind of caught the very tail end of it,” Russin said. “We booked our first tour contacting people through Myspace, and it makes it so easy. You can create something that will catch people’s attention, and our goal is to make music that is relevant today. Some bands today are awesome, but we also listen to some bands from the ‘90s and ‘80s, and their music is still really good, too.”
Russin said that while Title Fight has been classified as punk/hardcore, “I think there’s definitely a lot of melody and structures to them that are uncommon. To me, it’s always more a mentality and an attitude than the way the songs are played. It can be slower, and still be a punk band. It’s just the way that you carry yourself and approach the music. That’s what we like about it. It’s not what everybody else is doing. It really varies.”
So does their audience, he added.
“It could be anybody,” Russin said. “Sometimes we have people that come up to us that are 30 years old, and then kids 15 years old who like us. It’s not one group into our music. Punk has been around for a long time, but we‘ve always just been the same, and people that were around in the beginning, and still around, some of them say we remind them of older bands, and that’s really flattering.”
The Alternative Press Tour starts at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday. The Beacham is at 46 N. Orange Ave. in Orlando. Call 407-246-1419 for tickets, which cost $16-18.
Russin said their live stage shows are always an exhilarating experience.
“We’re right there, and playing, and the audience members are also right there, and there is no separation,” he said. “We’re all the same kind of people, you know. If you like the song, you can take the microphone and dance and do whatever you want — there are no restrictions. There’s this wild energy to it. That’s our favorite part about being a band, is playing. I personally think there’s nothing like going to hear a band live.”

Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.

Lake Eola’s new show lights up downtown, as the fountain lights swing to the music.

Lake Eola Park comes alive at night with the music on light show featuring the renovated fountain. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – The lights illuminate the entire body of water, as the three levels of the Lake Eola Fountain start with purple lights decked along the upper level, and the color green blanketing the larger section below.
Only very slowly do those colors change, as purple turns to yellow lights, and below it, to red. The colors shift so slowly that people walking through the park after dark might not at first notice it.
And then … the street lights near the edge of the lake, which contain loudspeakers, bring the fountain to an entirely new level – and bring the park to vibrant life.
It starts with a recorded greeting from Mayor Buddy Dyer, welcoming city residents and visitors alike to the park, a centerpiece of Orlando’s revitalized downtown.
“The most significant enhancement is our new state-of-the-art fountain,” the mayor says, as the lights on the fountain in the middle of the lake continue to shift color, from red to green, from yellow to blue.
“On behalf of the city of Orlando, we thank you for coming to Lake Eola Park and we hope you enjoy the show,” the mayor’s voice can be heard saying. And then the Jazz sounds of the “King of Swing” Benny Goodman can be heard, and it happens: the fountain lights begin to shift in tune with the music, choreographed along with the songs, which include some Jazz, a little disco, a taste of jitterbug.
As it does, pedestrians can stop and sit on a park bench, and many do, relaxing and watching the music and light show, as that visual display of multi-colored lights on the fountain march in lockstep with the songs being played over the loudspeaker, and with the view of downtown Orlando surrounding them in the background.
The fountain that dates back to the 1950s has once again become a draw for people in downtown, and the centerpiece of the lake. The fountain suffered electrical and mechanical problems in the summer of 2009 when it was struck by a lightning bolt, but is now benefitting from improvements and upgrades made by the city, said Cassandra Anne Lafser, public information officer for the Office of the Mayor and the City of Orlando.

The lights on the Lake Eola Fountain slowly change colors, until the music and light show begins. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

“The upgrades and the renovations to the fountain allowed us to be able to do this,” she said of the new music and light shows.
Starting Oct. 24, daily jazz shows began to run at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. featuring a choreographed water, light and sound show for people visiting Lake Eola Park.
On Saturday, Nov. 12 in honor of Veterans Day — and on some future holidays — there will be a patriotic water, light and sound show in place of the regular Jazz show. The shows are four minutes and 35 seconds long.
Construction of the fountain was completed in 1957, when it was known as the Centennial Fountain – and was unveiled to mark the 100th anniversary of the naming of Orlando.

Downtown Orlando provides the backdrop from Lake Eola Park at night. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

It was renamed the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain in 1965, a tribute to the local businessman who had been inspired by similar fountains he had seen in Europe, and believed Orlando should have one as well.
In late August 2009, the fountain was struck by lighting and was left inoperable. Dyer announced in October 2009 that the city would repair the fountain, replace its cracked plastic skin, and install a state-of-the-art system of lights and water jets. The fountain was re-dedicated and resumed operation this past summer on July 4, during the Fireworks at the Fountain Independence Day event.
On Oct. 24, Dyer appeared at the Walt Disney Amphitheater to unveil the new light show.
The park is often teeming with activity at night, with walkers, joggers, people with dogs on leashes, couples strolling arm in arm, and families with children crowding the walkways.
When the music show ends, the lights continue to change, slowly, on the fountain’s three levels, and without the music, there is only the gentle sound of the water gushing from the water jets at the top of the fountain.

Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.

The 20-something Take: Heidi’s view of a 1960s double album classic.

Hard Rock Cafe will perform The Beatles' "White Album" as part of its ongoing Classic Albums Live series.

Editor’s Note: Hard Rock Cafe’s ongoing “Classic Albums Live” series will perform The Beatles’ 1968 double LP known as the “White Album” on Friday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. Freeline Media’s music critic, Heidi Bolduc, is too young to have been around when the LP was first released, so our 20-something reviewer offers a look at how this album holds up today. A classic …. or something that just hasn’t aged well? Read on.

Being the type of person who consistently stays up-to-date with trends in the modern music industry, it will never cease to amaze me that, statistically, a band’s best-selling album seems to never match up with the album that the vast majority of the general population associates with them.
The same can be said about The Beatles’ The White Album (or as it was originally dubbed, The Beatles). Although making it to 19-times platinum status and containing a wide assortment of Beatles classics, the revered band’s ninth studio album in truth exhibits an eclectic assortment of tracks, straying the way the individual members of the band were from each other at that time.  Released as a double LP, The White Album contains nearly 30 songs, a move that, in my opinion, is something that can be seen as controversial.
It begs the question: Is a 90-minute, 30 track album release simply too much to digest all at once?
And then of course, the second question is: Is it possible to create an album with that many strong songs, leaving out any of the “fluff?”
While in some respects I do feel that The White Album could have easily been consolidated and the order of a few of the tracks rearranged to make the album more cohesive, the more I listen to it, the more I can start to see the direction the band was heading with it.
Because I’m of course listening to the album on CD and not on its original LP album format, the first disc contains 17 songs, with the second disc featuring the remaining 12.  Of the first set, the singles that are most recognizable are probably “Dear Prudence,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Blackbird.” However, these iconic songs are embedded within a host of others, with no guarantee that the general atmosphere or even the genre of the song before it will be similar.
For instance, the album opens with the plane engine roar (only one of the many diverse sound effects heard on the album, a technique that was certainly innovative for its time) and upbeat piano riff of “Back in the USSR,” followed by the light ballad “Dear Prudence.” And yet, as a whole, the integrity of The Beatles is preserved; songs like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” showcase the signature carefree pop that the band is still revered for today. 
Moving on to the next batch of songs, my eye only catches perhaps one classic, “Helter Skelter.” The raw energy of this song, and a tune like “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” seem to be something that’s unique to this album overall. These types of songs certainly stick out amongst the more relaxed, at times folk-reminiscent ones like “Cry Baby Cry.” The anthemic sounding lullaby “Good Night” closes out The White Album quite fittingly … in a way taking all of the melting pot of sounds and filtering them down into a single closer.
All in all, I would encourage anyone — whether you grew up listening to the entire Beatles discography or are only familiar with their hits — to sit down and examine The White Album. Despite its wide range of songs, the album as a whole is the perfect snapshot of the evolution of a band who literally shaped the landscape of pop music as we know it.
Classic Albums Live is performing “White Album” on Friday, Nov. 11. Tickets cost $25 for advance reserved seating and $30 on the day of the show.
Doors open at 7 p.m.
Classic Albums Live is a group of studio musicians and vocalists who perform historic rock albums live employing the instrumentation used on the original recording, “… cut for cut … note for note,” as the Hard Rock Cafe web site notes. Hard Rock Cafe is at 6050 Universal Boulevard in Orlando. To learn more, call 407-351-LIVE (5483).

Contact Heidi at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.

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