This weekend, many of the live music fans among us will be making the trek up to Central Florida in search of the smorgasbord of sounds that will be the inaugural Orlando Calling Festival. Put the Pixies and Dr. Dog atop this writer's personal list. Especially with the gaping void left by the demise of closer-to-home Langerado, it's really all we got within a reasonable drive.
There is a glimmer of pride for the local music set in all this too: Civilian. The band lead by fiery-haired singer Ryan Alexander, formerly known as Alexander, won its way onto Orlando Calling Festival's Republic Stage by overpowering some 20 other bands in a two day battle of the bands contest. Outside of its home turf, the emotionally charged four-piece -- consisting of Ryan Alexander on vocals and guitar, Alex Bennett also on vocals and guitar, Nash Nardone on drums and Nick Nardone on bass -- drew a large crowd to one of Orlando's prominent live music venues, Firestone, to take the grand prize and win its way onto Saturday's lineup.
We caught up with the personable Alexander while he was looking for some odd jobs in Orlando -- which is now his part time base -- to make ends meet, and asked him about how his band was feeling going into the gig and what other changes have occurred since changing his band's moniker.