Fear and Loathing on South Beach

Miami Rocks takes the fifth, but people are talking anyway

Over at the Cactus Cantina, Little Nicky and the Slicks were doing a little nicking of their own. Originally a blues band A you young whippersnappers out there, ask me about Fat Chance some time A the Slicks have gone around the rock bend with encouraging results. It's always a pleasure to watch pros at work, doubly so when they take a new musical direction and make it their own. My only fear is that one of these days, in the heat of the moment, Nicky will unwittingly break into "Margaritaville" in the middle of her set. (See, she's been on tour with Jimmy Buffett, who wrote the song A oh, never mind.)

As for the "official" MiRox showcases, I'll leave the reviews to my esteemed colleague, Ganja Baker. I was too busy filching chocolate-covered strawberries in the VIP lounge and searching for Leonard Pitts, Jr., to offer a complete assessment. I thought every band sounded fabulous, and I will soon be mortgaging my house to help Baker sign them all to contracts. Except Natural Causes, who will probably already be gone by the time this article appears. More entertaining than the music, however, was much of the on-stage patter. Perhaps emboldened by the spaciousness of the venue and the dearth of a crowd to fill it, song intros were refreshingly candid.

"This is dedicated to my aunt who was born without fallopian tubes," said Michael Kennedy of Rooster Head at one point.

"Hi, we're Miami Sucks, Too!" screamed Bobby Johnston, lead yelper for Loud. (What? It's L-o-a-d? Are you sure?) "Shiver me timbers and blow the man down! Only on the weekends! For Christ's sake! All you people are lame as fuck!" spumed Johnston, clearly shortcircuiting before my very eyes. The band made me feel like the doddering old fart that I am.

"Todd, I'm twenty-four, and they make me feel old," said Eddie Darling, lead singer of Broken Spectacles, in an attempt to comfort me that had the exact opposite effect. Twenty-four? I have concert T-shirts older than that. Thanks a hell of a lot, Eddie.

WMBM-AM talk-show superhost Jim DeFede brought to my attention one trend that distressed us both A the appearance of skirts and dresses on male musicians. Hey, I saw The Crying Game, and I'm not ashamed to admit I found Del (Dil? Dale?) quite attractive up to a point (a pretty important point, as points go), but I can't say the same for Rooster Head drummer Mike Vullo. And while I Don't Know frontman Ferny Coipel is a little shapelier and once tried to bribe me with a canary-yellow Twist Bozoon (you just don't hear enough good rock kazoo these days), the moustache is a definite turn-off. As DeFede put it, "Whatever happened to the good old days when rock stars just wore their dresses around the house?"

I'm no arbiter of haute couture, but if I see XS music writer Jeffray Hirrall in a skirt, I'm movin' back to Ohio.

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