By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Welcome to my house full of junk. My wife has completed the biggest project since the building of Hoover Dam or the cutting of the Tamiami Trail, covering every wall and filling every nook in the house with spiffy wood racks on which she's organized and alphabetized the two or three million cassettes and CDs previously boxed or scattered pell-mell. Settled into this shiny new office in the happy new editorial space here at the ivory tower. Waiting for these stupid holidays to finish so I can take a vacation.
So it's the mid-Nineties?
The legendary Peppy Fields is in only her mid-80s, 87 to be exact, "the oldest broad on radio," she boasts. She's been hosting radio shows for 34 years, currently handling the Sunday midnight to 5:00 a.m. house party on WKAT-AM (1360). On Amateurs' Night (Friday), Peppy will appear live at the Newport Pub (reservations: 949-8701) along with her brother Irving Fields, jetting down from New York and bringing his Fabulous Fingers. Celebrities are expected to drop by for dessert and coffee -- you know, a Peppy Fields House Party.
A positive tip homeboy (O'town, the City, born in JMH) rapper called P.O.A. (Prince of Authority) will drop songs such as "Death Valley," "Welcome to Miami," and "What's Going On," the last being a slow rap (sans samples) of the Marvin Gaye song at the Kwanzaa Festival on Friday at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium (636-2350).
One of the many reasons I've long called it Amateurs' Night is 'cause I hate that supercovercharge scam. You pay $80 or $180 for a bottle of middling champagne (sparkling wine if you wanna get technical) and some torn-up paper to toss in the air in addition to standard entertainment and food for which you'd pay, what, three bucks? Like most human rituals it strikes me as weird. If I ever even thought about going outside on the last night of the year, of 1993, it'd be to see Natural Causes at Rose's. Cover: $10.
I never trust anybody's opinion about a horse race except maybe my long-lost friend Rodney McFadden, a horseman that taught me back-stable lessons decades ago, and of course the only opinion about music that matters is mine. Right. And Art Grace. Probably the only T-bred writer I've ever read (Dick Francis is fiction), Art Grace is also one of the few people I consider an expert in underground rock (Bob Slade and Teddy Bear and Rat Bastard also come to mind). Art, who really doesn't have time for this shit, wrote to defend me from a letter-to-the-editor writer. (Personally, I consider every letter-writer a friend who's paying a compliment even if it's to call me an idiotic butthorn who should be fired.) Art quotes the letter -- "Although it can never be Greg Baker's ideal radio station (you won't hear Fugazi followed by NWA's 'FA- Tha Police' followed by Ministry's 'Stigmata' followed by the Violent Femmes' 'Add It Up')" A and then adds, "My only comment is: and more's the pity. Odd that he chose three bands that I have absolutely adored from the moment I first heard them, and one group (NWA) which I merely like a lot." Well, that's not Art's only comment. "What do you suppose [the letter writer] has against the Reverb Motherfuckers? Why aren't they on his list of bands which won't be on WVUM's rotation? Did you like the Black Train Jack -- No Reward -- as much as I did? I doubt it."
Tonight (Wednesday) Load locks in at Squeeze, which is where Black Janet spends their New Year's Eve.
With a new bass player enlisted, Cell 63 returns to the wars, appearing tomorrow (Thursday) at Reunion Room with the Holy Terrors and on Friday at Churchill's Hideaway with the immortal Charlie Pickett.
Mr. Twister spends Amateurs' Night (Friday) at the Biker Block Blast at 14670 W. Dixie Hwy. in North Miami (354-8203).
Most of you remember Billy Mann, who tore through this town before heading to England. He's now in New Yawk, having been discovered A that's a stupid phrase, but he used it A by Ric Wake (the producer who's made hits with Mariah, Whitney, Hall and Oates, and so forth). Billy won't talk on the record about most of the big doings, saying only that "the bomb is gonna drop in '94, it's gonna be a mother." Best anecdote: He took the same train one day before that crazy racist shot it up.
Big show tomorrow (Thursday) at Button South with Voidville, Forget the Name, and Love Canal. The Voidsters hit Cactus, along with Whig Party, the following night.
Another old friend, Bill Wharton, who I met years ago and have lauded ever since, both for his solid blues music and his delicious Datil pepper sauce, has a new slab on Virgin France and is negotiating a stateside release. He'll be in town for the New Year's Eve weekend, cooking up hot blues and that famous gumbo, at Tobacco Road.