Program Notes 46

Jazz hand drummer Bobby Thomas, Jr., heads a drum clinic Saturday afternoon at the Center for the Fine Arts. Dial in at 672-7519.

I hear the Screw thing at Dark Room now happens on Saturdays as well as Tuesdays, which is a fine sign, more power to 'em. Meanwhile, the hottest Tuesday in town has become Bacala at Blue Steel. At least a dozen people, maybe more, recommended it to me just this past week. Organizer Zac says Bacala is not an open mike, but when hotshot local players visit, he will often put them into the jam. This coming Tuesday the event spotlights Sloppy Joe, a brilliant guitarist-singer-songwriter who can also play supreme b-ball when he's not injured or at a screening. The following Tuesday, March 15 that is, the headliner is Diane Ward.

I normally wouldn't mention this because Neil Rogers is such an asshole, but WIOD-AM (610) has just signed the mid-day "talk show" host to a new, five-year contract. According to a press release, "The contract makes Rogers the highest paid terminal, douche-bag, agent provocateur in the history of radio broadcasting." Rogers himself says the deal proves that WIOD and its owner, Cox Broadcasting, "don't have a clue." If you've never heard Uncle Neil, I'll tell ya that he spends four hours every day jabbering about hockey (ice sports are so big in South Florida) and his flatulence problems. He's also a huge fan of the UM football team, and he loves it when you call him up and tell a street joke, like, say, "Tonya Harding and Lorena Bobbitt have formed a security company -- it's called Wack-'n'-Cut." Another of his favorite topics is animal rights. Call him and talk to him about animal abuse or tell him a joke. Do it today.

Butthorn of the week: Metromover. They're expanding the thing and they can't even run it right now. I know the Metro Transit folks have no problem slacking thanks to their government-mandated monopoly (remember jitneys, which actually got you where you were going in a reasonable amount of time?). But this Metromover -- for you tourists, they're elevated trains that loop downtown -- is ridiculous. On the night of the Stink-Melissa Etheridge concert at the Arena, I went to the train, inserted my quarter, and walked into the turnstile. Not through it, but into it -- it didn't move. The injury wasn't serious enough for a lawsuit, but it hurt nonetheless. Got upstairs and waited for the Outer Loop. And waited and waited. My wife and her friend were on their way up to go to the show. I called Metromover Central and asked if the Outer Loop had shut down or something (I had ridden the Outer just an hour or two earlier). "The whole thing's shut down. You just missed the last Inner Loop train." My wife and her friend missed Melissa's set and had to pay a bunch of money to park over at the Arena. If you can't run the trains in a reasonable way, in a way those of us who paid for Metromover and own it expect, don't expand it. Shut the goddamn thing down.

The media circus: A new publication covering South Florida's original-music scene, Spotlight, should be available at a better record store near you. Vandal appears on the cover of the February issue. It's free. Check it out.

Media circus bonus item: A headline in this past Thursday's Miami Herald read: "Legislature may make kids on bikes wear helmets." Oh, yeah? The legislature and what army?

Pet corner: This Saturday at noon everyone with a conscience is highly encouraged to head up to the Boca Raton Hotel and Club (501 E. Camino Real) to protest the convention of the Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Fragrances Association. Many animal-rights groups will be on hand to point out the way companies such as Gillette blind, burn, poison, and torture various animals. I haven't used a Gillette product in years. I'm sorry I can't do more.

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