Program Notes

Things are kicking at Kay's Starlite Ballroom (now that the tourists are gone). On Fridays it's oldies; Saturdays Steve Gryb leads a big band for dancing. On Wednesdays and Thursdays Gryb does what he does best, leading a jazz group.

The Goods's Kasmir Kujawa has changed his name to Elvis Presley. Better than Kurt Cobain.

Note to Ben Peeler: Thanks for the support, and that is what it is.
The other day, for no particular reason, I was trying to recount the ten best concerts I ever attended. One was an early Eighties show starring Charlie Pickett and the Bobs at 27 Birds. One of the Bobs members, Bob Rupe, played a critical role in so many great moments of Miami's Eighties rock scene, both as a player and a producer. Then he teamed with Walter Salas-Humara to form the Silos, who went on to record for RCA and receive glowing national press. Then Rupe, who had moved to New Yawk and then Virginia, was recruited for Gutterball, but things didn't work out. Maybe this will: Rupe has now signed on as touring bassist with Cracker, one of the hottest bands in the land. The tour began last week, but no Miami date has been scheduled.

Congrats to Bill Ashton in Atlanta, who we hear is going to get married.
Apples and Oranges's Flexx Martinez has, for the second time, been awarded a Certificate of Achievement. Of some 2500 entries in the Billboard's songwriting contest, only 100 receive that honor. Flexx won in 1990, and repeats with his L.A.-riots-inspired "City of Angels."

Itanna plays tomorrow (Friday) at the Zipper Head Room in Malone's (761-1115).

An amazing lineup this week at Rose's: R&B masters Gary King and the Dream tonight (Thursday), Stevo and the Strength of Unity (their new CD should be available there. Though short on hip-hop hooks, the words are fine, the grooves deep, and Magda Hiller's background vocals making the sampling of Aretha Franklin no longer necessary) play tomorrow (Friday). Saturday it's I Don't Know, and Sunday you get Natural Causes acoustic.

This Saturday bluesman Fleet Starbuck plays a solo-acoustic gig, with opener Linda Graham, at the Folk Club of South Florida's new venue, the Miami Institute of Expanding Light (8905 SW 87th Ave., 279-0052 or 382-1282).

This Monday at 3:00 in the afternoon the jazz group Bobby Ramirez and Full Power will play a show at Camillus House (726 NE First Ave.).

One of the world's all-time great guitarists, Dick Dale, tears up the Talkhouse tomorrow (Friday). He invented the guitar style of surf rock A big reverb through two channels A and has a new album out. Reviews of live shows note that this is no nostalgic, early-Sixties beach party. Dale is said to rock harder than most of today's tough groups.

Butthorn of the week: Sawgrass Mills recently conducted a survey, asking folks to choose from a list of fifteen radio stations and tell which ones they listen to. Absent from the list of fifteen -- black-oriented WEDR-FM (99.1), by far the most popular radio station in South Florida according to rating services. Hmmm. And a bonus butthorn to lovely Tara Solomon. Hate to dis Tara, but then again, her name never gets me into Cool Whip anyway. (Tom Austin and I have this unspoken agreement: When he comes into Stephen Talkhouse, he doesn't act like he knows me, and when I go into Bash or The Spot or Velvet, I don't bother him. This works out fine, partly because I would never go into Bash or The Spot or Velvet.) Anyway, poor Tara wandered into rock and roll land last week, and this is always trouble. She cited a member of R.E.M. at some to-do or another. It was Mike Mills, judging by the photo. She called him Michael Stipes. Yes, with an s. That helped someone set a record A three errors in one headline: "REM" (it takes periods), "Michael Stipes," and "DeNiro" (takes a space).

The media circus: Downright eerie. I have here an advertisement from some newspaper or another. In big letters at the top: Chant. Not the Chant A this is an album/phenom featuring monks chanting. Then, at the bottom, appears "The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos." Silos and the Chant in the same ad. Metaphysical, man.

Pet corner: Ah, this explains it. April 24-30 was World Week for Lab Animals. May 1-7 is national Be Kind to Animals Week. First let's hear from Jennifer Winston: "Approximately 11 million animals are forced to consume products (detergent, drain cleaner, et cetera) that were never intended for human consumption. These tests are not required and are not valid. That are done so companies like Procter & Gamble and Gillette can cover themselves in liability cases." She also finds an interesting flaw in the argument for biomedical research on animals. Ask the torturers why their work is valid, she says, and they answer that "animals are like us." Ask about the moral issue, whether it's okay, and they say, "Yes, because animals are not like us." Boycott. Protest. Liberate by force. Now let's check in with ARFF: Put ID on your pet, preferably on a collar. Spay or neuter your pet (duh). (Oh, by the way, award-winning pal Kina Baker has been fixed by her owners. Way to go, folks.) Do not abandon your pet(s) when you move (double-duh, but you'd be surprised). Never, ever, for any reason, under any conditions, leave a pet in a parked car. Period. Do not let your dog ride in the open bed of a pickup truck A each year some 100,000 canines are injured via this dumb practice. Do not keep your dog chained up. My friend Zap just got a new dog, a big black shepherd-chow mix with purple tongue and glowing brown eyes. The guy he got it from was about to dump it at the shelter. Zap says the dog, nearly a year old, has no idea how to behave because of a lack of interaction with humans. He's trying to change that.

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