Finally, to say that UM music professors do not encourage students to experiment with other genres is not only an insult to me and my colleagues, it also makes me want to invite St. James outside to the real world so I can rub his nose in it. Though I may sound like it, I am not a University of Miami flag-waver. We are not saints here. Our tower is built of as much mud as ivory. And I couldn't care less about the football team. But we are good at what we do.

Reading a potentially great article marred by a slew of misstatements and freshman chump philosophy was a drag, to say the least. The facts are the same as they have been for years: For myriad reasons, Miami as a whole has not supported live music. Along with St. James and all the others, I grieve over this fact. But let's keep the blame in the hands of those who deserve it -- if you can find them.

Kynch O'Kaine, guitar faculty
School of Music
University of Miami
Coral Gables

Dead Music: Come Hear My Band!
I must vehemently disagree with Adam St. James's findings. My band, Flashback, has been performing in the South Florida club scene and on the private-party circuit for more than thirteen years. Our repertoire covers all classic rock and roll, from the Fifties to today.

No, there are not a lot of venues featuring a rock format, but the clubs that do, especially the Taurus in Coconut Grove, offer a steady stream of good rock, R&B, and jazz groups on a weekly basis.

Contrary to St. James's article, there is life beyond Miami Beach's disco DJ strip. I welcome New Times readers to the Grove to experience excellent live rock and roll venues, especially at the Taurus, where Flashback will be performing Halloween weekend, October 30 and 31.

E. Brooks Kurtz
Coral Gables

Dead Music: Come Hear His Band at My Club!
Adam St. James himself is clearly an endangered species. His article must have been written from beneath a DJ booth in South Beach. Not only was it loaded with blatant inaccuracies, but he didn't do his homework. Our establishment, the Taurus, is listed in the New Times music section each week and in seven other publications, as are many other clubs he totally ignored.

The Taurus, located in Coconut Grove, has provided live music to hundreds of thousands of people over the past 35 years. Jimmy Buffett and the Mavericks are but two national acts whose early paid gigs were performed here. Currently there is live music Tuesday through Saturday night, performed almost exclusively by local bands. Hundreds of enthusiastic patrons hear a wide variety of rock, R&B, and jazz each night. And the Taurus is only one of many clubs to entertain local rock music lovers.

Just do the math, Mr. St. James. In recent months more than 40 bands have played at the Taurus. We would be deluding ourselves to believe that, when they're not playing the Taurus, these bands are practicing for their next appearance here. The truth is they are playing at area clubs too numerous to mention. These local bands are presented in professional settings and comprise a mix of full-time professional musicians and seasoned veterans of many backgrounds. All music at the Taurus starts promptly as billed, and there have been no cancellations. How much more reliable does it get, sir?

I invite readers to contact me to learn that Mr. St. James is dead wrong. His story's headline, "Live Music: Dead on Arrival," was just a preliminary for the most irresponsible piece of journalism I have read, and from a newspaper that I believe hits the mark practically all the time.

Bruce Wilson, co-owner
Coconut Grove

Dead Music: Hey, Where Is Everybody?
I've been disappointed at the lack of response to Adam St. James's "Live Music: Dead On Arrival." The only letter printed so far was from Jim Murphy, who doesn't even live in Miami any more! Hello, is anybody home? Does anybody really care? Doesn't anyone in the Miami music community have anything to say about what's going on? Perhaps Murphy can shed more light on this matter.

I recall an article Murphy wrote several years ago for New Times in which he discussed the vitality of the Miami music scene back in the Seventies. Talk about being proactive! Back then bands would sponsor their own dance parties, typically referred to as open houses. The bands would get together and rent a room like the Electricians' Hall on NW Seventeenth Avenue and throw a party. They would spread the word around town via flyers, posters, and local radio stations. Who needs nightclubs and cheapskate club managers when you can do it yourself?

Unfortunately that scene became a battleground for gangs and ended almost overnight when somebody got shot at one of the events. As I've read about juvenile delinquency running rampant on South Beach, and the demise of some of the venues that used to support live bands there, I couldn't help wondering if there's a connection.

But as Jim Murphy suggests, don't give up. Let people know you are out there. You can start by sounding off right here in this letters section. I'm waiting to hear from you.

Daniel Jimenez

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