Bar some: What's fueling SoBe's underage-drinking crackdown?

As the commission meeting finally wound to a vote, only one issue remained: What about the models?

"I have heard David Kelsey say many times that an ordinance like this will keep away the young European models that visit our clubs," noted Commissioner Jose Smith with a smile. Indeed as the self-appointed spokesman for the modeling community, Kelsey (who also moonlights as the president of the South Beach Hotel and Restaurant Association), had previously wasted few opportunities in decrying age limits on club entrance, opining repeatedly that such restrictions would force modeling agencies such as Click and Elite to promptly leave town, taking all their young nubile clients with them. South Beach was a precarious financial structure, held aloft on a plucky supermodel's shoulders. No models, warned Kelsey, equaled citywide economic ruin.

Yet the very clubs that sponsor the bulk of the fashion industry's shindigs had all gone on the record as supporting the move to 21 and older only. So who exactly was Kelsey speaking for, besides himself? This staunch defender of the underage runway set was unfortunately absent, traveling in Europe on business ("I understand he's in Amsterdam right now," laughed Commissioner Smith. "He's probably having a good time there"), thus leaving it up to the Beach Chamber of Commerce's Jeff Bechdell to state the obvious.

It's all about the Benjamins: Miami Beach's crackdown on underage drinking has little to do with alcohol
Steve Satterwhite
It's all about the Benjamins: Miami Beach's crackdown on underage drinking has little to do with alcohol

"I've spoken to people in the industry, as well as going up to models on shoots," Bechdell said. "Their answer to me was, 'The models go where the jobs are.' The nightclubs don't attract them. The models will go to a deserted island to do a shoot if that's where the jobs are."

You're more than forgiven if you consider the world of experimental electronica better suited to home listening via headphones than a live performance. After all few things are goofier than the sight of a roomful of concertgoers nodding their heads as someone taps away on a laptop computer. Fortunately San Francisco idm duo Matmos agree.

"So often playing electronic music onstage is static," Matmos's Drew Daniels offered in a recent interview. "It helps to have some risk involved, where something could conceivably go wrong." Accordingly for the pair's own live outings, real-world sampling -- from rhythmically twisted balloons to whatever might happen to be in the room at the time -- is the modus operandi. It's a technique that necessarily flows from Matmos's eschewing of digital timbres and beats for a more organic groove. "My father is a cosmetic surgeon, and when he walks around, all he sees are floating noses," says Daniels. "Me, I'm obsessed with sounds and textures.... Lawn mowers and cars with bad air-conditioning belts are a constant source of enjoyment to me."

Matmos appear at the Meza Art gallerycafé (275 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 305-461-2723) on Friday, May 19. Also on the bill for the evening is Miami's own pair of left-field aural tweakers, Phoenecia, spinning individual DJ sets under the monikers Jeswa and Takeshi Muto. Otto Von Shirach rounds out the night.

Send your music news, local releases, and general gunk to Brett Sokol at 2800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137. Fax to 305-571-7678 or e-mail brett.sokol@miaminewtimes.com

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