The Brand

With heavy hearts, we report that indie fixture The Brand is departing South Florida for the gray skies of London. Over the past three years, few bands have been as instrumental in helping to foster Miami's fledgling local indie rock scene. Musically the band made an instant impact after its formation in 2002. The same year, the group's self-titled EP featured its trademark power-pop/punk sound that would eventually be filled out with electro-clash/electronica flourishes. The EP garnered early accolades from fans and a few industry heads, spawning a video ("X-mas Day") that received substantial airplay on Telemundo's Mun2 station. The band followed up the album with constant touring and a full-length, Grenadine, in 2004.

But The Brand's impact goes far beyond the music it made. The bandmates were consummate scenesters. Their "Dogs for the Underdogs" campaign offered free meals to touring bands, a gesture that earned them friends nationally while drawing the jealousy of local acts. Beginning in summer 2003, they hosted an influential and popular night dubbed "Plaid Fridays" at Hialeah's Diamond Lounge. And when that venue shut down, they quickly migrated to The Alley. Unfortunately disputes with that venue's management forced them over to Churchill's, where the night has been infrequent and has lost the impact of its Hialeah heyday.

Like so many other talented groups from this area, the band has given up on South Florida. While we wish them the best of luck, we also request that they not go the route of Saigon Kick and eventually return to the scene with Cockney accents.

Details

performs Saturday, January 14, with Humbert, Modernage, Sixo, Jorges, Baby Calendar, and others at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. No cover. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 305-757-1807.

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