By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
The Bitch has a confession to make: Since Poplife abandoned I/O for the District some months ago, the club has dropped from her party peregrinations. Although rodent-chasing possibilities abound in the gnarly field-cum-parking-lot near the NE Fourteenth Street club, it's not worth sidestepping cockroaches and crack vials to listen to reggaeton when she need only roll down her window at any Miami intersection to be similarly accommodated.
But The Bitch has a fondness for the property not too big, not too small, with the patio in back that for a few short months each year is bugless and refreshing. Poplife, the hormonal weekly indie rock party, bestowed on the venue an aura of promise, now under new management: Alex Hernandez, whose family has owned I/O since Poplife and before, has stepped back into the business to run rather than just rent out the space.
Hernandez is a native son; he returned to Miami this past November after an eleven-year hiatus that involved a stint in the Marines and some time in New York City. The 29-year-old is going to try something that in the past never quite got going at I/O: rock en español. Every first Saturday, the venue will be given over to bands that sing in Spanish.
"I believe they haven't put a concerted effort into the idea before," Hernandez says of the failed attempts of former managerial regimes. "There are so many local bands that don't get enough air time. I'm doing a big push to bring in more Latin music."
Much more exciting are his plans for Thursday nights. The Bitch is brushing up on her samba and looking for a forr partner to take on quinta-feiraat I/O, which will overflow with caipirinhas, crevasse, and bunda-shaking brasileiras. Hernandez hopes to hold weekly samba classes for the hip-movement-impaired, and on April 15, with the sponsorship of Brazilian airline TAM, he plans to fly in the carioca samba school and parade its dancers and teachers down Biscayne Boulevard for Miami's Carnaval. If I/O's sold-out reception of Seu Jorge, the Brazilian musician and actor of Cidade de Deus (City of God) fame, this past September was any indication, Hernandez may have a winner on his hands.
Meanwhile on South Beach ...
Miami Beach bar manager-turned-jetsetter-and-Noah Tepperberg-pal Ben Pundole adds music producer to his chain of titles with the release of a two-disc compilation CD created at the behest of the Morgans Hotel Group (Morgans, you may recall, operates both the Delano and the Shore Club on Collins Avenue). On February 2, Pundole an expert bartender who terms musicology "drinking for the ears" experienced a real-time reaction to his creative process during a "listening party" to celebrate the CD's launch at the Shore Club's Red Room lounge.
People seemed to like the mix, which includes offerings from Moby, Bloc Party, and M.I.A.Or at least they danced to it with abandon, which prompted the downing of many Tiger beers and Red Bull-and-vodkas.
The Bitch also hears from a tipster on the crobar payroll that major changes are in the works for the storied nightclub. Word is brothers Eric, Francis, and Didier Milon of Opium Garden and Prive fame will soon purchase a share in and greatly mess with crobar's current design and party lineup as in: no more Back Door Bamby.
Crobar's current marketing director, Paolo Pincente, didn't return The Bitch's phone calls, but Vanessa Menkes, the media relations person for the Milons's Opium Group, says, "There's an official 'no comment,' but I will gladly give more information when it becomes available, which it will."
Shane Lee, a 26-year-old Fort Lauderdale-based mortgage broker, is scheming to get rich by capitalizing on the silicon mania that has transformed hordes of South Florida chicas into Lindsay Lohan clones and made the unenhanced hound question the adequacy of her four pairs of tetas. His scheme: Launch a Website called BuyMyBreasts.com and sell ad space at a dollar a pixel for a whopping grand total of one million dollars. Lee promotes the venture by blanketing South Beach with flyers. For every $50,000 worth of ads he sells, he plans to donate a pair of implants to a desperate A-cup.
"I figured breast implants would make it controversial and get people talking," Lee explains. "And the more people talk, the more people visit the site." And, of course, the more people visit the site, the more ads he sells, the more money he makes.
Lee copped the pixel-ad idea from Alex Tew, a British college student who, in an effort to avoid taking out student loans, launched a Website and began selling pixels of advertising for a dollar a pop. The up-by-the-bootstrap tales quickly catapulted Tew to semistardom. Before long, companies were clamoring for space on the budding tycoon's site, MillionDollarHomePage.com. He fetched $38,000 for the last 1000-pixel block.
Lee hopes his site, which has received 30,000 hits since it launched last month, will one day look like Tew's packed to the point of psychedelia with brightly colored ads. Well, so far seventeen women have registered for the free-breast sweepstakes and posted their photos and testimonies on the BuyMyBreasts "Contestants" page a virtual pageant of boob-obsessed misery.