By Jacob Katel
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Oski, frontman for the band the Oski Foundation and freestyling host of The Rock Thursdays at Tobacco Road, hates party promoters. "And band managers," he adds bitterly as he shares what he claims is his most published quote. "I hate them because I'm not a promoter. I'm an artist."
In fact, when Danny Jessup quit his seven-year indie stint, Danny Jessup Presents, at the Miami mainstay, Oski took the vacant Thursday-night slot just to keep promoters from tainting the event. Photocopied flyers simply would not do for a night of artful and original live music. "I've hand-painted posters before," Oski says, "so that people had something to take home with them."
Oski's got mad love for all kinds of live shows as well. "We have everything from A to Z," he boasts, "from alternative to zydeco." But he refuses to book just anyone, screening all music prior to shows to make sure the quality meets his standards. "No crap bands," he insists as he begins to discuss the groups for tonight's lineup, ska (well, sort of) band Mug and what Oski describes as "Green Day-inspired" opener Sex Prophet.
Mug is a horn-heavy 10-year-old local band that bass player Shaun Gavidia claims does not "follow the traditional ska route." The group was formed when some of the members were still students at Southwest Miami Senior High School, but the horns weren't added until after graduation. "We're more high-energy rock with horns," Gavidia says. Expect a little extra oomph during this show, because it's also his 27th birthday.
Although Mug plans to play two covers that Gavidia says the band has dramatically reinterpreted (Tom Petty's "American Girl" and fan favorite "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer), there's absolutely no cover to get in. Just make sure you e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (305-303-3976, available 24/7) Oski beforehand so he can put your name on the list. Otherwise it's five bucks. But it's a worthwhile investment, Oski insists, cribbing a lyric from Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me." "You can't get the sound from a story in a magazine," he says.