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And though not packed with Miami bands, the Saturday-night powwow organized by Magic Leap Records will probably be another prime moment. Oddly, it's scheduled to go down at swank Lincoln Road spot Gemma Lounge (529 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), but there's at least one guarantee: Out-of-town headliners the Vivian Girls will kick some indie-boy ass. And let's hope local duo the State Of won't pass out trying to match the Brooklyn babes blow-for-blow.
Of course, our own New Times shows this Saturday should be solid. In the afternoon, we'll bring a foursome of Miami's most fearless spitters to Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The whole thing will begin at 1 p.m. with rap rips by Ramzez, Ghostwridah, and Rich Kidd before the day's main man, Iceberg, twists the top back on.
Then later, at 9 p.m., visiting son of jam-band royalty Devon Allman will take his Honeytribe to Charcoal Studios (2135 NW First Ave., Miami) for another New Times bash. This one will be heavier on the blues, rock, and freeform influences. Expect NYC's Auctioneers, countrified Orlando crew Thomas Wynn Trio, Miami groove disciples Juke, Boca psych rockers Blond Fuzz, and extra-thick riffs.
Still, several key locations have been left off the list — namely Grand Central and other Second Avenue corridor clubs such as the Electric Pickle and the Vagabond. Why? Kornfeld insists negotiations simply fell apart. "Grand Central is a very large club. Making a large club work is a business challenge and one that we weren't able to get over this year," he explains. "But it has nothing to do with the politics of Miami or music or the music festival.
"We worked very hard on [Grand Central, the Electric Pickle, and the Vagabond], and we were turned down by each. It was unfortunate. We very much wanted them to be a part of it this year. We would love for them to be a part of it next year."
Will Lopez of Homestead punk outfit Guajiro has become one of MMF's most visible critics after making a sarcastic seven-minute animated YouTube video titled "Miami Music Festival: A Primer." "There is a serious disconnect between the local Miami music scene and the MMF," Lopez says. "Yes, the scene is Transit Lounge, Suenalo, and ArtOfficial [which are involved in the festival]. But it is also Beings, Rachel Goodrich, the Postmarks, Guy Harvey, and many, many more [that aren't]."
Ultimately, it's premature to expect the Miami Music Festival to come anywhere near showcase standard bearers such as SXSW and CMJ in terms of scope and quality. It's only the sophomore edition. But 2010 will be a critical test. All that can be said right now is that MMF fully intends to return in 2011 and every year after.
"I think it's important for the community to understand that this is a long-term project," Kornfeld says. "Some are early adopters who come on quickly. Others take a show-me attitude and will take time to join. But we've seen, in our first two years, a tremendous coming-together of those in Miami who are interested in what we're trying to do. And almost all of them understand that this will take time."