Art Hour Concerts: Meza Fine Arts (275 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables), a gallery devoted to works by Latin American and local and national American artists, becomes a music venue six nights a week, with regular weeknight concerts and special Saturday dinner concerts. Every Thursday singer Malena Burke (with bandleader Freddy Bozzo) leads a descarga (Latin jam session). Singer-songwriter Candi Sosa performs Latin folk and son selections every Friday (including the first Friday of the month gallery openings). This Saturday Meza hosts an intimate evening with Cuban torch singer Maggie Carles (tickets cost $30). Every Monday gallerygoers get the blues with Sonia Corp and Jorge Luis Sosa. The gallery dips into Latin and Caribbean folklore with different performance troupes every Tuesday, and every Wednesday Marlene Urbay hosts an evening of chamber music with featured artists. Admission is $15. Shows begin at 6:00. Call 461-2723. (GC)
Sex Life of the Hibiscus: Oh, those naughty plants! Anyone who has seen Pink Floyd's The Wall knows that our fine petaled friends can get down and dirty. But seriously, just where would plants be without pollination and honey bees? After all, it is kinda hard to mate when one is immobile. Former International Hibiscus Society president Jason B. Schwartzbaugh discusses the propagation of these plants at the Master Garderners meeting at 9:30 a.m. at Enchanted Forest Park (1725 NE 135th St., North Miami). Admission is free. Call 895-1119. (GC)
Buck-O-Nine: Seven-man, San Diego-based skasters Buck-O-Nine boast a sound that melds pop, reggae, punk, jazz, and new wave, with kicking vocals and a bad-ass horn section. Their second album, Barfly (on Taang! Records), demonstrates the band's ability to quick-change tempos (a la Mighty Mighty Bosstones) in an easy integration of smooth jazziness and aggressive punk. Buck-O-Nine goes buck-wild tonight at the Edge (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) with Tampa band the Rug Cutters. Admission is six bucks. Doors open at 8:00. Call 954-525-9333.(GC)
Meat Loaf: Somewhere in a box of old magazines, tear sheets, and papers, I have a list that a friend and I compiled about five or six years ago that included ten reasons why Meat Loaf's insanely popular 1977 release Bat Out of Hell is the second-worst rock album of all time. (The worst? The soundtrack to the 1978 debacle Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. No contest.) And since the former Marvin Lee Aday is performing tonight at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre (601 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach), I tried to find that list, only to come up empty-handed. Since my mind isn't what it used to be, I can't remember every entry, but I do recall something about the album's show-tune-ish main songs coming from a Peter Pan-based musical called Never Land (written by Bat composer Jim Steinway, a way-off-Broadway hack), the shameless sexism of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," and the bombastic production of Todd Rundgren. Anyway, the list is lost, and Meat Loaf is still around -- and popular as hell, too. Tickets for the concert range from $13 to $33. Call 407-795-8883 for more information. (JF)
I Vitelloni/Diary of a Country Priest: Rootlessness and restlessness are Federico Fellini's thematic forte, and in I Vitelloni, his 1953 portrait of youth in a small town in Italy, the depiction is right on target. Beautifully photographed (of course), the film follows the adventures of five young men, one of whom is a Romeo who won't settle down even after marriage. I Vitelloni screens today at noon (in Italian with English subtitles) at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) and tonight at 7:30 at the B.A.R. Space (1659 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach) as part of Cinema Vortex. Tomorrow at the Alliance at noon, the Vortex shows Diary of a Country Priest (1951), French director Robert Bresson's intimate expression of his Catholic faith, which captures the struggle for grace and the tribulations of the soul of a young parish priest in rural France. The film's opening is slow, but the poignant denouement is worth the wait (in French with English subtitles). Admission to each film is four dollars. (After the lights go up, amble next door to buy the novel on which the film is based.) Call 531-8504. (GC)
Beast and Baker Rock the Road Again: Those wacky cowboys of the airwaves host yet another live music marathon tonight at Tobacco Road (626 S. Miami Ave.). Almost twenty local acts -- including Iko-Iko, Omar Stang, the Holy Terrors, Jolynn Daniel and the Gray Area, Raw B Jae and the Liquid Funk, Al's Not Well, Manchild, the Goods, Nicole Miranda, Jeff Rollason, and Rat Bastard -- perform on three stages to celebrate the release of Iko-Iko's latest disc, Protected by Voodoo. The show kicks off at 8:00. Admission is eight dollars. Call 374-1198. (GC)
Twilight Music Series: Miami Beach's Lincoln Road Partnership presents a series of evening concerts on the third Saturday of every month, at the stage at Michigan Avenue and Lincoln Road. Tonight's series opener features the Billy Ross Quartet; additional performances include Caribbean steel-pan jazz master Othello Molineaux, jazzster Arthur Barron and his Afro-Blue Band, violinist Nicole Yarling and her R&B group the Weld, gospel vocalist Maryel Epps, the Turk Mauro/Eric Allison Jazz Sextet featuring trumpeter Pete Minger, and Afro-Cuban rocker Nil Lara. Admission is free. All performances begin at 7:30. Call 531-3442. (GC)
Everglades Music and Crafts Festival: Whatever your musical palette desires, it is guaranteed to be satiated at the 21st Annual Everglades Music & Crafts Festival (30 miles west of Miami on Tamiami Trail) today and tomorrow. Dancehall reggae originator Screwdriver tops a bill that includes Miccosukee rock band Tiger-Tiger, Latin sensation Grupo Chevere, country favorite Sundown, and rap trio Young Lyons. Fry bread, pumpkin bread, Greek gyros, and Italian ices are just a few of the tasty delights offered. A plethora of arts and crafts will be showcased, and a Miccosukee event would not be complete without the ever-popular alligator wrestling. Gates open each day at 9:30 a.m. Tickets cost seven dollars for adults and four for children. Call 223-8380. (MM)
Olympic Soccer: As Olympic fever sweeps the nation, South Florida gets a taste of the games with first-round and quarterfinal soccer matches running today through July 28 at the Orange Bowl (1501 NW Third St.). The series features six first-round men's and three first-round women's matches, as well as two men's quarterfinal games (semifinal and medal rounds will take place in Athens, Georgia), featuring teams from France, Australia, Sweden, China, Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Hungary, Nigeria, and the U.S. Today's opening ceremonies include live music by Gary King & the Dream and Carlos Oliva y Los Sobrinos del Juez, beginning at 4:00. Tickets range from $20 to $45. Matches begin today at 6:30 and continue tomorrow at 4:00, Monday at 7:00, Tuesday at 6:00, and Wednesday at 7:00. For a complete schedule, see our "Calendar Listings" or call 371-4600. (GC)
Pelican Party: Party by the bay as Y-100 (WHYI-FM 100.7) hosts the fifth annual Pelican Party at the Rusty Pelican Restaurant (3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne) to benefit the Buoniconti Fund of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Y-100 DJ Kenny Walker will spin Top 40 tunes, while local band Steve Minotti & Company perform live at 10:00 and midnight. Of course, no party would be complete without tasty food and beverages. The party gets under way tonight from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tickets are $25. Call 284-3408. (GC)
Mideastern Dance Exchange: Professional dancers, instructors, and students from the Mideastern Dance Exchange shake, shimmy, and wriggle their middles at the third annual summer dance concert, taking place tonight at 7:00 at World Resources Cafe (719 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Mustafa provides live Arabic music, with singing by Kaaren Mils, Moki, and Virginia Mendez, while Exchange regulars Tamalyn Dallal, Amina, Amar, and others perform. Admission is free. Call 538-1608. (GC)
East Hertfordshire Youth Orchestra: Sixty-five of the finest young classical players from greater London and the areas surrounding East Hertfordshire, England, come together to perform as the East Hertfordshire Youth Orchestra, appearing tonight at 8:00 at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (5555 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Currently on its first tour, the orchestra, which was formed in 1993, will perform Handel's Music for Royal Fireworks and selections by, among others, Strauss, Sousa, Vaughan Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John Williams. Admission is free. Call 954-491-1103. (GC)
Seth Joel: National Geographic photographer Seth Joel took time between assignments to work on a series of intimate, somewhat surreal photographs, now on exhibit at the Photogroup Center (130 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables). Joel's panorama-format prints capture a scene from different perspectives in the same photograph. One picture shows a little girl sitting at the counter of a coffee shop. We see her twice -- once from inside and behind, looking out the window, and again from the outside looking in. The effect of the double images is intriguing, and slightly disconcerting, like looking at identical twins. "It's a storytelling device that adds hyperreality to a subject that might be lost in a single image," says the photographer. Joel's show "Long Frames" will be up through July 26. Admission is free. For more information, call 444-0198. (JC).
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Randy Crawford and Bobby Caldwell: Smooth jazz is king when vocalist Randy Crawford and singer-songwriter Bobby Caldwell perform tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). After a two-year break, veteran R&B and jazz singer Crawford is back with Naked and True (on Bluemoon Recordings), featuring her Top 10 hit remake of George Benson's "Give Me the Night." Caldwell, who has penned songs for a laundry list of adult contemporary artists including Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Dionne Warwick, Boz Skaggs, Chicago, Neil Diamond, Roberta Flack, and Al Jarreau, and who has recorded eight successful albums himself, is currently supporting his recent release Soul Survivor. Tickets cost $25, $29, and $35. Call 672-7300. (GC)
Tribute to Janis Joplin: After seven testosterone-filled tributes to such rock royalty as John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, the Sex Pistols, and KISS, Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale) finally deems it worthy to pay tribute to a woman rock artist. Appropriately enough, the club picked a woman who really had balls. Janis Joplin had a voice like gravel and a delivery style that tore through the body and soul; her gutsy blend of blues and rock took her from college dropout to superstar in a few short years. Local artists Diane Ward, Betty at the Station, Kathy Fleischmann, Gravetree, Leslie Daunt, Lisa "Noodles" Hayden, the Weeds, and Shandra Renee perform selections by Joplin. Showtime is 9:30. Take another little piece of her heart for five dollars if you're 21 and over, seven bucks for kiddies between 18 and 20. Call 954-522-2151. (GC)
Jeff Shaara: Author Jeff Shaara follows in the footsteps of his famous father, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Shaara (1974's The Killer Angels), with his own Civil War-era novel. In Gods and Generals, the younger Shaara (who served as a consultant for Gettysburg, the film based on Angels), traces the lives of the war's military leaders and brave soldiers in the years leading up to the action in his father's novel. Tonight at 8:00, Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) hosts an evening with Jeff Shaara. Admission is free. Call 442-4408.