Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment
PERSONAL BEST The Waterford Landing "The suburban landscape is fertile with seeds of discontent, mischief, and dreams of flight," muses The Waterford Landing on its Website. It is just this sort of slightly wistful, aridly humorous, possibly serious thought process that distinguishes the Southwest Miami-Dade trio and moves it in a leap from subgenius cult fodder to major local influencers and stylemakers.
The Waterford Landing is a supergroup in a way, composed of well-respected IDM recording artists Rich Rippe (of Enamored Gazes and Ionian), Ed Matus (of HALO Vessel), and Alex Caso (resident Poplife DJ and programmer of the late, great Internet radio station Sonic Sound System).
"The Girls of Saga Bay," the ostensible single from the band's self-titled debut, is a near-perfect mesh of the jangly and the hushed, the jaded and the curious, the jumpup and the R.E.M.-maker.
Best Website based in or about Miami: Alex: Not too sure about this one. I'm into personal art Web spaces and obviously www.appliedchaotics.com (where you can buy our album). Of course the hot thing these days are blog sites -- all the kids have 'em.
Best reason to live in Miami: Ed: The food! It's always the goddamn food! Alex: If you are into record hunting, there are some gold mines down here, but as a member of the DJ guild, I have vowed secrecy to their locations.
Best cheap thrill: Ed: Vandalism. Alex: Thrift shops -- back to my record-hunting obsession -- but with gas prices these days, the cheapest thrill in Miami is walking to a friend's house.
Best not-so-cheap thrill: Ed: Getting caught committing vandalism. Alex: Driving.
Best alternative career path: Alex: Telephone psychic or marrying into money. Ed: Corrupt City of Miami politician. That's where the money's at!
Best coffee shop: Alex: Anywhere I can get my fix of Cuban coffee, preferably at La Carreta on Calle Ocho. Sure, you don't have the cute girls a fancy-pants coffee shop would have; instead you have the old Cuban guys telling their tragic tales of lost riches and how Fidel Castro is in league with the Devil.
What musical trends do you predict for the year 2050? Alex: Probably whatever will be hot in 2030. Ed: If people ever get off this horrible loop of cultural recycling we've been stuck in, maybe people will create innovative music. With musical software becoming more and more user-friendly, the people of the future will be able to actually express their innermost thoughts and emotions through some sort of interface that allows thought patterns to emit sounds. For now, get ready for the rebirth of grunge and New Jack Swing, or as it will be known within the next three years, Neo Jack Swing.
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE The Constant Wife Coconut Grove Playhouse The Playhouse's hit revival had so many fine performances, it is only fair to fully credit them all. Alicia Roper was regally serene in the title role, beautifully matched by Greg Wood as her duplicitous husband, Nancy Dussault as her wisecracking mother, and Dan Olmstead as her once and future swain. Take those delicious ingredients, stir in Ian D. Clark, Susan Wilder, Ursula Freundlich, Pilar Uribe, and Dan Schiff, and out pops one tasty soufflé of an ensemble show.
BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED Beer Pong Hooligan´s Pub & Oyster Bar
9555 S. Dixie Highway
www.hooliganspub.com Every Thursday night at 9:00 Hooligan's offers a chance for everyone (yes, the distaff included) to get their balls wet. On one of the Ping-Pong tables brought into the pub for this event, each contestant is required to arrange ten cups of beer (sort of like bowling pins). Opponents then get on either side and attempt to bounce a table-tennis ball into the other team's hops. Each time a player scores, the other team must drink. Because a person has to be pretty much drunk before indulging in such a game, a few misses are to be expected. This makes it even more fun, seeing as the ball will no doubt end up landing on the grimy floor a few times before plopping into its intended target. The object is to make the opposing side drink all ten cups of beer -- including any carpet lint, dust, and other fluff. Yummy.
BEST ACTOR David Kwiat Kwiat's performance as the dying oddball physicist Richard Feynman in QED (at GableStage) was in production a full year ago. Award competitions such as the Oscars often have short memories in such cases, but all these months later Kwiat's funny, touching portrait of one man's search for peace and meaning still resonates, an exceptional example of an exceptional actor's style: understated, deeply felt, and fully alive.
BEST ACTRESS Angelica Torn No doubt about it. This year's nod goes to Angelica Torn, who tore up the stage in her fierce, memorable portrait of poet Sylvia Plath in EDGE at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Torn used a deliberately off-putting, disconnected persona to portray the troubled writer. But her flat, atonal vocal delivery and disheveled demeanor masked a volcanic emotional life that erupted in brief spasms of sudden anguish. The result was indelible: frightening, sarcastic, pitiable, courageous.
BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Bishop Victor T. Curry WMBM-AM (1490) Imagine your average radio talk show. A couple of hosts prattle on about the news, sports, and entertainment while occasionally taking calls from agitated listeners. Now imagine that wrapped in scripture and gospel music, and you'll have the wonderful Morning Glory show, which airs weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with an extra two hours added on Tuesdays. Especially when it comes to controversial subjects, it's easy to get riled (a number of callers certainly do) and say to yourself, I wish I knew more about scripture so I could actually argue with the good reverend. That's the point.
Readers´ Choice: Neil Rogers, WQAM-AM (560)