Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Caribbean Band


    The reggae cover bands of Miami probably don't like getting up there and grinding out "No Woman No Cry" for the eight-millionth time. Alas, that's what the mainstream market demands. This is a tough town for an original reggae band, particularly one with a political consciousness, but Benaiah continues to fight the good fight. Vocalist Joseph Williamson, with help from… More >>
  • Best Recording Studio

    Miami Beach Recording Studios

    Chugging along for the past eighteen years, this itinerant studio can claim more identities than a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Known in North Miami and on the Beach as Sync Studios, and in downtown Miami as The Studio, MBRS is now comfortably ensconced on Lincoln Road. The nomadic existence may seem a bit unstable, but its… More >>
  • Best Concert Of The Past Twelve Months

    Wyclef Jean

    For one sweet, sunny spring day Bayfront Park became Utopia, a symbolic song of freedom and unity you could dance to. Haitian, Jamaican, Cuban, and American flags waved together above 15,000 fans of Fugee chief Wyclef Jean and his rainbow coalition of talent, the Refugee Allstars. The ensemble included fellow Fugee Pras, rapper John Forte, tap dance wunderkind Savion Glover,… More >>
  • Best Electronica Release


    "The tyranny of the beat" is an apt description of Miami's club culture, a world where creativity, envelope pushing, and soulfulness are increasingly being shoved aside in favor of generic four-on-the-floorisms. Phoenecia stands as one of a handful of local electronic acts bucking that trend, and Odd Job is an outstretched middle finger aimed at the dance floor. You can… More >>
  • Best Album Of The Past Twelve Months

    The Baboons

    If human evolution had taken this long, we'd still be monkeys. Already celebrated for their intensely engrossing live shows, the Baboons have neglected to record, opting at one point to put their efforts into a video but never making their mark on disc. Patience paid off this year with the arrival of their seven-tune mix of Miami influences, which captures… More >>
  • Best Venue For Live Music

    Cameo Theatre

    One thing those crusty old scenesters never mention about the punk-rock heyday of the Cameo: For a while there, the movie-theater seats were still in place! Sure puts all those "I got my ass kicked at the GBH show in '86" stories in perspective, don't it? Okay, so the concrete floor these days makes it kind of echoey, but sound-guy… More >>
  • Best Cover Band

    The Clap

    Rob Elba has distinguished himself as an incisive songwriter and riveting performer both with his former group the Holy Terrors and as a solo artist. This outfit, which also includes members of Radio Baghdad, is something else altogether. In typically ferocious style, Elba and company tear up classic (ahem) tunes by Cheap Trick, Ramones, Buzzcocks, the Dead Kennedys, the Damned,… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Don Wilner

    Classically trained on the bass, Don Wilner may seem like a musical nerd. He holds a doctorate in music from the University of Miami (where he taught for many years) and he has published numerous articles about jazz performance and pedagogy. But when he plays in the Van Dyke Café's upstairs bar, he reveals himself to be the heppest of… More >>
  • Best Underground Rock Radio Program

    Suburban Harmony Joyride

    Calling the University of Miami's WVUM-FM (90.5) uneven is being more than charitable. One minute you're listening to a blistering set of drum and bass, the next you're being aurally assaulted by frat boys and giggling freshmen. Such are the consequences of WVUM's unfortunate charter, which bars not only community members but UM's own graduate students from joining the air… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    The ButterClub

    It's after midnight and, three songs in, the ButterClub has mesmerized the outdoor crowd at a local music festival. Before the next selection, singer Rhett O'Neil asks the technical crew to turn off the stage lights. "We're all friends here," he says. For the next 90 minutes a couple of hundred of the band's friends stand like trees, engrossed, a… More >>
  • Best Solo Musician

    Amy Carol Webb

    Singing since age three. Playing guitar since age eleven. Writing tunes in her teens. Pursuing her dreams of rock and roll stardom in Los Angeles. Becoming a wife and mother. Retiring from music. Relocating to Miami to start a new life. Picking up her guitar again. Wowing them at her son's preschool talent show. Performing at open-mike nights. Getting gigs.… More >>
  • Best CD Recorded At Miami International Airport

    Miambient Volume One

    If the opening montage on this compilation of chilled-out groove artists sounds like it was recorded inside Miami International Airport, that's because it actually was. Coproducer Mark Christopher plays it coy when asked just how he persuaded a ticket attendant to do a terminalwide broadcast over the airport's PA system for "Miambient voyagers -- destination South Beach." But he freely… More >>
  • Best Piano Man

    Arthur Hanlon

    Some local musicians pitch a fit about the lack of a live music scene. After arriving from Los Angeles last year, pianist Arthur Hanlon set out to create a scene. Hanlon's monthly gig at The Globe in Coral Gables, where he jams with a quintet of outstanding local Latin players, is one of the most spirited Saturday night parties in… More >>
  • Best Pop Band

    Four O'Clock Balloon

    The Balloon's pop lifts the better elements of late-Sixties songcraft (they even cover a Kinks tune) and incorporates them into a driving, urgent approach that leaves all the sissified alternacrap on the radio facedown on the ground. Tommy Anthony has long been one of South Florida's top songwriters, and he has the voice to carry his hooky-but-never-smarmy tunes to lofty… More >>
  • Best Latin-Music Radio Program

    Fusion Latina

    No surprises here. WDNA's nightly Latin-music marathon owns this category for an obvious reason: Latin music, especially in Miami, must include Cuban music, and WDNA is still the only area radio station consistently playing material from the island. That said, Fusion Latina deserves extra credit for airing a variety of Latin sounds as well as the viewpoints of its DJs;… More >>
  • Best Rap Group

    Trick Daddy

    After five years of kicking it locally and fathering some considerable buzz, The Artist Formerly Known as Trick Daddy Dollars has ridden his easy-swinging beats and hard rhymes into the Billboard Top 10. His first LP, Based on a True Story, cracked the R&B Top 100; his followup,, has pushed even higher, with the single "Nann Nigga" rising as… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Performer


    From 1998's "Best Solo Musician" item about Midon: "... Hear him quickly before a major record label snaps him up." Snap. Now that Raul Midon is signed to BMG US Latin, you might think success has changed the long-time Miami resident. But the only thing that's changed is his name: The multilingual artist now goes simply by Midon. His debut… More >>
  • Best Classical Radio Program

    The San Francisco Symphony

    Prolific conductor and composer Michael Tilson Thomas is so in demand he often needs to appear in two places at once. On any given Sunday he can be found at the Lincoln Theatre in South Beach conducting an afternoon performance by the New World Symphony, where he's artistic director. Just a bit later, there he is on the other coast,… More >>
  • Best Hell Raisers

    The Holy Rollin' Hellfires

    With song titles such as "1 Horse Town" and "Cowboy Ways," the Holy Rollin' Hellfires are a little bit country, but a bootload of rock. After a series of rhythm-section changes, the Beach-based Hellfires solidified, released an eponymous CD, and can now be found detonating their yee-haw ya-yas from Fort Lauderdale to the Keys. The dinner-plate-size belt buckles worn by… More >>
  • Best Reggae Radio Program

    Reggae Beat

    While WLRN-FM's (91.3) overnight institution Clint O'Neil remains a favorite, WDNA-FM's (88.9) Steve Radzi edges him out solely for the diversity of his playlist. Each Saturday beginning at noon, Radzi works his way through the entire history of Jamaican music, from early-Sixties ska to Seventies dub, from Eighties dancehall to the latest records fresh off the boat from Kingston. Try… More >>
  • Best Band To Break Up In Past Twelve Months

    Fay Wray

    Is it really the end? We fear it is. On a Saturday in February, guitarist Rob Coe and producer Jeremy DuBois are in the upstairs room of North Miami's Tapeworm studio, mixing songs for a new Fay Wray album. The following Thursday the fiery, clever, and (this description is becoming a cliché) Replacements-like band is playing its rip-roaring farewell show… More >>
  • Best Jazz Radio Program

    The Modern School of Modern Jazz

    The witching hour seems an appropriately freewheeling time for the joyously disorienting sounds emanating from WLRN-FM's (91.3) The Modern School of Modern Jazz. Every Saturday from midnight until 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, Steve Malagodi guides his listeners through this oasis of avant-garde tunes, wading waist-high into a world of free jazz otherwise considered too deep for South Florida's ears. Although… More >>
  • Best Haitian Band

    Magnum Band

    Some years ago Magnum Band was part of a spirited Little Haiti scene, when there were clubs and cafés dotting the neighborhood and attracting dancers and partiers of the most festive sort. Now the lights in Little Haiti have dimmed, and some local musicians have forlornly returned to their homeland. Magnum Band, founded by master guitarist-songwriter Andre "Dadou" Pasquet way… More >>
  • Best Band Shell

    North Shore Band Shell

    In its Sixties prime, the North Shore Band Shell provided the setting for a television variety program. In fact the Mike Douglas Show logos can still be found in a dressing room. Recently, in an effort to build a sense of community among residents, Miami Beach officials revamped the shell and began sponsoring an array of activities: jazz bands, symphony… More >>
  • Best New Music Trend

    Concerts by Cuban bands

    A boisterous crowd gathered outside the Miami Beach Convention Center in August to protest a performance by Cuban musicians invited to the MIDEM music conference. Inside a more joyful noise was heard as the show went on right in the face of bomb threats. Since April acts from the island have taken area stages: Issac Delgado, Vocal Sampling, Carlos Varela,… More >>
  • Best Rock And Roll Spirit

    Dave Daniels at Churchill's Hideaway

    The backbone of Miami rock and roll resides in Little Haiti with Dave Daniels and Churchill's Hideaway. Daniels provides a stage for aspiring bands, touring national acts, and just about anything that might lure a few people in to enjoy a pint or two. If there's a touring act you'd like to book, give Daniels a call. Do you think… More >>
  • Best Concert Series

    Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse

    A coffeehouse without a screeching espresso machine? Sans cigarette smoke and incessant chatter? Could it be? It is, in a suburban Kendall neighborhood where a house doubles as Temple Beth Or, the main sanctuary of which is transformed every other month into the concert venue Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse. Launched in the fall of 1997 by graphic designer and musician Ellen… More >>
  • Best Band To Leave Miami In The Past Twelve Months

    The Psychonauts

    With their tape-loop, sound bite effects, pro-wrestling masks, endless Elvis iconization, and wall-rattling sonic attack (armed by all-'abilly influences), the 'Nauts amazed locals by bringing to the stage a slew of visual distractions without sacrificing any of their musical power. That's entertainment, sure, but their sound was on the cusp of the whole surfabilly/punkabilly/rockabilly trend that's either about to catch… More >>
  • Best New Band


    We like 'em young. Especially when a gang of whippersnappers exudes so much raw talent that within months of their band's formation, they are being booked to record at Criteria under the aegis of local supermanager Rich Ulloa, releasing a subsequent EP produced by Rose Guilot, playing showcases at top area clubs, and opening for Orgy at the Chili Pepper.… More >>
  • Best Latin Singer

    Angela Patua

    Angela Patua was not born to sing background music. When she performs her regular Sunday gig at Big Fish Mayaimi, she commands attention with rousing chants and deep ballads accompanied by guitar, dancing, and sometimes indecipherable patter. Her spirit moves, her music transcends. A country girl from southeast Brazil, Patua sings in African Yoruba and native Brazilian dialects, as well… More >>
  • Best Shocking Performance

    Amanda Green

    While her drummer Derek Murphy remained in New York working on other (read: well-paying) gigs, and bassist Matthew Sabatella concentrated on his own impressive musical projects, everybody's favorite silly little girl-genius kept a hand in by performing solo. During one such highly charged sho, in April at Power Studios in the Design District, it wasn't just Green who was electrifying.… More >>
  • Best Latin Band

    Carlos Oliva and Los Sobrinos del Juez

    While other Latin bands come and go on the infamously thankless local live-music scene, trailblazer Carlos Oliva salsas on. And on. Godfather of the Miami Sound (he was the Miami Sound Machine's first producer), Oliva formed Los Sobrinos del Juez as a trio in 1967. Today his eight-man band features top players with diverse Latin and jazz backgrounds: saxman Camilo… More >>
  • Best Recovery

    Al's Not Well

    Only months ago Al's Not Well was on top of the local rock hill. The exotically coiffed and coutured crew's blend of pulsing rhythms, psychedelic meanderings, and solid New Wave sounds had landed them a deal with Tommy Boy's Beyond Music imprint, touring gigs, recording sessions. The queen goddess of New Wave, Deborah Harry, even guested on their reworking of… More >>
  • Best Metal Band


    In these black days it's mighty difficult to find music that will piss off parents. If anything should make mom or dad cringe, it's heavy metal. But bust out some Black Sabbath and there's a good chance Pops will turn it up to eleven and tell you how he saw 'em in '77 at a San Francisco show where he… More >>
  • Best Local Latin Album

    Cuba Libre

    Willy Chirino's feel-good nostalgia album showcases the chops of local Latin talents such as Arturo Sandoval, Albita Rodriguez, Jon Secada, and Roberto Torres. With a little help from his friends, Chirino departs from his formulaic pop-salsa format to shine on a merry mix of Cuban classics, including "Guantanamera," "Son de la Loma," and "El Manisero," celebrating along the way a… More >>
  • Best Band From Another Planet

    Afro Polyphonic Space Orchestra

    In their debut performance, dubbed "a tribute to Sun Ra," the Afro Polyphonic Space Orchestra displayed why the approach of their oddball jazz-pioneer hero still sounds not just out of time, but out of this world. Playing as part of the first annual Afro Roots World Music Festival at Tobacco Road, the A.P.S.O. filled an entire outdoor stage with members… More >>
  • Best Music Video

    Clambake 2000

    In real life Sean "Birdman" Gould is a Southern boy who came to Miami Beach to make rock and roll and pick up chicks. In this exuberant clip, the Clambake singer-guitarist portrays a Southern boy who comes to Miami Beach to make rock and roll and pick up chicks. In the fictional version the women are Latin, the setting is… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    Alex Diaz

    Could be Alex Diaz lives in a parallel universe. His surreal songs certainly come from one. An alternate possibility is that he writes from the other side of the looking glass, which might explain why he sometimes bills himself as Xela Zaid. As he sings and strums (sometimes playing solo using bass as his instrument, other times plucking acoustic guitar,… More >>
  • Best Electronica Label

    Chocolate Industries

    With little local fanfare, the soft-spoken Seven has made an international name for himself and his record label, releasing joyously skewed takes on premillennium DJ culture. Artists as disparate as Germany's drum-and-bass deconstructionists Funkstörung and Miami's down-tempo mixologist Push Button Objects have graced the label with twelve-inch vinyl; a single from Brooklyn's East Flatbush Project, which married Japanese-tinged chopstick percussion… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Ho Chi Minh

    ¡Viva las comunistas!… More >>
  • Best Singer-Songwriter To Leave Town In The Past Twelve Months

    Magda Hiller

    For the past decade her uplifting artistry could be found all about: at an Irish pub in the Gables, a coffeehouse in North Miami, a bookstore in Kendall, an upscale restaurant in the heart of Fort Lauderdale, a legendary bar in downtown Miami, a park in North Miami-Dade. At venues of all stripes, Magda Hiller and her guitar brought smiles,… More >>
  • Best CD Cover Art

    The Kind

    Could be gourds. Or nuts. Maybe brown-tinted lima beans? Cannabis seeds. Yeah, cannabis seeds. Must be, considering this musically clever band is called the Kind, the same phrase connoisseurs use to describe high-grade pot. (For fans of wordplay, the band's e-mail address is The intriguing photo was composed and lensed by local marine-science photographer Kelly Bryan, who prefers to… More >>
  • Best Record Label

    Evol Egg Nart

    While attending Palmetto High School, singer-guitarist Jeff Rollason played in a band called Strangelove, which recorded in some long-forgotten local studio. His next band, the underappreciated Mr. Tasty and the Breadhealers, recorded at Who Brought the Dog? studio. Then they broke up. Two years ago he formed Curious Hair and tried a new approach, recording in his home studio. Seeking… More >>
  • Best Male Rock Vocalist

    Demetrius Brown

    It's fascinating to watch a high-quality band mature, especially when it's fronted by a talent like Demetrius Brown. As Manchild's singer-lyricist-guitarist, Brown has proved himself a prolific artist, penning more than 100 songs and performing countless gigs since 1992. Because he is best known for his phenomenal guitar incantations, his singing gets overlooked. But D. Brown works his vocal cords… More >>
  • Best Record Mixer

    Tom Lord-Algae

    Tucked away inside the Marlin Hotel, Tom Lord-Algae is tweaking knobs at South Beach Studios for some of the biggest names in music. He put the leveling touches on CDs by the Rolling Stones (Bridges to Babylon and No Security); Marilyn Manson (Mechanical Animals); Hole (Celebrity Skin); as well as forthcoming releases from Live and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. His large… More >>
  • Best Female Rock Vocalist

    Diane Ward

    The perennial winner of this category could easily have been eliminated from consideration this year if a major label had signed her to a deal and spread her fame beyond the boundaries of South Florida, as should have happened. Instead she iced the award by releasing in February another masterful CD of original rock, move. Like Mirror before it, the… More >>
  • Second Best Concert Of The Past Twelve Months

    Lauryn Hill

    On her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, this Fugee diva-for-the-millennium was sultry without being crass, vulnerable without being weak, and, most of all, grounded and intelligent while still gazing skyward. In one knowing lyrical snap she looked around at her pop-music peers and sang, "C'mon, baby, light my fire/Everything you drop is so tired/Music is supposed to… More >>
  • Best Noise Band

    Laundry Room Squelchers

    The goal: nothing less than the deconstruction and obliteration of rock and roll. The method: noise, a genre awash in dissonance and off-key chaos. Chief practitioners: nationally known local bands such as Harry Pussy and To Live and Shave in L.A. Results: nah. In fact the noise genre, which Miami nurtured and which seemed to be making an impact nationally,… More >>
  • Best Hands

    DJ Craze

    Lloyd's of London is famed for selling insurance to safeguard singers' voices. Miami's own DJ Craze may want to consider taking out a policy on his hands: Those ten fingers weave just as magical a spell as any set of vocal cords. Cutting and scratching his way through the world of experimental hip-hop, Craze has distinguished himself as one of… More >>