Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Elvis Costello , Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts

    In 1977 Elvis Costello burst onto the musical scene, earning a well-deserved reputation as an angry, guitar-wielding young man. Penning punk-rock songs that were both literary and lacerating, he was pretty surly himself. Twenty-five years later it seemed only appropriate that the rocker's latest album would be dubbed When I Was Cruel. Cruel and Costello went together like punch and… More >>
  • BEST VOCALIST (MALE)

    Julio Iglesias

    Forget, for a moment, the clichéd MOR ballads ("To All the Girls I've Loved Before") and think about that famously memorable voice. Julio Iglesias is the sound of romance. Soft and mellifluous, his voice seems to lilt instead of sing, fluttering into our ears like vowels falling into words. Beautiful, memorable, and rarified, it almost redeems all those cheesy ballads… More >>
  • BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM

    The Hip-Hop Shop, Thursdays, 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., WVUM-FM (90.5)

    You have to get past the awkward hip-hop lingo of the University of Miami's collegiate disc jockeys, but once you do, The Hip-Hop Shop is good listening. Songs range from classics to new (and occasionally self-indulgent) indie hip-hop, but even when the going gets goofy, it's always fun, and always better than the latest commercial hip-hop that floods the rest… More >>
  • BEST NEW MUSIC TREND

    Electroclash

    Those who forget the Eighties are doomed to repeat them: How else to explain the surge of local interest in electroclash, that much-hyped remodeling of European New Wave music and its accompanying oh-so-kitschy fashions? Shoulder pads and leg warmers have yet to be spotted, but just about every other once-maligned Eighties fashion marker has returned with a vengeance as a… More >>
  • BEST LATIN SINGER

    Roberto Poveda

    Entertaining and experimental, handsome and talented, Roberto Poveda has always been a musical Miami gem, but he hasn't always been easy to hear. Gigs come and go in this dismal live-music town. But now Poveda can be heard pretty regularly at One Ninety, the funk-hip joint just north of the Design District. Really, it's Poveda's voice that pulls in the… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ ARTIST

    Sammy Figueroa

    Beginning his love affair with percussion at the seemingly late age of eighteen didn't set Sammy Figueroa back one bit. His unshakable sense of tempo and astounding ability to improvise clearly indicated that playing percussive instruments was his destiny. He would go on to perform with an eclectic roster of musical superstars including Miles Davis, Chet Baker, David Bowie, Marc… More >>
  • BEST INDIE-ROCK BAND

    Bling Bling

    Rekindling indie-pop fun is what Bling Bling is all about. The four members of this group, formed in the summer of 2001, threaten to have fun and take the whole world with them. Ivan Choo Baby is electricity on the mike, Kiki La Rocca slaps the bass silly, Jonathan Sensitivity trumps zigzagging melodies, and Black Angus handles drum beats and… More >>
  • BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Machete

    At Machete's final gig last June at Churchill's Hideaway, Spy-fi Records founder Ed Artigas quickly sold out 100 CDs of its Untitled Music before the band had even finished its second set. Machete had grown a significant following in the local indie-rock scene. Its engaging brand of folk-pop slit a niche in the band landscape only it could occupy. Many… More >>
  • BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER

    Grant Livingston

    Like an unstoned Buffett or maybe Leon Redbone by way of Sesame Street, long-time Miami performer Grant Livingston mixes country and ragtime shuffle with Florida history and tale-telling. Armed with an acoustic guitar and an incisive wit that lends an edge to his kid-friendly material, Livingston pops up at festivals all over Miami, and is a regular at Homestead's Main… More >>
  • BEST BAND NAME

    Spam Allstars

    There had to be a way to get these guys in Best of Miami without committing overkill. And their band name is the only thing they haven't been lauded for yet. They've got to have the best name because everyone's heard of them. Miami's own Latin/funk/jazz infusion is never mistaken for any other troupe of All Stars. The band's name… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL

    Botanica del Jibaro

    The latest spinoff from the Beta Bodega Coalition's growing empire, Botanica del Jibaro has released a series of astonishingly high-quality twelve-inch singles in the past twelve months from local stalwarts like Algorithm and Cyne. As always with this ever-provocative crew, most of Botanica's recordings concentrate on sundry political issues, from bombing runs held in Vieques, Puerto Rico, to the legacy… More >>
  • BEST SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA

    New World Symphony

    What's the matter with kids today? Nothing. At least not with the ones loitering outside the Lincoln Theater during a New World Symphony intermission. The NWS's artistic director, Michael Tilson Thomas, calls classical music "a rare and wonderful thing." The same can be said of the NWS, the baby of all symphonic orchestras. The NWS, which recently celebrated its fifteenth-anniversary… More >>
  • SECOND-BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Erykah Badu at Level

    February 9, 2003

    Who else could bring the house down simply by doffing her oversized Afro wig? Erykah Badu's albums have carefully laid out her persona as a diva for the post-millennium, and thankfully, her live performance at Level proved she has not only the playful über-attitude of Motown's finest, but also the musical chops to drive that spirit home. The sprawling set… More >>
  • BEST Local album of the past twelve months

    Iron & Wine

    The Creek Drank the Cradle

    It's easy to imagine the plucked banjos, gently strummed acoustic guitars, and eerily hushed vibe of The Creek Drank the Cradle as originating from deep within the Appalachian mountain range. Or, as Iron & Wine -- a.k.a. Sam Beam -- lets his voice rise plaintively above his careful finger-picking, drawing on a folksy continuum from Nick Drake on back to… More >>
  • BEST SONGWRITER

    Jim Camacho

    Camacho has been on the Miami scene for more than a decade, first as one of the voices behind the Goods, and more recently fronting his own band. He wears his allegiance to melody (Beatles comparisons are inevitable) on his sleeve, and while the Goods' songwriting prowess fluctuated, Camacho's solo work keeps getting better. His 2001 release Trouble Doll featured… More >>
  • BEST CARIBBEAN BAND

    21st Century Steel Orchestra

    Michael Kernahan's 21st Century Steel Orchestra is Miami's strongest link to the steel pan music of Trinidad and Tobago. Kernahan, a Trinidad native who builds the pans (more commonly known as steel drums) he plays, has put together an ensemble that numbers as many as 40, though he plays with more manageable groups at local venues. "They're the leading steel… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ELECTRONICA RELEASE OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Otto Von Schirach, Chopped Zombie Fungus

    Most electronic music doesn't say much, literally. If there are lyrics involved, the vocals treatment has more to do with melody and tone than the meaning of the actual words. But Miami's Cuban/German "beat molester" likes to add some say to his sway. In Chopped Zombie Fungus, released on local label Schematic, Von Schirach (his real and way cool name)… More >>
  • BEST VENUE FOR LIVE MUSIC

    Manuel Artime Theater

    Standing around a smoke-filled dive for hours on end as a band blasts away is great when you're twentysomething. But as anyone who's caught shows at the Jackie Gleason or the Gusman can attest, there comes a time in a hipster's life when he just wants to, well, sit down. So how can an, ahem, aging fellow catch some cutting-edge… More >>
  • BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE)

    Rose Max

    Speaking of love, it's hard not to amour Rose Max when she sings, for example, "Speaking of Love" ("Falando de Amor") or any of those Brazilian jazz standards that make us so happy we could cry. One night she woos you with her bossa nova and samba amid the couches and candlelight of the Van Dyke Café's dreamy upstairs room.… More >>
  • BEST SOLO MUSICIAN

    Sam Beam

    Sam Beam is fast becoming all the rage. Earlier this spring his album as Iron & Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle, charted at number 81 in the Village Voice's prestigious "Pazz and Jop" poll for the best of 2002, and his subsequent national tour engendered even more praise from fans and critics. Some wondered how a man who writes… More >>
  • BEST CONCERT SERIES

    Concert Association of Florida

    Amazing to think that what began 36 years ago as the Great Artists Series at Miami Beach's Temple Beth Sholom has evolved into one of South Florida's premier purveyors of classical music and dance. Founded and led by impresaria and onetime opera singer Judy Drucker, the Concert Association of Florida packs a two-county punch, filling the seats of the Broward… More >>
  • BEST ELECTRONICA ARTIST

    Stryke

    One of the cornerstones of Miami's electronic music scene is Greg Chin, a.k.a. Stryke. He is an original among a sea of new jacks and biters. The classically trained pianist pioneered electronic music shows for college radio (at UM and FIU stations) in the early Nineties. He crafted some of the first locally produced techno tracks when most people didn't… More >>
  • BEST PRODUCER

    Omar Clemetson

    Unlike many a hip-hop producer, Clemetson, a.k.a. Supersoul, can't be categorized. He can make anything from a murky bass homage to Magic Mike to a dub track reminiscent of Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound. For him hip-hop is a state of mind, even though he's been laboring under the "downtempo" epithet ever since he first made waves on Moonshine's memorable Trip-Hop… More >>
  • BEST LOUNGE ACT

    and

    Chances are you've never seen a drag queen dive into a crowd and "surf" her audience. Less likely is the chance of seeing female impersonators yank each other's wigs off during performances, pull out their falsies, and riff off one another in wickedly hilarious comedy that skewers racial, ethnic, and sexual themes. Marytrini, Sophia Divine, Teresita la Bella, and Charito,… More >>
  • BEST HAITIAN BAND

    DZine

    What do you get when you put jumpy African rhythm with juicy reggae and Haitian soul? One of the few Haitian bands that Miami can still call its own. This compas band has kept the Creole flavor pumping through a steady bass, conga, and keyboards for years now and has gained a level of sophistication in the process. Don't get… More >>
  • BEST RAP ARTIST

    Pitbull

    Armando Christian Perez reflects Miami in a way no rapper ever has, because the ones who've made names for themselves on these city streets were usually black, not Cuban. But Perez, a.k.a. Pitbull, is not about to go Cuban retro. He's all about today's hard knocks. Pitbull spits quick-witted, reality bass rhymes that tell the Miami tale, as he knows… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BAND OF ALL TIME

    The Eat

    There have been any number of local rock outfits that have graced Miami's stages in search of national glory or just the heart of Saturday night. But few caused as much of a ruckus -- and then promptly disappeared -- as the Eat. Its debut single, 1979's "Communist Radio," still has die-hard fans guessing at its political sympathies: pro-Fidelista rant… More >>
  • BEST POP BAND

    Volumen Cero

    Last year Volumen Cero won Best Local Rock Band. So why is it pop this year? Musically the quartet, whose name translates to Zero Volume, tries on everything from power pop (the hit single "Hollywood") to Sixties-influenced Brit-pop. Frontman Luis Tamblay's voice is moody and evocative and versatile. The band's ability to play around with genres instead of bashing out… More >>
  • BEST BLAST FROM THE PAST

    The Holy Terrors

    This Is What It Sounds Like When Youre Dead

    One of the Nineties' more beloved Miami underground rock outfits returns with a vault-scraping collection: previously unreleased studio sessions from 1997, a live-on-WLRN-FM set from 1992 (yes, Virginia, WLRN once aired rock and roll amid the NPR gabbing), and from that same year, a raucous live show from the now-defunct Beach club Washington Square. As this CD's title implies, the… More >>
  • BEST PIANO MAN

    and

    With a golden tenor and fabulous hair, Walter Lino has gracefully worked a multitude of piano joints in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He's developed a cult following of drunks, sweater queens, and off-key beer-belters who take refuge around his baby grand for a dose of piano-and-bourbon therapy. And Lino delivers with virtuoso phrasing and twinkling eyes. One moment he seizes… More >>
  • BEST LATIN BAND

    Bacilos

    JJ. Andre. Jorge. They've put together a "Latin" sound all their own, a slinky-violined, smoothly percussioned, poply tropical sound that sets them apart from the rest. And though the world knows them through their two outstanding CDs (the last, Caraluna, got them serious airtime) and tours, only Miami can call them "local." And how much more Miami can you get… More >>
  • BEST ROCK EN ESPAOL BAND

    Council of the Sun

    With the ever-evolving form of rock, it's not a stretch to say a band that combines hard guitar with house beats and rap lyrics falls into this category. This band's not afraid to try that mix of hip-hop and drum and bass and then kick in a few guitar riffs to back it up. The new technology age is here,… More >>
  • BEST ROCK BAND

    The Heatseekers

    They aren't from Miami. They hail from Fort Lauderdale. And they may not be innovative, plying a brand of sleazy garage punk (à la the Queers circa Grow Up) that's been bandied about for years. But it doesn't matter. The Heatseekers have that elusive quality, that totally unquantifiable rock and roll thing that moves audiences and propels their songs along… More >>
  • BEST RECORDING STUDIO

    The Hit Factory Criteria

    The recent passing of legendary producer Tom Dowd returned the Hit Factory Criteria to the media spotlight, reminding us all that the North Miami studio was the creative birthing spot for so many seminal albums, from Derek and the Dominos' 1970 Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs to the Bee Gees' 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack to Bob Dylan's 1997… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM

    88 Jazz Place/Morning

    Frank Consola

    WDNA-FM (88.9)

    Frank Consola is the hardest-working man in Miami radio. At least nonprofit radio. He's on the air twenty hours a week at community-supported WDNA-FM, Miami's "jazz and rhythm station." Monday through Friday Consola is at the console hosting 88 Jazz Place from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. He does this as a volunteer -- without pay. How's that for dedication? The… More >>
  • BEST CLASSICAL RADIO PROGRAM

    Symphony at Seven

    WKAT-AM (1360), 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

    January 2002 saw Miami's only full-time classical station, WTMI (93.1 FM), convert to modern dance music. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and for a time the occasional hour of classical programming on public radio was the only place to get a taste of Brahms. In September 2002, however, WKAT switched from Spanish-language radio to 24-hour classical programming,… More >>
  • BEST ROCK RADIO PROGRAM

    Wednesday night on WVUM-FM (90.5)

    If you can get past the self-conscious college-kid precociousness of the VUM DJs, Wednesday night features two rock programs worth listening to. First up: From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. distort your speakers with the mono stylings of It Came From the Garage. This fuzzed-out blast of garage rock is unabashedly primitive, and beats the hell out of the latest Puddle… More >>
  • BEST LATIN MUSIC RADIO PROGRAM

    El Show de Alvarez Guedes

    Weekdays noon to 2:00 p.m.

    WCMQ-FM Clsica 92 (92.3)

    Cuba's controversial comedian Alvarez Guedes takes the lunchtime air weekdays to mix dirty jokes, political discourse, and poetry with some of the best Cuban music from the golden age of the big band. The whiskey-voiced Guedes comes across as everyone's favorite foul-mouthed uncle as he spoofs local politics and happenings with his daily Guantanameras and timba jams. Classic salsa from… More >>
  • BEST REGGAE RADIO PROGRAM

    Sounds of the Caribbean

    WLRN-FM (91.3)

    Whether it's twenty-year veteran Clint O'Neil or DJ Ital-K spinning discs on this late-night gem, reggae lovers are bound to be sated with the best variety of dancehall, soca, calypso, and roots music in Miami. Deep rhythms keep you whining, free of commercials. The knowledgeable Godfather and Englishman, as they are respectively known, inform listeners with their deep musical wisdom.… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Sergio Sigala

    CASA TUA 1700 James Avenue Miami Beach 305-673-1010 In the few months it's been operating, Casa Tua in Miami Beach has cultivated a mystique that has made a weekend dinner reservation the most sought-after ticket in town. The understated refinement of its home (a former private residence) and the sophisticated cuisine created by executive chef… More >>
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