Arts & Entertainment

  • BEST NEW MUSIC TREND

    Instruments

    Years ago it seemed every kid wanted a guitar. Then all those kids began to trade their guitars in for two turntables, speakers, and a mixer. Some New Jacks even skipped the actual mechanisms, opting for computer programs like ReBirth or Fruity Loops. During the late Nineties, only real-deal rockers dared to take actual guitars and drums onto the stage… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL JAZZ ARTIST

    Wayne Shorter

    Okay, so it's not like he plays upstairs at the Van Dyke every other weekend. But when you have a jazz deity living in your back yard, you gotta pay props and do what you can to coax the cool cat out of the bag. Or in this case, out of his Aventura condo and onto a bandstand near you.… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL RAPPER

    Trina

    Yeah, Pitbull and Jacki-O generated more hype in 2003, but who really held it down for the M-I-A? Trina, baby, who scored a club hit ("B R Right"), appeared on several high-profile remixes (Cassidy's "Hotel," Chingy's "Right Thurr"), and laid down the law to any new jacks looking to boost her tiara with the scorching mix-tape track "Heated." With a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL NOISE BAND

    The Laundry Room Squelchers

    Is Miami Noise over? Is the scene down to the last of a dying breed? Okay, so the genre never took off like Japanese Noise did. Maybe it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did or received worldwide attention either. But for a minute (that lasted several years) it seemed we had something special going on. Consider this a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL POP BAND

    Sunday Driver

    Hardcore, emo, pop-punk ... whatever you call it, tuneful rock and roll (a fair definition of "pop") has its share of followers, and performers, in South Florida. Few of the performers are as accomplished as the players in Sunday Driver. Since forming in 1999, the Sunny Isles Beach quartet has released an EP (Third Place Prize) and, this past February,… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BAND OF ALL TIME

    2 Live Crew

    There's an attitude that artistically successful local acts share no matter the musical style. Maybe it's the geographic isolation or just the damn heat, but a detachment from other "happening" scenes affords Miamians musical acts that play by their own rules. With 2 Live Crew this parochialism found its zenith. The sound itself began with the DJ (David Hobbs) and… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL LATIN ROCK BAND

    Locos Por Juana

    British people know their Latin rock. That's why the BBC named the nine-member Locos Por Juana "The Best Latin Rock Band from the U.S." Right on the dinero. We should feel privileged that, unlike our transatlantic friends, we have many opportunities to check these guys out on their home turf. They just rocked Calle Ocho and are now in the… More >>
  • BEST LOUNGE ACT

    ShuttleLOUNGE

    When they're not guzzling glowing Blue Hawaiians or tearing through their complimentary lobster plate at the Ramada Inn Melbourne, the fabulous ShuttleLOUNGE, kitschy crooning kings of Florida's Space Coast, can be found in Miami at equally glamorous venues such as the patio of Churchill's. Decked out in obligatory swinger uniform -- flammable polyester leisure suits or loud thrift-store blazers, hefty… More >>
  • BEST BAND NAME

    Rhett & the Pawnshop Drunks

    If you've ever met Rhett or his supporting cast, the Pawnshop Drunks, you'll quickly conclude that this is a jam band, even before hearing them play a song at one of their numerous gigs around town. So as opposed to the pompous pursuit of a meaningful, mystical, or momentous moniker like As I Lay Dying or a quick, dismissive, one-word… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL BROTHERS

    Jim and John Camacho

    For years area rock fans smiled at the paradox of a sensational band called the Goods: immensely popular and beloved by their peers. Who could resist fair-haired bassist Jim singing resonantly about matters too cerebral for most musicians and, in the next song, dark-haired keyboardist John jumping up and down in a spirited roar? Regal "Mama" Camacho sitting in a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL PERCUSSIONIST

    Robert Thomas, Jr.

    Boom-cha ... ching-ching da boom da da boom ... ching ba-da-ba boom chingboomboomboom ... cha-ding ... bing ... bop daboom boomdadoom ... booooommm. Yeeeeaaaah! With a touch as hard as a hammer or as soft as silk, depending on the tune and tone, Bobby Thomas (as the North Miami Beach native/South Miami resident is known worldwide) has had a hand… More >>
  • BEST PIANO MAN

    Todd Thompson

    The filler-music providers described in Billy Joel's old song deserve a hefty tip for nothing else but forcing out "Stormy Monday" or "As Time Goes By" for the millionth time. Life's better, though, when this tall, dark, and T-shirted Dharma Bomb frontman and soloist sits at a Steinway or Baldwin and makes the hammers dance across the strings via his… More >>
  • BEST JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM

    The Modern School of Modern Jazz and More

    An exhilarating exploration of contemporary jazz and improvised music hosted by Steve Malagodi, this stellar program for many years was broadcast by WLRN-FM (91.3), Miami's National Public Radio affiliate. It was one of our community's true cultural treasures. Then the station's management abruptly decided to kill it. Why? Not enough listeners -- as if the goal of public radio was… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL HAITIAN BAND

    Nu-Look

    These are tough times for the people of Haiti. And it's not just the Caribbean nation that's in turmoil. The axis of Kreyol culture seems to have spun off balance here in Miami, at least when it comes to the local compas scene. First, the beloved and highly popular Gracia Delva, lead singer for the top-rated band Zenglen, gets caught… More >>
  • BEST SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA

    New World Symphony

    Ostensibly a "training" orchestra, an opportunity for its young members to hone their postconservatory chops before moving on to "proper" outfits, the NWS outdoes its mandate as audiences regularly pack performances at Miami Beach's Lincoln Theatre. These music lovers will attest to this group's ability to outshine more venerable orchestras coast-to-coast. Whether it's the passion of youth, the hunger of… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL

    Merck

    Deep within the sprawling suburbia of Miami Gardens lies the home base of Merck, a record label run by 23-year-old wunderkind Gabe Koch. It caters to the computer nerd, the anomalous electronic music geek who knows the difference between Proem and Proswell and fills hard drives with obscure IDM MP3s. It generates rafts of twelve-inch singles and albums that sell… More >>
  • BEST LATIN MUSIC RADIO PROGRAM

    Cubanola

    What doesn't Francisco Ojeda know about Cuban music? Anyone can program a classic like "The Peanut Vendor" or the Buena Vista Social Club chestnut "Chan Chan." Almost anyone with taste can spin the latest masterpiece from pianist Chucho Valdes or reedman Paquito D'Rivera. But Cubanola, aired Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. by WDNA-FM (88.9), is hard-core, digging into the deepest recesses… More >>
  • BEST BRAZILIAN RADIO PROGRAM

    Café Brasil

    You could go to Brazil or listen across the dial 24-7 and you'd still be hard-pressed to find someone with more knowledge of contemporary and classic Brazilian music than South Florida's Gene De Souza, the host of this WDNA-FM (88.9) show airing each Sunday evening for two hours beginning at 6:00. He knows the works of the most obscure Brazilian… More >>
  • BEST REGGAE RADIO PROGRAM

    DJ Ital-K versus WLRN

    As weekend fans of WLRN-FM (91.3)'s venerable Sounds of the Caribbean show know, all is not copacetic in the world of Miami reggae radio. In fact there is no reggae radio as fascinating as the show put on by DJ Ital-K since his program was terminated in October. Kevin "Ital-K" Smith might not be spinning reggae nuggets on air, but… More >>
  • BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Gotan Project at Level

    First the transformation of the nightclub: Gone the primal throb of original owner Prince; gone the Cristal-slick poses of Gerry Kelly's fashionista friends. Instead the enormous main room is thronged by a more idiosyncratic and inventive form of hip. Every dancer in town of every age, ethnicity, and race, it seems, has gathered in this electronic tango dreamscape. Dismembered limbs… More >>
  • SECOND BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

    How did they get all those people on I/O's little stage? That was the recurring question during Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's sweaty set there this past December. With a full horn section, percussionists, and an organist rounding out the fourteen-piece band, it was a wonder the singer didn't find himself crashing into either of the guitarists. Antibalas didn't leave too much… More >>
  • BEST CONCERT SERIES

    Aquabooty

    What's the difference between Aquabooty and its competition? This well-established company, a partnership between Joe "Budious" Gray and Tomas Ceddia, emphasizes intimate dance parties in small to midsize venues over monstrous gangbang sessions at superclubs such as Space and crobar. Instead of impersonal, mechanical tribal trance, it programs lush, soulful house music spun by the likes of long-time residents DHM… More >>
  • BEST LATIN ROCK NIGHT

    Bayside Hut

    Another of Miami's lovely thatched-roof, moderately priced but excellent seafood joints, the Hut used to be something of a secret best kept, but management has reached out to local promoters (Surf Night is the third Thursday of every month; live entertainment is offered on Fridays). The biggest success -- even restaurant managers were stunned -- has been Saturdays, when Latin… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL SOLO MUSICIAN

    Aaron Fishbein

    Known around here as the guitarist for the Square Egg, the funk/R&B hybrid that recently escaped this fair land for the hustle and bustle of New York City, Fishbein is known by music industry insiders as a crack session player and songwriter. His craftsmanship can be found on hit recordings by Enrique Iglesias, Brandy, Christina Aguilera, and many others. Beyoncé's… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL SONGWRITER

    Fernando Osorio

    The test of a great songwriter is in the depth and variety of the songs. It's enough to hear Fernando Osorio perform the 2001 tune he wrote for Celia Cruz, "La Negra Tiene Tumbao" ("The Black Woman Has Swing"), in his own acoustic, shoe-gazing style to appreciate the infinite possibilities of his lyrics and melodies. Born in Bogotá and reared… More >>
  • BEST CHANNELING OF JACKIE GLEASON

    Buster Poindexter at the Jackie Gleason Theater

    If you're going to channel the big man, and in his old headquarters no less, be sure to go all the way. Which is just what David Johansen did, sifting through his many onstage guises -- from the folk of his current outfit the Harry Smiths to the glam punk of his fabled early-Seventies New York Dolls -- to resurrect… More >>
  • BEST VENUE FOR LIVE MUSIC

    I/O

    It's been a perennial complaint from local rockers and rockeros alike: "There's no place to play in Miami!" Well, stop your whining, because Miami is now blessed with the kind of club this city's musicians have long clamored for: a space not merely booked by passionate fans of underground sounds, but run by them as well. That kind of devotion… More >>
  • BEST RECORDING STUDIO

    The Barn

    Your band is stone broke and perhaps of dubious talent, so what do you do about recording your masterpiece CD? Visit The Barn, of course. Fifteen years ago owner and sound engineer Dewayne Hart was tired of paying the outrageous fees well-established studios can command, so he put together his own and opened it up to other on-a-budget musicians. (He… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ELECTRONICA ARTIST

    Phoenecia

    Formerly dubbed Soul Oddity, they were hometown champions of electronic music, pioneering Miami's rave scene. A dispute with their first label, Astralwerks, inspired a change in name and attitude. As Phoenecia, the quirky duo (Joshua Kay and Romulo del Castillo) have spearheaded the Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) movement with their inventive, chirpy, blip-and-bass antics. They have set aside recording to… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ELECTRONICA RELEASE OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    "Miami Eyes"

    Underground favorites Secret Frequency Crew, authors of the excellent The Underwater Adventure Hop Secret Treasure, relocated to New York about a year ago. But they returned over the summer to give local electro label Mass Transit "Miami Eyes," a twelve-inch single full of retro Eighties glamour and tales of "palm trees in disguise" and "speed boats and cocaine spies." The… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ALBUM OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Razing a Nation: The Ballad of a New Lone Ranger

    Arlan Feiles

    A purveyor of songs that race to the heart and mind without becoming soapbox manifestoes, Feiles grew up in Studio City, California, and spent the Nineties in Miami as the piano-playing frontman of the two Natural Causes (a diverse but rocking ensemble, and then later a hard-driving quartet). He moved to the New York City area, first Brooklyn and then… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL HOMECOMING

    The Enablers, March 5

    After building from the fun Naughty Puritans to the Replacements-informed Cell 63 to the regionally famous Fay Wray (the only band to ever inspire a mosh pit at Tobacco Road), Rob Coe gave up on Miami, gave up on the notion this town could appreciate true rock and roll: the torn T-shirt, bloody elbow, fuckitall sound of a generation blown… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL COMEBACK (MALE)

    Blowfly (Clarence Reid)

    In ancient times, folks would gather around a record player to hear popular songs reworded into nasty, funky, sassy blasts of musical hilarity by a guy calling himself Blowfly. A janitor who took the bus to work at Pandisc Records for a time, Reid, a fine singer of legitimate songs as well as a comic wizard, let that label's boss,… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL COMEBACK (FEMALE)

    Amanda Green

    It seems like only yesterday the idiosyncratic, classically trained, and painfully shy songstress reluctantly sat on the stage of Churchill's Hideaway after a Sunday night featuring five or six earlier acts and nervously blew away the remaining crowd of seven or eight people. Green went on to become one of Miami's most celebrated acts with a bolder, more rocking sound… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ROCK BAND

    Psycho Daisies

    There exists art that stretches the descriptive reach of ink and paper. (Someone even came up with a saying, "Writing about music is like trying to dance to architecture.") John Salton has had the heart, soul, and gift to form incarnations under the Psycho moniker since 1984, releasing a number of killer recordings with various personnel, and serving as guitarist… More >>
  • BEST LIVE TRAIN WRECK

    Cat Power at I/O

    More an exercise in performance art than a rock concert, Cat Power (the name used by singer Chan Marshall) took to the stage at I/O five days before Christmas and proceeded to test the resolve of even her most fervent fans. Cat Power's past few studio albums have been tour de forces of urban folk, true gifts to music. Live… More >>
  • BEST ROCK VOCALIST (FEMALE)

    Diane Ward

    She's impossibly great, this veteran of rock bands (Bootleg, the Wait, Voidville) who, since 1995, has created three CDs and a one-off cassette with co-producer and guitar god Jack Shawde. Blessed with a conscience and a voice like honey in a blender, Ward always finds a way to sweeten her woeful lyrics while stirring up those themes that deserve the… More >>
  • BEST ROCK VOCALIST (MALE)

    Rene Alvarez

    When he was fourteen, Alvarez realized that, no matter fate nor destiny, he would someday be in a band. Soon he was, playing at age eighteen in Eruption and a series of amateurish groups, first as a keyboardist, then as whatever the next group called for. Bassist needed? He learned bass. Guitarist wanted? He learned guitar. Struck by the power… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL COUNTRY BAND

    The 18 Wheelers

    Singer with acoustic guitar (Paul Feltman). Singer with upright bass (Chris DeAngelis). One of the best drummers alive (Robert Slade LeMont). Stinging electric guitar leads (John Gilson). Songs about trucks, drinking, trucks, women, trucks, prison, and trucks. For seven years these virtuosos have been providing the purest, sweetest mix of covers and originals in true country style. The itch has… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL COUNTRY CD

    Jim Wurster & the Atomic Cowboys

    Lantana Sunrise

    The twang-filled guitar notes opening Lantana Sunrise offer a reminder of the days when South Florida roots music had little to do with complex polyrhythms, driving percussion, or so much as a splish-splash of the Caribbean. The grooves laid down by Jim Wurster's outfit are built for comfort, not speed, and as the tasty licks played by pedal steelist Bob… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ACOUSTIC PERFORMER

    Stephan Mikés

    Plenty of unplugged soloists fill rooms with auditory delights. Xela Zaid, for example, can hunch over a guitar and turn your world black as your heart quivers. But this acoustician stands (actually he sits, in the lotus position, when playing) a world apart from the standard electricity-free dude or chick. After decades of study, training, practice, and performance, Stephan Mikés… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Chris DeAngelis

    A founding member of Miami pop music's adventuresome quartet The Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice (www.avenginglawnmowersofjustice.com), singer and bass player Chris DeAngelis takes a fun stand against product rock with songs such as "Female Telly Savalas" and "(In Hell With a) Cell Phone." This band is so great that its in-studio performance on the WLRN-FM (91.3) program Topical Currents once elicited… More >>
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