Snarling defensive types cloaked in leather, vicious growling dogs, a tiny flower breaking through a concrete sidewalk. Just another day in the life of New York-based (and part-time Miami resident) photographer and filmmaker Katrina Del Mar, whose multimedia "Ruff Trade" exhibition is currently at the Miami Light Project (3000 Biscayne Blvd.). Without taking a scary car ride through the hood, you too can experience the excitement of urban living via video stills and loops, and photographs crushed into salvaged window frames. The show runs through Monday, May 5. Admission is free. Call 305-576-4350.
After four years of living in South Florida, vocalist Tracy Sands, a member of the internationally known Sands Folk Family, is going home to Ireland soon -- for good. So if you've never gotten to hear her pleasant warbling, now is the time. She is scheduled to take the stage with long-time partner Rod McDonald this evening at 8:00 during the monthly Folk Friday. A refugee of the 1960s Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene, McDonald, who can croon a protest tune as smoothly as he sings a love song, makes his home in South Florida now but doesn't play quite this far south very often. The music wafts through the air outside of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami. Admission is free. Call 305-893-6211.
Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, the masterminds of Washington, D.C-based Thievery Corporation, have mastered and mixed such diverse rhythms as bossa nova, reggae roots, and Indian devotional jams. They've also reworked the music of Bebel Gilberto, David Byrne, Pizzicato Five, and Baba Maal. Tonight they perform songs from their current release, The Richest Man in Babylon, a compilation of all these styles including an electronic track sung entirely in Farsi. The event is produced by the ever-diverse and eclectic Rhythm Foundation, which specializes in bringing world music to Miami. Doors open at 9:00 p.m. at Billboardlive, 1501 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-672-5202.
If you can't get enough of local live music acts, the Miami 420 Fest just may challenge your resolve. The sprawling festival features about 85 live bands and DJs performing on eight stages over sixteen hours. Feature bands include ska-meisters the Skatalites and hip-hop nation's Tha Alkaholiks. Of course there will be healthy doses of grungy metal, electronica, and chillout stuff played on stages sponsored by local music hot spots/nights such as Churchill's, Revolver, and The Church. The festival begins at noon at the American Legion, 6445 NE Seventh Ave. Tickets cost $15. Call 305-573-6588.
Dirty Harry sure would have loved stylist and author David Wagner. The celluloid cop wouldn't even have to say his famous line, "Go ahead, make my day," around the mirth-making beautician. Wagner is totally into doing just that, making people's days. In fact in his book, Daymaker, he details how to spread joy and build strong communities by doing good deeds for others. Wagner does his good karmic work by providing makeovers to parents of children with cancer, people who live in homeless shelters, and to firemen and rescue workers across the country. The author talks about his experiences at 8:00 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408.
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Legendary Cuban painter Cundo Bermudez's 60-year career gets its day in the hallowed halls of the Lowe Art Museum (1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) with a retrospective titled "Cundo Bermudez: A Life in Art." More than 50 compelling works from the 1940s to the present day show off the modern artist's unique vision. Attend a reception in honor of the show from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. check out the premiere of Konstantia Kontaxis's documentary, On Plain Background: A Portrait of Cuban Painter Cundo Bermudez. The show runs through Sunday, June 1. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-284-3603.
We have it on good authority that the last time the musicians known as Bright Eyes visited our parts, they brought a fifteen-or-so-piece orchestra with them, but someone forgot his socks. (Actually someone preferred to buy new socks instead of doing laundry.) The project of Nebraska-based singer/songwriter Conor Oberst, who at 23 years old is being hailed as the successor to Bob Dylan, B.E. began spouting heartfelt songs in the mid-Nineties and is still going strong, smelly feet notwithstanding. It returns to haunt us this evening at 7:00 at the Manuel Artime Theatre (900 SW First Ave.). Arab Strap and Sorry About Dresden open the show. Tickets cost $17 and proceeds benefit Shake-a-Leg Miami, the local organization that helps the physically challenged learn to sail. Call 305-321-4332.