America celebrates its 236th birthday this year, and the parallels between our relatively young nation and the popularity spike of electronic dance music are becoming increasingly clear.
From our ties to England to first-generation embodiments of the American Dream, this year's Fourth of July parties don't just celebrate the United States, they tell its story.
Whether you're spending the day at a hotel pool and rubbing elbows with European DJs or dropping several hundred dollars on liquor bottles adorned with festive red, white, and blue sparklers, take a minute to reflect on how the nations represented in the music you're listening to helped shape our country's history.
These are the best Fourth of July parties on South Beach.
Eighth Annual IndepenDANCE Pool Party. With Roger Sanchez, Funkagenda, Norman Doray, and others. Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m., Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-7715; surfcomber.com. Tickets cost $65 to $85 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. On South Beach, the irony of a free America is the fact that our former colonial overlords -- the English -- score the Independence Day pool parties. Last year, British lad Fatboy Slim threw down a revolutionary Fourth of July mix at the Surfcomber's IndepenDANCE Pool Party. And this year, fellow Englishman Funkagenda will be hitting the decks to help celebrate USA's 236th birthday, alongside the likes of Spaniard Wally Lopez and Frenchman Norman Doray.
Independence Day at Wall Lounge. With Robert Dietz. Wednesday, July 4, 10 p.m., Wall Lounge, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3131; wallmiami.com. Tickets cost $60 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. The act of grilling hot dogs in the backyard and drinking cold beer on the Fourth of July is one of America's most celebrated traditions. After all, nothing screams patriotism louder than nitrates and alcoholic beverages. However, we have Germany to thank for both. Without frankfurters, we wouldn't have all-beef franks. And as for the beer, the Deutschlanders perfected it. So it's only fitting that Frankfurt's Robert Dietz is spinning at Wall's Independence Day shindig.
Dirty Harry Presents Tommy Trash. Wednesday, July 4, 11 p.m., LIV Nightclub, 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Tickets cost $40-$60 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Whether or not Tommy Trash left his hometown of Sydney, Australia, to escape the constitutional monarchy has never addressed. But whatever the case, Trash is now a California dude, living and producing electronic music in Los Angeles. So LIV's tapped him to score America's birthday bash this year, welcoming the ARIA Award-nominated DJ to New Times' Best Dance Club.
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Cirque De Mansion Presents Steve Aoki. Wednesday, July 4, 11 p.m., Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave, Miami Beach; 305-695-8411; mansionmiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. The idea of leaving another country, settling in the States, starting a business, and amassing a small fortune has fueled so many American dreams, including our country's independence from the British. Another example: In the mid 1960s, Steve Aoki's father, Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki, left Tokyo and settled in Long Island, New York. He worked as an ice-cream truck man, saved a ton of money, and took a gamble on a teppanyaki restaurant, opening the first Benihana in Manhattan when he was only 25 years old. The rest, of course, is history.
Rocky died in 2005, but his son Steve keeps the American Dream alive via electro beats and bass drops, popping champagne and throwing Fourth of July cakes. Appropriately, he'll be in the DJ booth at Mansion's Fourth of July bash.
Happy birthday, America!