Best of Miami 2011: Ten Best Bands of the Last Decade
Start the motherfucking countdown! The Rising is upon us!
Indeed, we're just days away from unleashing our big, fat Best of Miami 2011 issue upon the world. And to honor the occasion, we've decided to surf against the tide of time by rifling through our massive digital archive of back issues to compile a list of the ten best bands of the last decade as selected by New Times staff.
Undoubtedly, every single Dade County resident with fully functional ears will wanna bitch about our picks. And all you opinionated jerks can feel free to leave your expert corrections in the comment section.
Here's a look back at ten of New Times' best bands from the last decade.
Afrobeta: Best Band 2010
In a splintered local musical climate, Day-Glo duo Afrobeta is beloved by all. The band can credit some of that to its members' varied musical pedigrees. The duo's instrumental mastermind, Tony Smurphio, has tickled the ivories for Latin-scene staples such as Suenalo and Bacilos, and even Pitbull. Frontwoman Cuci Amador has earned major hipster cred with her cartoonish style and has even laced a track for reggaeton group Calle 13. Read the full Best of Miami 2010 article on Afrobeta.
Awesome New Republic: Best Band 2009
Around here ... this band remains one of the most universally loved live acts, creating an instant dance party within the first few bars ... they're in tune with the cultural Zeitgeist: Not only did they put their recent full-length, Rational Geographic Vol. 1, up for free download on their website, but also they somehow got Blair Waldorf herself -- Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester -- to record a cover of their song "Birthday." For real. OMG! Read the full Best of Miami 2009 article on Awesome New Republic.
Los Primeros: Best Local Pop Band 2008
Remember when bands had magical powers and went on adventures and shit? Like the Beatles, for example, when they took that submarine trip; or Josie and the Pussycats, how they had their own spaceship; or the way David Bowie led that girl into his magical labyrinth just so she could be in his music video in the end. Nowadays, what the hell good is a band? A bunch of funny-hat-wearing wannabes, that's all most of 'em are these days. But not Los Primeros. Read the full Best of Miami 2008 article on Los Primeros.
Torche: Best Rock Band 2007
As comedy icon/Tenacious D frontman Jack Black will attest, rocking is a serious endeavor, and only the truly righteous should attempt it. Miami's foursome Torche has proven its devotion to the fires of aural bombast. Established in 2005, Torche is the brainchild of lead singer/guitarist Steve Brooks and fellow guitarist Juan Montoya, who, along with Juan Nuñez and Rick Smith, produce the hardest, fastest, no-nonsense riffs in all of Miami-Dade. Read the full Best of Miami 2007 article on Torche.
Jude Papaloko and Loray Mistik: Best Haitian Band 2006
Jude Thegenius (a.k.a. Jude Papaloko) draws much of his inspiration as a painter and musician from his youth in Haiti. "In Haiti, if you spoke out against the government, the police could come into your house at night, take you away, and you'd disappear forever," says Thegenius. Despite the high risk, Jude and a group of musicians and activists formed an organization called Sunshine and put on performances that were critical of the government. "The music was about revolt," Thegenius explains. Read the full Best of Miami 2006 article on Jude Papaloko and Loray Mistik.
Locos por Juana: Best Local Latin Band 2005
The nine-member collective known as Locos por Juana, which recently released its second album, Música pa'l Pueblo, isn't a typical Latin band. The players have a strong pop sensibility, mixing salsa, timba, ska, reggae, and merengue beats into an accessible but high-spirited blend. The result can be exotic and wildly unpredictable, a nonstop party sound that shifts moods by the minute. Read the full Best of Miami 2005 article on Locos por Juana.
2 Live Crew: Best Local Band of All Time 2004
The sound itself began with the DJ (David Hobbs) and his 808 drum machine (and vast record collection) popping beats that were (and still are, for that matter) infectiously danceable. Mark "Brother Marquis" Ross added some of the best raps ever put down, and the other members (and dancers and audiences) added so much crazy fun that the Crew ended up in federal court more than once and, eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the full Best of Miami 2004 article on 2 Live Crew.
The Eat: Best Local Band of All Time 2003
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 or anti-commie screed? Of course naming your record label "Giggling Hitler" should give some indication that the Eat wasn't devoted to any philosophy save offending as many people as possible. Read the full Best of Miami 2003 article on The Eat.
Rat Bastard and the Laundry Room Squelchers: Best Local Noise Band 2004
Is Miami Noise over? Is the scene down to the last of a dying breed? ... Consider this a challenge to young Miami noise musicians: Make a bigger boom in the coming months or we'll have to presume you've taken up disco or joined a hippie band. Oh, and if you don't know the Squelchers by now, um ... no, don't do that. Go to Churchill's on a Thursday and catch the masters. Hell, join them. Read the full Best of Miami 2004 article on the Laundry Room Squelchers as well as the the full Best of Miami 2002 article.
RIP Johnny Salton!
Psycho Daisies: Best Local Rock Band 2001
Guitarist and frontman John Salton has the kind of personal track record that would make even Keith Richards blush, but like that grizzled rock veteran, Salton keeps rasping and rolling along with equal parts admirable grit and laid-back cool ... It's not pretty, and the group's abrasive feedback-friendly sound certainly isn't in fashion these days (especially here in Miami), but every note rings true. Read the full Best of Miami 2001 article on Psycho Daisies as well as Crossfade's Johnny Salton obituary.
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