There was a time between 2004 and 2012 when the Miami music scene shined brightly. Wynwood wasn't bougie yet. Bands got their starts in places like the Dorsch Gallery. Jimbo's was still open, and some local acts were even acknowledged outside of our weird subtropical hideouts.
Standing around a tank of green zoanthids inside their lab, the dudes of Coral Morphologic discouragingly note that no lasting musical memento of this time exists, despite the strength of its community and the talent of the artists.
For the past five years, Coral Morphologic has sought to benefit the health of Miami's marine life through art, film, and music. And nearly since its inception, Morphologic's marine biologist Colin Foord and musician Jared McKay have been plotting to release Flannel Beach: The Doom Years on their record label, Discosoma. Proceeds from this project will go toward creating a coral nursery along South Pointe Park in Miami Beach with the help of the Miami Beach Senior High Scuba Club. Once the reef is installed, a webcam will live-stream the scene to any land-lover with an internet connection.
After painstakingly seeking tracks and funds, Foord and McKay now have a vinyl flashback to the recent glory days of our humble scene. The project will culminate in a record-release party at Gramps this Friday.
The album, Morphologic's eighth on Discosoma, contains 14 rare, unreleased, and demo tracks. Bands that have broken through the Miami bubble — ANR, Plains, Lil Daggers, Jacuzzi Boys — all made the cut, as well as local staples such as the band Guy Harvey (which might reunite at the album-release show) and Dino Felipe.
"We tried to sequence it like a mixtape like you'd make when you're a teenager," says McKay, a bassist by trade. "When you're making a mixtape for something you care about, the reasons you choose tracks are different than just how they sound together."
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Despite its ominous name, The Doom Years represents what was great about that time in Miami's music history, as presented by the best of those on today's scene.
"People from outside Miami don't often give bands and musicians from Miami a fair shake," Foord says before pausing. "But I think it's just because they're jealous that we can go to the beach in the wintertime."
Flannel Beach: The Doom Years Release Party With Dino Felipe, Little Beard, Wastelands, the State Of, Hank & Cupcakes, and others. 7 p.m. Friday, September 25, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Admission is free before 10 p.m. and $5 after. All ages.