If you've been out and about anywhere in Miami over the past eight years, you've probably seen or heard the cat sometimes called Al B. Rotten. Rotten — or Andrews Lorenzana, as he's known to the DMV — was part of the ragtag gaggle of über-crazies behind the long-running weekly night named Spiderpussy. But once Spiderpussy crawled into history, Rotten and co-conspirator Johnny Strokes (born Rafael DeOnate) slipped into White Room and opened up Exposure, which turned out to be an excellent way to remedy those ho-hum Mondays. But earlier this week, Exposure snapped into a hiatus, and now Rotten, Strokes, and company bring us a Friday party at White Room, Escape.
But rewind to the beginnings of Lorenzana's turn as a head spinner. As Andrews the promoter, he has always been one of those who pull the strings that keep the night crawlers all tied up. But when Lorenzana truly became Rotten was when he stepped behind the turntables and began blasting out the classic punk from which he derives his moniker.
Actually, it wasn't a set of turntables — it was two Discmans and a mixer. The place was the old Sushi Box, on Biscayne Boulevard, and Lorenzana was throwing a sort of dinner party. But the music enthusiast also wanted to control the sound, so he threw down some of his favorite tracks. Then one night about a week later, he watched as DJ Le Spam wowed the crowd at Spiderpussy, then at Lounge 16. At that point, the host decided he himself could spin, and Al B. Rotten was born.
Al B. Rotten
Al B. Rotten: Fridays at White Room, Miami; myspace.com/albrotten
And though the styles he plays have evolved, the worth rotten still applies to the attitude of the dirty electro dance and dubstep that now make up most of his sets. That's not to say Al B. has given up on the Pistols or the Buzzcocks or the Ramones. It's just that he finds a bit of punk's original roar in what's now going down on the dance floor.
In Rotten's tenure at Exposure, the beats brought on a madness only those who never have to work in the morning could fathom. But all great nights come to an end, even if that end is technically a hiatus. And everyone has to grow up sometime, at least a little. So if you head to hear Rotten spin at his new Friday-night party — a, well, normal night to go out — you might think you've matured. But don't be fooled. Because with Rotten at a party's core, you're sure to feel just like a kid all over again.
Al B. Rotten's current top five:
1. "Control (10 Rapid Remix)," Lee Coombs
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2. "Jolie Fille (The Bloody Beetroots Remix)," Les Petits Pilous
3. "Cutty," Rico Tubbs
4. "Pon de Floor (Extended HQ Rip)," Major Lazer
5. "My Bitch Is Crazy (Electro Remix)," Pittsburgh Slim