Come for the pretentious, arty stuff. Stay for the booze, Afro-Cuban funk, experimental freakouts, sports jams, drag queens, break dancing, and, uh, more booze.
Once a year, New Times throws a big, ostensibly highbrow bash called Artopia. And officially, it's "an eclectic touch of art, culture, fashion, food, music, and film" during which the New Times MasterMind Awards (i.e., $3,000 in cash prizes) are handed out to local artists who show promise in the arts community.
Unofficially, though, it's a freaking rager.
Artopia: With Palo!, Roofless Records, Larry Joe Miller Band, DJ Supersede, Elaine Lancaster, and the Ground Zero Crew. 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, February 28, at the Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; 305-460-5090; coralgablesmuseum.org. Tickets cost $15 to $45 via ticketfly.com. Ages 21 and up.
Palo! Once you've loaded up on Artopia's "complimentary food, wine, cocktails, and beer," go baila bonkers like abuelita after a supersize pitcher of mojitos when Palo!, a funky Afro-Cuban five-piece, sets asses of every age a-shakin' with its Yoruba party music.
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Roofless Records. Zigzagging between Churchill's Pub, galleries, backyards, garages, and the Arsht Center, Roofless Records is a high-concept curatorial operation (and previous MasterMind winner) that releases vinyl albums, puts on punk/metal/other shows, and masterminds experimental freakouts of every order. For Artopia, the Roofless crew will present Radio Test #2, "a brief, fictional aural occurrence" involving "one scene, one hero, three hypotheses, anti-finite possibilities."
DJ Supersede. This guy is the Miami Dolphins' official DJ. So if you want to piss him off, drunkenly bump into his booth while obnoxiously requesting a stereotypical sports jam like Zombie Nation's "Kernkraft 400," Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2," or, worst of all, Jimmy Buffett's effing "Fins."
Elaine Lancaster. Your family photo album is basically complete. Except for the fact that Miami's most famous drag queen is seriously underrepresented. Conveniently, New Times has invited the divine Miss Elaine Lancaster — star of The Real Housewives of Miami and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical — to Artopia, where she'll grant snapshots to all of her flabbergasted fans.
Ground Zero Crew. Ever try poppin' off break-dancing moves with a gut full of foie gras and rum shots? Don't do it. Please stand back and watch the Ground Zero Crew kids. They're the professionals. And you're just inebriated.