Sweat Records and Churchill's Pub, Miami
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Once again, Sweatstock showed Miami how to truly celebrate Record Store Day -- with free ice cream, good people, and great bands. Oh yeah, and tons of records.
For its fifth annual anniversary party and RSD blowout, Sweat Records was filled to the brim with vinyl enthusiasts while live-music fanatics clustered around the outdoor and indoor stages that'd be showcasing local and out-of-town talent, all day and all night.
Everyone's ears are still ringing. And their heads are still spinning too.
See also: Miami's Five Best Record Stores
The party really kicked off in the late afternoon, though record buyers had already been hanging 'round for hours.
At the Audio Junkie stage in Churchill's Pub, Pariah and frontman Chris Dougnac (originally from Miami, now a Boston resident) were the first to get weird. They really brushed our teeth. (And that's not a metaphor ... Just you wait.) They played a noisy, off-kilter set that somehow remained danceable -- and all while dressed up as the ice cream man, a police officer, etc.
At one point in the set, Dougnac commanded the police officer to "go get someone," resulting in the handcuffing of a confused stoner to their keyboard stand.
Later, he preached the importance of brushing your teeth while ripping open brand-new toothbrushes and scrubbing his pearly whites with shampoo. The ice cream man stepped down and pushed toothbrushes in our mouths.
Hey, who doesn't love some good old-fashioned audience participation, huh?
Later, the baby-faced Bearings took to the floor of Churchill's and garnered one of the first real crowds, drunk dancers and all.
The Miami four-piece outfit's sweet garage sounds filled the room. Audience members sang along to an Interpol cover. And the Bearings boys were even begged for an encore!
Officially, as bodies slammed together and amp volumes got higher, a night of reckless abandon had begun.
Outside, locals Eagle Chief held it down at the Awesome Foundation Street Stage with some sunny rock as listeners chomped on empanadas and grilled cheeses.
The two stages were truly of different worlds. And back inside, Dividends, a two-piece, math rock-y band chilled out with some sway-inducing guitar loops and "dope beats." All of a sudden, we felt transported to the beach. It was a perfectly cool refresher from an evening of noise.
A little while later, Miami's Eons got dancey as the sun began to set, spinning out M83-esque sounds well suited for the wind-swept audience.
But things didn't stay chill for too long. Next up on the Audio Junkie stage was Gun Hoes, who always satisfy. (Get it? 'Cause they have that song, "Satisfy Me"?) The local three-man band played a rowdy set with some new tunes, and they even inspired the first crowdsurfer of the night.
Soon, Telekinetic Walrus was taking us on a trip to another planet, powered by a mashup of "Atlanta hip-hop, booty-bouncing Miami Bass, and futuristic shamanic funk."
Clad in costumes that made them look like warriors from another galaxy sent here to teach us the ways of the booty dance, Telekinetic's party troopers insisted the crowd go hard or go home. We went hard.
Though we personally had no idea what was really going on, the bass somehow took over and we danced like there was no tomorrow. Some of our own moves even surprised us.
Inside, in true Churchill's fashion, Purple from Texas spurred some more wild behavior, including mosh pits and general mayhem.
Quite the contrast was Sunbears, hailing from Jacksonville, who jammed on Sweatstock's street stage to a swaying crowd of young girls in bras and dudes in Indian headdresses. These indie heartthrobs played a set of dreamy ballads and harder hitting jams as the night slipped by, wind blowing in our hair. It was all very poetic. We ate some ice cream to their tunes. It was nice.
After cooling off in the breeze, we scampered inside Churchill's to jam out with Plastic Pinks.
This Miami fivesome always keeps it loud and sexy. So appropriately, the sweaty bodies were slamming against each other, sliding across the beer-lathered pub floor.
Very safe. Lots of fun.
Sweatstock and Record Store Day also marked the kickoff of Plastic Pinks' and AJ Davila Y Terror Amor's East Coast tour.
So AJ Davila, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and his crew would be next up outside, and the eventual closers of that stage for the night. Their rowdy bilingual sound was perfectly suited for a Miami night on the indie side of things.
Davila y sus homies radiated with infectious energy as they bounced around the stage, keeping the set fun and solid. In the crowd, someone had brought creepy, stuffed, life-size human dolls that flew across the sky and into audience members' arms. Eventually, the bodies were ripped apart and white stuffing littered the street.
It looked as if we were all in a dream, standing on a cloud, and it wasn't even 4/20 yet. How nice.
Over at Churchill's, before some more bands could officially close out the Audio Junkie stage, the chief junkies, Eddy and Greg Alvarez themselves, premiered their new 3D episode starring Holly Hunt. And yes, there were 3D glasses and everything.
The video saw Holly Hunt's Gavin Perry and Beatriz Monteavaro slamming through "Prometheus," a new three song EP that left our brains reeling after taking off the glasses. We can only imagine how freaky it must have looked: an unmoving crowd of Churchill's-goers staring at a wall with 3D glasses on.
As the night came to a close, Miami's Nixa melted some faces and fellow local Bobby Flan reluctantly danced across the stage with a tiny Haitian man who had decided to invade his set. It was all extremely entertaining.
The night truly wound down with Whorish Boorish, who are like a better, not annoying, more genuine, highly bearable Best Coast. Wait, maybe they're nothing like Best Coast. So scratch that ... Whorish Boorish rock.
All in all, Sweatstock and the celebration of nine years of Sweat Records, was truly a success.
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By gathering up Miami's music freaks as well as the more subdued music fans in a half a block radius, the festival heartily celebrated the ridiculously diverse nature of our strange yet blossoming music scene.
Now if only our ears will stop buzzing.
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