It might seem petulant and childish, but several powerful music industry sources insist that parochialism -- almost to the point of isolationism -- can be the best way for a local music scene to prosper. These sources say that a community -- in this case, South Florida -- needs a combination of elements to succeed. Its bands must realize that the first time they record three songs on four-track does not signal that they are ready to sign to a major label and sell millions of records. Bands should start out playing small clubs (Churchill's Hideaway, in Little Haiti, caters to such acts) and rehearsing as often as possible. The musicians must be supported by local radio airplay and media critics, who should encourage them and cheerlead for the scene in general. Managers, booking agents, promoters, and publicists also must contribute their skills.
Often it is tragedy that brings together the members of the local music scene (and to be a member one need only attend live shows and purchase locally recorded music). Such is the case this Sunday at the Button South, where a number of top area rock bands will perform in tribute to Todd "Kelly" Klein, the drummer for Tuff Luck who was killed during an alleged robbery attempt on July 3. Before his death Klein was working with former Tuff Luck members under the name Dog for a Day. They had recorded seven tracks, and Klein finished up four more just before he died. All those songs are available on a CD called Eleven, which can be purchased at the show. Performing are Dog for a Day (David Scott, James Marino, and a guest drummer), Dore Soul, Excessive, Frantic, Killing Silence, My Girlfriend, Naked Rhythm, Sense, Sinful Lust, Skin Tight, and Sweet Young Mary.
TV tip: The guest on this Saturday's Danny Jessup Show (on cable channel 36 at 10:00 p.m.) is Zac.
The soundtrack of the movie S.F.W. features Marilyn Manson performing "Get Your Gunn."
Tonight (Thursday) is a perfect example of how much entertaining and interesting music is being made here in South Florida, and it's also a good night to go out and see a show. Among the most promising are an "unplugged" concert by the Volunteers at Rose's, Halo at Crickets (in Sunrise), and Backwash with Grave Tree at the Reunion Room.
One local musician who discovered that patience, vision, and talent can pay off is Mary Karlzen. For years and years, she has kept at her craft, and a few months ago she was signed to Atlantic Records, for whom she will release the CD Yelling at Mary on January 17. Karlzen is about to begin a major tour with two shows here in town. Tomorrow (Friday) Karlzen, whose band has undergone personnel changes, plays Tobacco Road with Diane Ward sharing the bill. The following night, Saturday, she's at Stephen Talkhouse with Arlan Feiles.
South Florida also has its share of fine reggae music, including that of Le Coup, which tosses horns and dance beats into the rock-steady mix. The band has been busy with the soundtrack to the movie South Beach; they also expect to release a single of their own next month, with an album due out soon after that. They appear live at Rose's tomorrow (Friday).
Jazz may not have the local stronghold rock does, but there is a presence. Maria Marshall, a former Benny Goodman vocalist profiled recently in New Times, performs on Saturday at MoJazz Cafe, where the great pianist Mike Gerber celebrates the release of his new CD on September 17.
Local rock fans might be familiar with the provocative artwork of Joey Seeman because it appears on new CDs by the Holy Terrors and Cell 63. You can still catch his show "Blondes, Bondage and the Beach" at Jessie's (615 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). The works will hang through Sunday.
Another area band that has toiled away while contributing to the scene is Second Coming. The funky band is working with Lee Popa (Living Colour, Ministry, Prong), who will remix their demo in early October and, through his Posi-Vibe label, release a CD in November. By then Second Coming should have a new name -- their management says another band called Second Coming exists already. The band is playing a blowout show tomorrow (Friday) at the Reunion Room. They also play on Wednesday at the Zipperhead Room.
This Sunday the 11th Street Diner is throwing a huge block party on South Beach, with several bands performing live to accompany the barbecue, raffles, tattoo contest, and motorcycle show.
Churchill's Hideaway is staging Grateful Dead Nights every Sunday, with Crazy Fingers playing live.
This Saturday is another night on which rock fans will have to make a tough choice. September30 plays at the Nocturnal Cafe, Crash Basket and the Holy Terrors appear at Churchill's, and Jack Off Jill and Cell 63 play Club Berlin (3199 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove).
TV tip II: WPBT-Channel 2 is airing rock and roll type programs every Saturday night. This week, at midnight, the station shows The Grateful and the Dead, a documentary about how the Grateful Dead secretly funded British orchestral composers.
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Butthorn of the week: The actor Dean Jones, speaking on behalf of a literacy training system called Alfalit, calls the product "very unique." The word unique is an absolute term, its definition being "one of a kind" or "being without an equal or equivalent." As an absolute unique can't be properly modified by the word very. Imagine Jones saying "This is a very one of a kind...." Though it does not reflect high-quality writing or speaking, it is technically correct to say "almost unique," which implies that the subject being described is among very few things that are equal to it.
The media circus: Rolonda, who hosts a late-night television talk program much like Oprah or Donahue, was standing among her audience after a panel guest made a statement. "Not all of you agree," Rolonda said. "I can hear some heads being shaken."
Pet corner: To raise awareness of animal-rights issues, the Goods, the Holy Terrors, I Don't Know, and the miles will play a benefit concert at Squeeze on Wednesday. The show will benefit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending animal exploitation and suffering.