No theme this week, just lots of pain, most of which will probably be forgotten by the time you read this, just as this is forgotten as soon as you finish reading it. It's very sad and unfortunate that an innocent woman was killed in an accident involving a jitney, but it's also inexcusable that the Miami Herald and others would exploit that tragedy in their propaganda campaign against free enterprise and the public's right to travel as they choose. Nobody needs to -- or should be permitted to -- break any laws. Any idiot and everyone else knows that minibuses -- and all drivers of any vehicles on the roads -- should be required to carry auto insurance. And everybody should obey the rules of the road, whether anyone else does or not. In a perfect world the trains run on time. But to take one tragic mismove and use it to blackwash thousands of working people is unacceptable. The Metro commission should quit coddling their failed transportation system and give us blues-and-collared types a chance to survive on the streets. And the Herald should quit acting as the incompetent establishment's mouthpiece. If Metrobus can't compete, that's their tough token.
And what about those three dolphins at the Links? Late last week the entire planet -- even National Public Radio for chrissakes -- was involved in the case of two "retired" slaves and a companion who escaped their wardens at Ocean Reef and ran for freedom, despite, in the case of Lady, having been held hostage in forced labor for three decades. Yeah, that old saw about imprisoned dolphins enjoying their captivity certainly holds true. Yeah. Here's a question no one bothered to ask as of Friday, when Ocean Reef was attempting to recapture and reincarcerate the animals: Why does the club want the mammals back if they are retired? And here are bonus questions you can answer for me: The dolphins once were free in the ocean. Ocean Reef took them. The dolphins return to the ocean. Can't anyone take them at that point? Who owns the free?
There's not much to it, and I'm certainly not recommending you buy it, but scenetalk has lately been clattered with comments about the "best and worst" issue of South Florida (dated August but out for a while now, a magazine concept we've never quite understood). That's because they included a category called "Best Local Musicians," and really, who better to determine that than the rock-and-roll savages over at South Florida? Anyway, can't argue much with their choices: Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, George Tandy, Nestor Torres, Cell 63, Iko-Iko.
No question that Marilyn Manson belongs on that list, but it's time now to drop the "Spooky Kids." The moniker, that is. Manager John "I Live Out of a Suitcase These Days" Tovar says there's nothing more to it than a name change, so chill on the rumors, sports. Just a name change. We called Marilyn himself, woke him from a deep sleep, in fact, just to make sure. We're sure. Marilyn Manson has also been building up a following in Tampa. And Tampa band Factory Black, also a TCA client, has been reversing that by playing here on a sort of exchange basis. Factory Black is currently recording a nine-song CD for fall release.
Black Janet, like all bands with "black" in their name, is busy recording their next full-length release. Janet takes time to play the poorly spelled "A Midsummer's Nite Screem" -- along with Six Silver Spiders and Son of Elektra -- at Squeeze tonight (Wednesday). There will also be a "screem" contest.
I'll tell you where to go: Velvet Taxi and others are planning another one of those groovy underground bashes at Churchill's Hideaway this Saturday. Little Nicky Yarling sits in with Arthur Barron this week at the Back Room in the News Cafe. And South Beachites are all lit up about the Thursday nights at Island Club, known as Havana Night and starring Nil Lara, sipping tequila and painting sonic art with a variety of stringed instruments and guest musicians. About twenty fans show up, suck down one-dollar Cuba Libres, and escape to the island, or at least one appealing aspect of it.
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All you Bill Clinton supporters will want to tune in to Rock and Roll Revisited this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on WLRN-FM (91.3). Host Bob Pianka will spotlight the work of Clinton campaign mastermind Elvis Presley.
Local rockers Public Sanctum perform original songs live to benefit Actors Playhouse on Monday at 8:00 p.m. What's additionally cool is that the band will play on the children's set, which means they'll be in a castle.
Butthorn of the week: So J.C., who's not a butthorn, is there at the Cameo, enjoying the Rollins Band concert, when he notices a couple of nice young ladies brawling like sailors. Being a gentleman and good samaritan, J.C. attempts to intervene, at which point he gets punched in the face by one woman and yelled at by the other. Oh well, girls will be girls. (Sorry, that's a Bush-induced joke.) Women can also be butthorns is what I meant to say.
The media circus: Go to the library and get the July 30 edition of the New York Times and read Jon Pareles's take on the Body Count contro. Especially if you yourself are a cop. "If police groups don't like a song, they can make it disappear," is one point Pareles makes. It wasn't that long ago that a certain government's "cops" could make Jewish and other people disappear like a song. Millions of them, in fact.