I'm going to visit a psychic. See, I don't believe in anything - nothing - not God, not ESP, not fate or karma or luck. "Coincidence," to me, is nothing more than a human descriptive for a human conception. There is no reality here. (In the world, I mean. This column, real or not, is based on true facts.) There certainly is weirdness here.
For example. The other morning I'm chatting on the phone with my pal Jack Thompson. After we hang up, I open some mail, including a package from one of my hip-hop connections out in L.A. Inside is the Luke Campbell bio As Nasty As They Wanna Be: The Uncensored Story of Luther Campbell of the 2 Live Crew. (Both Thompson and yours truly get some good space in the tome.) I get home from work and open more mail, including a note and a clipping from my mom. A big story in the Greenville (South Carolina) News. "Greenville officials: Conference won't lead to crackdown on pornography." Topic: a panel discussion, the article states, featuring two anti-porn campaigners and "the man who prosecuted 2 Live Crew in Florida, Jack Thompson, a Dade County prosecutor." Huh? Thompson is none of that, and as far as I know, has never claimed to be. The conference was staged by (real) prosecutors and cops in an effort to enhance their enforcement capabilities. What a waste it is to mind, I suppose, but stupidity is dangerous everywhere. My mom's note: "Re: clipping - we have all the nut cases we need up here. No need to import them from Miami. Dad liked the cigars...." Hey, Ma, Thompson is not a "nut case." Trained professionals have testified he's sane. And apart from cigars, there's not much down here I'd send to anyone who's not an enemy.
So the next day I'm waiting for a Metrobus. I have tokens, but no money, so I sit and wait 35 minutes for a public bus that supposedly runs every fifteen minutes. Three jitneys fly by in the meantime. I finally get downtown, and the first thing I do is take a gander at the new issue of New Times, where the first thing I see is a letter to the editor dissing and disagreeing with my recent comments about jitney rights. Guy says I'm ignorant and wrong. Okay. Oh, I forgot to mention one thing: The Metrobus I was riding that day was involved in a wreck.
So kick it and crank it: This Thursday Churchill's Hideaway features Leo Casino and Co. on the East of Overtown tip, followed the next night by a Samples, with Falling Corpses, concert. The Cactina has turned over Tuesdays to Debbie Spring and the Ranch Hands (a.k.a. members of the Mavericks, who'll be back from Nashville in time for the April 28 jam). New-country star Trisha Yearwood sat in this past Tuesday. Wednesdays at Cactina now belong to folk-oriented open-mike artistes. Washington Square doubles up on Saturday night with an all-ages show starring Quit, Load, and Raped Ape. Later that night those bands open for Bloody Mary (from Georgia) and Whoreculture (from Gainesville) for adults. That same evening, the Volunteers, becoming solidified line-upwise but still bagpipeless, give it up at Cactina. Tonight (Wednesday) the funky F.O.C. and the funky Groove Thangs play the Ambassador up in Deerfield Beach - expect a blowout jam starring both bands late in the evening. How do I know that? Psychic.
I sure didn't foresee this. Some time ago I wrote a fairly positive profile of a band called Utrec. As often happens, the band soon after announced they were breaking up. Frustrated. Before that, Utrec's "So Much Love" was played on Y-100 and forgotten. Time bled on. A few weeks ago the band received a phone call from Power 96 music director John Rogers. He was going to begin playing "So Much Love" on the station. "Six months ago they brought me the tape," Rogers explains. "We listened to it, thought it was a good record. We were just waiting for the right time to put it in. We gave it a try, and the phones were positive." Power 96 elevated the track to regular rotation, and a hit is in the incubator. Late last week the band was invited to guest on Y-100's morning show and re-introduce the song to listeners of that station. Further, a guy from San Diego's Z-90, in Miami for a music convention, heard "So Much Love" on Power 96, and tracked down Utrec. The boys immediately Fed Exed him a reel of the tune. The cassingle is now available in record stores. Utrec lives.
Be sure to read "The Calendar" item about the benefit for Friends of the Everglades at Spec's Sawgrass this Saturday. Great event. But we don't do music in this space (except when we want to avoid trouble). Joe Podgor, executive director of Friends: "The Everglades has to be a focal point for a lot of public interest to move to what is the final chapter in its restoration. The main point is the Everglades is dying from the `cure' it got from the 1948-1969 Flood Control Plan, which is 2000 miles of canals and levies designed not to save the Everglades, but to drain it. To kill it. It's time to go back to the drawing board and analyze this and redraw the scheme, undo the damage, put the Everglades in the pink instead of in the grave. Nothing is achieved politically that hasn't had the noisy will of the people behind it." Right.
Teevy time: The first taping for slide-guitar king Alex Gomez's new cable show takes place Monday at Cactina, and will include Ben Peeler, Larry Williams, John Wenzel, and other top six-string dogs. The show begins airing May 6 on Cable-T.A.P. And this Saturday's episode of Expressions is devoted to pop-acoustic rockers the Source. Tune in at 10:00 p.m. on WLRN-TV (Channel 17).
Speaking of the tube and weirdness, here's an offer you can't confuse. It's a Bizarre Bazaar for Beyond Bizarre. If you are more than bizarre, as opposed to just plain bizarre, and want to be seen by millions of televiewers, send a fax to 714-846-4814 with your name, number, and a description of what bizarre thing you'd do during a one-minute audition. The BBBB folks will screen entrants, select some, come to town on May 2, and film/tape away. Keep it PG-13. And break a leg. Or something more bizarre.
Arthur Ashe and Magic Johnson might get the headlines, but it's difficult to imagine something so tragic as a child without a future, a youngster struck by AIDS. Blayne's Place exists to help such victims with the goal being to acquire residential facilities for HIV kids. Rockers for Awareness want to help, with a fund raiser Tuesday at Button South. Dragonfly, Mad Margritt, Squadron, XSF, Quikslam, Idol Threat, Yosimite Slam, and Undefined Disturbance will play live for all ages. Those over 21 pay a mere $5, the eighteen-to-twenty set pays $8. You get some good hard rock, Blayne's gets some needed money.
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Guitar master on the hard rock tip Jon Chappell visits the Southeastern Guitar Academy tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:00 p.m. for a free seminar. He'll talk about many aspects of guitar, especially transcription. Call 443-1013 for more details.
Here's something some people are getting in the mail from HRS: "This is to inform you that you or your family's enrollment in the medically needy program is being terminated.... The Florida Legislature...has taken this action due to the budgetary deficits being experienced by the state...." When in doubt, vote 'em out.
Butthorn of the week: Me and my pals at Spin magazine. I lauded the mag for including Evan Chern and his picks for "the seven greatest bands of all time" last week. Hold on a damn minute, says the Cherner. "They called me in the middle of my show," he says. "I had no idea what was going on. I think she said favorite, not greatest. I just threw her a few off the top of my head. If they wanted `greatest,' I would think about it more. Of course, that might have been worse." Chern says he's been getting dissed sideways and backwards for his choices. Hope this clears things up for y'all, if not for Spin readers.
The media circus: Headline in the Miami Herald: "Unusual trend means clothes you can wear." And another, over an obit: "One of Miami's first women butchers." And one more: "Viewer's phone call led to Baby Theresa.