Since May 2, 1968, Miami has had a true radio alternative in the form of WVUM-FM. From reggae to rap to local bands, from the obscure to the ridiculous, WVUM, not constrained by commercial concerns, gives voice to so much music that otherwise wouldn't receive airplay. What the station needs is about 50,000 more watts of power, and, of course, money. What's different is that WVUM deserves it. Help 'em out tomorrow and Friday by paying your six bucks at the door of Washington Square. In exchange for contributing to the vital cultural resource, you get live music by Holy Terrors, the Planets, Second Coming, Wonderland, Forget the Name, Velvet Taxi, Smashing Hammers, the Rails, and the Mavericks, split between the two days. Yes, you can wear a costume.
Quit trying to figure the ol' stoner out and admit that Neil Young/Crazy Horse's Weld is the best live album since Steppenwolf's 1970 Live double package, surpassing Graham Parker's Live! Alone in America on the strength of quantity. Those of you who caught the best big-ticket concert of the year on March 9 at the Arena know exactly what to expect: The sixteen songs on Weld were captured during various stops on the "Ragged Glory" tour and are presented in pretty much the same order, making the two-cassette ride just like a bootleg. Except: excellent sonics. Premium, crisp, gorgeous sonics, well edited, saving the listener the distractions of, say, Bruce Springsteen's excessively crowd-noisy live box set. You can hear the hilarious ad-libs between Young and bassist Billy Talbot ("I'm hungry!") at the end of "Welfare Mothers" as if you were standing on the stage. The third song, known among concert veterans as the "sit-down song" (and nobody's as veteran as Neil) is a highlight. Who else could get away with reading Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" as a battle hymn, complete with Scud effects? Beyond the brilliantly harsh playing of Crazy Horse, song selection is what put Young's March 9 show over the top, and it's all here: "Hey Hey, My My," "Crime in the City," "Welfare Mothers," "Cinnamon Girl," "F*!#in' Up," "Powderfinger," "Like a Hurricane." I thought Young's mid-Eighties Miami stop on the garage tour was untoppable until I caught the Arena blowout. A near-perfect aural document of the event is all one could ask for, right? Well...there's a limited edition CD package that includes Weld plus Arc, a 35-minute dose of noise compiled by Young from all the feedback and distortion he could handle. Arc will eventually be released separately.
Only at a biker blast does the disclaimer say "No Weapons, Dogs, or Attitude...All Patches Welcome." Armed dogs with attitudes are totally out of luck, I s'pose. Anyway, the Junkyard's lending some support to the two-wheeled warriors who are sick and tired of being treated as outcasts, as armed dogs. To gear up for Sunday's big rights run (9:00 a.m., beginning a half-mile south of the I-95 Park-n-Ride lot at Murray's Auto Parts), the Junkyard hosts a kick-off party this Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Check the choppers and hear the award-winning Roach Thompson Blues Band. Helmets not required for admittance.
Power 96 has added Inner Circle's new version of "Bad Boys," best known as the theme song for the teevy show Cops. If that's where you know the song from, check out the Circle's mighty album One Way, which contains the original, or the subsequent Identified, which also features the song, or the new remixed single. Their tenth and latest LP is Black Roses. Power's legendary Bill Tanner, VP and PD at the station, says, "We just like the song. This Top 40 medium is a song medium, as opposed to an AOR station, which is an artist medium, or the Coast, which is a Phil Collins medium." This Friday, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Power will feature the Circle on the air live. The band performs at Reggae Sunburst on Saturday at Miami Marine Stadium.
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Happening: Miami Beach's multipurpose hot spot, Uncle Sam's (1141 Washington Ave.), has started up a blues/jazz night, every Wednesday. Jason Christopher and the Magic Lions and Amazing Grace blow it out at Washington Square on Saturday.
Butthorn of the week: Anyone who plays the lottery when the jackpot is $94 million, but not when it's $6 million. I guess six is just chump change, not worth the effort.
The media circus: The Rag is hanging up some people who've paid for subscriptions. What's up over there.