Totally Awesome!

This year proved to be an eventful one for Awesome New Republic. The local psychedelic rock duo transcended the typically stifling boundaries of being a University of Miami band to become indie darlings with a bright future stretching ahead of them. To celebrate their momentous year, the Republicans are coming full circle.

"A little over a year ago, when we were just starting out, we played at the Dorsch Gallery. It was, like, our first really good show. And this will be a free concert, back where we started. It's, like, merry holiday to everybody who's been shelling out five or ten bucks to see us play," explains singer/drummer Michael-John Hancock. He feels optimistic about the direction his quirky group is taking: "We're definitely getting tighter and more creative. Our repertoire is pretty big now, and we're getting more like a psychedelic power-duo rock band." Besides ANR, fans of the kind of music normally enjoyed at the hurricane-damaged independent bastion of hope, Sweat Records, can get down with an eclectic lineup including the Devin Smith All Stars and Pure Imagination tonight at 8:00 at the Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. Call 305-576-1278, or visit Check out the review of ANR's new albums in our "Rotations" music section. — Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Take Time to Tango

Enjoy twirling stories of shadows and lights

From the shadowed streets of Buenos Aires a new dance emerged, a dance that shocked society yet became one of the most popular in history. It leapt out of hiding to shine on the brightly lit stages of the world. It is celebrated today, the International Day of Tango.

If you're wondering why this date was chosen to honor the dance, it's because two of tango's greats were born December 11: the renowned singer Carlos Gardel and composer Julio De Caro. In cities around the world, dancers will twirl, dip, and sway to the sensual beat, Miami being no exception.

Tonight at 7:00 at the Manuel Artime Theater (900 SW First St., Miami), the Tango Times Dance Company presents Historias de Luces y Sombras. It's a journey through the evolution of tango performed with a live quintet and completed by the voice of Manuela Bravo, who has traveled from Argentina for the show. Tickets start at $25. Call 786-221-5976, or visit — Karen R. Figueiredo

Ladies, Scream!

For family-friendly pop hotties

Parents, when you send your little ones off to tonight's Radio Disney Jingle Jam, be sure to equip them with helmets, kneepads, and shin guards. Boy-band sensation B5 (right) will take the stage, fresh from a recent riot-causing gig in Minnesota. The pop-singing brothers were accosted by overly amorous fans, and five screeching teenage girls narrowly escaped with minor injuries. Young ladies won't be the only ones howling tonight. Guys can enjoy some ear candy too, with a performance by the female pop/rock trio Everlife. The screaming will begin at 7:30 at the BankUnited Center, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Call 305-358-5885, or visit — Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Still Crackin'

What would your holiday season be without The Nutcracker? Entirely devoid of sugarplum fairies and prancing princes. Continue the tradition with a performance by the Ballet Etudes Company of South Florida, starring Darci Kistler and Charles Askegard, principal dancers of the New York City Ballet. The show opens today at 2:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $20 to $100. Call 305-827-1345. — Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

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Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik