You know his work. Or maybe you don't know that you know. Rodriguez is rather hard to keep an eye on sometimes. Like his piece for what turned out to be the Art-Basel-replacement-event of the year at the Bass Museum, "globe>miami>island." His was the music you heard in the freight elevator, on the outside door of which were written the words "The End," those chords from the ending of movies, from The Godfather, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the like. Elevator music indeed. You may know that you know Norberto (Bert) Rodriguez, the recent New World School of the Arts grad who also helps take care of the Rubell collection. Easier to see but maybe not so easy to grasp was his first solo show in 2000, "Bert Rodriguez: A Pre-Career Retrospective" -- wrap your brain around that witty title from a 25-year-old -- a Duchampian exhibit with child's drawings, ready-made objects (not a urinal but a signed toilet-cleaner brush), and clever captions. That was Bert you saw at the "Skins" exhibit at the Dorsch Gallery when you gazed at all those prints of a topless LaToya Jackson on the bathroom walls. Bert too at MoCA's "Making Art in Miami: Travels in Hyperreality," one of the inaugural museum shows to showcase young Miami talent. But maybe you still don't know him. That's okay. His "pre-career" just ended. Now you have time to watch him emerge.
Frankly, Jake ain't that little, but given the scarcity of old-fashioned bass-slappin' rock and roll outfits in these parts, we're not going to nit-pick. And when this slickly coifed, tattooed, and sideburned band gets a good head of steam going, there's no time for semantics; best to just grab your partner and hit the dance floor. True, there's nothing particularly earthshaking going on in the Boss Tones' loving salute to their Fifties forebears, but try telling that to the retro-garbed couples gleefully spinning around Churchill's whenever this group hits the stage there.
For too long, rap in Miami was synonymous in the nation-at-large's mind with Luke's 2 Live Crew. And given that ol' Uncle Luke has been little more than an embarrassing punch line for nigh on a decade now, the ascension of Trick Daddy's gleaming gold smile to MTV is more than welcome. But besides putting Miami back on the hip-hop map with his Thugs Are Us album, Trick also taught the rest of the country a thing or two about his unique Southern flavor. In rapping over sparse, staccato beats, Trick's hypnotic molasses-timbred drawl commanded attention, even when he was just capping off a verse with a signature grunt. Thuggery never sounded so inviting.
The title of this author's fifth book of poetry, The Mastery Impulse, forthcoming from Carnegie-Mellon University Press, pretty much sums it up: Pau-Llosa has got it down. Whether he's writing poetry, short fiction, or art criticism, this Miami Cuban knows how to reach his local as well as international audience. And once grabbed, we're kept. Pau-Llosa's first three poetry collections -- Sorting Metaphors, Bread of the Imagined, and Cuba -- earned him our respect with this same award in 1998. His continued dedication to regional emphasis in 1999's Vereda Tropical, comprising poems such as "View of Miami Across Biscayne Bay from the Rusty Pelican" or "Books and Books," which pays homage to one of our most respected bookstores, ensures him our devotion. As "the fisher of metaphors/that bind the layered water/to bark and fronds," Pau-Llosa becomes not only the literary ombudsman of this strange new world, he succeeds in documenting the mystery of the Magic City.

Why Elaine? Here's one reason: At a recent Perry Ellis fashion show, this South Beach diva famous for her killer Cher impression had the unenviable task of working the crowd following the parade of beauties who had just pranced down the runway. The fashion elites, with their low tolerance for tacky, were restless. Rather than resort to the common drag conceit of outrageousness, Elaine appeared in a stylish gold evening gown, dazzling earrings, and a perfect Sixties beehive. She was classy not trashy. As she well knows, drag is more than just shock value. It's about performance and poise. Flawless in her appearance, Elaine knows there's something even more important: being the consummate hostess. That she is.

The Caribbean, claims Cuban writer Antonio Benitez-Rojo, is a meta-archipelago: a giant sponge spiraling out from the Caribbean Sea to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, the universe, endlessly repeating. The Caribbean, in short, is the rhythmic center of the world. And so the Afro-Polyphonic World Orchestra, an ambitious sixteen-piece multicultural mélange, is a Caribbean band in the most expansive sense -- the polyrhythmic pulse of the universe. Founded by Dominican-born Cuban-American José Elias Mateo and featuring musicians and guest composers from all points converging on and emerging from the Caribbean, the Afro-Polyphonic World Orchestra plays every deep dark beautiful sound ever heard all at once. If the inspiration is diasporic -- the scattering of peoples like seeds -- the resulting concerts are multiculturalism in full bloom.
For the purist, Miami has a wealth of fine jazz musicians who know their way around an Ellington composition or conserve the stylistic touches of Dizzy, Miles, or Coltrane. Jesse Jones, Jr., Melton Mustafa, Randy Gerber, and Paquito Hechavarria are just a few of the virtuosos who keep the flame of jazz alive in the city. Enter the young Turks in the Spam Allstars, a lanky crew of polyester hipsters who brandish trombones, saxophone, and timbales (the lineup changes often). Their regular Fuácata jams at Hoy Como Ayer are held together by the vinyl rhythms of Andrew Yeomanson (DJ Le Spam). Doubtless they are a party band, but their nonstop sets of extended improvisations mix African, Latin, and electronica influences into a concoction that defies all categories. And the Spams never fail to uplift and elevate their minions. While you'll likely never hear "A Night in Tunisia" at a Spam show, you will get a zinging set of polyrhythmic improvisations that are at the heart of jazz.
Was that a wink? Is she flirting with me? Man, she seems happy tonight. Maybe she's tipsy. No, I think she's just flirting with me. Viewers of WSVN's nightly newscasts can be excused for wondering if Laurie Jennings is communicating directly with them via the tube. When she began at Channel 7 in February 1998, she was a mechanically rigid human automaton improbably paired with blowhard Rick Sanchez. After the voluble Sanchez split for MSNBC, Jennings began a subtle but noticeable transformation, from straightlaced news reader to emotive broadcaster with personality. Those saucy little winks. The lead-in comments spiced with attitude. A relaxed posture that hinted at seduction. The change has been a bit unsettling, but ultimately it's just what we want and expect in our love-hate relationship with Seven News, the big show.
Oh, happy dilemma. More than one indie night to choose from. More than two! More than three! This past year has been a great one for the local indie pop scene, with long-brewing enthusiasm finally coming to a boil. But savvy disc-curating sets PopLife above the rest, mixing deep, dark retro with the most daring volleys at the vanguard of new sound. And the setting at Piccadilly Garden doesn't hurt either. The dark wood and lugubrious booths indoors serve as the perfect backdrop for scary cool new music spun by Aramis Lorie and Ray Milian, while the white-walled hip-hop room -- more like a hip-hop booth -- makes it feel like you're dancing inside a beat box with DJ Le Spam. And the outdoor patio allows new live bands and their fans to breathe under the watchful eyes of door personalities Paola Milian and Barbara Basti. Ah, PopLife. That's the good life.

If there were a category for best hair on television, Schmidt would win hands down. That pompadour of his rises at least two feet above his head. Even more impressive is his voice: deep, serious, pontifical. Schmidt could make a routine Krome Avenue car crash sound as important as the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact that's exactly what he's done for NBC 6 on numerous occasions. In fact Schmidt comes across as so authoritative he may even startle himself. As he told one of our colleagues: "Can you believe I'm actually reading the news and that people actually believe what I'm saying?" Sure, man. Absolutely. The potent combination of voice and hair is enough for us to predict big things for this swarthy Wesleyan grad. We're talking national news. Stone Phillips, watch your back.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®