You'll have to provide your own sweat, smoke, and spilled mojitos, but this live document of the Allstars residency at Hoy Como Ayer's Fuácata party (edited and spliced together in dizzying Miles Davis Bitches Brew fashion) is still one of the slinkiest set of grooves around. DJ Le Spam (that's still Andrew Yeomanson to his mother) drops salsa turntable samples and Fidel's speeches over double-time beats; funky guitar riffs butt up against rapid-fire timbales. And somehow the whole concoction coheres, becoming much, much greater than the sum of its parts.

Pit stop not really required, though for joggers and bikers it's ideal. This roadside fresh fruit, vegetable, chocolate brownie, and fruity milkshake stand, located on an otherwise residential stretch of Red Road, is worth a trip all by itself. Located far (and not so far) from the madding crowds of U.S. 1 and the Shops at Sunset Place, and just down the street from Parrot Jungle, Wayside is a true oasis, a quiet little spot with outdoor tables and chairs beneath a lush South African sausage tree and tall, lanky bamboo, where you can bring a friend, a pooch (dogs are welcome), or a good book. The perfect refueling station for the long, strange, never-ending trip we call daily life in South Florida.
A newcomer arrived in Miami. He drove from the airport through the jungle breeze and sharp metallic colors. He switched the radio on and heard: "Lift up your leg! You must!" in a froggy, urgent roar from an artist he'd never heard. The station, he discovered, was WAVS-AM ("The Heartbeat of the Caribbean") and the DJ was Jamusa, who went on to become the newcomer's favorite after-work unwinding guy, rolling out spools of sound by Beres Hammond, Maxie Priest, Inner Circle, Luciano, Shabba Ranks, and Morgan Heritage -- all citizens you're not going to hear real soon on Power Radio or Mambí or the BBC loop from NPR. The newcomer learned that Jamusa has been at this stuff for 40 years and that he recently received a well-deserved testimonial at Stinger's. But when the newcomer tried to speak with him, he couldn't get past one of Jamusa's deputies, who warily observed, "Me tink you tryin' to headrest wit Jamusa, but Jamusa only headrest wit jah!"
Critics have been proclaiming the death of rock and roll for so long now, the genre's aesthetic demise is almost taken as a given. Buzzsaw guitars? Crashing drums? A lovesick singer whipping his microphone through the air? Uh, what else ya got, grandpa? So why the Strokes were able to take those three familiar fuzzed-out chords and whip up so much unalloyed excitement during their January Billboardlive concert is anybody's guess. The reference points were certainly clear enough -- a taste of Lou Reed's jaded snarl here, a dash of Television's dueling Telecasters there, even an old-fashioned sing-along. But somehow it all seemed fresh again, full of crackling energy, and the packed audience ate it up with a sweaty, body-tossing frenzy.
This bar, restaurant, and marina is more than merely a pit stop for hungry tourists on their way to Key West. It's a piece of Islamorada history, a place to bask in the warm sun and the spirit of the Keys, and it's a popular watering hole for locals. Start your visit with a fresh fish sandwich and a cold beer inside the unpretentious restaurant or on its shaded patio. If you can manage to pull yourself away from the table, stagger a few steps through the hot sun over to the Lor-e-lei's waterfront bar, where you can have another cold beer, gaze out at the calm waters, and eavesdrop on the relaxed conversations. If you're looking to cool off, just walk a few steps to the water and take a dip. Closer to sunset the mood changes as the fishing boats glide in after a day out on the flats, breathing new life into the lazy afternoon. The quiet bar begins to bustle as fisherfolk make their way to the barstools to share perfectly accurate, self-deprecating accounts of the day's adventures. There's no better place to watch the sunset. You didn't really want to drive all the way to Key West, did you?
We know he's duller than dirt. Hell, he knows it. And as soon as he loses a game and/or doesn't win a national championship, New Times, shallow and fickle publication that we are, will hold it against him. But until then, Larry, congrats: You da man!
Whatever alternate moniker he's going by at the moment -- Hova, Jiggaman, or simply Shawn Carter -- New York City's Jay-Z remains one of hip-hop's most talented rappers. And while his paeans to all that glitters (preferably if it's wrapped around somebody that glitters) aren't going to win too many fans from the backpacker contingent, even Jay-Z's harshest critics have had to grudgingly concede that his lyrics, misogynist bile and all, are some of the most head-scratchingly inventive around. But who knew the man was also a bona fide entertainer? At his Billboardlive gig this past September, Jay-Z rolled out much more than simply a greatest-hits revue. Where most rap concerts these days consist of little more than an emcee hollering into his mike, trying to avoid tripping over the half-dozen members of his posse also stumbling around the stage, Jay-Z put on a genuine show. He worked the room, flipped his music's dynamics, and kept the audience rooted to his every gesture (even having them mimic his guttural grunts in unison) for his set's entire 90-minute duration. Minus his "Cristal break," of course.
If there's one thing you want coursing through a rock band, besides electricity, it's moxie. Singer Catty Tasso hit upon the name in Maine. She saw a bottle of Moxie, the weird old gentian-root soft drink that still has a cult-like following. "That's us!" she exclaimed, according to husband-guitarist Josh Sonntag. In the 1880s the beverage was touted as a medicine guaranteed to cure almost any ill including loss of manhood, "paralysis, and softening of the brain." Today some of Moxi's devoted fans will testify that the group's raucous music is capable of producing the same miraculous healings. After first trying "Moxy," the couple discovered that spelling pertained to a group of Seventies-era Toronto rockers remembered not for moxie but rather artless volume. That left the diminutive suffix "i," a nice stroke and subtle signifier of the Miami band's Latin identity. (Tasso was born in Chile, Sonntag grew up in Cancún, bassist Raul Ramirez hails from Puerto Rico, and drummer Frankie Martinez is a Miamian.) In a techno town like this Moxi's members will need a special supply of moxie, and perhaps Moxie, to avoid losing their soxies.

It's the train-wreck effect. No one walks by without slowing down, turning their heads. They lean in close to each other and whisper. "Versace," "shot," "steps." Casa Casuarina, now the property of North Carolina telecommunications mogul Peter Loftin, sits in ostentatiously grand Mediterranean style in the middle of Ocean Drive, awaiting its transformation into an unaffordable boutique hotel. Orange tape surrounds the grand fence. Landscapers stride in and out. But no passersby look beyond the steps where the fashion mogul was gunned down on July 15, 1997. And that's where the tourists pose, in twos and threes and fours, in bikinis and shorts, smiling broadly for each others' cameras. After all, nothing says Miami like a murder site.

It's Cultural Friday over on SW Eighth Street, except there isn't really any culture. For that you need to go north a couple blocks and find this eclectic building. Upstairs: lab6 art gallery, showing new and alternative works, usually by locals. Downstairs: PS 742 performance space, featuring new and alternative productions from here and afar. On the sidewalk outside: alternative types looking for camaraderie or a place to drum or strum for the evening. Both upstairs and downstairs accommodate such desires, usually after 10:00 p.m. Next door: artist Carlos Alves's quirky studio and Adalberto Delgado's 6g music studio. The all-white, 3000-square-foot space at lab6 is new. Owners Carlos Suarez de Jesus and Vivian Marthell moved up in October after closing their appropriately titled show "Intimate Addictions: Living Large in Tight Spaces." PS 742 moved into the old space, which director Susan Caraballo transformed into a black-box theater and began presenting Surreal Saturdays and other nights of dance, song, and show. A highlight of the year: Upstairs and down joined together in celebrating Babalu Aye, or San Lazaro, the patron saint of healing, which brought together all alternative forms of Miami for a nightlong bash.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®