Chances are you've never seen a drag queen dive into a crowd and "surf" her audience. Less likely is the chance of seeing female impersonators yank each other's wigs off during performances, pull out their falsies, and riff off one another in wickedly hilarious comedy that skewers racial, ethnic, and sexual themes. Marytrini, Sophia Divine, Teresita la Bella, and Charito, a.k.a. Las Divas del Jacuzzi, do that and more. These Cuban queens are revolutionizing drag performance in the divaest of diva showplaces in Miami. Instead of simply lip-synching cheesy Latin pop, a mainstay for Miami drag performers, Las Divas use their own voices to impersonate Spanish-language TV personalities such as Laura Bozzo, Marta Susana, and Cristina Saralegui. Their live versions of television commercials, such as Ingles sin Barreras and Labelle Beauty School, are far funnier and edgier than anything you'll see on television. Meanwhile, they mix in juggling unicyclists, dancers, and, of course, more drag queens.

If you can get past the self-conscious college-kid precociousness of the VUM DJs, Wednesday night features two rock programs worth listening to. First up: From 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. distort your speakers with the mono stylings of It Came From the Garage. This fuzzed-out blast of garage rock is unabashedly primitive, and beats the hell out of the latest Puddle of Mudd, or whatever passes for hard rock on FM radio these days. By 10:00 p.m., listeners have been loosened up by the garage rock and maybe a few drinks, so VUM drops all pretense of punker-than-thou coolness and indulges in straight-up big hair riffs with Metal Revolution. The program, on the air until 1:00 a.m., is perfect for those who still secretly love harmonized twin guitar solos and the rumble of double-bass drums, and for those who never hung up the jean jacket with the skull and crossbones patch on the back.

What do you get when you put jumpy African rhythm with juicy reggae and Haitian soul? One of the few Haitian bands that Miami can still call its own. This compas band has kept the Creole flavor pumping through a steady bass, conga, and keyboards for years now and has gained a level of sophistication in the process. Don't get fooled by the leather jackets and motorcycles on the cover of their latest live album. These guys still have a soft side to their music that's smooth and infectious.

Cuba's controversial comedian Alvarez Guedes takes the lunchtime air weekdays to mix dirty jokes, political discourse, and poetry with some of the best Cuban music from the golden age of the big band. The whiskey-voiced Guedes comes across as everyone's favorite foul-mouthed uncle as he spoofs local politics and happenings with his daily Guantanameras and timba jams. Classic salsa from the likes of La Sonora Matancera is played alongside bossa nova, guaguancós, and boleros. Guedes even throws in occasional Frank Sinatra classics. His wit and fine selection of music is the perfect combination for a midday refreshment of the senses.

Armando Christian Perez reflects Miami in a way no rapper ever has, because the ones who've made names for themselves on these city streets were usually black, not Cuban. But Perez, a.k.a. Pitbull, is not about to go Cuban retro. He's all about today's hard knocks. Pitbull spits quick-witted, reality bass rhymes that tell the Miami tale, as he knows it firsthand. It was Miami's hip-hop godfather himself, Luther "Uncle Luke'' Campbell, who saw the significance of Pitbull four years ago. Campbell signed the rapper, took him on the road, and pitched him to everyone. This year, the 22-year-old who peddles his CDs on Liberty City streets is going to blow up. And he promises he's bringing the 305 with him. He made good on that promise last spring, when his hit "Welcome to Miami," an insider's ode to the Magic City, pushed its way into heavy rotation on Power 96 (WPOW-FM 96.5). Now Pitbull prepares to promote his upcoming album, Expect the Unexpected. His approach to stardom isn't cut from the American Idol cloth. His concrete stare gleams determination, and his tattoo that says "Hate Me and Suffer" is a stern warning to those who'll stand in his way.

Readers Choice: Lee Williams and the Square Egg

Whether it's twenty-year veteran Clint O'Neil or DJ Ital-K spinning discs on this late-night gem, reggae lovers are bound to be sated with the best variety of dancehall, soca, calypso, and roots music in Miami. Deep rhythms keep you whining, free of commercials. The knowledgeable Godfather and Englishman, as they are respectively known, inform listeners with their deep musical wisdom. They kick off the show with the coolest theme song on the radio: an extended mix of Steel Pulse's classic, "Steppin' Out." (Night Train's brassy stripper theme comes a close second.) O'Neil can be heard Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning at 1:00 a.m., and Ital-K takes over on Sundays and Mondays.

CASA TUA 1700 James Avenue Miami Beach 305-673-1010

In the few months it's been operating, Casa Tua in Miami Beach has cultivated a mystique that has made a weekend dinner reservation the most sought-after ticket in town. The understated refinement of its home (a former private residence) and the sophisticated cuisine created by executive chef Sergio Sigala have combined to form a truly elegant dining experience. As New Times critic Lee Klein put it: "Diners feel as though they're in the home of a good friend -- a very wealthy friend with exquisite taste, that is." Sigala, a 34-year-old native of Brescia, Italy, has enjoyed a richly peripatetic career that began in Italy then skipped to England, Switzerland, Bahrain, Canada, France, back to Italy, and finally to Miami Beach. When he's not in the kitchen at Casa Tua, he's likely to be biking through rural South Miami-Dade or diving the reefs off the Keys.

BEST PLACE FOR FRESH FRUIT

Lincoln Road on Sunday.

BEST PLACE FOR FRESH VEGETABLES

Paradise Farm in Homestead and Totally Tomatoes in Davie. They provide me with the best fresh organic products, like different kinds of tomatoes, micro salad, carrots, et cetera.

BEST NATURAL HIGH

I love riding my bicycle early in the morning down to Homestead, passing through Coconut Grove and Coral Gables under the trees. The sensation is like being in the forests of my hometown.

BEST REASON TO LIVE IN MIAMI

There are different good reasons to live in Miami. I like the interaction between different cultures -- the influence and the traditions that came from South America and the modernity from North America. I also love diving and the Miami area offers a great many different reefs.

Recipe

CASA TUA TUNA TARTARE

1 pound tuna, sushi quality

1 tablespoon salted capers from Sicily

2 tablespoons taggiasca olives from Liguria

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Fleur de Sel (unrefined French sea salt)

Chop tuna, wash the capers in water, cut the sun-dried tomatoes and olives into small cubes the same size. Mix all ingredients, season with extra virgin olive oil and Fleur de Sel. Serve with crispy bruschetta.

There have been any number of local rock outfits that have graced Miami's stages in search of national glory or just the heart of Saturday night. But few caused as much of a ruckus -- and then promptly disappeared -- as the Eat. Its debut single, 1979's "Communist Radio," still has die-hard fans guessing at its political sympathies: pro-Fidelista rant or anti-commie screed? Of course naming your record label "Giggling Hitler" should give some indication that the Eat wasn't devoted to any philosophy save offending as many people as possible. Which is exactly what its brief existence managed to do: another single in 1980, a disastrous East Coast tour, and (to hear the leather-jacketed survivors tell it) plenty of fights and tense club dramas sparked by patrons none too fond of this new "punk" thang the Eat was blasting out. And that was it. By the mid-Eighties, the Eat was consigned to the dustier pages of history; a brief 1995 reunion is best left forgotten. What the band left behind, though, is "Communist Radio"'s throat-grabbing immediacy, a ferocious meld of sing-along choruses and piercing guitar work that add up to one of the choicest slices of garage-rock glory this side of "Louie Louie." But don't take our word -- sightings of "Communist Radio" regularly fetch upward of $500 on eBay from collectors desperate to snatch a copy of punk's Holy Grail. Sure, musicians such as Charlie Pickett or Nil Lara may be more, ahem, technically accomplished. And characters like Marilyn Manson and the Mavericks may have gone on to greater financial success. But no other Miamian has yet to stake his or her claim to immortality so authoritatively in barely two and a half minutes of joyous scree.

Last year Volumen Cero won Best Local Rock Band. So why is it pop this year? Musically the quartet, whose name translates to Zero Volume, tries on everything from power pop (the hit single "Hollywood") to Sixties-influenced Brit-pop. Frontman Luis Tamblay's voice is moody and evocative and versatile. The band's ability to play around with genres instead of bashing out garage and punk rock draws comparisons to similar-minded bands like Blur. That doesn't mean Volumen Cero is pop, per se, but rather that it is pop-minded enough to know it takes more than one approach to make a great album -- which, in this case, would be last year's Luces.

Readers Choice: Inner Voice

One of the Nineties' more beloved Miami underground rock outfits returns with a vault-scraping collection: previously unreleased studio sessions from 1997, a live-on-WLRN-FM set from 1992 (yes, Virginia, WLRN once aired rock and roll amid the NPR gabbing), and from that same year, a raucous live show from the now-defunct Beach club Washington Square. As this CD's title implies, the Holy Terrors have disbanded (keep your eyes peeled for the latest Interpol video on MTV and you'll spy Terrors drummer Sam Fogarino thumping away), but the music here is by no means of historical interest only. Underneath the paint-peeling Pixies-ish onslaught of guitars, and singer Rob Elba's often-shrieked vocals, is an unerring sense of songcraft. If nothing else, this was a group that knew a killer pop hook definitely makes the bitter medicine go down. For old fans, this archival release is a welcome reminder of the Holy Terrors' fearsome attack. For newcomers, it's proof the words Miami and genuinely exciting rock haven't always been mutually exclusive.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®