BEST LOCAL ELECTRONICA RELEASE OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

"Miami Eyes"

Underground favorites Secret Frequency Crew, authors of the excellent The Underwater Adventure Hop Secret Treasure, relocated to New York about a year ago. But they returned over the summer to give local electro label Mass Transit "Miami Eyes," a twelve-inch single full of retro Eighties glamour and tales of "palm trees in disguise" and "speed boats and cocaine spies." The track was added to the playlists of reputable DJs around the world, creating a subterranean buzz felt everywhere. Except, paradoxically enough, in the Magic City itself.

BEST LOCAL ELECTRONICA RELEASE OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

"Miami Eyes"

Underground favorites Secret Frequency Crew, authors of the excellent The Underwater Adventure Hop Secret Treasure, relocated to New York about a year ago. But they returned over the summer to give local electro label Mass Transit "Miami Eyes," a twelve-inch single full of retro Eighties glamour and tales of "palm trees in disguise" and "speed boats and cocaine spies." The track was added to the playlists of reputable DJs around the world, creating a subterranean buzz felt everywhere. Except, paradoxically enough, in the Magic City itself.

Actually, make that personalities. With their El Vacilón de la Mañana show on El Zol, these two get away with stuff Howard Stern types can only dream about. Maybe no one at the FCC speaks Spanish. Despite the recent brouhaha over indecency, anybody who regularly listens to radio knows the real shock jocks are celebrated on the seemingly unregulated Hispanic stations. Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero are rated highest among young listeners in Miami, but what makes them really worthy of accolades is their campaign to humiliate world leaders of local interest. In the past months they've managed to place prank phone calls to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and they just barely missed snagging Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was gone when their call was taken by an unamused secretary to the former Haitian president. Beats the hell out of some has-been New Yawker using airtime to humiliate lesbian stripper amputees.

The body contorts.

Masters of forms undefined,

Divine and unmatched.

A purveyor of songs that race to the heart and mind without becoming soapbox manifestoes, Feiles grew up in Studio City, California, and spent the Nineties in Miami as the piano-playing frontman of the two Natural Causes (a diverse but rocking ensemble, and then later a hard-driving quartet). He moved to the New York City area, first Brooklyn and then to New Jersey just before that bleak day in the autumn of 2001. He took photos of the World Trade Center flying toward him in bits as he stood on the balcony of his apartment across the river. Like Bruce Springsteen (in so many ways), Feiles was especially affected by the September 11 attacks and, like Broooce, turned to creating music in a quest for solace. Both The Rising and Feiles's frighteningly brilliant album are purely American (Razing has an antebellum thread running through it). Both contain powerful songs of destruction, redemption, survival, recovery, courage, love, the endurance of the human spirit. With words, notes, and an acoustic guitar, Feiles came back to Miami for two weeks specifically to record Razing at Rat Bastard's new studio, a super high-tech sound machine inside the famous producer's Miami Beach condo. (Rat's become quite selective about whose recordings he'll produce; he leapt at the chance to work with his good friend Arlan.) Recorded and released almost covertly, Razing's plaintive yet unyielding tunes inspire kind thoughts and give life to hope. What else is there?

A purveyor of songs that race to the heart and mind without becoming soapbox manifestoes, Feiles grew up in Studio City, California, and spent the Nineties in Miami as the piano-playing frontman of the two Natural Causes (a diverse but rocking ensemble, and then later a hard-driving quartet). He moved to the New York City area, first Brooklyn and then to New Jersey just before that bleak day in the autumn of 2001. He took photos of the World Trade Center flying toward him in bits as he stood on the balcony of his apartment across the river. Like Bruce Springsteen (in so many ways), Feiles was especially affected by the September 11 attacks and, like Broooce, turned to creating music in a quest for solace. Both The Rising and Feiles's frighteningly brilliant album are purely American (Razing has an antebellum thread running through it). Both contain powerful songs of destruction, redemption, survival, recovery, courage, love, the endurance of the human spirit. With words, notes, and an acoustic guitar, Feiles came back to Miami for two weeks specifically to record Razing at Rat Bastard's new studio, a super high-tech sound machine inside the famous producer's Miami Beach condo. (Rat's become quite selective about whose recordings he'll produce; he leapt at the chance to work with his good friend Arlan.) Recorded and released almost covertly, Razing's plaintive yet unyielding tunes inspire kind thoughts and give life to hope. What else is there?

Like any worth-his-salt railroad baron, Henry Flagler had his tracks laid and then proceeded to build a city around them. Several cities, actually, but we care only about Miami. It's not surprising a museum should honor, and document, this tropical "railroad" town's history. The museum began life under the auspices of the University of Miami at the Richmond Air Station, moved to Broward, then back again. It quickly grew, thanks to donations and wise purchases of old locomotives from around the nation. Included in the collection are gems like Roosevelt's presidential locomotive (Presidential Train One?) and a rescue train that arrived to help victims of the 1935 hurricane. (The museum itself took a direct hit during Hurricane Andrew.) As well as being displayed, several choo-choos are still operating on the property's tracks. Take the kids and explain how millions of Chinese, black, Native American, and other slaves suffered and died to build this great land of ours by driving spikes and laying rails.

After building from the fun Naughty Puritans to the Replacements-informed Cell 63 to the regionally famous Fay Wray (the only band to ever inspire a mosh pit at Tobacco Road), Rob Coe gave up on Miami, gave up on the notion this town could appreciate true rock and roll: the torn T-shirt, bloody elbow, fuckitall sound of a generation blown by. So he moved to Los Angeles, then later hooked up with a world-class rhythm section and guitarist. On March 5 he brought the Enablers to Churchill's and, daring to go where few bands would, took the stage directly after a set by the earthquake-with-high-IQ Holy Terrors. And matched that supreme band's roaring performance in pure, gritty rock and roll. A night never to be forgotten was filled with stun-gun music that left even the most sober teetotalers feeling wasted. Bye, Rob. Hope to hear you again some day.

After building from the fun Naughty Puritans to the Replacements-informed Cell 63 to the regionally famous Fay Wray (the only band to ever inspire a mosh pit at Tobacco Road), Rob Coe gave up on Miami, gave up on the notion this town could appreciate true rock and roll: the torn T-shirt, bloody elbow, fuckitall sound of a generation blown by. So he moved to Los Angeles, then later hooked up with a world-class rhythm section and guitarist. On March 5 he brought the Enablers to Churchill's and, daring to go where few bands would, took the stage directly after a set by the earthquake-with-high-IQ Holy Terrors. And matched that supreme band's roaring performance in pure, gritty rock and roll. A night never to be forgotten was filled with stun-gun music that left even the most sober teetotalers feeling wasted. Bye, Rob. Hope to hear you again some day.

In ancient times, folks would gather around a record player to hear popular songs reworded into nasty, funky, sassy blasts of musical hilarity by a guy calling himself Blowfly. A janitor who took the bus to work at Pandisc Records for a time, Reid, a fine singer of legitimate songs as well as a comic wizard, let that label's boss, Bo Crane, record his shtick and release a number of Blowfly records. (Georgia-born Reid's nickname is another word for "maggot," so you can imagine how far he goes in his lyrics.) Not only were they gleefully naughty, but Blowfly platters became increasingly difficult to find. After all, these LPs seemed barely legal as well as immoral, and perhaps even fattening. All this was before 2 Live Crew changed music forever, partly through a Supreme Court ruling that parody is protected speech, a decision rendered after the Crew mocked Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" and got sued by the singer's estate. Blowfly kept at it, but a few recordings and a video were about as much of a comeback as he could muster in the Nineties, when cussing and fucking with bitches became the norm for many artists. Then a few months ago word got out that regular soul singer/songwriter Clarence Reid had donned his stinger and weird getups once more to perform live as Blowfly. Let's hope he can keep it up longer and harder this time.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®