Longevity for music clubs in this city is akin to "dog years." A decade run equals a lifetime anywhere else. Which means the biweekly open-mike night at Luna Star Café, now in its eighth year, has grown long in the tooth. But you'd never notice by the exuberance of the participants, a roster of volunteer songsters who begin signing up about 8:00 p.m. for a night that runs into the wee hours. Young guns getting their first taste of the spotlight and old folkies reliving their glory days take to the stage with guitars, keyboards, even an occasional banjo or bongo. And it's not just one and done. Players can settle in and show their stuff with a set of three or four tunes. Neither is the night relegated to a slow Tuesday, like so many such affairs. Luna's jam takes place on Saturdays. Bring your six-string and work those vocals for the faithful, then relax with a few cold ones in Luna Star's friendly, casual, and arty atmosphere.

Siren, once monthly, grew so popular with its audience that the event now makes each Saturday a girls' night out. Miami's most metrosexual hangout does the women-who-like-women thing well -- clubs do not give up a Saturday night easily. That means more women in the upstairs lounge grooving to house music, salsa, and all things jiggy. Though Jade is not exclusively for women, Siren is, and it clearly makes the distaff crowd happy, merry, joyful, gay even. Like the women who have popularized Jade Saturdays, the club itself is hardly trashy, so closet the flannels and break out the lipstick, ladies.

Siren, once monthly, grew so popular with its audience that the event now makes each Saturday a girls' night out. Miami's most metrosexual hangout does the women-who-like-women thing well -- clubs do not give up a Saturday night easily. That means more women in the upstairs lounge grooving to house music, salsa, and all things jiggy. Though Jade is not exclusively for women, Siren is, and it clearly makes the distaff crowd happy, merry, joyful, gay even. Like the women who have popularized Jade Saturdays, the club itself is hardly trashy, so closet the flannels and break out the lipstick, ladies.

Sandbar Lounge
The mechanical makeup of the jukebox at the Sandbar is nothing extraordinary. It's a typical CD changer writ large but lacking fancy functions or a connection to the Internet. This particular box contains winner music from every pop genre of the past 40 years. Sadly that includes concessions to the loser music of today (Avril Lavigne, Pink ...). You'll still need a roll or two of quarters for the killer: The Clash, Bowie, Oingo Boingo, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Brown, Al Green, Patti Smith, B.B. King, the Pretenders, the Cure, Ludacris, and like that. This joint may not be fancy, but you can accompany your boozing with a soundtrack that's nothing short of intoxicating.

The mechanical makeup of the jukebox at the Sandbar is nothing extraordinary. It's a typical CD changer writ large but lacking fancy functions or a connection to the Internet. This particular box contains winner music from every pop genre of the past 40 years. Sadly that includes concessions to the loser music of today (Avril Lavigne, Pink ...). You'll still need a roll or two of quarters for the killer: The Clash, Bowie, Oingo Boingo, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Brown, Al Green, Patti Smith, B.B. King, the Pretenders, the Cure, Ludacris, and like that. This joint may not be fancy, but you can accompany your boozing with a soundtrack that's nothing short of intoxicating.

How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new digs at I/O (after its run at old Little Havana roost Hoy Como Ayer), there's room to get your groove on without simultaneously getting your limbs caught up in someone else's groove thang. Rather than taking their enduring popularity as a license to play it safe, the Spamsters have managed to expand their wild DJ-with-band sound, jamming with the legendary salsa master Larry Harlow, collaborating with Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell, or simply following their guitarist Adam Zimmon into uncharted rhythmic territory, which he explores like a musical Magellan. Fuácata's lack of pretension is leavened by the right dash of neighborhood grit seeping in from downtown streets. This weekly shindig's welcoming vibe and multiethnic crowd represents what so many out-of-towners assume rules this metropolis eight days a week. Locals know better, but on Thursdays we can still pretend.

How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new digs at I/O (after its run at old Little Havana roost Hoy Como Ayer), there's room to get your groove on without simultaneously getting your limbs caught up in someone else's groove thang. Rather than taking their enduring popularity as a license to play it safe, the Spamsters have managed to expand their wild DJ-with-band sound, jamming with the legendary salsa master Larry Harlow, collaborating with Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell, or simply following their guitarist Adam Zimmon into uncharted rhythmic territory, which he explores like a musical Magellan. Fuácata's lack of pretension is leavened by the right dash of neighborhood grit seeping in from downtown streets. This weekly shindig's welcoming vibe and multiethnic crowd represents what so many out-of-towners assume rules this metropolis eight days a week. Locals know better, but on Thursdays we can still pretend.

A conversation with Michael Capponi never lasts too long or goes too deep. It's not that the man behind nationally acclaimed nights at Prive, B.E.D., Mansion, and the DiLido Beach Club is inattentive or shallow; it's because the lifestyle of this perpetual host leaves little time for schmoozing. Capponi, whose elegant Belgian demeanor mixes with surfer-boy charm, is often seen posing for photos with celebri-friends such as Ashton Kutcher, P. Diddy, and Madonna. Since re-emerging from a two-year pilgrimage to Guadeloupe and Europe (partly to cleanse his partied-out body and soul), Capponi has ascended to the top of the party heap: sought out by magazines, developers, sporting-event promoters, and charity organizers whenever they want to put together a badass bash.

A conversation with Michael Capponi never lasts too long or goes too deep. It's not that the man behind nationally acclaimed nights at Prive, B.E.D., Mansion, and the DiLido Beach Club is inattentive or shallow; it's because the lifestyle of this perpetual host leaves little time for schmoozing. Capponi, whose elegant Belgian demeanor mixes with surfer-boy charm, is often seen posing for photos with celebri-friends such as Ashton Kutcher, P. Diddy, and Madonna. Since re-emerging from a two-year pilgrimage to Guadeloupe and Europe (partly to cleanse his partied-out body and soul), Capponi has ascended to the top of the party heap: sought out by magazines, developers, sporting-event promoters, and charity organizers whenever they want to put together a badass bash.

A seemingly incongruous setting for the consummate cocktail, the Marlin's bar actually serves a splendid version of the original, with your choice of top-shelf gin and vermouth as well as the newfangled blends involving apple schnapps or whatever. For atmosphere, the curving bar is long enough to accommodate your whole posse and low-key enough for sitting alone; comfortable sofas and seats are scattered around the open room. Experimental films, world music, and reggae provide accompaniments to your olive-or-not, shaken-or-stirred, gin or vodka reason to be here. As is typical with Miami Beach bars, drinks are pricey and door people sometimes less than extroverted, but the martini in your hand and the dizzying stimuli make the Marlin Bar a keeper, an absolute must for year-round residents to get to know.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®