Since 1991, Kevin Warhaft, age 34, has been working at the Dadeland Mall food court as a janitor. "I clean the tables and the bathrooms. I collect the trays that people leave. I don't mind my day job," he smiles. For the past sixteen years, Kevin has also been hosting local rock radio's most violent program, The Metal Revolution on 90.5 "the Voice," the University of Miami's FM station. "I love heavy metal because it is so evil," Warhaft says. "It is not happy music. It is about having angry feelings. Without this music, I would be dead." Every Wednesday night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., tune in and enter Kevin Warhaft's underground world, as the brutal and violent symphony of epic metal oozes out of your speakers. Absorb the vibrating force of the drums beating at machine-gun speed, like U.S. soldiers opening fire on Iraqi civilians. Listen to legendary bands like Dark Throne and Obituary. Hear the lead vocalist growling like Cookie Monster on crystal meth, and realize that this is real rock radio.Hear black metal bands like Emperor and Mayhem, who have a history of burning down churches and committing murder in their native country of Norway (see the book Lords of Chaos for more info). Learn about Florida's own history of metal with bands like Death, Cynic, Nasty Savage, Malevolent Creation, Kult of Azazel, and more. "I love metal because it keeps me going," Warhaft says. "I consider what I do on the radio a very special interaction with my listeners."This program demands respect. Or as Warhaft says, "This music will take you down."
In the beginning, singers were the ones belting out tunes, so they got all the credit. Then producers started getting props, even making debuts on artists' albums. Scott Storch, Pharrell, Cool and Dre — they've all become household names in the same way Christina Aguilera has. But there's one more player that makes a song a hit: the sound engineer, responsible for making the entire song come together, blending vocals and beats to get the perfect mix. Adrian "Drop" Santalla has tracked and mixed songs for artists like Fat Joe and Pitbull — in fact, he engineered Fat Joe's single "Lean Back" (produced by Storch), which was certified platinum. Not bad for a guy who started as a club bouncer, moved up to DJ, and then worked at a jingle house. Much like a high note, he slowly rose to the top, networking along the way and eventually working with big names at Circle House Studios. He eventually branched out on his own and launched UpsideDown Entertainment. Emilio Estefan recently asked him to mix tracks for Celine Dion, Carlos Santana, and Gloria Trevi.
You have to give Slip-N-Slide Records props. For more than a decade this local imprint has been delivering some of the most notorious releases on the hip-hop scene. Founded in 1993 by ex-concert promoter Ted "Touche" Lucas, Slip-N-Slide serves as the de facto home base for the Magic City's hip-hop glitterati. With a slogan that proudly announces, "We are Miami," the label holds a dream team of homebrewed talent such as "diamond princess" Trina, and the new kingpin on the block, Rick Ross. And of course the label's biggest superstar remains the gold-layered veteran Trick Daddy, known for taking songs like "I'm A Thug" into the upper reaches of the Billboard charts. Last year Slip-N-Slide inked a multimillion-dollar distribution deal with legendary Def Jam Records, ensuring its position as one of the best-financed independent record labels in the country. New album projects by rappers Trina and Deuce Poppi promise to keep the club bangers coming for the remainder of 2007.
Blue is the antithesis of big, glamorous clubs and the arrogance, crappy music, and cover charges that come with them. At this humble little watering hole, there's rarely a cover or a line and the dress code is as relaxed as the place itself — which makes sense. If you're going to dance, you need to be comfortable, and the best dance attire doesn't include four-inch designer heels or a stiff $300 shirt. A pair of worn jeans and comfy sneakers will do at Blue. Underground house and techno DJs spin regularly, making Blue the to-be spot for true dance music aficionados. Patrons pump their fists to the beat of the kick drum and chat up a storm, as most of the people who frequent the club are friends and part of a small community of fierce electronic music lovers. Despite the venue's small size, it usually doesn't get too crowded and there's room to dance. While Blue may not share the prestige of its more urbane dance club neighbors, the regulars prefer it that way: low-key and down-home.
Why do we like Joe Dertç Well, because his mashups are Derty, damn it! Not long ago, the Miami Beach Jewbano homeboy was on his way to celebreality superstar status as the drummer for nu-metal band Endo. He signed right before the band went on tour with rock icons Megadeth, which led to an avalanche of accolades and hype for Endo. They hooked up with Los Angeles music producer David Schiffman, the William Morris Agency, and the Firm. As Endo wrapped up its second album, the band was added to the 2003 Ozzfest tour lineup. Alas, Endo was among the casualties from the merger between Sony Music and BMG. Dert (real name Joe Eshkenazi) went back to his old gig: DJing at night clubs. He landed stints at Automatic Slim's and Rokbar before snagging the Saturday-night residency spot at Snatch and Wednesday nights at Glass, where he's perfected his entertaining blend of rock, hip-hop, and funk. Dert can drop an Eminem track behind rock instrumentals so smoothly Dr. Dre would cough up his chronic. Over the past few months, Dert has added Set on Thursday nights and Karu & Y on Friday nights to his growing list of gigs. And that's how we like it, damn it!
Miami has more than its fair share of Latin music hot spots, but they don't get much sweeter than Atarazana Nightclub. For nearly three years this cozy local venue has attracted some the biggest names in the genre. Celebrated for its no-nonsense door policy and roomy dance floors, the reasonably priced Atarazana always spins the tropical standards, while also keeping you up to date on all the latest trends. Fridays are the best nights, with intimate live appearances by local and international stars. Previous highlights include performances by reggaeton king Daddy Yankee (before he was routinely selling out sports arenas around the nation) and Dominican merengue legend Sergio Vargas. Saturdays are strictly for salsa, merengue, and bachata rhythms, and feature El Zol (WXDJ-FM 95.7) transmitting live from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Finally Thursdays and Sundays are devoted to the sounds of reggaeton and Latin hip-hop.
From the beach to Little Havana, and even out in West Kendall, the energetic rhythms of salsa have become as ubiquitous as empanada stands and guayaberas. But what of salsa's Argentine cousin, tangoç The venues that play this sensual music are few and far between. Luckily dancer Monica Llobet is taking steps (literally) to help milongas (tango parties) flourish in Miami. Every Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m., Llobet gives tango lessons at Amadeus for $10. After class, the lights are dimmed for the milonga, where DJ Lorena follows the tango ritual of playing songs in tandas (sets of three to four songs), followed by a curtina (a break in which a different kind of music is played). Both professional and beginner dancers step to classic tango musicians like Carlos Di Sarli, Osvaldo Pugliese, and Anibal Troilo. Amadeus is the perfect setting for couples to dance and listen to these crackling tracks from the Forties. Decorated with bookcases, chandeliers, and a fireplace, the anachronistic bar looks more like a study in a mansion than a drinking establishment. But when the fireplace is lit and the romantic rhythms of tango begin to play, couples can't help but dance cheek to cheek.
Maxine's Bistro and Bar
The chic red-and-white motif inside the Catalina is a magnet for trendy types looking for a chill place to enjoy an $8 glass of pinot grigio. But the hotel has a secret appeal that lies in its convenient location and layout. From the outdoor patio, regular guys can stare discreetly at hot chicks in heels hobbling along Collins Avenue without being labeled as that gawking weirdo on the street. A large window adorns the front of the building, extending up to the second-floor lounge and offering a glimpse of Bentleys and limos whizzing by. Model types hang out the window or sunroof, sipping bubbly and making you wish you were the rich bastard next to them. Part of the reason there's so much eye candy near the Catalina is the number of high-end hotels nearby: The Sagamore, Delano, and Surfcomber are all a stone's throw away.
After you've done the prerequisite night at Churchill's (our CBGB), it's time to move on to Studio A. This downtown Miami nightspot is significantly larger than the lovable British pub, and has a superb sound system, so it's more appropriate for the midlevel, touring rock bands that play there. The space also looks nicer — if you like fancy chandeliers and shiny curtains. Elevated sections increase visibility throughout the club, even when the shows are sold out. There's also a full (if pricey) bar, and Studio A remains open for dancing after shows. The only real drawback is the lack of adjacent parking in this sketchy neighborhood. But what the heck. That's part of the fun.
Espirito Santo Building
During the high season between January and March, the pristine breeze that courses through the open-air pool deck of the Conrad Hotel is enough to make you forget about the $6 it costs for a Corona. Lush palm trees and chic cabanas line the perimeter of the pool. Sip your beer and stare at the rippled reflection of Brickell Avenue's construction boom in the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that encase the building. Chances are you'll run into folks like the Mexican sugar daddy we met there recently. Decked out in Lacoste poolside gear and slicked-back, jet-black hair, he stood next to three voluptuous, college-age all-American girls: a brunet, a redhead, and a blond. The ladies sported exquisite faux breasts, sultry tans, and luscious curves. Ah, the good life.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®