Don't let the name of this club fool you. These are some real men — well hung and swangin' that thang. Club Boi is the only black-owned gay club in South Florida, and it serves as a welcome alternative to the same old stuff on South Beach. There is nude male dancing, and the vibe is hot. Even for heteros, this club is a good time. On Friday nights, the Face-Off: Strippers Contest takes place. Are you a confident man? Do you think you've got what it takes? Get up on that stage and strip down naked. On Saturday nights, DJs Dias E and Gavin keep those beats pumping with some crazy house music. And Tuesday nights are right for a karaoke showdown. Get out of the closet and get down at Club Boi.
Blue Martini
It's 4:59 p.m. ... one more minute. Just one more minute. The longest minute. You've worked hard all day. Why won't that clock's stupid little hand hurry up?! And then it happens: 5 p.m. and all's well. The time has come for twenty- and thirtysomethings across the city to loosen their ties and unbutton their shirts. In the heart of downtown, this classy second-floor joint bathes its young and beautiful crowd in cool blue lights that spill out over a dance floor, multiple bars, and a frequently occupied stage. The 4 to 7 p.m. happy hour offers half-price drinks to the mingling crowd of young professionals looking to let their hair down after a long day at the office. Inside there's a nightclub atmosphere, but you'll find a more relaxed vibe at the outdoor bar, where you can kick back and drunkenly toast to the setting sun.
Van Dyke Cafe
With Sandoval's shuttered and Jazid following a more eclectic blend of funky music, Upstairs at the Van Dyke remains a hidden gem for jazz lovers — on Lincoln Road, of all places. Earlier this year, the café changed ownership, and with the new guard came a welcome infusion of energy and enthusiasm for livening up the music programming. While many nights showcase all kinds of global sounds, there's still plenty to hear within the great realm of jazz. Recent offerings in the genre have included everything from the piano stylings of Silvano Monasterios to The Randy Singer Band's harmonica-vocals combo. Besides the topnotch soundtrack, the space itself remains cozy and suffused with retro charm, with cabaret-style table service from classy cocktail waitresses. Completely unlike anything around for miles, Upstairs at the Van Dyke is a welcoming place with the intimate feel of a secret club.
Tom's NFL American Sports Bar & Grill
Tired of sharing the mike with those pesky beach tourists? For folks serious about karaoke, there's nothing worse than listening to drunken amateurs ruin a perfectly good song. That's where Tom's NFL Club comes in. This relaxed neighborhood bar, the ideal local oasis for the dedicated karaoke enthusiast, has no cover charge or outrageous liquor prices. Instead Tom's offers a weekly karaoke extravaganza for all the would-be jukebox heroes in the city. This attitude-free karaoke night packs every song imaginable, from country to New Wave; the karaoke DJ will likely have your most-wanted song. Sealing the deal, the dedicated but welcoming local crowd will make you feel at home — provided, of course, you can hold a note.
Miami has its fair share of illustrious Latin bands. Still, the sizzling rhythms of Tiempo Libre stand far above the rest. Formed in 2001, Tiempo Libre — Free Time — plays in the style of timba, which blends traditional Afro-Cuban beats with fresh pop genres such as hip-hop, house, and jazz. Known for its ultravigorous live shows, the seven-member ensemble, led by pianist Jorge Gomez, is also a formidable studio band. Their brilliantly produced album Lo Que Esperabas/What You've Been Waiting For is packed with danceable tracks including "Manos Pa'rriba" and more traditional numbers such as "A Bayamo en Coche." That record earned the members a 2007 Grammy nomination for Best Tropical Latin Album. More important, Tiempo Libre's solid reputation as a first-class live band has turned the local boys into in-demand international touring celebrities. Still, the coolest place to catch them is in Miami, where all of their influences come together.
Don't confuse this nautically themed viejo haven with the Los Marinos Restaurant or the Los Marinos Cafeteria. (They all share the same building, painted up kinda like a boat, across the street from the dog track).During the week, this lounge is full of smoky old men playing cubilete for dollars and drinking. On weekend nights, though, it transforms into the most awesome Miami experience imaginable.Things get magical around 8 p.m., when the cast of characters arrives: the cougars (heavy makeup, crimson dresses, peroxide hair), the couples (holding hands, waiting for their chance to tear up the tiny dance floor situated between a pair of battling DJ booths), and the mysterious Señor Amor (a dapper Lothario sporting a white suit and a mullet, who apparently gets the only tablecloth in the house). Ponytails, double-breasted jackets, and blue eyeshadow abound.
Mixing traditional flamenco with modern sounds is not easy, but Spanish-born Rayito (a.k.a. Antonio Rayo) has a natural knack for assembling three-minute Latin pop gems. A child prodigy, Rayito learned to play Spanish guitar from his father, and by the age of 12, he had earned fame as a brilliant flamenco guitar player. After studying in Miami's New World School of the Arts, Rayito went on to compose chart toppers for Latin superstars, co-writing "Jaleo" for Ricky Martin and "Llorare Las Penas" for David Bisbal. The 26-year-old came into his own with 2006's Rayito an album that seamlessly blended his beloved flamenco with hip-hop, reggae, and Latin pop in songs such as the exquisite "Me Falta." At a time when most Latin pop seems to wallow on by-the-numbers bubblegum, the velvety-voiced Rayito is bringing out some of the most inventive and exciting compositions around.
Although most local bands figure the best way to start out is to play as much as possible, the Postmarks took the opposite tack. They didn't play out — at all. Instead they holed up in a studio and polished their blend of bookish, sticky-sweet Anglophilic pop until it was totally ready for the harsh light of the South Florida day. And — voilà! — the band's self-titled full-length, released by Unfiltered Records, boasts 11 nuggets of jangly, twee indie goodness. For good reason, it had everyone at Pitchfork, Spin, and even Rolling Stone in a lather, and the Postmarks watched as their star rose meteorically everywhere except at home. That's changed a bit, and the band has thrown us a few bones by performing around the tri-county area a little more often. Meanwhile, the quality of the record has been so universally agreed-upon that it was recently released in its sort-of musical motherland — the UK. Time will tell if the scrappy hometown trio can beat the Brits at their own game.
The average cool-kid record-store shopper probably can't place Arnold Steiner by name. But if the same music fan has any taste for the finest in underground hip-hop and electronic sounds, he or she has probably seen his stunning, stomach-dropping artwork. Under the moniker AS1, Steiner has created breathtaking covers and imagery for the likes of world-renowned beatmakers such as Venetian Snares and DJ Dara, as well as homegrown talent including Otto Von Schirach, Plantlife, and Jason Tyler. His compositions are dense, tangled landscapes of biomechanical apocalypse, where contrasts are stark and the organic is strangled by the artificial. They're so arresting they threaten to eclipse the music inside. And considering the discerning, innovative caliber of artists with whom he has worked, that's a high compliment indeed.
The long-haired, natty Lazaro Casanova got his start playing at the old Malibu Grand Prix's infamous Full Moon parties in the late Nineties. But he really became a local marquee name as the musical selector du jour for indie-ish dance parties in Miami, most notably at the long-running, now-defunct Revolver. But when pressing play on White Stripes discs got boring, Casanova branched out on his own — at home. Tapping into the burgeoning underground crossover dance scene when it was still in its infancy, Casanova cranked out filthy, searing bedroom remixes that quickly spread across the Internet. Eventually he hooked up with Canadian electro duo MSTRKRFT. They recruited him for a national tour, and soon he was playing sizzling, electroey-housey sets heavily featuring his own chunky, thumping compositions. Since then, he's become a sort of unofficial third arm of that outfit, rocking international crowds of thousands both with the duo and as a headliner in his own right. In the meantime, Casanova still updates his blog, Shot Callin' (shotcallin.blogspot.com), with the latest white-hot dance music, and issues his own heavily blogged rerubs while putting the finishing touches on an upcoming EP of original material.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®