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.
Jon Saxx was sleeping when the sound of a saxophone hit his preteen ears. The tones resonated in his soul, he awakened, and in that moment, he fell in love with the horn that makes us fall in love with him. He's been playing ever since. A virtuoso on the soprano, alto, and tenor sax, Saxx plays by ear — closing his eyes and "playing what I feel and getting lost in the music," he says. He would love to duet with Stevie Wonder on "Ribbon in the Sky," which we could totally see (and hear) because one child prodigy definitely deserves another. Witnessing Saxx in his element, whether or not his eyes are hidden under one of his trademark hats, you realize you're watching a man possessed by the spirit of jazz. He's not reading sheet music; he's hearing the band play or a chanteuse croon and following suit in a way that's as natural as his own heartbeat. Now that's soul music.
Remember when bands had magical powers and went on adventures and shit? Like the Beatles, for example, when they took that submarine trip; or Josie and the Pussycats, how they had their own spaceship; or the way David Bowie led that girl into his magical labyrinth just so she could be in his music video in the end. Nowadays, what the hell good is a band? A bunch of funny-hat-wearing wannabes, that's all most of 'em are these days. But not Los Primeros. Hialeah's very own boy band is made up of three young men — Pedro Perez, Andres Pita, and Ray Moreno, all homegrown. The group struck it big in 2003 with the hit single "Eslow Motion." Since they performed for a quinceañera that just happened to be featured on MTV's My Super Sweet 16, the stars are the limit. And although they might not have magical powers, per se — none that they've revealed, anyway — at least these guys have a purpose. When slot gambling at various Miami-Dade tracks was to appear on ballots this past January, historic Hialeah Park was left out from the list of potential beneficiaries. Los Primeros (with, it must be noted, the backing of Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina) rallied to the cause, releasing the single "Save Hialeah Park." Smells like Sixties teen spirit.
Born Algernod Lanier Washington, 32-year-old Plies launched his career when he teamed up with Akon for their chart-topping hit "Hypnotized." Plies released his breakout album, The Real Testament, in 2007 and went from being best known for allegedly firing a gun into the crowd at his own show in Gainesville to becoming a celebrated representative of street life authenticity. His smash single "Shawty," featuring Tallahassee's T-Pain, quickly burned up the airwaves and gave Plies an opportunity to reveal the softer side of his hard-knock ghetto persona. Having recently signed with Ted Lucas's Slip-N-Slide Records, Plies looks set to follow in the footsteps of hip-hop legends such as Trick Daddy, Trina, and Rick Ross. With a reality show in production and an eagerly awaited sophomore album (Definition of Real) due for a June release, the SoFla artist seems to have all of hip-hop under his spell.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®