Club Space
Karli Evans
It's 5 o'clock Sunday morning — closing time for most nightclubs in Miami. But you want to keep the party going. You are totally juiced, and your honey is looking fine. Where can your Affliction-loving, sunglasses-at-night-wearing self keep the tunes pumpin', bro? Space, of course. Located at the north end of downtown Miami in just about the coolest, most urban neighborhood anywhere south of Manhattan, Space is everything to the party set. So keep your head up high, bro, and make sure not to leave the club without your honey by your side. Nuff said.
In Miami's balkanized music world, every neighborhood has its sovereign genre. Downtown is hipsterdom, Kendall owns Muzak, and South Beach is the land of house. In Little Havana, salsa holds sway. Hoy Como Ayer, the hole-in-the-wall cabaret on Calle Ocho, is the bedrock of this estate. Its walls are lined with portraits of the icons of Cuba's musical heyday: Celia Cruz, Benny More, Arturo Sandoval. But on Wednesday nights, Oscar G, one of the headlining DJs at Park West bacchanal Space, enters the smoky inner sanctum. For the past year, he has hosted a dance party here called Tropicasa that would spook the regular clientele of viejitos in crisp white guayaberas if it weren't so damn funky. The DJ doesn't so much spin club house as remix it live with traditional guaguanco and Afro-Cuban sounds. He borrows a bass line from one song, a drum loop from another, a vocal sample from a third, and plays it over a rolling house beat while El Chino Dreadlion, former vocalist for cool-kid band Yerba Buena, sings and a drummer plays the timbales. While Oscar G at Space might set you back a 20, cover here is just seven bucks, and a Presidente beer only five. For two hours, the musical jambalaya throbs at an unrelenting pace, shaking the joint so hard the portraits on the walls vibrate like tiny gongs. Doors open at 10 and close at 3 a.m.
OHWOW
Courtesy of O.H.W.O.W.
WMC 2009. Allapattah. O.H.W.O.W. Mad Decent. TurntableLab. Trouble & Bass. IHEARTCOMIX. Hamburger Eyes. Surprise guest Lil Jon. Ten hours of nonstop music. Free booze, and when that ran out, there was cheap booze at the bodega across the street. Best. Party. Ever.
Coco De Ville
Our incarnation of L.A.'s celebrity hangout has emerged as South Beach's leading elitist lounge. Located in the lobby of the Gansevoort, the lavish baroque-style parlor with plush banquettes and gold, leafy lighting is inspired by a fictional woman named Coco de Ville, who is so elusive and alluring that few men, or ladies for that matter, have been able to claim her affection. In fact, you better be wearing Barneys duds and trailing six or seven skinny models if you expect to get into Coco's inner sanctum. But once you do, you'll enter a whimsical lounge where cocktails such as Coco's "cotton candy" (a combination of Tu Ku Soju Vodka, citrus liqueur, and lime shaken and poured into a tumbler) are sure to rev up your Dionysian urges. Coco is also home to Tuesday-night party Favela Chic, a gathering of beautiful South Beach people shaking to the sounds of DJ Ross One and his crew of Brazilian-samba-pop-music mash-up DJs.
Jazid
DJ sets are the new black. They're cool. From Björn Yttling to Animal Collective to Passion Pit, everyone seems to be getting in on the act, shedding the conventions of their normal processes and venturing in new directions. The boys from one of Miami's greatest musical institutions, Locos por Juana, are no different. Unless, of course, you count the fact that their DJ set — generally performed the first and last Wednesday of the month under the name Afro Kumbe — blends traditional Colombian sounds with electronica. It's an orgy of sound anytime Afro Kumbe throws down a set. Cumbia dry-humps house. Champeta 69s with techno. Reggae invites ambient to perform dogs in the bathtub (if you don't know, don't ask). And the frenzied onstage presence that fans expect of Locos is represented in spades.
Dear Tamara,Ever since the first time I laid eyes on you, I knew one day the celestial gods would bring us together. Every time you twist a knob or scratch a record, it's as if you are gently caressing my body with your skill and knowledge. We become one on the dance floor; I hope someday we can consummate our love to the bass-heavy track of your choice. I have the Overthrow — the nightlife collective founded by Alexis Mincolla and Samuel Baum — to thank for finally persuading you to play more local gigs on the regular. Now your hometown has discovered what people in far-flung areas such as Turkey and Mexico already know: You are beyond awesome behind the decks.Love,Your #1 Fan
DJ Skidmark's chosen name on the decks might be puerile, but his musical selection is anything but crappy. A tried and true punk rocker of a certain age, he was around for the genre's mythical golden years in the '70s and '80s. Some 30-plus years on, he's still carrying the torch for punk rock: fast, loud, sloppy, and loose. A onetime DJ on Fort Lauderdale's WSRF 1580 AM, the Detroit native now plies his trade live, spinning in dives around South Florida. A staple gig is — where else? — at Little Haiti's Churchill's Pub, where he often chooses vintage vinyl nuggets to set the mood between bands' sets.
Dan Martin arrived in sunny South Florida on the usual serendipitous winds that blow people here from all over (in his case, frigid Wisconsin) a few years ago. Back then, he was known as DJ Doormouse, and he scared the crap out of people. One of the pioneers of an underground American scene of noisy, experimental music, he churned out the kind of confrontational sounds and unpredictable performances that made him huge in places such as the Netherlands and Belgium. But all that DJing involved late nights full of smoking, drinking, and bad posture, and by his early 30s, it was taking a toll. Martin recalled his past as a top-level amateur track athlete and soon threw himself as intensely, eccentrically into fitness as he had done with music. These days, he's co-owner of a scrappy but rapidly growing Crossfit gym on the Morningside-Little Haiti border, where he leads his new fans in hoisting barbells instead of record crates. While you can still catch him DJing at a few low-key venues such as the Vagabond — sometimes even with a gas mask on to filter out the smoke — his most exciting residency is definitely in the weight room.
John Gregory II, the not-so-jerky guy known as Somejerk, isn't exactly a new face on the local underground electronic music scene. But only in recent months has he finally garnered his deserved accolades. He is no dubstep trendy-come-lately. Rather, he boasts roots in the earlier genre form that produced dubstep: drum 'n' bass. While d'n'b fizzled out and everyone moved on to cornier music, though, Somejerk kept mining the low end and biding his time. Then he began quietly releasing his own dubstep mixes and productions. These days, he stands apart from the crowd by not always going for the heavy rinse-outs. Instead, Somejerk sometimes bombs the bass. Then he wanders into the subtler points of a surprisingly variable genre. Either way, we're always happy to go along for the sonic journey.
Casa Tua
It is exclusive, extravagant, and posher than any other karaoke party in Miami. But if you can make it upstairs to the second floor of Casa Tua's private club on a Wednesday evening, you'll be in for a helluva night. Here, socialites, minor European royalty, and celebrities belt out international classics such as "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Volare." Botoxed singers are accompanied by a drummer and a DJ, who keep the caterwauling at bay. One night, we witnessed Emilio Estefan take over the bongos. The talkative crowd didn't seem too excited about this impromptu jam session, but we rocked out to his Latin beat. Upstairs, other famous patrons have included Marisa Tomei, George Hamilton, Boris Becker, and Priscilla Presley. No word on whether they participated in karaoke night. The décor is sumptuous and reminiscent of a chic nightclub in Italy, and the visitors are truly international. Drinks are crazy-expensive, and there is a gourmet lounge menu (caviar, anyone?), but the real draw to this members-only space is watching drunken blue bloods tackle karaoke after too much gin. And like karaoke anywhere in the world, pretty it ain't. That's probably why Casa Tua hosts this soirée only once a week.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®