Meet our pick for Best Latin Band: Suenalo. What's that, you already know it? Of course you do. Hell, even if you've spent the past ten years living under a rock, if that rock sits in Miami-Dade County, this local ensemble has gotten a party cranking within earshot of your geological habitat at some point or another. And we're not choosing it as the best because it's hands down one of the hardest-working bands on the scene. It's because nobody busts la rumba like these dudes. New Times issues you this challenge: Catch them performing live anytime, anywhere you choose. Then try to not let your hips move and your ass shake. Good luck with that one. Suenalo's signature blend — funk, reggae, Latin jazz, hip-hop, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and electronic elements, among others — is the quintessential embodiment of Miami as melting pot. And the band's irresistibly infectious descargas provide the perfect soundtrack with which to celebrate the harmonious melding of differences.
Take coarsely chopped pieces of cumbia, reggae, merengue, ska, and salsa. Stir in fresh-picked funk and soul covered in Spanish and English lyrics. Sprinkle in a dash of rock and just a little more R&B and hip-hop. Take a megasize spatula and work in some decorative dancehall. And just for the hell of it, because you're feeling kind of crazy, throw in some kuduro from Angola and a bit of jazz. Now set the blender to "driving-down-the-highway-smoking-a-blunt-on-a-supersunny-day." Serve immediately.
On a hot, sweaty night in late 2007, two dudes named Julio and Gordo were killing time in Coconut Grove's Kennedy Park, joking, smoking, and guzzling a toxic cocktail of Olde English and orange juice that's known to a certain kind of boozer as a Brass Monkey. Just a few days earlier, their band DIE-AREA had broken up. And that was a major bummer. But straight away, they decided to start up another crew for the purposes of playing what Gordo likes to call "pissed-off fast music." The plan was nothing fancier than vox, drums, and guitars. Julio would handle the screaming. Gordo would beat the gong. And their friend Alex would choke the chords out of a mangled guitar. All they needed now was a truly brutal moniker. So the dudes began playing word games, riffing on Gordo's initials — GP — and tossing out random matches. There was Giant Panda, Gay Parade, Gonorrhea Precaria, Grammy Panties, Giant Pterodactyl, and Google Porn. By far, though, the raddest result of this drunken exercise was still to come. As Gordo now recalls: "Someone mentioned Gorilla Pussy, and we just couldn't stop laughing." Thus, Miami's most obscenely bestial band name was born. And although Julio has left Miami and been replaced by a singer named Raw Beef, Gorilla Pussy rages on.
Beelzebub's Cave
Enter Beelzebub's Cave. It's the underground home of local heavy-tuneage heroes Jean Saiz, Janette Valentine, and Felipe Torres, a threesome otherwise known as Shroud Eater. They sleep here. They practice here. And as the Cave's official Facebook page says, they "throw parties and call them shows." It's a bare-bones, BYOB situation where you'll get mashed and mangled by local doom crews such as Masticator, Slashpine, Hollow Leg, and Ether — not to mention the gatekeepers themselves and a whole cast of marauding heavy-metal highwaymen from all over these dark, dangerous United States of America. Above the entryway, a pair of skeletons stripped clean of human flesh holds a banner bearing the words of William Shakespeare: "Hell is empty and all the devils are here." And slapped onto the backside of the main gate is a poster of a skull wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigar. It's emblazoned with the warning: "No assholes, dicks, or pussies allowed!" In other words, this is a hard-core spot. So don't show up unless you're prepared to head-bang your way into a coma.
Maybe it's the Martian blood moving through his veins. Or maybe it's the fact that his DNA has been warped by microwaving too many frozen burritos. But Otto von Schirach is not like the rest of us. He's the mind behind sonic slabs of weirdness such as Spine Serpents From Sperm Island, Oozing Bass Spasms, and Magic Triangle. He oversees his own label, Triangle Earth. And his best friends are two dudes named Mr. Feathers and Alligator Jesus. Those, however, are just surface distinctions. In order to truly understand the inner awesomeness of Otto, you must witness one of his solo destruction sessions from the inside. So crack open your skull, look deep into the eyes of the 305's strange bass ambassador, and focus on his pupils, swirling like ultrablack whirlpools slowly swallowing the bluish-gray seas that surround them. It'll take a minute. Maybe two. But once you get locked onto his wavelength, the low-end vibrations of this particular human being's psychic energy are unbelievable. Your ears will bleed. The speakers will get shredded. And your internal compass will be sent spinning at 1,000 rpm. Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle. This is the strange zone that Otto von Schirach calls home. And there's no going back.
At 33 years old, Aristh Delgado's resumé is something that would make most DJs green with envy. Under the alias Craze, he's been declared the World DMC Champion three years in a row — a record that has yet to be matched by any other DJ in the world. Time magazine named him "America's Best DJ" in 2001. And this very publication awarded him "Best Hands" in the 1999 edition, saying, "Those ten fingers weave just as magical a spell as any set of vocal cords." Those talented hands take him all over the world, so when he mans the decks at a local club (most likely the Vagabond or Electric Pickle), it makes for a sweet homecoming. But what gives Craze the push this year is the founding of Slow Roast Records with L.A. DJ Kill the Noise. Under the imprint Fool's Gold Records, the label serves helpings from both its founders as well as Codes, Klever, and Miami-based Señor Stereo. No denying this Nica boy has done pretty well for himself.
Society is getting to the technological point where grandmas soon will crack and hack open laptops and then call themselves electronic musicians. But you must respect someone who still hails from the analog arts. Enter Entresol, AKA Eduardo Rivadeneira. Using a variety of synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic odds and ends, he composes lush dream beats that sound as if they're made out of pastel clouds and neon bubbles. Drawing on Krautrock, New Wave, classic disco, shoegaze, and IDM, the music defies fads. It's not tranquilized enough to be chillwave, yet far too up in the cosmos to be standard feet-on-the-floor dance. With the release of his first EP, Formal Matters, and a string of high-profile opening sets for like-minded national touring acts, Entresol and his machines have certainly been noticed in Miami. It's only a matter of time until the rest of the world catches on.
As an official guitarist for Sábado Gigante with Don Francisco, Lindsey Blair has played alongside Puerto Rican reggaetonero Daddy Yankee, but it was Wes Montgomery who got him started on the guitar, and jazz is where his heart is. The Indiana native studied the form at the University of Miami for his bachelor's and master's degrees, and he has toured with Maynard Ferguson and played with Dizzy Gillespie. He also has collaborated for years with Gloria and Emilio Estefan and scored a gig onstage with Miami Sound Machine for Super Bowl XLI. But it is his current stint with local supergroup 7Crossing where his powerful, blazing Latin jazz truly shines.
There is something satisfying about feeling like you know something that has eluded others. We'll let you in on a little secret: A band called Little Beard has been playing all over Miami since around late 2008. It consists of Michael Lee on guitar/vocals, Sarah Attias on vocals/keyboards, Edwin Beauchamp on bass, and Mario Fabregas on drums. Together they create a lo-fi sound that is surprisingly rich and textured. We cannot fathom why they haven't been scooped up by a major indie label. They are Pitchfork-ready without being hackneyed. They transcend the dreaded Hipster Runoff-coined genre known as chillwave. They are just, well, fucking adorable. From the cutesy name to the enchanting songs, Little Beard has a big sound. It isn't difficult to catch them live, because they regularly play around the 14th Street corridor, including the Vagabond, Eve, and Bar. Or check out their self-titled, four-track EP at littlebeard.bandcamp.com.
In summer 2010, a street-level consortium of local players — including SoFla swag supplier Last Rights, Fort Lauderdale producer Numonics, the C9 family, and Miami rap crew ¡Mayday! — drew up a mission statement ("Combine South Florida's best up-and-coming hip-hop talent with the best up-and-coming national talent") and launched the Rising monthly concert series. They were attempting to rally the 305's independent operators, club hustlers, and studio thugs. In effect, it was a scene-wide call to arms. And the first order of action was a July showcase at Wynwood's EZ Street Gallery starring Young Jeezy signee Freddie Gibbs alongside a few of MIA's finer mike manglers. Another gallery gig with Curren$y came next. And then the Rising took up residence at Transit Lounge, bringing heavy hitters such as Co$$, N.O.R.E., and Freeway to the Brickell bunker's back-yard stage. But no doubt the Rising's most major coup was its December concert at the University of Miami with Wiz Khalifa, the skinny, tattooed Pitt city rapper who only a couple of weeks later was named The Source's 2010 Rookie of the Year. The OJ was spiked. The weed was sweet. And the rolling papers were free. After exporting its brand to SXSW in March, though, the consortium took three months off to regroup, re-up, and reorganize. But June 17, the Rising returns. One change: The series has left Transit, shifting a few blocks south to PAX. Otherwise, the mission remains the same.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®