The American Legion Harvey W. Seeds Post 29
A love of words and wine is pretty much the job description for every position at New Times, so we're predisposed to like this event. In fact, we're drinking wine right now. Moreover, we are three sheets to the Caribbean sea breeze. So this makes us experts on open-mike nights. So we'll fulfill our second job duty before we pass out. Try these words: American Legion. Veterans organization. Harvey's by the Bay. Artists. Wine. Guitars. Indie musician guest stars from Portland. Wine. Breeze. Poetry. Community. Membership cards. Laid-back. Acoustic instruments. Dance. Stirring for your soul. Every Wednesday.
It can be hard keeping up with so many fulano de tals in the music biz. They show up, play a couple of local venues, and head off to more lucrative shores before you get a chance to memorize their names. Not so for the actual Fulano de Tal. The '90s rock en español band did the hometown proud when it became one of the first U.S.-based groups in the genre to sign a major-label deal. And the frontman — a New York City-bred, Miami-based Cuban-American — instantly went from fulano to Elsten Torres when he began penning songs for the likes of Julio Iglesias Jr. and Alejandra Guzmán, and then scored a Grammy nomination for an indie-distributed solo release, Individual. Nowadays, you can catch him on local stages performing bilingual folk music to the tunes of acoustic guitars and violin. The name of the group is Hey Elsten. You might want to memorize it.
Lords South Beach
What wealthy, horny lady or randy, not-so-straight man doesn't want a strapping, young man to help around the house. Perhaps said man would be best used in the cabana, where shirts are optional. To satisfy those of us without enough flow to afford paid "help," there's the Cabana Boy Pool Party at Lords South Beach. Muscles and banana hammocks are the norm at this Sunday gathering. Not only is it free, but also there are complimentary Jell-O shots and punch bowl drink specials. "Hullo, let's get drunk and swim!" People start jumping in at 4 p.m., but the party goes on as late as can be. Lords is a hotel for the traveling gay. It's a posh, friendly, and clearly sexy place to shack up with old or new friends just a block from the beach. You can also enjoy a fabulous time and play like a frat boy during Wednesday's game night, featuring free flip cup, beer pong, strip poker, or, if you're lucky, spin the bottle. The Cabana Boy Pool Party is hosted by Tony Ferro, Chris Aguilar, and Sookie Lowe-Stacks. Special guest hosts have included gay superstars such as Kevin Aviance, so expect the best.
This lady is a seriously impressive force on the drums. She beats out all other local percussionists. Born in Cuba, this Hialeah mujer is both an accomplished musician and artist. She has been drumming since 1991 and guides percussion for the popular trio Beings alongside other veteran musicians Mike Alen and Ivan Marchena. And as a member of the noisy rock band Holly Hunt, which also includes Gavin Perry and Nick Klein, she brings out a loyal crowd. She's probably best known for her work with sludge band Floor; such heavy sounds typically aren't made by a drummer wearing lipstick. Other groups she has made awesome are Human Oddities, Methadone Actors, Funyuns, Basils, and Cavity. Monteavaro was featured as one of New Times' 100 Creatives and is also known for her artwork, which she has shown around the world, from the Miami Art Museum to Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris. A book of her artwork, Quiet Village, was recently published. Do your homework, because if Monteavaro is in the band, you will enjoy the show.
Have you ever hung out in a cemetery at noon, sipped some Merlot, and sung along while Dracula played a short set of acoustic tunes on guitar and saw? Obviously we're not talking about the Transylvanian bloodsucker. For one thing, if he were exposed to full daylight, he'd burn up like a mosquito in an oven. For another, vampires can't sing. Instead, this particular Dracula is a local musical quartet — featuring vocalist Dorys Bello, guitarist Eli Oviedo, sawist Kian Seara, and percussionist Gyr Ofjudah — that specializes in quiet and haunting interpretations of folkloric music. "Some of our songs are American traditionals, others are taken from films, while others are Spanish pop singles from the '70s, redone in a cumbia manner," Bello says. "It's really just us performing our favorite songs from anywhere." And yes, Dorys, Eli, and Kian have actually strummed and sawed in a sleeping place for the dead, performing at the City of Miami Cemetery this past May 1 as part of a project with local nomadic art venue the End. But usually, Dracula simply sings by candlelight at places like Sweat Records. "The light of candles," Bello explains, "is simultaneously gentle and ominous."
According to Arboles Libres' good buddy and label boss, Forward Motion Records exec Fernando Perdomo, this three-man crew of folksy Spanglish psychedelicists "can read each other's minds." And no doubt, there is proof of telepathy in the band's recorded output, especially sonic trips such as "The Spirit Of" and "Yellow Man." The songwriting is hyperintuitive, totally effortless, and superevolved. But live, that's when you can really hear (and sometimes see) the psychic energy pinging back and forth among frontman Juan "Nacho" Londono, guitar guy Eddie Moreno, and drummer Anthony Genovese. Somehow, even in moments of complete disarray, Los Arboles makes it all seem perfectly seamless. Case in point: A midnight set at Tobacco Road on Friday, November 11, 2010. One cut ends and the next, "Comienzos," begins with a silent countdown — one, two, three, four — as Nacho and Eddie ramble into the opening guitar riff and Anthony starts banging away. Nacho leans over the mike, smiling behind long hair. A cigarette dangles from Eddie's bottom lip while he eats a plate of French fries between drags and chord changes. And Anthony is so excited that he can't sit down. But then Nacho's guitar self-destructs, four strings suddenly snapping. And just when lesser outfits might stop, stall, or step offstage, Los Arboles roll with the chaos. Eddie runs off to do repairs, Anthony rips into a drum solo, and Nacho leads a spontaneous sing-along as "Comienzos" corkscrews into completely unforeseen territory. It's a song set free by disaster. And it's being rewritten on the fly by a band blessed with collective consciousness, total fearlessness, and a strange sonic connection to the flow of the universe.
Kicking out the fuzz and causing minor chaos since 2007, the Jacuzzi Boys are the sloppy garage-punk princes of Miami's rock 'n' roll scene. But the Boys' hyperpopularity isn't limited to the sweaty denizens of South Florida's skuzziest clubs. These three dudes — singer and guitar guy Gabriel Alcala, bass player Danny Gonzalez, and drummer Diego Monasterios — are getting big all across these strange and scattered United States of America. Ever since the release of their full-length debut, 2009's No Seasons, by Orlando-based outfit Florida's Dying, the Jacuzzi Boys have gone north to south and coast to coast, spreading their message of sex, staying out late, and the shaking of fruits. They've made friends and fans in almost every outpost of awesome tuneage, from Chicago to Nashville, Kalamazoo, Toledo, and New Orleans. And they even hit the high seas aboard February's inaugural Bruise Cruise, scoring a four-day weekend of endless daiquiris and serious stage time with Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, and a bunch of other killer rock crews. Then, at the beginning of March, Gabriel, Danny, and Diego got their biggest break so far: inking a deal with Hardly Art, a Seattle indie label founded and codistributed by legendary grunge 'n' rock record company Sub Pop. It was awesome news made immediately awesomer when Hardly Art's head honchos confirmed the Jacuzzi Boys were headed straight for the studio with plans to drop their second slab before the dawn of 2012. Now we all just need to place our pre-orders and try not to puke from overexcitement.
Churchill's Pub
Alexander Oliva
When a 300-pound punk dude named Father Damian (AKA Pink Eyes, Mr. Damian, Damian Abraham) strips down to his underwear, belly-flops onto the bar, climbs the walls, screams in your face, and then tries to shove the mike down your throat, you tend to remember the experience. You might be going through 16 stages of fear. You might even be shitting your pants. But strangely, you're having tons of fun. And if you're a fan of Canadian hardcore crew Fucked Up, this is the kind of incident you'd call superior entertainment. And these are the signs you've survived an all-out rumble with the biggest dude in the pit. Indeed, every time frontman Damian and his four cohorts — drummer Mr. Jo (AKA Jonah Falco), guitar guy 10,000 Marbles (AKA Mike Haliechuk), Concentration Camp (AKA Gulag, Josh Zucker), and Young Governor (AKA Ben Cook) — take the stage, it's a full-out attack on the human body. And the couple hundred punks, music nerds, and casual sadists who made it out to Churchill's September 14, 2010, left with scars — physical, psychic, or otherwise. Everyone got Fucked Up. And there were no regrets.
The Internet is killing the music industry. And it's total suicide to start a record label in 2011. So why not just say, "Screw it," preempt the inevitably shitty sales, forget making money, and put out an entire collection of uncompromisingly noncommercial stuff just for the thrill of building your own little scene atop the ruins of a dead system? Well, that's exactly what local artist Jay Hines did when he launched his latest enterprise, Augurari, a DIY project described on the official website as "a nonprofit organization" that "offers a catalog of limited-edition sound works in various media formats," all executed by visual artists who happen to sideline as musicians. So far, Augurari's output totals five cassettes. And the most recent is a split release from distortion-happy duo Viking Funeral (Juan Gonzalez and Carlos Ascurra) and no-wave threesome Holly Hunt (Beatriz Monteavaro, Gavin Perry, and Nick Klein), while the rest of the back catalog includes tapes from Siren Cult, Daniel Newman, and Charles Dubé, plus Hines himself. To keep it simple, Augurari is all about arty noise. But if you're wondering specifically what "uncompromisingly noncommercial" sounds like, simply listen to one of the tracks off Hines's cassette, Diane Ream/Nags Head: It's literally the sound of a belt sander destroying a microphone.
Studio Center
Founded in 1972 by Steve Cuiffo, Studio Center was a recording facility in North Miami where local Latin disco crew Foxy put its biggest hit to tape and television's Flipper got soundtracked. In 1990, the operation was transplanted to its current 6,000-square-foot location in Miami Lakes. And over the past 21 years, Studio Center has hosted superstars, divas, and hustlers, including Madonna, Shakira, Whitney, Trina, Trick Daddy, Fat Joe, and Rick Ross, while megaproducers such as Big D and Scotty Storch manned the boards. Now owned by mother-and-son team Berta Aleman and Hector Mendez, the studio is home base for recently injured pop hit-maker Sean Kingston and Haitian hip-hopper Black Dada. Its main music tracking and editing suite, dubbed the Icon Room, is tricked out with a fully digital workstation, stacks of superpowered compressors, and a whole selection of sweet vintage gear. And if you're aspiring to be a studio pro, you can score an internship with Aleman and Mendez's crew. Mike Banger, Lil Wayne's official engineer, got started as a Studio Center intern. So put in your time and maybe someday you'll be smoking stogies, sucking back sugary coffee, and laying down all-night sessions with Weezy.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®