Best Small Music Venue 2016 | Bardot | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of Bardot

Big things come in small packages, and stellar performances come without a stage. Such must be the philosophy behind Bardot. For nearly seven years, this hipster hideaway has been home to some of the most intimate and memorable performances across genres and styles, from rappers like Danny Brown and Jonwayne to DJs like James Murphy and Gaslamp Killer and even electronic bands like Yelle and Holy Ghost. Named for '60s sex kitten Brigitte Bardot, the venue features an interior decorated with trippy projections and NSFW images of girls getting down and dirty. Smoking is allowed inside, and you'll likely breathe in a few varieties of smoke, but it all adds to the naughty nightlife atmosphere. A pool table sits in the back, a few couches for VIP tables and general lounging are scattered about, and the bookings are consistently next-level. That's why Consequence of Sound recently named Bardot the 83rd-best music venue in the nation. Not bad for a 300-capacity hole in the wall in midtown.

Who's the baddest dude to ever touch golden Technics? Who was so unstoppable on the ones-and-twos that the DMC World Championship had to tell him it was no longer fair that he should get to compete? Who is the DJ so brash, so bold, and so ballsy that he spits out a battle routine calling superstars out by name, turning tricks with nothing touching the record but his back? Craze isn't just the best DJ in Miami; Craze is one of the best turntablists in the world. We're lucky to have a living legend in our town, and he puts this city on his shoulders, constantly repping at shows and putting on talented sounds via his homegrown label Slow Roast Records. If you haven't seen his "New Slaves Routine," you might not be a DJ fan, and if you haven't listened to his 2¢ mixes — his recent collaborative project with fellow fckboi killer Four Color Zack — well, you're just kind of a whack jokester. Every time you see a Craze set, you see something that blows your mind. His style will never get old, because it's the truth.

Readers' choice: DJ Irie

Judging by the album sales and eye-popping crowds at Ultra every year, we live in the golden age of the DJ. But it's also true that this is not the golden age of DJing. Every blooper with a USB port and a black jacket can book a gig at a sports bar, but the real legends — the men and women who curate an hour or more of solid tunes designed to turn heads and shake behinds — come around only once in a while. Mr. Brown is one such legend. His sets leave listeners smilingly befuddled. You won't recognize every song, but you might hear your underrated favorite, and you're sure to discover a handful of new number ones. Whether he's playing funk or French electro, sexy soul or hip-hop street beats, Mr. Brown has it all, and what makes it even more fantastic is the fact that he's playing off vinyl. He has never even touched a digital mixer, and that means all of this great music is coming from his personal collection. He's been DJing on vinyl for 16 years, and by his own count, he has roughly 60,000 LPs in his home and more than 100,000 others he plans to sell one day when he opens his own record store. That dedication to music sharing and discovery is what the spirit of DJing is really about, and for that, Miami thanks Mr. Brown.

Paolo Santosuosso

If there's a Beyoncé equivalent in the indie world, it's probably Radiohead. Like Bey, the band tends to drop albums with little to no warning, letting fans work themselves up until they're positively foaming at the mouth. So when the band abruptly dropped its first album in five years, A Moon Shaped Pool, this past May, Miami fans went B-A-N-A-N-A-S trying to find the vinyl version. Online, they could order the double-LP directly from Radiohead's website. But a limited-edition, opaque white vinyl version was available only at indie record stores. Luckily, Sweat Records had listeners' backs. That's exactly the kind of niche, vinyl-head detail that owner Lolo Reskin has brought to the Little Haiti shop since founding it in 2005. And yes — of course — she also stocked five copies of an exclusive seven-inch release for Radiohead's first single off the album, "Burn the Witch." (Those sold out in less than ten minutes.) The Radiohead frenzy is just the latest example of Sweat's devotion to wax, though. The shop is packed with thousands of new and vintage records and for the past six years has played host to Sweatstock on Record Store Day, bringing in national and local bands to celebrate their favorite medium. Even if you miss out on Radiohead's next superlimited release, Sweat has plenty more to offer, such as gently used vinyl, band merch, turntables, and even a coffee bar that can keep you fueled as you search for more records to add to your collection.

We checked famed astrologer Susan Miller's latest horoscopes to see if the stars said Virgos would get any major accolades in the middle of June. Apparently not (though it is a great time for Virgos to sign a contract). Then again, you shouldn't put that much stock in astrology anyway. Virgo, the one-woman project of Elizabeth Ann Clark, at times reaches beyond the stars all on her own. Armed with a wispy voice and a bevy of electronic implements, the waif-like Clark has been entrancing Miami audiences at clubs and underground parties for less than two years but has already made her mark. She'll play for the third year in a row at the III Points Festival later this year. Miller's horoscopes don't mention what time of the month is best for checking out new music, so there's no excuse not to get into Virgo as soon as possible.

Photo by Karli Evans

In 2005, a club called Nocturnal opened in the space at 50 NE 11th St. At the time, the owners were looking to jump into the 24-hour party business that had made Space so successful a couple of doors down. Still, even after an $11 million build-out, Nocturnal never really found its footing and struggled as the king of 11th Street continued to lure patrons looking to party until sunrise. That changed in 2015 when the venue was rechristened Heart (following a brief incarnation as Koi). Instead of taking on the behemoth that is Space, Heart has positioned itself as a complement of sorts. If Saturdays belong to Space, then Fridays belong to Heart. Instead of concentrating on traditional house, Heart tends to focus on minimal, techno, or other off-kilter dance genres. Instead of competing, Heart is adding to 11th Street's partying environs. DJs such as Miss Kittin, John Digweed, Jesse Rose, Nicole Moudaber, and others have already gotten Heart beating. Under its semitransparent tenting on the rooftop, partygoers bathe in the Saturday-morning sunrise before calling it quits. And a wide-open dance floor (a rarity these days in Miami) welcomes everyone to try out their best moves — whether it's just bobbing your head or breaking out those truly spastic body movements.

Readers' choice: Basement Miami

Located on the top floor of a five-story beige shopping center just off the Palmetto Expressway, Las Tabernas de Wancho is an unlikely locale to earn the title of el quinto piso mas rumbero en Miami (translation: the most lit fifth floor you'll find in Miami). But damned if it doesn't deserve those plaudits. The floor hosts three rooms, each with its own flavor. Cuna del Sol fits about 450 partiers and plays mostly merengue and bachata. The most recent addition is Club 5, a smaller space that brings in a younger crowd by playing hip-hop, reggaeton, and techno. But Tropical Crossover is for the true Colombianos. Decorated to resemble a pueblito, the space makes patrons feel like they're in Antioquia. Each room features a disco ball and aguardiente bottle service. It's the LIV of Hialeah.

Readers' choice: Ball & Chain

Alexander Oliva

Sure, Churchill's has been the grimy beating heart of Miami rock 'n' roll for decades. But only a couple of years ago, the pub's unwavering spot at the top of the scene didn't look so secure. When news broke that the bar's owner of more than 30 years, Dave Daniels, was looking to sell the place, Miami panicked. We’d seen this story play out way too often. A venue springs up, we grow to love it dearly, and then it's ripped from our grasp by greedy developers who think this city needs a few more luxury condo towers. Loyal Miami punks saw a future without Churchill's, without a dimly lit, densely packed floor of sweaty fiends thrashing to pure guitar noise. But, for once, the narrative changed. Instead of succumbing to the wrecking ball, Churchill's has persevered and even thrived under its new ownership. The music, still going down seven days a week, is still as loud as ever. Churchill's has mixed a regular lineup of national touring acts with plenty of slots for locals like Jacuzzi Boys while staging forever delightfully weird festivals such as International Noise Conference. Though other venues have stepped up to help fill the void, Churchill's remains the undisputed champ of the Miami rock scene. Long live the king.

Readers' choice: Churchill's Pub

Alex Markow

There's arguably no strip club on Earth that's been the subject of more hip-hop songs than King of Diamonds —Miami's sprawling, 60,622-square-foot ode to excess. So rather than tell you more about KOD, we'll let a mishmash mixtape of those lyrics tell the story: Ain't no pimp livin' like that 305 lifestyle/It's LIV on Sunday, King of Diamonds Monday/I come stuntin', 24s on my Beemer/That Bentley come from Exotic Rentals/You wanna ride with/Bouncers know us, I'm coming a hundred deep/Call up King of Diamonds and tell China it'd be worth the flight/I'll be at my table stacking dollars to the perfect height/No more livin' poor, smoking something like it's legalized/All the ladies love us/They know our faces like the ones we throw/She just tryna make it so she's right here getting naked/It's a work something, twerk something, world/But I don't judge her, I don't judge her/She ain't scared to get that money, though I could never love her/The one I love back at home got bitter, 'cuz I ain't come home this morning, hope she don't torch my shit/Every time I'm in Miami, my girl fina throw a fit/But 'fore the end of this year, I'll do King of Diamonds three more time/Smoking on that kush all in our section with Justin Bieber and the guys.

Readers' choice: E11even Miami

Natalia Molina

Wynwood is the new South Beach. That is to say, it's the place cool kids want to be seen. The action is here, along with the culture and the excitement. Wynwood is the obvious location for your next celebration, art show, or public event. Whether you're looking to book a birthday party, a wedding shower, an afterparty, a musical barbecue, a graduation celebration, or just a corporate event that doesn't suck, Cafeina's lush tropical backyard, fully stocked bar, and delicious dining options are exactly the right spot in the buzz-worthy neighborhood. This place is large enough for your bash, offering a 1,560-square-foot interior lounge; a 1,000-foot art gallery; and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor space. What's most intriguing, however, is the cozy and intimate design, thanks to warm accents and plenty of flora. You can hang out in the yard and have a cookout, or you can sit by the bar and enjoy whatever local art is proudly exhibited. The space can accommodate a stage if you have some bands you want to play, or keep it casual with a DJ. The space is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but please allow three business days for customization if you're booking for a large event.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®