Program Notes

The other night about 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. at Spo-dee-o-dee, just for fun -- I wasn't on X, I wasn't even ecstatic -- I kept hugging people. I can't remember everyone I hugged, although I do recall a warm embrace with fellow slacker-critic-poseur-writer Mike "Teddy Bear" Burrell, because he's really cute. Anyway, I think this is the solution to all our problems -- the millions of dead tourists stacking up in our morgue like Haitians, the mindless media, the idiot drivers, the raving lunatic Miriam Alonso supporters, the intricate politics of local music, WSHE-FM (soon changing its call letters to WSHT) firing Glenn Richards, the long hours and bad demo tapes and pictures of dogs. What we need to do is to hug -- not mug, hug -- each other. This is how I know the Middle East peace treaty stuff is a scam. Yeah, they shook hands, tentatively, but they did not hug. It'll never last.

I really want to hug Laurie "Buzz" Hibberd. Eat her right up like candy. Let's put it this way: If I weren't ecstatically married, I'd have a hell of a time choosing between Laurie Hibberd and Mike Burrell. Last week some of you more dedicated readers A the ones who actually made it all the way to the end of the column A noticed my attempts to humiliate, desecrate, and castigate Lovely Laurie. That was before I became a hugger. I felt kinda bad about ripping her, until she phoned me up a few days later and cheerfully thanked me for the ink. I'm glad somebody around here gets it.

Still not feeling good? Tapping those fat blue veins with a razor blade? What you need, dear friend, is a hug and a reason to live. Here it is: Greg Brown, confirmed, live, October 22, Stephen Talkhouse. Those of you holding tickets to the March 13 date (canceled due to the Storm of the Century) A and T-house staffers report that many people did keep their tickets rather than seeking refunds -- are all set. The rest of you can pay $12 or $15. I'd hurry.

I'll give Moon Over Miami about six episodes before the ax falls, but by next year we'll have a teevy show we can actually be proud of. I hope, anyway. Last week Howard Baum, Peter Tors, and Irwin Meyer shot at Chili Pepper the pilot of Rock-It!. Aimed at the cable market (it'll be shopped at the giant NAFTE convention in January), the pilot featured guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen as guest. "It's MTV-style with irreverent humor, using hip South Beach locations for a backdrop to intense rock-and-roll experiences," says Baum. "The hard rock and trendy setting should make a rock-and-roll connection on South Beach -- where there isn't one. We'll interview arena names, and we have man-in-the-street segments." Also featured in the pilot: Natalie McCullough as spokesmodel/cohost. You know Natalie A you've even seen her nekkid. On "The Buzz." No, wait. On page 137 of the September issue of Playboy.

Why Rat Bastard needs a hug: Finally, two of his fave bands, the Bats (from New Zealand) and Bad Religion (from L.A.) play live in South Florida. On the same damn night.

A patio party this Friday at UM, where the Rails, Second Coming, Loadface, and Part Time Punks perform at 8:00 p.m. free and open to the public.

As you may know, the Bellefires are no more. Frontwoman Valerie Archon is putting together a new band for shows and an album. Archon's management, TCA, is conducting auditions now for keyboardists, guitarists, drummers, and bass players. Call John Tovar at 442-2998.

Butthorn of the week: I knew there was hope when WSHE-FM (103.Why?) brought in programming genius Ernesto Gladden. The other day, in a single block, the station delivered this inspired package of groundbreaking rock tunes: "Smoke on the Water," "We're an American Band," and "Sweet Home Alabama." The only thing missing was "Dust in the Wind."

The media circus: WTVJ-TV news broadcast something that wasn't true. Even as a WCIX-TV reporter was standing out on I-395 in pitch blackness -- pointing out that the streetlights there have been out of commission for about a year, and that tourists can get killed in the darkness there, and one has -- Channel 4, apparently working from a press release, was announcing that the lights had been fixed and were now on. Reality -- what a concept.

P.S. Forget Teddy Bear Burrell. Forget Buzz Hibberd. I got a blowjob from the Miami Herald. Yes, dear virgin-eared chilblen, the Miami Herald delivers, and it's about time the blue suits over there grew up. Marilyn Marks, in a September 11 story for the front of the Herald's "Broward" section -- essentially rewriting a recent "Program Notes" item -- used the actual word "blowjob," no hyphens or nothin'. We've come a long golshdarn way, kids.

P.P.S. Have I been saying "hugs" all column? Sorry. Start over. I meant drugs.