Chuck Livid Talks Punk Rock Business, Miami Love, and DJing

he line between weekdays and weekends gets blurry on Thursday night. For college students, it signals the end of the school week. For working stiffs who gotta get up early Friday morning, it's more of an "I'll go out for a few beers, won't stay out too late, shit it's 3:00 a.m., fuck! I overslept" kind of thing. For the gang behind Shake at the Vagabond, Thursday nights are a labor of love.

Tonight that last crew has commissioned a couple from across county lines to come and join them in the party business. The husband and wife team of Chuck Livid and Helena Garcia will be running shit in the Vagabond's back patio.

Garcia will be painting a mural in her sugary style, while Livid will be spinning some of his favorite punk rock tunes and some tracks from his label's growing catalogue

We took a moment to ask Livid some questions about his label and tonight's jam.

New Times: What's your name, nationality, and where are you from?

Chuck Livid: My name is Chuck Livid. My parents are from the Dominican Republic and I was born in Brooklyn and raised in Miami. And no, I don't like reggaeton.

For someone who lives in Boca, you seem to have a lot of Miami ties and a lot of Miami releases. What's your 305 connection?

Miami's where my heart is. I was raised in Sweetwater, went to school in Westchester, had friends in Cutler Ridge and Palmetto and had some of the best times of my life at Churchill's in Little Haiti.

I fell into Boca Raton by pure accident. But I've got to say that I enjoy having quiet time to work on projects. If it weren't for Boca Raton, this record label wouldn't exist. Miami can and will trap you into an everyday crazy cycle full of distractions that make it real difficult to focus on things and get them done.

Is Shake going to be your first foray into DJing?

Kinda. I wouldn't call it DJing though. I'm just playing from bands that inspired me to get into music and songs from artists I respect. DJing is an art form for some people and I wouldn't want to take that away from them. Let's leave it at something rather pretentious like Livid Records presents Chuck Livid's Battle Royale 2011.

What is your all-time favorite dance tune?

That's a really good question. For some reason, I'd think it'd be anything from Le Tigre because I love Kathleen Hannah.

Do you think rockers and bros can live in a world peacefully?

You know, if Run DMC and Aerosmith ever taught us anything, it was that yes it could work.

What kind of stuff are you going to spin?

Everything from Pixies to Suicidal Tendencies to Peaches. It's gonna be fun.

Tell me some choice tracks you're spinning and why you picked them.

I'm really psyched to be adding Livid Records artists to the mix. So if people enjoy a little Pool Party with their David Bowie, then I'll be as happy as a fly on shit.

What's the occasion, what's making you make the long drive south to DJ some tunes?

Aholsniffsglue asked me if Helena, my wife, and I would be interested in doing a night at SHAKE. I was honored because I know Slim Biscayne, Jason Jimenez, and Ahol pour their souls into that night and do a hell of a job making it a success. So not in a million years would I have thought anyone would ask me to do this. I'll be sure to make the night a battle royale that everyone there will always remember.

Running a record label in today's climate seems a little crazy. How do you keep doing it so consistently?

I'm not going to lie, it's real tough. Livid Records basically functions on an equation that consists of taking a percentage out of my salary from my day job and releasing records, period, no matter what. I run the label in a real unorthodox way in the sense that, even though it's a corporation with one employee, the bottom line isn't profits; it's making sure albums are being released by bands that deserve their albums seeing the light of day.

You'll be giving away a Livid Records Mix Tape for free. Can you give a breakdown of the bands and point out some key tracks and what they mean to you?

It has one or two tracks from every Livid Records recording artist. I admire and respect every single band on it, and hope people will enjoy it and check out those bands. They all mean the world to me.

How the hell do you have two Canadian bands?!

Canada has some of the best bands in the world. Seriously, shit's crazy up there. Livid signed Zero Cool and the Pine Tarts, and I'm not kidding when I say this: they may be two of my favorite bands of all time. We also have a Swiss band and an Icelandic one.

Anything you wanna add?

I want to know where the girls are? I don't mean like "yo call me girl", because I'm married and that'd be weird, but like where are the female leaders of the Miami music scene? It can't all be Afrobeta, Raffa Jo Harris and that chick from Suenalo? I love 'em, but Miami needs like a RiotGrrl 2.0 revolution real soon.

Chuck Livid and Helena Garcia at the Vagabond resents (((SHAKE))) Monthly Mural Series. Featuring DJ sets from DZA, A-Train, and Chuck Livid. The Vagabond, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-379-0508 or visit

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Jose Flores