Oracledang Festival

Concert Review: Oracledang Festival at White Room, May 28

With Raffa Jo, Radioboxer, Mayday, and others
White Room, Miami
Friday, May 28, 2010

Better Than: The sum of its parts 

The Review:

Hot dang, White Room was white hot Friday night as Miami author J.J. Colagrande successfully incarnated the formerly fictional Oracledang music fest, making existential history in the name of local music, art, and literature. (The real-life event was named after the music festival in his Colagdrande's own scene novel, Headz.) The White Room event was produced in conjunction with the club's new operations manager Nassie "Notorious Nastie" Shahoulian, as well as promoter Benny, and brought together a mixed bag of local talent.

Our favorite soft rocker Raffa Jo -- minus usual partner Rainer, but plus Mr. Jesse Jackson on the electric Gibson --started things off sweet in the club's dark and intimate red room. Jackson's vintage tube sound and perfect timing filled in flawlessly with Raffa's lovable acoustic strumming and gentle lyrics. The duo cruised through a handful of cover tunes and Raffa originals, and after the set, Jackson stayed onstage to give a little sneak preview of his upcoming White Room/red room weekly acoustic residency, which begins this Tuesday night at 10 p.m.

Next up on the main stage was quirky Hialeah band Radioboxer, most noted for its seemingly schizophrenic yet sexy superhero singer Vanne, whose epileptic fits and bursts of angry energy are truly impressive. Think young and Latin P.J. Harvey on crack, in a good way. 

Back in the red room, after a half-hour or so of technical difficulties/onstage drum practice, Askultura came on to illustrate that ska is no longer dead. They put on a fun show that had the packed room swaying and skanking (and shmoking). 

After that, the details start to get blurry but I'm pretty sure it was Fort Lauderdale's Jamaican sons Wraps N Kush in the club's big room, with melodic positive reggae/dancehall/hip-hop that had the crowd jumpin'. Meanwhile, upstairs in the tiny black room, dubstep DJ crew Partners in Grime counted it down and blasted it off from behind its mission control beat console, as hypnotized hipsters blissfully danced and drifted off into the early hours. 

Lighting up the end of the night like a grand finale, or at least an S.O.S. flare, Miami's drum 'n' bass/hip-hop big boys Mayday gave an over-the-top performance to a crowd of friends and fans and other fiends. The main room was alive like a mass of wriggling worms as the band blasted through a set that could have been seen from space.  

Organizers say the event was a success, bringing in around 420 paying headz, and showcasing some of the best local music and art around. Look out for more next year. 

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I love my job.

Random Detail: Raffa's curry popcorn is the shiz.
By the Way: Colagrande's next novel, Are You Hungry??, is set for release in fall 2011.

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