Most art is silent. Even during Basel week.
That's why we at New Times — an admittedly hopeless gaggle of noise junkies — just can't get through the week without offsetting our 12-hour days at the art fairs with 12-hour nights at Miami's hipster bars, rock dives, and downtown concert halls.
So if you're similarly afflicted by an out-of-control addiction to tuneage, let us rendezvous at these 15 best concerts during Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.
Thurston Moore. As part of "Kurt," a multidiscipline exhibition. Presented by the Friends of Gusman, Olympia Theater, and Onward Forward. Thursday, December 6, 8 p.m., Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-372-0925; gusmancenter.org. Tickets cost $25 to $50 via tickets.gusmancenter.org. As a kid, little Kurt idolized Kiss. A few years later, he was obsessed with Sonic Youth. Luckily, the Friends of Gusman selected Thurston Moore to headline this "study of the late Kurt Cobain" and not, you know, Gene Simmons's 12-inch tongue.
Metric. As part of the Scope Miami official opening party. Presented by VH1. Thursday, December 6, 7 p.m., Scope Miami Pavilion, 110 NE 36th St., Miami; 212-268-1522; scope-art.com. The event is invitation-only. According to VH1, "you oughta know" indie-pop ice queen Emily Haines and Metric. But in the event you've been trapped in a "Monster Hospital" for the past decade or something, go crash this invite-only Basel bash.
C.S.P.G. Basel BBQ. With Metro Zu, O'Grime, Robb Banks, Shuttle Life, and Chalk. Thursday, December 6, 7 p.m., Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com. No cover. Ages 18 and up. Behold the youth of South Florida! A swagged-out, sublimely faded mob of drank-guzzlin', outer-space-explorin', Flamin' Hot Cheetos-eatin', paper-chasin', guap-gettin' rap hooligans, otherwise known as the Cokey Shores Posh Gang.
Tilly and the Wall. Presented by Mute Miami. Thursday, December 6, 8 p.m., the Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami; 305-576-9577; thestagemiami.com. Tickets cost $15 plus fees via completeticketsolutions.com. Ages 21 and up. Want a lil' Basel week whimsy? Meet Tilly and the Wall, a troupe of Omaha, Nebraska kids who use tap shoes as percussion instruments.
Daniel Johnston. Presented by Poplife. Friday, December 7, 9 p.m., Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Speaking of whimsical experiences: Indie outsider legend Daniel Johnston likes to sing songs about cartoon characters and scribble pictures of ridiculously muscled superheroes. Of course, though, he's also known for taking midshow time-outs to scream at Satan.
Nicolas Jaar. As part of Music @ MOCA. With Adams + Tabeau. Friday, December 7, 9:30 p.m., Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach; 305-514-1500; mondrian-miami.com. Tickets cost $25 to $40 via eventbrite.com. This 22-year-old EDM wunderkind is an admirer of Ethio-jazz man Mulatu Astatke and avant-gardist Erik Satie. He helms a full band. He dwells in the meditative 100-bpm range. And he's taking electronic dance music way beyond the megaclub.
Kool Keith, AraabMuzik, and Amtrac. As part of NQB8R. Sponsored by Spin and Red Diamond. With Bondax, Hundred Waters, Kilo Kush, Metro Zu, and Samo Sound Boy. Friday, December 7, 4 p.m., Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 786-75-BOOZE; grampsbar.com. Free with RSVP. Ages 21 and up. Lunatic rapper Kool Keith, local neo-disco dude Amtrac, and AraabMuzik, the world-renowned "MVP of the MPC" — that is what's colloquially known as a "motherfuckin' party," bro.
Chromatics and Prince Rama. Presented by Sweat Records and M.O. Friday, December 7, 8 p.m., Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-374-2444; gusmancenter.org. Tickets cost $20 via tickets.gusmancenter.org. If we at New Times were hired to assemble a soundtrack for Basel week, we'd probably go with a four-day looping playlist of arty, brainy, sexy tunes by Chromatics and Prince Rama. Eerily, Sweat Records and M.O. seem to have read our freaking minds.
Rakim. With ArtOfficial and Problem Kids. Friday, December 7, 8 p.m., the Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami; 305-576-9577; thestagemiami.com. Tickets cost $30 plus fees via completeticketsolutions.com. Ages 21 and up. As the rapping half of golden-era hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, this New York City MC is so notorious that he has seven names: William Michael Griffin Jr., Rakim Allah, Ra, R.A.K.I.M., the Master, the God Emcee, the God. No doubt, the man is a certified "Microphone Fiend."
Merchandise. Presented by Ad Hoc, Self-Titled Magazine, and Spilt Milk Projects and sponsored by Sailor Jerry Rum and Grolsch. With Teepee, Lil Daggers, and Band in Heaven. Friday, December 7, 9 p.m., Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission is $5, with complimentary drinks after 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up. If the anthemically fuzzy tuneage of critically beloved Tampa synth-rock band Merchandise isn't enough to lure you to Miami's best rock club during Basel week, there's also gonna be a trio of killer SoFla crews, free booze, and no cover charge. Are you satisfied now? Holy shit.
Basel Castle 2012. With Purity Ring, Twin Shadow, Trinidad James, Brenmar, Jacuzzi Boys, Teengirl Fantasy, Nick Catchdubs, O'Grime, and others. Saturday, December 8, 6 p.m., Overthrow Castle, 41 NW 20th St., Miami; baselcastle.theoverthrow.com. Free before 8 p.m. with RSVP; priority tickets cost $35. Ages 21 and up. No, you are not suffering from alcohol-induced hallucinations. Yes, those are really 24 of your favorite musical geniuses on the same stage. And yes, that's actually a castle.
Robert Rodriguez's Chingón. Saturday, December 8, 9 p.m., Mestizo City, 81 NE 40th St., Miami. Free. Do your Mexican slang skills suck? Well, chingón basically means badass. It's also the name of movie director Robert Rodriguez's spaghetti Western ranchera rock band. Go fiesta in Mestizo City, a 6,700-square-foot pop-up public space designed by architect Henry Muñoz.
Flying Lotus. With Zola Jesus, Dan Deacon, and a DJ set by Animal Collective's Avey Tare and Deakin. Presented by the Windish Agency. Saturday, December 8, 11 p.m., Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Tickets cost $20 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up. Sure, the hugely anticipated UR1 Music Festival went bust. But several of the fest's displaced acts — Flying Lotus, Zola Jesus, Dan Deacon, and two dudes from Animal Collective — are gonna be getting down at Grand Central. Go party like a refugee.
George Clinton. Presents Funk Shui. With Jona Cerwinske. Sunday, December 9, 9 p.m., Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-576-7750; bardotmiami.com. Tickets cost $23 to $27 plus fees via showclix.com. Ages 21 and up. He's not only the progenitor of P-Funk and the godfather of G-Funk. George Clinton is also a 13th-level master of Funk Shui, the art of generating positive energy flow by "tearing the roof off that sucker."
Hard 2 Leave. Presented by the Overthrow. With Craze, Tamara Sky, Caligula, Damaged Goods, Spinstyles, Heroes x Villains, Vavlt Boyz, and others. Sunday, December 9, 10 p.m., Goldrush, 15 NE 11th St., Miami; theoverthrow.com. Cover costs $10. Ages 21 and up. For the past 96 hours or so, you've pretended to be some kinda artsy intellectual with loads of class. End the charade (and Basel week) with the Overthrow, heavy bass bangers, stark-naked ladies, two dozen chicken wings, and a gallon of cheap beer at downtown Miami's self-proclaimed "#1 gentlemen's club."