In Clubland

If you're not a tourist, the thought of going to the Hard Rock Café (401 Biscayne Blvd; 305-377-3110) in Bayside Market Place can sound vile. But on Thursday the Hard Rock makes it a little easier to stomach with Bandemonium 2000, featuring Marcy Playground and locals Darwin's Waiting Room, Jade Stone, and Harry Dash. Best known for the 1997 hit "Sex and Candy," Marcy Playground is currently supporting its latest fare, Shapeshifter. The low-dough show starts at 8:30 p.m., and cover charge is six dollars.

The dingy press photos and old posters hanging on Tobacco Road's (626 S Miami Ave; 305-374-1198) walls are a far cry from the fancy display cases holding the Hard Rock Café's corporate-acquired musical memorabilia -- and the Road's music is a little grittier too. This Saturday you'll find Texas guitar-slinger Smokin' Joe Kubek there with his sidekick Bnois King. Whenever Texas blues comes up, so do comparisons to Stevie Ray Vaughan, and yes, Smokin' Joe makes a nod to Stevie. But he's also been carving his own niche since age fourteen when he played the Texas bar circuit. Kubek hits the stage at 10:00 p.m. and will feature tunes from his upcoming, eighth full-length recording, Bite Me. Cover charge is six dollars.

You don't hear much about One Night Stan's (2333 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood; 954-929-1566) around Miami, but every once in a while they surprise us with an out-of-town act. Such as on Saturday when Baton Rouge's Larry Garner takes the stage to belt out tunes from his five-album catalog of swamp-influenced blues. Cover charge is five dollars. Call for showtime.

You can see fisticuffs elsewhere on South Beach aside from the show weekend gang bangers perform on Washington Avenue. First Cristal nightclub brought us occasional bouts on Wednesday night. Now South Florida Boxing presents the first of what should be a string of Friday Night Fights at Amnesia (136 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-531-5535). The main event is a light heavy-weight bout between Miami's Dave Kilgour and South Carolina's James Gatlin. The preliminary fights begin at 8:00 p.m. and come to an end around 11:00 p.m., when the crowd walks over to the Nikki Beach Club (One Ocean Dr, Miami Beach; 305-538-1231) for an after-party. Entrance to the fights costs $25 or $35.

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Larry Boytano