Jacuzzi Boys and Beings
Miami Art Museum
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Better than: Another smooth jazz concert in the sculpture garden.
The Review: Why can't our cursed subtropical weather just cooperate for one fucking minute? It's like anytime someone's set for major fun, Mother Nature gets all uppity and shits (or rains) all over the parade.
Well, last night, she tried to screw with good times again. But she failed. We cunningly outsmarted that bitch. After some scattered showers, the Miami Art Museum's Afterhours powwow was officially relocated from the uncovered sculpture garden to a safer stage. Just in case of sudden downpour, Jacuzzi Boys and Beings were now gonna play their sets while huddled under MAM's overhang because, you know, musicians are best when they're not being fried alive by their instruments.
It was the third in a series of Thursday night arty parties scheduled as sidebars to the New Work Miami 2010. Back on August 19, we got María José Arjona's diamond-in-the-mouth performance. Two weeks later, it was Ana Mendez and Aja Albertson doing indeterminate dance inspired by John Cage. And finally, the time had also come for the sacrosanct and sterilized halls of this civic institution to be defiled by noise, booze, and a flash of anarchy.
But the wait wasn't quite over. With evil clouds swirling through the sky and cutting the fading sunlight to reddish shards, no one took the stage at 7 p.m. as originally planned. Things got delayed and then delayed again. It's called "Miami time" for a reason, right? And the assembled knew the emergency drill: Swill a few more $4 Coronas, pick disinterestedly at the complimentary chips and dip, laugh loud, swap gossip, and waste a little time wandering the galleries.
An hour and a couple minutes later, Jacuzzi Boys finally stuffed themselves into an awkward corner behind a stucco pillar and several giant potted plants. The sound guy let a dub record roll and singer Gabriel Alcala shouted out a string of "Irie!" to check the mic. Everything in place, Gabe let his two-foot black mop cover his face, counted down, and ripped into it.
As the last light died, the Boys busted out a quick, crisp set studded with faves like "Ghost Ghost," "Black Sand," and "Smells Dead." Friends of the band, randoms, and MAM members filled the courtyard, leaning into ferns and sucking off their beer bottles. One of the best things about hearing music in that spot was the way those jangled rock 'n' roll riffs rattled around the plaza, bouncing off the Main Library's façade, echoing back, and then disappearing down stairways and up into the darkening sky. Another excellent part of the night: There wasn't even a second sheet of rain. We beat Mother Nature and she had accepted defeat.
And adding another dagger to the weather's moody motherfucking heart was Beings, a guitar-bass-and- trio centered on drummer Beatriz Monteavaro. (She's also an artist whose trippy closet-from-hell installation and gooey alien face painting are highlights of New Work Miami 2010.) The band borrows from hardcore, no wave, and '90s indie, filtering it all through a dark downtown swampiness. It's melodic, barbed, fuzzed-out, trippy, and explosive. At breakneck speed, Monteavaro and crew shredded through 13 tracks, stopping for no more than a few seconds between each song to shout stuff like "That one was about a dirty river."
By 9:23 p.m., Beings' thrilling sprint was over. And a random comment from some maniacally smiling 40-something with a shaved skull caught the vibe just right: "It's perfect music for driving down hot, evil Miami highways. You gotta buy the record."
Personal Bias: I'd still rather see the Boys and Beings in a dark, cold cave like Churchill's or Bar than under threat of rain in Miami's Cultural Center Plaza.
The Crowd: Maybe 88 arty types, including gallery guy Anthony Spinello, Domingo Castillo (AKA Master of the End), artist-at-large Kevin Arrow, one Mr. Otto Von Schirach, and a couple homeless Government Center stragglers.
Overheard in the Crowd: Guy #1 -- "Dude! Do your hands look weird! My hands look weird! This music is messing with my brain!" Guy #2 -- "It's not the music. It's the 'shrooms. And maybe that vortex art thing."
Random Notebook Dump: The clouds made a face in the sky. It had bugged-out eyes and a circus mustache.
Beings Set List:
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