Local Music

Local Motion: The President's - LeBron Does Spanglish, Space Alien Freak Outs, and Miami Love Letters

The President
(Roofless Records)

I blame my suspicions on authoritative persons based on my pseudo-socialist Latin American upbringing. Did I believe those bozos (namely Hugo "Monkey-Ass-for-Brains" Chavez) when they said they were in charge? No! Do I believe in Junior's second term? No! Do I believe in The President of Cutler Bay? Well, in a weird, "I'm probably gonna hafta listen to more hip-hop records" kind of way, I do!

This is a bizarre rock 'n' roll platter of 15 tracks that expound philosophically through a mirror of Spanglishisms, New Wave echoes, balladry, skateboarding, Floridiana, Golden Calf idolatry, the NBA (namely LeBron James), and space alien freak outs that you most certainly need to wear your Capt. Beefheart goggles for.

But it is strangely accessible, which is the fucking understatement of the year because at times it seems like The Prez is actually trying to rack-up restraining orders from Rick Ross, botánicas, Michael Jackson, Rachel Goodrich, Jon Bon Jovi, his ex-girlfriend, and the entire Miami Heat front office. Let me tell you how psychotic it gets: this deluxe CD-R comes wrapped in a 7" baggie with a different per copy fold-out pastel painting made by The Prez (note in handling, wear latex gloves, avoid the mess!), inserts that double as fact-sheets, and track listings and a little booklet with what The Prez terms "notes." My disc came in a gutted Doors jewel case.

For those in the know, or rather, those who keep abreast of world leaders and their comings and goings, The President is the guitar-wielding alter-ego of former Miami New Times contributor Jason Handelsman, who was responsible for the Prunk TV segments within these pages. Deciding the alt-weekly format was not in tune with his tune, so he left our offices in a hail of scented candles, proto-punk-poetics, finger-wagging, and a promise he'd be a starter with the Heat in a year's time. Regardless of which, secluding himself in his Cutler Bay estate (Planet White House) and surrounding himself with finger paints, recycled paper, skateboards and an eight-track has garnered results I'll venture to say will make his potential threat of an NBA career pale by comparison.

This fits nicely within Roofless Records roster of experimental artists, and even ups the ante for how far into the fringe their next release will have to be. "Gary Cohen and The Makeout Sluts" opens it up and sets it up for the weird hip-hop related sludge that ensues. "I Love Miami" and "Bruja" are open love letters to our town, while "Free Weezy" and "LeBron" are love letters to black dudes he may or may not know, but clearly idolizes. "God Loves Me" and "Biblical Ghosts" are tongue-in-cheek free-associative ditties that parallel other aspects of this release where The Prez freely borrows from glam rock, jazz, baroque, and trip-hop.

It's a good thing I keep the Capt. Beefheart goggles near my stereo. This is a happy cross between Trout Mask Replica and Safe as Milk, with generous doses of Melvins outtakes that it made me kinda happy in a really good way. Nice. Now, I wonder, what other basketball star is out there that could inspire this weirdo next?

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Abel Folgar