"Brooklyn," as the current day manager of The Vagabond in downtown Miami is known, has done and seen it all around the South Florida music scene since arriving here from his native New York some 12 years ago. Younger types flitting around hipster nightlife know him as the improbably, heavily tattooed guy who has tossed their drunk asses out of various venues across Broward and Miami-Dade. But he has done a lot more than that, working for a number of years as an occasional band manager and jack-of-all-trades at local hardcore stable Eulogy Recordings. He has gathered enough opinions along the way that he was finally able to persuade us to give him his own weekly column, in which he waxes poetic on the local scene. Read it in print here monthly and online every Wednesday morning on the New Times' local music blog, CrossFade.
Since I've lived and worked in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, I want to talk about the differences between the scenes. As far as the people — people are very flaky in Miami. Not like there's a ton of bad people, and everyone in Fort Lauderdale is good, though. There are flaky people in both places, but there are definitely more flaky people in Miami. And there are way more jackasses who hang out in the clubs, the Ed Hardys who put drugs in girls' drinks and talk about, Oh, I drive a BMW, and my hair is superslicked-back, and oh, check out my million-dollar watch. And the kids in Fort Lauderdale are more like, Hey, how's it going? Wanna hang out?
That's the case even at the clubs I've worked at or go to in Miami. We do get those fucking douchebags at The Vagabond, and there are tons of those douchebags who go to The White Room, and when I worked at the now-defunct Circa 28, it was the same way. Still, though, there were more cool people, like people I'd rather have a conversation with, at all of those clubs, as compared to Cameo or those places.
As far as Miami goes, I would like to see more places where you go in there, have a good time, enjoy a couple of drinks, and listen to cool music. It doesn't have to have some over-the-top DJ — more of like a hangout type of vibe. In Fort Lauderdale, there are a couple of places like that; there is that corner where The Poor House is.
I think Miami needs a place like that, where somebody can go hang out and not fucking have to empty out his bank account to buy himself and his significant other a drink. There are a few places like that, but I feel like there should be more. The Vagabond, where I work, is one of those places, and The White Room and PS14. And even on South Beach there are a couple of good parties, such as Black Sundays at Bella Rose, and cool DJs like Johnny the Boy and Obi T/Damaged Goods. It shouldn't be about having to whip out a black AmEx just to get in somewhere. It should be about going out, making a couple of friends, bullshitting, and letting off some steam.
Five albums I'm listening to this week: (1) Coliseum, No Salvation; (2) Converge, No Heroes; (3) Culture, Born of You; (4) Red Roses for a Blue Lady, Return to Melancholy; and (5) Fugazi, 13 Songs.
Quote of the week: "There is more to life than increasing its speed." — Gandhi