A radio DJ, his best friend (a Venus flytrap DJ), and their computer-animated dolphin frenemy GolfDolph team up to revive music television with the help of some friends and an interactive audience along the way.
It's the premise of Sound Waves, a new web show developed by Jolt Radio founder John Caignet and Frank Guzman, better known around town as his plant-faced alter ego DJ Woozles. Caignet hosts the show under the moniker Mr. Jolt.
Sound Waves is loosely based on a Tonight Show-style format, with performances by and interviews with local artists. But the pilot feels more like the result of a mad scientist's creation cobbled together with elements from Pee-wee's Playhouse, The Muppet Show, Beavis and Butt-Head, and an after-hours '90s Nickelodeon show. And, yes, people get slimed.
After three years of development and production, Sound Waves' pilot episode was ready for audiences. Its founders booked a screening at O Cinema Wynwood. The event sold out on Eventbrite in three days, surprising even Caignet and Guzman.
“When you're good to the community, the community is good to you," Guzman says of his and Caignet's active involvement in and promotion of the Miami music and arts scene. "So perhaps people in the community have taken notice and spread the word.”
The pilot episode features a chat with and performance by local band Rick Guerre and an interview with Eileen and Jonathan Andrade of Finka Table & Tap, along with cameos from Miami scenesters such as Otto Von Schirach and Poorgrrrl. Local DJ and brewer Piero Rodriguez also makes a cameo, which was recorded about a month before he died tragically in a car accident.
Guzman and Caignet have written an entire season of Sound Waves, but because of budget constraints, they've shot only the pilot. The demand for the show bodes well for future development, however, and they're ready to go with a serialized plot that encourages audience participation in the form of song and music video submissions and even FaceTime music recommendations.
Bringing their spacey, live-action cartoon idea to fruition required completing some ridiculous tasks. "The show takes place on the beach, so we bought a lot of sand," Guzman laughs.
Adds Caignet: "It's pretty ironic, because at the beginning I told Frank: 'It's not like we live in Colorado or anywhere in the Midwest. There's plenty of sand here.' But we still had to go to Home Depot and buy it.”
Of course, reviving music television in the age of YouTube requires some adaptions beyond the basic cable model of 20 or 30 years ago, a real-world lesson their characters learn within the low-budget world of Sound Waves.
"At the end of the show," Guzman says, "we realize that we're not trying to bring anything back, that this is actually the start of something new."
Sound Waves Premiere. 11 p.m. Friday, August 4, at O Cinema Wynwood, 90 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-571-9970; o-cinema.org. Tickets are sold out.