American Subterranean Brings an Offbeat Fourth of July Show to Churchill's Pub

Donzii will take the stage at American Subterranean.
Donzii will take the stage at American Subterranean. Dani Miller
Tired of celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks, parades, and putting on the cheesiest red-white-and-blue bathing suit you can find? American Subterranean might be for you.

The two-night musical extravaganza July 3 and 4 at Churchill's Pub bills itself as "a new wave of comrades destined to further South Florida's stain of avant-garde musicianship on the national stage."

"We love noise and performance," explains Gregorio Alvarez, who founded the festival with his brother Eduardo Alvarez. "We always wanted a Fourth of July show. Something that was our way of saying, 'This is our Independence Day,' where we barbecue and support Mom and Pop businesses. A day where we showcase our friends, the musicians, and artists that are so hard-working and never get the recognition."

The Alvarez brothers originally started their Fourth of July tradition seven years ago, back when they called the event Audio Junkie. Previous installments took place at venues from Gramps in Wynwood to O Cinema to a warehouse parking lot. Last year, Audio Junkie took a break. The event's name change came when Audio Junkie started becoming more art oriented and sponsored by Mana. They wanted this party to have a separate identity, and thus American Subterranean was born.

"We're showcasing bands out of left field. There is so much performance art, noise, punk, and so much other weird stuff happening in Miami," Gregorio Alvarez said. In exchange for a five-dollar cover charge, each night will feature 10 different acts. "Each band will play for 15 minutes. And with there being so many subgenres [of music] in Miami, we can have every 15 minutes be totally different."

Wednesday night, July 3, will feature Glass Body, Pocket of Lollipops, Cumscum, Ronit Golan, the Ruffans, Spur, Other Body, Galore, Bryan Adam, and Womanmay. Thursday night, AKA the Fourth of July, features Donzii, Real People, A Fucking Bug, Montage, Deux Pooch, Mistr Rey, Calnepuelco, I'm Your Knife, Jersey Glan Burger, and FTMF.

The Alvarezes' own band Dog Heat will also be taking the stage on the Fourth. "Experimental spoken word punk" is how Gregorio described the band for which he sings and plays guitar. "It's a mix of the theatrical and hardcore." His band's attitude fits the American Subterranean fondness for oddities. "One year we had watermelon smashing, another year we had the National Anthem played by all these crazy guitar players. It's going to be a sideshow of weirdness."

American Subterranean. 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, and Thursday, July 4, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; Admission costs $5.
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland