Weird Wives and Luma Junger Square Off Against Alligator Alley, Wise Wizards, and Gulf Coast Fauna (Plus Free Music!)

Alligator Alley, the artery connecting lower Southwest Florida with the Gulf Coast b/w The Everglades, is so flat, straight and strikingly unremarkable that it takes on the vertiginous qualities of the most hypnogogic labyrinths. That is to say, I-75 is so boring that it's damn near psychedelic.

Nevertheless, Crossfade was compelled to make the straight-ahead journey so that you -- the faithful reader -- may glimpse upon local musical exports making your hometown look good. Damn good.

This past weekend, Lake Worth post-punkers Weird Wives and Miami synth-and-rock trio Luma Junger made the haul up The Alley. This is part of that story. The part we can tell you.

Upon arriving in Sarasota, we quickly secured a burlap sack filled with the town's signature culinary delicacy -- boiled peanuts.

Later, chugging onto the New College of Florida campus, our convoy was informed that the show would be running parallel to a campus-wide "Wisest Wizard"-themed party. Though deathly afraid to hear the answer, we couldn't help but ask the question, "What the fuck is Wisest Wizard?"

Much like elaborate binge drinking mating rituals such as beer pong (or even more simple methods of distribution, e.g. industrial-sized tin-buckets filled with grain alcohol and passed out bread-line style), the goal of Wisest Wizards is to get shamefully drunk. The prop essential to this theme is the "wand," a duct-taped baton comprised of cached beer cans. Several attendees at the show were not only wielding long, impressive canes fashioned from Steel Reserve tallboys, but also took the opportunity to dust off the ol' Gandalf costumes because, y'know, college.

Luma Junger were pimping Suspicious Piglet, a three song sampler of their recent session with Rat Bastard, some of which they've uploaded to the band's Soundcloud. Each CD-R came with one-of-a-kind sharpie album art featuring metal fonts and cagey looking piggies.

The student body -- wise, wizardly, wasted -- responded to Luma Junger with head bangs, fist pumps, and ecstatic shouts of approval.

The crowd responded to Weird Wives, on the other hand, by moshing. And with good reason. The Wives have always sounded burly, initially invoking the Amphetamine Reptile model of negative creep rock. But the band's recent era (and its capstone document on West Palm Beotch Records, the epically titled Some Motherfuckers Gonna Be Walking 'Round With a Size 9 Diehard Up Their Ass, Cause Apparently They Ain't Never Seen a Short AC Man Get Bad Ass on Methadone) has upped the Red Medicine-era Fugazi stomp and turned down the Jesus Lizard loogies. We're practically slam-dancing with ourselves just thinking about it.

Following Weird Wives was another Palm Beach mish-mash of players called JJXP. We're not sure how secretive the group is about their band name, so we'll give you a head start figuring it out with the revelation that the entire band is gainfully employed by Jimmy John's, America's Favorite Sandwich Delivery Guys.

Clearly inspired by his surroundings, Weird Wife Nick Klein spent the JJXP set making noise in a bush like a hippie.

In conclusion, it matters not the size of the Wizard's wand, but how they play the game.

P.S. Luma Junger spent the rest of the night locked up in a New College dorm room, composing and recording this Hawaiian black metal ukelele no-wave demo. And they want to offer it for free to you, oh faithful Crossfade reader.

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Matt Preira