It was sometime in the very early Eighties, I don't remember exactly and I'm not going to look it up (as if there were some reference where I could). The place was 27 Birds in Coconut Grove. There was this kinda weird lookin' guy -- too straight/blue collar, at least for rock and roll -- in a red-and-white checked shirt fronting a band. They played mean, hard, stompin' rock. My budding interest in "local music" flowered like Carolina azaleas in spring. The guy was Charlie Pickett. I've seen him live a few thousand times since -- including a recent visit to Churchill's Hideaway with his killerest sidemen -- and I hope to see him a few thousand more -- including this Saturday at Churchill's.
Festival Jazz Miami kicks off this week (see "The Calendar") at the Jackie Gleason Theater. A guy I've seen live a few thousands times, and am jonesing to see again, Nestor Torres, will jam with Hubert Laws, Mongo Santamaria, and others of that ilk on Friday. Nestor warmed up for this one by performing at Jazz Aspen Festival in Colorado last month. Somehow I missed that show. Shoot the travel agent.
Van Dome is devoting Wednesdays to showcasing PACE artists. Tonight (Wednesday) it's Ruby Baker & the Future.
Tomorrow (Thursday) the Musicians Exchange stages Baloney Sandwich and In Your Face -- or is that a baloney sandwich in your face? (Sorry.)
This Saturday the Stephen Talkhouse celebrates its first anniversary (see "The Calendar") with thousands of South Florida's best bands performing live. Nice to see that as it has evolved, the Talkhouse has turned more and more to local music. In fact, Charlie Pickett himself is slated to play there August 7. We don't need to pat the Talkhouse folks on the back for looking local -- that has its own rewards. (But we do congratulate them on their first year and hope they aren't bored yet.)
Leo Casino and the Florida Players along with Sister Cathy and Hot Brotherhood cut loose this Friday at Cheers in Fort Lauderdale.
Fresh from network interviews and performances for Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, and Leo Casino, the world rag-popping champion, Dr. Ali-Tyson Cool, defends his title tomorrow (Thursday) against Mr. Richard Powell. See shoes shined with a backbeat at Tobacco Road at 10:00 p.m. The Vegas line has Cool a three-to-one favorite.
This Monday's Full Moon Rhythms features Kofi Leo, Abeng Ensemble, and Dele. It's Afro-beats on the beach. Call 672-5202 for details.
Carla Hall, Omine, Mark Scandariato, and others play acoustic this Sunday at the Talkhouse.
I'm not going to begin to try to explain the technicalities, but there's an amazin' new product on the market called the Mighty Mouth. It's a sort of P.A.-through-headphones mixer perfect for rehearsal and is aimed at younger, just-starting musicians. It has many uses that are too technical for me to comprehend, much less describe, so maybe you should check your local music-gear shop or call Jamm Electronics at 914-895-1606.
Looking for a place to hear radical music in an informal setting? Every Sunday you can catch Madera at Gertrude's Coffee House on Lincoln Road Mall. The trio features Mike and Renee Wood (guitar and flute, respectively) and Qing guo Huang (cello) playing the tunes of Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach, Faure, Villa-Lobos, plus sixteenth-century European nuggets, jazz, ragtime, and Brazilian music. There's food, too.
Apparently bored out of their minds, Rage Against the Machine found a way to dis the PMRC at a recent Lollapalooza stop. In Philadelphia (of all places) the band members walked on-stage bone nekkid, with "PMRC" inked on their chests and black tape over their mouths. As 14,000 punks looked on, the Ragers stood there silently for twelve minutes. Suddenly Tipper Gore ran up, slid to her knees, and began.... Okay, our imagination ran away with us. But the rest of it is, as they say in the biz, true.
Forget the Name has once again proven they hate my guts. As their East Coast tour was winding down (they return for a show this Saturday at Washington Square) the boys sent me a postcard depicting the gorgeous, rock-pocked Pacolet River near Tryon, North Carolina. (Shoot the travel agent.) The band reports enjoying some "great shows" in New York City and a pleasant stop at the Stephen Talkhouse in the Hamptons. They also caught the Lollapalooza stop in New Jersey, but there were no naked people there so they got bored and decided to come home.
Can't place blame, no time for that, so give me a butthorn and note this important correction: The Phil T. Rich and the Fornicators release party plugged last week actually takes place tomorrow (Thursday, July 29, straight from Phil T.'s own filthy mouth) at Cactus Cantina.
Butthorn of the week: The FBI. Rap group Above the Law says the FBI failed to warn Eazy E (the president of their label, Ruthless Records) that some white supremacist group allegedly intended to kill Eazy. Above the Law says the feds warned other targets of the racists' plots, but never peeped a word to Eazy, perhaps because he was once a member of N.W.A., who once recorded a song called "Fuck tha Police," which inspired the FBI to threaten N.W.A.'s label. Above the Law wants an explanation from the FBI.
Butthorn update: Those jerks at WSHE canceled the local-music show. But WFTL-AM (1400) takes over with The Local Voice beginning this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Local, original acts will perform acoustically on the show. Call Nick Lawrence at 485-4111.