Program Notes 45

Now that we publish the paper on Thursday, this column feels even more dated. Of course a daily column in a daily paper is what it'd take to come close to giving the rock of South Florida the coverage it deserves; we're doing the best we can. Not that I was doing all that well a couple of weeks ago when Stephen Talkhouse hosted a massive celebration that one local musician later called the concert of the year. Then again, I couldn't have been too obnoxious because I was constantly surrounded by intelligent, gorgeous women who kept kissing me and such. And if I was too rude, tough, because I told the owners the minute I walked in that we were going to shut the mother down, that we would not leave the Talkhouse standing (which you can take two ways).

The cause for celebration was the announcement of Mary Karlzen's signing to Atlantic. Unbeknownst to anyone except everyone I told, it was also my birthday. The reason I came home the next morning with lipstick on my face (honey, I swear) was because a huge contingent of femme advert people from New Times happened to show up in a, um, celebratory mood. So every time I was interviewing someone on the sidewalk or the patio or in the alley, Carol or Cynthia or Ana or Jenni or Tiffany or Claudia or Kara or Diane or Tracey or some combination thereof would pass by and give me a b-day smooch. Alan and Paige and Mr. Nightlife (a.k.a. reporter Jim DeFede) were there too, among the many offering me a beer.

Jim Wurster and Bob Wlos opened the festivities, but me and Mr. Large arrived too late to catch their set. Then Arlan Feiles played a solo set, joined by Joel Schantz, Sean Edelson, and Karen Friedman for some of the songs. Karlzen and her band warmed all cockles with a powerhouse set, joined by Nil Lara for a few tunes. At one point late in Mary's set I had to use the restroom and got shanghaied by someone on the patio who wanted to tell me something. I heard one of my colleagues banging on the glass, then the door swung open and DeFede beckoned me inside just as Mary was telling the audience that I was a "special guy" and the whole place, which was packed, erupted into a shout of "happy birthday." I'm not special, but sometimes I feel like it. The finale absolutely iced the cake. Mary, her band, Nil, and Arlan ripping out a meltdown version of Bruce's "The Ties That Bind."

Speaking of ties, the brief moment in the spotlight reunited me and my old (since high school -- old) friend Ray Lopez. Ray was down front, but when he realized I was in the back he came over and said hey.

Talisman plays Plus Five tonight (Thursday).
That didn't last long. Ernesto Gladden is out as program director for WSHE-FM (103.5) and Bill Pugh is back in, according to reliable sources. (SHE corporate declined comment.) Several listeners have told me they can already hear a difference. When I learn that SHE is programming really worthwhile music A Forget the Name, Rooster Head, Natural Causes, the Goods -- I'll listen, too.

The Holy Terrors tear into Squeeze on Wednesday.
Homegirl Ani Espriella has made it to the finals on Star Search. This Saturday you can catch her on the show, and cast a vote (900-288-STAR).

That didn't last long. One of South Florida's premier bands, Voidville, has called it quits. A week or two or three ago the group's singer, Diane Ward, won Best Female Vocalist at the Jammy Awards, while she and guitarist Sturgis Nikides won as best duo. At the South Florida Rock Awards even longer ago, Di won similar vocalist honors, Sturge won as best guitarist, and the Voidsters were dubbed Best Rock Band. Certainly we'll be hearing from all four members in the future. All they had to say at press time was "thanks to all our fans and all the clubs who gave us a chance."

Two reasons: they're really nice shirts, and some of the money goes to a good cause. So hell yeah I'll plug the latest in the Hard Rock Cafe's series of T-shirts illustrated with the artwork of famous musicians. A tree-dominated landscape by Jerry Garcia decorates the eighth entry in the line of twenty-dollar Ts. The proceeds from sales of this one go to Riverwatch, a ten-year-old fishermen-founded environmental enforcement organization.

Mind Mural is at Squeeze on Wednesday.
Day By the River closes for Little Charlie and the Nightcats at the Stephen Talkhouse tomorrow (Friday). Next Wednesday Day by the River joins I Don't Know and Falling Corpses at Talkhouse.

Speaking of Falling Corpses, they had the same problem I Don't Know had at the Talkhouse. They were set to close for the Samples, but thanks to a long show and tons of stage equipment, it was 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning before the stage was ready for the Corpses. "The Talkhouse was totally cool about it," the band reports. "We'd like to apologize to our fans." The band helps open up a rock venue in -- get ready for this -- Kendall. It's Short Stops at 13067 SW 112th St., 383-7011. They play there on Friday, and at Churchill's Hideaway on Saturday.

Big funk rock groove comes to Rose's with Second Coming -- I swear I almost wrote "Living Color" instead of Second Coming, which I'm sure Byron would've just loved; sorry, dude A on Saturday. Baloney Sandwich and Brother Grimm share the bill.

Butthorn of the week: Ticketmaster and the Miami Film Society, says this week's nominator. "All the ads say the tickets were $6.50. I got there and they said I had to pay a dollar charge because they were using Ticketmaster's computer. Right at the box office! They're ripping people off with that dollar charge at the door. It's bullshit, fucking bullshit, man." Sounds like.

Butthorn outside our circulation area: Several Miami bands who made the trip to the Jammy festivities in Orlando report that the Edge up there decided to force all the bands to play early and abridged sets. "They fucked all the bands," says one complainant. "They just cut us all down. Six Silver Spiders drove four hours to play one song." Sounds like the Orlando Edge is burning the wrong bridges, and that whoever's in charge can wear his or her butthorn as the badge of dishonor it is.

Butthorn rebuttalhorn: Amy Phillips did not like the recent dis of the Nancy Wilson show by one attendee who felt SunBank people were granted special privileges at the meet-and-greet. "It's not true," she says. "Everyone was treated fairly and equally. It was crowded in that small area. There were no instructions about letting anyone in first. As long as you had a ticket, you got in."

The media circus: Fat Black Pussy Cat, the famed one-night run by John Hood (who returns to these pages this week with a take on White Zombie), received some nice coverage in the New Yawk Post, which reported that former MTV VJ Dave Kendall was opening a Fat Black Pussy Cat (modeled after Miami's right down to the weekly password gimmick). According to the Post, Hood and his associates threatened legal action, calling the rip-off "rat like." A cease and desist order was apparently sent to Kendall, who, judging by the Post story, laughed it off. Now New Yawk is pilfering its culture from us. How funny.

Pet corner: And that's not all New Yawk is stealing from South Florida. Ron Mann has appeared in this space a few times during his seven-year tenure as an ad seller here at New Times. Back in 1987, when New Times came to town and took over the Wave, they hired me. And they kept on Wavers Greg Stier (now publisher), Pat Flood (then a delivery boy, now the advertising director), and Ron. We're the old guard, except Ron's gone. He, wife Sue, Pomeranian Cecil, and Siamese cat Coco (rescued from the streets) are off to a loft in TriBeCa. Ron will go to work for the New Yawk Press, where he'll join up with former NT publisher Julie Felden. "Back when I started," Ron says, "we didn't even get commissions. I remember when [Jim] Larkin [co-owner of the five NT papers] told me we'd start getting commissions. I looked at him and said, 'Cash guaranteed?' He said yes. I thought it was like getting a million bucks." Just before starting here, Mann visited Casa Marina in Key West. By coincidence he found himself at the same place shortly before his departure. I found him to be a great guy, good friend, and decent all-around human being.

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Greg Baker