William Alton is a Miami native who writes for The Big Takeover magazine online and blogs about music at Heaven Is Loud. He compiled the following list, which is in order of awesomeness. To view the Top Ten Miami Music Events in November in chronological order (bor-ring!), scroll to the bottom of the post.
1. Levon Helm and Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs (Nov. 4 @ Pompano Beach Amphitheatre; $50.85 – $84.20)
This is an important show. Levon Helm is 70, having survived Arkansas, Ronnie Hawkins, Albert Grossman, heroine, and throat cancer. Better known as The Band’s backbone and grit, Levon will grace Miami with his twangy soulful voice. Ray LaMontagne will help fill the crowd with folksy gals with folksy guys on their heels. It’s not a cheap ticket, but it’s a co-headlining tour that will be worth every penny. If you don’t see Levon now, he’ll be gone in moonshine time. For more info, click HERE.
2. Wolf Parade (Nov. 10 @ The Fillmore; $33.75, including $12.25 LiveNation rape charge)
Solo careers and side projects – ambition, really – often drive bands to disintegration. Not so for the members of Wolf Parade, whose peripatetic formula has kept the core alive. Record, tour, side project, tour, repeat. Expo 86 (Sub Pop, 2010) is only Wolf Parade’s third release since their 2003 debut, while their collective side projects have released nine full-lengths. (Maybe Wolf Parade is the side project.) For more info, click HERE.
3. Nitzer Ebb (Nov. 13 @ Grand Central; $20)
You should already know if you belong at a Nitzer Ebb show. The British EBM group’s rambunctious industrial Kraut-hall seizure-inducing homoerotic (occasionally heteroerotic) anthems will be a jolly good time. But if you can’t decide whether to strap on the leather for this fetishist party, you might want to see Javelin (below) on Nov. 13. That said, this is a once-in-a-Miami-lifetime chance to see industrial dancehall music normally reserved for more sinister settings. For more info, click HERE.
4. Javelin (Nov. 13 @ Awarehouse; $12)
A hodgepodge of synthetic soul-pop that joins J-Dilla and Kraftwerk in holy matrimony, the Brooklyn-based duo Javelin will be performing in Wynwood’s Awarehouse as part of a Vitamin Water/WVUM 90.5/Fabrika-sponsored post-Art Walk party. In an email exchange with Javelin’s Tom Van Buskirk, I asked him why Miami is now drawing so many buzz acts.
“I have no idea,” he wrote. “Must be good promoters. Or perhaps Will Smith’s message has finally sunk in. Or the final episode of the Golden Girls’ song.”
Van Buskirk on playing Miami:
“We are psyched to play for Miami, and to visit their Sound Machine. Where is it located? We want to eat a meal at Tap Tap, the Haitian restaurant in South Beach … and get drunk in the lobby of a fancy hotel.”
For more info, click HERE.
5. David J (Nov. 19 @ Monterey Club; $5)
From 6 -7 p.m., David J, the dark spirit behind “Bela Legosi’s Dead” and other Bauhaus songs, will be signing whatever the hell you want for free at Radioactive Records. Afterwards, he will perform and man the turntables at Monterey Club. Attendance at this show is mandatory. For more info, click HERE.
6. La Roux w/ Panic Bomber and Francis and the Lights (Nov. 1 @ Culture Room; $22.25)
This will be La Roux’s second attempt at a Miami show after their August date, along with the rest of their tour, succumbed to Eleanor Kate Jackson’s bronchitis. Jackson’s female-leaning androgyny, amped up Flock of Seagulls ‘do, and amazing voice are central to the band, but it is not a solo project. Like Jackson’s hairstyle, La Roux’s music is ‘80s with a contemporary makeover. Panic Bomber, one of Miami’s electronic golden children, will get everyone started, along with NYC new wavers Francis and the Lights, whose lead singer Francis Farewell Starlite sounds a lot like Peter Gabriel. Cross your fingers for the band’s amazing rendition of Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” on the Guilt by Association series. For more info, click HERE.
7. Social Distortion w/ Lucero and Frank Turner (Nov. 13 at The Fillmore; $42)
If you’re one of the many Social Distortion-obsessed punks out there, this show is a must. For everyone else, there are better places to go on Nov. 13. Considering the stiff ticket price and the other cheaper, more intimate events to go to, I’d take a pass. Without even getting into the fact that Mike Ness is the only original member left standing, Social Distortion is best seen in a cage, full of other animals, not at the Fillmore. But if you do go, get a shot of Ness’ tear drop tat and send it over here. For more info, click HERE.
8. Robyn w/ Natalia Kills and BFGF (Nov. 5 @ The Fillmore; $33.25)
To anyone who thinks seeing Robyn is gay, call me Nathan Lane. Not surprisingly, Robyn shares the same Cherrytree Records as La Roux, but there is a clear distinction between La Roux’s glammed-up 80s pastiche and Robyn’s ever evolving variations on synth pop. This time around she employs Diplo, Royksopp, and grindcore-turned-electro guru Klas Åhlund. Miami’s BFGF, one of DJ Chris Video’s darker dance projects, opens up the show. For more info, click HERE.
9. Jose Flores (Nov. 20 @ Sweat Records; FREE)
Sweat Records presents “I’m Kind of a Singer: An evening with Jose Flores.” Flores, who has been involved with countless Miami bands, most notably and currently with the Getback and Jose El Rey, will celebrate his 32nd birthday working for us. What a nice guy. The Miami post-punk fixture has been playing Churchill’s for 16 years, so here’s a chance to celebrate a guy who does Miami’s music scene proud. For more info, click HERE.
10. Dieselboy (Nov. 6 @ The Electric Pickle; $12)
Damien Higgins, aka Dieselboy, knows how to throw a party. You will be soaked in sweat 20 minutes after his set starts. The Florida native (Tarpon Springs) is on a dubstep electro kick at the moment, which explains why he’s coming to Miami. He’ll be back in December, playing the Culture Room. For more info, click HERE.
The Miami Music Festival takes place from Nov. 11 – Nov. 14, but it has issues … San Diego fuzzy buzz band Crocodiles cancelled their Nov. 13th gig at Grand Central due to a death in the family … Leon Gieco, advertised as the “Argentine Bob Dylan,” will play Miami for the first time ever on Nov. 13th, at 8 p.m., apparently before Nitzer Ebb … Badfish, the ultimate Sublime tribute band, plays Nov. 11th at Revolution. They’ll exceed your expectations, but $25.25 for a tribute band sucks no matter how good … Doug Stanhope, a surly poor man’s Bill Hicks and wildly (self)misrepresented by his Girls Gone Wild affiliation, will laugh you into depression on Nov. 13th at the Culture Room for $20.
1. La Roux w/ Panic Bomber and Francis and the Lights (Nov. 1 @ Culture Room; $22.25)
2. Levon Helm and Ray LaMontagne & the Pariah Dogs (Nov. 4 @ Pompano Beach Amphitheatre; $50.85 – $84.20)
3. Robyn w/ Natalia Kills and BFGF (Nov. 5 @ The Fillmore; $33.25)
4. Dieselboy (Nov. 6 @ The Electric Pickle; $12)
5. Wolf Parade (Nov. 10 @ The Fillmore; $33.75, including $12.25 LiveNation rape charge)
6. Nitzer Ebb (Nov. 13 @ Grand Central; $20)
7. Javelin (Nov. 13 @ Awarehouse; $12)
8. Social Distortion w/ Lucero and Frank Turner (Nov. 13 at The Fillmore; $42)
9. David J (Nov. 19 @ Monterey Club; $5)
10. Jose Flores (Nov. 20 @ Sweat Records; FREE)
To view more Top Ten Miami lists for November, click HERE.