Last month, I struggled to cobble together five solid shows. This month, this list is bursting at the seams. Stock up on ear plugs, Miami. June is coming for your hearing.
1. Primus (June 4 @ Fillmore; $48.20)
Arguably the greatest living rock bassist, Les Claypool is coming to Miami to test the architectural integrity of the Fillmore. (Retest it, actually.) Green Naugahyde, Primus’ forthcoming album — its first in 12 years — won’t be out until July, but the band is mixing in the new songs with their well-aged classics on the current tour. Word on the street (from Claypool and fans who’ve caught recent shows) is that the new material hearkens to Primus’ studio debut, Frizzle Fry, which featured funked-up freakouts like “Too Many Puppies” and “John the Fisherman” (the 90s were kinda fucked up).
You can learn more about the show on livenation.com. But before you go and drop a near-Ulysses, we have two tickets to give away for FREE. To enter the contest, leave a comment on this post and we will announce a random winner on our Facebook page tomorrow morning. Make sure to use a real email address, since this is how we will contact the winner individually with the good news. Good luck!
2. Reagan Youth (June 4 @ Churchill’s; $10)
We all know punk rock reunion tours can be shit, but Reagan Youth’s decision to continue touring after a one-off reunion show in 2006 is important if only to shed light on the group’s influential early days throughout the ‘80s. As the only remaining original member, Paul Bakija is on a mission to make sure people know about the music and his former lead singer and friend David Rubinstein (aka Dave Insurgent), who committed suicide in 1993. The music was a mix of early NYC speed-bop punk with an introduction of early hardcore that, despite its name, preached peace and tolerance more than political beliefs. They sure did hate Nazis, but with a name like Rubinstein ….
A new Reagan Youth album is in the works which centers on Rubinstein’s life and the awful circumstances surrounding his death, a suicide at 29 preceded by a heavy heroin habit, his mother’s accidental death, and the murder of his prostitute girlfriend. A punk rock history lesson at Churchill’s is fitting. Learn more about the show HERE.
3. The Spits, TV Ghost, Lil Daggers, Heart Strings (June 10 @ Churchills; $8 presale/$10 door)
A collection of grimy punks and dirt bags this good has the potential to throw a classic punk show. Even Heart Strings, the obvious low band on this totem pole, can lead things off with a no-pressure, ass-kicking set. The Daggers, Miami’s answer to the Spits, will showcase its own punk spunk and lube up the crowd for the touring vets. TV Ghost, revealing its blend of Captain Beefheart and minimal punk à la Liars, will freak people out to a beat. And finally, the Spits will take the stage and make everyone remember why punk music is the bee’s skanking knees. Learn more about the show HERE.
4. Los Amigos Invisibles (June 11 @ Grand Central; $25 presale/$30 door)
These Venezuelan jazz-funk beat mongers return to Miami to show off exactly what David Byrne saw in them when he signed them to his Luaka Bop label. I happened to catch Los Amigos in Chicago last year and it was one of the funkiest shows I’ve ever seen. What to watch for: 1) guitarist José Luis Pardo (the dude with the Sideshow Bob hair) will blow your mind with his precise, warp-speed noodling; 2) keyboardist Armando Figueredo is all of 98 pounds, but gesticulates like he’s the Old Spice guy. Other than that, it’s a panty-throwing kinda party. Learn more about the show HERE.
5. Dick Dale (June 12 @ The Vagabond; $10)
The legend goes like this: Playing a show on a wireless amp, Dick Dale walks through the crowded venue, fingers blazing up and down the neck of his guitar, exits for the bar across the street (still playing the song mind you), and, a few minutes later, returns to the stage, drink in hand, without flubbing a note. That probably won’t happen at the Vagabond (and it likely didn’t ever happen), but you’ll still get to see the 74-year-old surf-rock pioneer blur through “Miserlou” like the bad ass motherfucker that he is while you and your honey bunny shake a leg on the dance floor.
6. Black Uhuru (June 15 @ Grand Central; $20 online/$25 door)
It’s been more than 20 years since Black Uhuru released relevant material, but that’s mainly because Duckie Simpson is the only original member left. Sprinkle in some legal disputes, failed attempts to reunite, and the absence of producers extraordinaire Sly and Robby, and you’ve got plenty of reason these guys yearn for the ‘80s. No matter. Simpson and co. have a songbook of four albums ranging from solid to legendary to play from, but here’s hoping they just rock Red in full. Learn more about the show HERE.
7. Junip, Helado Negro (June 15 @ Bardot; $10)
Of all the awesome shows coming our way in June, this is THE ONE. Known mainly for boasting indie folk royalty in Jose Gonzalez, Swedish trio Junip thrives on team effort and sets itself apart from Gonzalez’s solo work. Elias Araya, Tobias Winterkorn, and Gonzalez are friends who have been playing together for more than 10 years and resemble Yo La Tengo’s take on folk songs, complete with soft fuzz and distortion over gorgeous soundscapes and voices, and instrumental interludes that breakdown the very structure of folk music. This is a rare opportunity to see Gonzalez, and an even rarer one to see him with Junip.
South Florida’s Helado Negro, the beautiful work of electro-folk artist Roberto Carlos Lange, is icing, sprinkles, and candles on the cake. Born in South Florida to Ecuadorian parents, Lange wears many hats as an artist, but his songs are structurally similar to Caribou and Kieran Hebden’s Four Tet. His latest album, Canta Lechuza, was released in May and is available for download/stream.
Learn more about the show HERE.
8. CURREN$Y (June 16 @ Grand Central; $20 GA/$30 VIP)
CURREN$Y’s hip hop backstory is as deep as the bowls he packs. Once a No Limit soldier and a Cash Money bandit (he was Kim Wayans to Lil Wayne’s Marlon, Damon, and Keenan), Curren$y went solo to blaze a self-made trail of mixtapes filled with pensive ’70s R&B samples and funny everyman slacker lyrics (“Indo get rolled up like car windows/Avoiding the policeman, them Carl Winslows”). Now, after brief stints with Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam, Warner Bros. has given the 30-year-old rapper his own imprint (Jet Life Records), which will release Weekend at Burnie’s on June 28.
Learn more about the show — which will feature CURREN$Y crew mates Trademark da Skydiver, Young Roddy, Fiend, MonstaBeatz, and others — HERE.
9. Jacques Renault (June 17 @ Bardot; $10)
This guy might single-handedly bring disco back, and I don’t know whether to respect him for it or loathe the bells off his bottoms. In relentlessly groovy concoctions like “Bad Skinned” and “In the Middle of the Night”, Renault doesn’t just touch on disco — as reviewers often say – he embodies it. Learn more about the show HERE.
10. The Hundreds in the Hands (June 23 @ Electric Pickle; $??)
More technically sound than your typical NYC electronic band, this Warp Records guy-girl duo funnels glam and new wave into an electronic shell with poppy hooks and gorgeous female vocals in a way that sets them apart from their gizmo-reliant cohort. Learn more about the band on their website.
Bonus: The Hood Internet (June 11 @ Bardot; $10)
While Girl Talk shies away from the mashup label, this Chicago duo embraces it with more traditional two-artist blends. Unlikely pairings from these underground laptop nerds include Grizzly Bear vs. Dead Prez, Lil Wayne vs. Royksopp, R. Kelly vs. Jens Lekman, and Arcade Fire vs. Blondie. Learn more about the show HERE.
Double Bonus: The Pass (June 17 @ The Vagabond; $??)
I guess Louisville doesn’t think us deserving. Quoth Louisvillemusic.org: “The Pass has a few dates around the Southeast to tend to. We’re all so sorry they have to go to Florida.” Well, we’re not. The Louisville-based dance-pop outfit burst on the scene last year with the aptly titled Burst, a debut shot through with R&B, disco, and trip hop that any ANR-loving Miamian should dig. You can try to find more about the show on the band’s Facebook page.