Valentine’s Day evokes different emotions in different folks depending on how likely one is to get laid, or at least a box of chocolate, on this loaded holiday. To celebrate the agony and the ecstasy, the joy and the pity, the lonesomeness and, ultimately, the love, here’s a playlist of songs that are appropriate (however inappropriate) for the occasion. Curated by Miami Music Guide editor and William “Don Juan” Alton, these Valentunes are all by local bands. Gotta love that.
Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra’s annual celebration of noise took over Churchill’s Pub from Wednesday through Saturday. Acts from as far as Denver and Boston made the trek to join a host of local bands with a frantic 15-minute set time limit. Performance styles ranged from Clang Quartet’s intense Christian noise performance filled with colorful and disturbing prop instruments to Unicorn Hard-on’s dance-inducing “Technoise” beats. Click on the photos here to view them in wide format, and visit the Beached Miami Facebook page to browse many more photos from International Noise Conference 2013.
The narrative of Miami’s ongoing transformation comprises various story lines, including, most prominently, the burgeoning of its artist community and cultural offerings (as chronicled in the recently released documentary Rising Tide). There’s also the less prominent stories of its increasingly vibrant music scene — attested to by our list of the Top 50 South Florida Songs of 2012 — and its surprisingly rich bike culture (surprising because our sprawled-out, car-centric city would seem utterly inhospitable to bike travel — and, in fact, it can be.)
Quick, name a sultry, smoky, R&B-influenced pop act to garner attention in the last five years. Not a very difficult task, is it? In syncopation with the bass music (don’t call it the D-word) craze of recent history, more than a few bands have been taking cues from their club counterparts, producing hazy, atmospheric takes on the pop format that bend genre boundaries without ever losing their song-like qualities. From the smoked-out, beat-driven compositions of contemporaries like James Blake to decidedly more radio-friendly, vocal-centric acts like Grimes, a fusion of songwriter stylings and speaker-melting electronica has been steadily poking through the fringes of popular music.
This post is sponsored by the Center for Literature and Theater at Miami Dade College
Growing up in Brooklyn during the late ’80s and early ’90s, Amina Gautier witnessed poverty and the crack epidemic first hand. “As most people know,” she says, “that was a really rough time to be a New Yorker.” Gautier survived the experience and ultimately channeled it into her short-story collection, At-Risk, which won the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award from the University Press of Georgia in 2010.
I’m a Northern California boy, through and through. I grew up ten minutes north of Berkeley, studied computer science engineering at Davis about 45 minutes away, and then was fortunate enough to have the industry I went to school for bloom around me. I spent my post-university career living around the Bay Area, the last four years in the Mission in San Francisco. I am attuned to things that are uniquely San Francisco: burritos, surly Asian women serving me pho, co-workers into fringe politics, passive-aggressiveness.
Amid a heavy touring schedule, synth soother Judson Rogers — stage name: Sumsun — has released Avey Oliver, a new EP via Halocyan Records. Available now on iTunes and due out on vinyl in February, the five-track release features “New Piano”, a song with the gentle-sun, receding-tide, drum-circle ambiance that both pegs Rogers as a South Florida native and makes him a coveted party starter wherever his turntables take him. Here’s the new video for “New Piano”, which somehow emits the scent of sea breeze when you listen to it on full volume.
In the beginning of Beware of Mr. Baker, Ginger Baker smacks Jay Bulger in the face with his walking cane, sending blood streaming down the filmmaker’s nose. It’s a fittingly aggressive start to a film that chronicles a life spent hitting things: hitting joints, pummeling his veins with heroin, hitting the dusty road on an improbable musical excursion through the Sahara, even whacking polo balls from the backside of a galloping horse — and, of course, banging out drum beats that transformed rock and roll.
In support of Transportation, a collection of short stories released on the first day of 2013, author Nancy Rommelmann is visiting Panther Coffee on Tuesday for a talk, reading, and presumably a cup of coffee. Raised in Brooklyn and based in Portland, Rommelmann is a journalist, novelist, and short-story author whose latest work “dives into some strange pockets of the human soul and swims a line right on the blackest edge of fear, desire and despair,” according to the Oregonian. Here’s more from the paper’s review:
After a quiet 2012, PLAINS is revving up for a productive new year, promising a stream of single releases leading up to its second full-length album in early summer. In fact, guitarist Jorge Graupera says the LP is “90% completed”. That’s very good news considering PLAINS’ self-titled debut featured two songs in the top five of our South Florida Songs of 2011 list, including the number-one spot. To whet your appetite for a year of PLAINS production — and, in the shorter term, for the band’s Churchill’s show on Friday, Jan. 25 — here is a video (shot by occasional Beached Miami photographer Jesse Meadows) of the band performing “Swim”, a song from the forthcoming record.