New Waves: Beings ‘Modern Crush’, Social Creep Listening Party

By | December 6th, 2011 | 2 Comments

After listening to “Modern Crush”, the first offering from Beings’ forthcoming 7”, it’s obvious the Miami punk trio of Ivan Marchena, Beatriz Monteavaro, and Mike Alen hit the off-switch way too soon when they played their last show at Bardot in late May. It isn’t easy to come to terms with the premature demise of Beings, especially when this rollicking two-minute track reminds us so forcefully of why we loved them: catchy choruses and rhythms buried like the dead in dirt, hiccupping yelps, barbarian banging and crashing.

Engineered by Torche bassist Jonathan Nuñez and pressed by Discosoma Records, Social Creep features four songs — “Modern Crush”, “Crowd Clones”, “Social Creep”, “Popular Air” — that the melodically snarling punk trio recorded before they announced their split. In typical Discosoma fashion, Beings’ final release will be limited to 100 copies and features badass art by the band. (For nerds like me, the vinyl glows in the dark). Discosoma and Beings will celebrate the release with a listening party at Lester’s on Friday. To RSVP, visit the event page on Facebook.

William Alton is a regular contributor to the Beached Miami music section and the curator of the Miami Music Guide. Follow him on Twitter @beachedwilly.

Last show, last song: Beings’ ‘Scumbag Party”

By | May 26th, 2011 | No Comments

As we wrote in the previous post, raucous art rockers Beings — Ivan Marchena, Beatriz Monteavaro, Mike Alen — have called it quits after about two years as a band and only two releases (a self-titled album and a 7″ through Discosoma Records). Frontman Marchena told us he’s simply tired of the “band thing” after 15 years, and Wednesday night’s final show probably didn’t reenergize him. Visibly and vocally frustrated at the sound in Bardot, Marchena was either apologizing or cursing for most of the set. “My guitar doesn’t usually sounds like this,” he said after one song. Later, when Marchena waded into the crowd mid-song, took off his guitar, and abandoned it to a girl sitting at the bar, it was clear he’d had enough.

Still, Marchena was being overly self-critical on a night he wanted to go off without a hitch. Beings’ last set might not have been perfect, but it was pretty damn good, with drummer Monteavaro abusing the toms with a grin and bassist Alen bouncing around until his glasses fell off. The small crowd gathered to commemorate Beings’ disbandment cheered throughout the bitter-sweet show, and after the last song a few dudes scrambled to snatch the band’s set list as a keepsake.

The show ended on a pitch-imperfect note when the DJ cued up Neil Young’s “Ohio” while Marchena was saying his thank yous and before the last song, “Scumbag Party”, was over (see video above). The band did the right thing and muted the house speakers with a frenzied burst of noise.

‘Cuz, you know, the show must go on.

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Beings and Nothingness … and Oprah

By | May 25th, 2011 | No Comments
Beatriz Monteavaro

Beings drummer Beatriz Monteavaro banging away at Sweatstock 2011.

Less than a year after releasing a raucous debut album, local art rock trio Beings will play its final show Wednesday night at Bardot (21+, no cover), a surprising turn of events that deals a sizable blow to Miami’s indie scene.

“The reason for the split is that I have been doing the band thing since 1996, and I just got to the point that I didn’t want to do it anymore,” frontman Ivan Marchena said. “I have absolutely nothing but love and respect for my friends that I play with (Beatriz Monteavaro and Mike Alen) and I am proud of what we accomplished together. They are two of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of collaborating with. Beings had a great run, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our friends, families, pets, fellow local/not so local bands, and fans.”

Beings are no strangers to great bands with short shelf lives. Monteavaro (formerly of Floor), Alen (formerly of Map of the Universe and :Nobuhjest:) and Marchena (formerly of Map of the Universe) have been through this before only to rise up again. That’s not to say Miami is taking the breakup lightly. Loads of Facebook messages and tweets suggest a stunned and saddened Beings-loving public.
“I think Beings breaking up is a major bummer, mostly because they didn’t release enough music,” Lil Daggers frontman Johnny Saraiva said. “I’m extremely unsatisfied with the amount of Beings songs I can listen to before I have to loop the cycle. I need so much more and now I’ll be Beings blue ballsing for the rest of my life.”
With roots in hardcore, punk, experimental rock, and no wave, Beings combine(d) an encyclopedic knowledge of underground music with riff-based song writing. The result was their 20-minute self-titled full-length, which channeled Chrome, Wire, and Fugazi with its quick rhythmic shifts amid controlled noisy chaos. From its opening track “Naysayer”, a straight nod to early Brit punk, to its final track “Fire Goddess”, an unlikely mix of post-hardcore, sludge, and early Sebadoh, Beings is a personalized tour of underground rock history.

Other than their self-titled debut, Beings only other release was a 7” through Discosoma Records. But a message on the band’s website from last month gives hope for new material post-breakup: “Writing lots of new songs, some of which were played out at the wonderful Radio-Active Records show …”
After tonight Beings will be dead, but the group members are alive and well. Alen will continue his work as the bassist for Foreign Bodies. Monteavaro, who moonlights as one of Miami’s best visual artists, is already hammering away in experimental noise outfit Holly Hunt.

As for Marchena?

“I have nothing musically in the works,” he says. “Just readjusting my life without a band. In all honesty, we’re starting a new band with Oprah after the rapture.”

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Miami Music Festival Wrap-up: We’ll Get ‘Em Next Year

By | November 14th, 2010 | 3 Comments
Cassie Ramone, Vivian Girls Lead Singer

Vivian Girls lead singer and guitarist Cassie Ramone rocking Gemma Lounge for Miami Music Festival.

One of the few acts in the Miami Music Festival with a broad audience, the Brooklyn-based Vivian Girls put on a solid show last night at Gemma Lounge on Lincoln Road. As at every MMF show I attended this year (Cafeina on Thursday night, Tobacco Road and Bardot on Friday night), the crowd was too small for the room and, in this case, too small for the band. But I have already parsed MMF’s issues, and with the festival winding down I am not going to dwell on them much more. If it hopes to join the ranks of SXSW (its benchmark), CMJ, et cetera, MMF must 1) book a headliner whose latest hit was within the last ten years (i.e. not the Spin Doctors); 2) showcase Miami’s best musicians; and 3) get the city excited about (or at least cognizant of) the festival. Accomplishing #2 would go a long way toward taking care of #3. As for #1, this is Miami: I’m sure someone with a career in front of him could be persuaded to spend a weekend on South Beach. (James Murphy seemed to like it here.)

I do realize that, in only its second year, MMF had little chance of achieving greatness. No one should have expected that, and my own asking around suggests that almost no one did. But Miami should expect the festival that bears and profits from its name to get better. That starts with making it part of MMF’s stated mission to showcase more local talent. It starts, let’s hope, next year.

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