At Churchill’s tonight, a measly $5 gets you in to see Jacuzzi Boys, fresh off a month-long east coast tour, and ten-piece funk collective Psychic Mirrors. It’s an intriguing coupling: Jacuzzi Boys’ Velvety, open-high-hat garage rock (perfectly suited to Churchill’s) and Psychic Mirrors’ synthy, syncopated, precisely structured jams (perfectly unsuited to Churchill’s).
While we’ve posted about the Jacuzzi Boys plenty, Psychic Mirrors first came across our radar at Endless Summer II (March 3, Grand Central). Here’s a clip from that show.
Nothing like a big signing to make a man feel comfortable in a denim jacket.
Thursday was a good day for South Florida music. First up, Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys made a big splash by signing to Hardly Art, the label home of retro-rock acts and art rockers like Hunx & His Punx, Fergus & Geronimo, and Carissa’s Wierd. Already with a 12” live vinyl release on Jack White’s Third Man Records (get it here), the Jacuzzi Boys now find themselves in a more permanent musical home with huge possibilities. Seattle-based Hardly Art is the sister (daughter, really) label of major indie player, Sub Pop Records, which is 49 percent owned by Warner Bros. Needless to say, distribution shouldn’t be a problem.
Kicking off their tour tonight in Atlanta, the Boys will head into Michigan’s Key Club Studios as soon as next week to start recording their Hardly Art debut. From the label’s website: “The next full-length LP from the Jacuzzi Boys will be released on Hardly Art this fall. If 2010 was any indication, 2011 is the year the Jacuzzi Boys come busting out of the tropics, naked as the gator and twice as toothy.”
Call it signing-day optimism, but even as toothy as a gator sounds promising.
Congrats to WVUM 90.5 (aka “The Voice” aka “Keep It Locked”) for bringing home mtvU’s coveted Woodie for Best College Radio Station. MTV walked in on the unsuspecting station Thursday afternoon to announce the good news. Not a network to waste genuine human emotion, MTV will air WVUM’s reaction to their win when the Woodies broadcast live from SXSW on March 16. (Expect a CGI Charlie Sheen to make an appearance.)
Radio-Active Records, our partner in the Bright Eyes Give-Away and Ft. Lauderdale’s music shop for all things obscure and vinyl, has called in the Blank Dogs to rock Record Store Day 2011 on April 16. The post-punk project of NYC-based multi-instrumentalist Mike Sniper will headline a tremendous lineup that features Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys and the Axe & the Oak, and Tampa’s Merchandise.
Sniper is the founder of the Captured Tracks label, which has released albums by Thee Oh Sees, Beach Fossils, and Wild Nothing. An inventive bedroom rocker who took to performing his glut of material less than three years ago, he will also be performing at BAR downtown on April 17.
Per the tradition of Record Store Day exclusives, Radio-Active is releasing a two-track Axe & the Oak limited edition 45 featuring “Vampire” and “Dancing on the Grave”. Only 300 copies were pressed on black virgin vinyl, with artwork by Richard Vergez, the designer responsible for Radio-Active’s badass logo. The release will “most likely” include a download and possibly a bonus CD, says Radio-Active’s chief record buyer Mikey Ramirez.
“Space Cake ’85″, a track let loose from the Jacuzzi Boys’ forthcoming Seahawks & Peacocks EP (Social Music Records), is a mature offering about eating weed. The neo-garage trio from Miami couples vintage Velvets and modern bedroom fuzz in delivering an instant classic. The track begins with a relentless drone of a riff (kind of like The Kids in the Hall theme song, “Having An Average Weekend” by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet), which plows right through the catchier-than-thou chorus. What gels it all is Gabriel Alcala’s singing, reminiscent of a reverse-pitched Marc Bolan. He carries “Space Cake ’85″ into that Velvet-y territory in and around the chorus, a head-bobbing bass line, polite crashing cymbals, Acala’s doo-doo-doos and, finally, a phrase destined for the Miamian lexicon: “Space Cake ’85!” Have a hear.
Jacuzzi Boys frontman Gabriel Alcala eyes the Zitfest crowd at the Orange Door.
Last night Zitfest kicked off at the Orange Door in Lake Park, which is about 60 miles and a quarter of a tank of gas north of Miami proper. If this were a local event, the decision to go would be a no-brainer. The lineup includes many of South Florida’s best bands, including the Jacuzzi Boys (who played a great set last night) and the Jameses, Guy Harvey, Sumsun, the Dewars, and Plains (all on today’s roster). Beyond that, the ticket is cheap ($7 for one day) and the beer is, too. But before you decide to venture across two county lines, you should know that Zitfest does not meet the full definition of a “fest”. It is confined to a bar in a strip center alongside railroad tracks — i.e., there are no festival grounds — and there is only one food vendor. Zitfest’s only legitimate claim to being a fest at all is its lineup of stellar bands, which of course is the most important part. My point here is that Zitfest is not for the blasé festival goer looking to catch a little music and re-up on hemp anklets. But if you’re game for drinking beer and rocking out all day, go.
Here are some pics from last night.
Erik Grincewicz, the awesomely weird frontman of the Orlando-based Slippery Slopes
Featuring many of South Florida's best bands, Zitfest I is worth the drive an hour north.
Listen: Zitfest starts tomorrow night, and for the couple of reasons you may not be planning to go — the name grosses you out, the venue is an hour-plus north of Miami — there are plenty of really good reasons you should make the schlep. First of all, the lineup is stacked with many of South Florida’s best bands (even with Lil Daggers dropping out), some of which are on the verge of bursting (like zits — get it?). These include several members of the West Palm Beach contingent (the Jameses, Sumsun, Cop City/Chill Pillars, Dewars, Guy Harvey, The Band in Heaven), the Jacuzzi Boys, and the Vivian Girls-approved girl band Snake Hole. All told, the Zitfest I lineup is responsible for six of the top 10 tunes on our SoFla songs of 2010 list, so you know you’re in for some good listening.
The one substantial argument against attending all of Zitfest is Rachel Goodrich’s Saturday night so-long show at Jimbo’s on Virginia Key. Honestly, we might sacrifice Zitfest’s superb Saturday night lineup to make it over to Jimbo’s for what promises to be a euphonious, open-air farewell. But it is a hard call, especially with the one-two punch of Guy Harvey and the Jameses taking the stage close to midnight over at the Orange Door.
So, what is a South Florida music lover to do? The answer is smile. Having to decide between damn good music over here and damn good music over there is a damn good dilemma — and a new one at that. Other cities should be so lucky. Nonetheless, as Dubya would say, what we have here is a decision point. Where are you headed? Here a few videos to help you decide.