Books are nice, I think we would all agree, but in the age of the eBook and the iPad it’s easy to glimpse a near future in which printed, hard-copy books go the way of the typewriter, relegated to dusty attics and museum collections of things we used to love. You may wax poetic, even indignant, in defending the value of a hold-it-in-your-hands-and-flip-the-pages-with-your-thumb book, but are you really going to take a stand for its value when you can curl up with a novel via the in-curvature of a pair of smart glasses?
Friday night at Wynwood cafe Lester’s is Singles Night, not a mixer for the unhitched but an old-fashioned listening party. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., a handful of Miami musicians and artists will be spinning some of their favorite records for your ears to hear (see the Events section listing for full details). The Singles Night organizers are promising “eclectic selections and smooth transitions” with a blunt caveat: “We apologize for nothing.” To get a better sense of what to expect, we went ahead and asked three of the participating DJs to list some of their favorite singles of ALL TIME. First up: multimedia artist Kevin Arrow, who wrote all of the song blurbs on this page.
“Baby Scratch My Back” by Slim Harpo (EXCELLO RECORDS, 1966)
Excello was the first blues label established in Nashville, Tennessee. I found this scratchy copy like most of my LPs and Singles, in a dusty record bin in a South Florida thrift shop.
‘Twas the night before the night before the night before Christmas (i.e., Thursday, Dec. 22), and folk from across Miami gathered at Lester’s, in Wynwood, for the Sketchy Holiday Party, an unsilent night of live art, music, food, and drink hosted by Beached Miami and Sketchy Miami. Dressed in his finest holiday sweater, Geoff Campbell was on the scene to grill guests, croon carols, and deal dreidel under the watchful camera of one Francisco Moraga. For more holiday cheer, check out our holiday card to Miami in the video section.
If you’re a jerk like me, or lovably lazy or mercilessly overworked, you wait to the last minute to buy your loved ones presents for the holidays. The easy thing to do in a pinch is to get out the plastic machete (your credit card) and go hacking through the Amazon consumer forest. I’ve done it a hundred times, but this year I dare suggest you shop locally. From the specialty periodical stand at Lester’s (where we’re hosting the Sketchy Holiday Party Thursday night) to the crates of vinyl at Sweat Records, there are plenty of local shops with the goods to make your family and friends remember why they tolerate you during the rest of the year. For those on house arrest, the SweatShop is probably the best site online to get Miami-made merch, including music by many of the artists featured in our epic Top 50 South Florida Songs of 2011 list, t-shirts (ours will be in there soon!), locally pressed books, and even pungent bags of Panther Coffee.
So, my fellow well-meaning procrastinators, before you subject yourselves to third-degree Kindle burns on Amazon, peruse the local produce and consider using your hard-earned greenbacks to bolster a local, independent business. There are many more worthy options than I mentioned here, so feel free to shout out your favorite local vendors in a comment and to share your 305 finds. You’d be doing me a big favor, since I’ve yet to buy my family, my friends, and my pet a single thing.
On Thursday, Dec. 22, head over to Lester’s in Wynwood for an unsilent night of live art, music, drinks, and food. Presented by Beached Miami, the Sketchy Holiday Party will bring together Miami artists and art lovers in the spirit of our sister site, Sketchy Miami. In true holiday fashion, there will be feasting on Joey’s pizza, copious libations, and a raffle of gifts, including a beautiful Aristotle singlespeed Republic Bike (see photo gallery on www.republicbike.com). Entry is F-R-E-E and there will be a prize for best holiday sweater (the Cosby-er, the better). For more details on the party and the raffle, visit the Facebook event page.
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.
One of the original organizers of the King Mango Strut, a satirical, eccentric annual parade in Coconut Grove, is planning to bring the festivities to Wynwood for the first time on Dec. 10.
“Wynwood’s King Mango Strut,” as organizer Glenn Terry has dubbed it, will be similar to the Grove parade but tailored to the neighborhood’s vibe, Terry said.
“It’s a mix of performance art and political satire, a lot like our Grove parade but with a greater emphasis on ‘art,’” he said in an email.