Miami Video Week: ‘Believer’, ‘Wereman’, ‘Color Blast’

By | May 13th, 2011 | 10 Comments

This was a productive week for Miami videography with arresting vids premiering here, there, and everywhere. First we have Miami artist Jen Stark’s “Believer”, a stop-motion journey through a paper kaleidoscope that is definitely not for the easily dizzied. Featuring music by Dan Deacon, co-mastermind of unsurpassable internet vid “Drinking Out Of Cups”, and clocking in at more than five minutes, “Believer” is Stark’s most ambitious “papermation” work to date. She made it for an exhibition called “Double Rainbow Rainbow”, which opened at Toronto’s Show & Tell Gallery on Thursday and also features work by painter Maya Hayuk. Check out Stark’s Vimeo channel for similar but shorter clips dating as far back as 2005.

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ANR Remix Goodrich’s ‘Light Bulb’

By | April 8th, 2011 | 1 Comment

In their remix, Michael-John Hancock and Brian Robertson of ANR give Rachel Goodrich's 'Light Bulb' yet another turn.

Who thought Rachel Goodrich’s twice-released track “Light Bulb” could get catchier? And who needs LCD Soundsystem anyway?* The two questions came to mind when I first heard ANR’s remix of “Light Bulb” on All Things Go. The collabo between two of Miami’s finest takes the track — which originally appeared on Goodrich’s Tinker Toys (2008), then in a Crayola commercial, then again on Rachel Goodrich (2011) — in a very different direction than the infectious, kazoo-and-ukulele’d original. In the direction, that is, of the closing credits of an 80s movie. (The image of a teen in too much denim celebrating a small victory over a petty-tyrannical authority figure should hit your mind’s eye at approximately 0:51.)

The remix’s LCDness — most apparent in the “All My Friends”ish opening and the “Sounds Of Silver”esque closing — comes as no surprise considering ANR’s gestures in that direction in their own music. I also get a Journey “Don’t Stop Believing” vibe that I can’t quite justify. In any event, the remix proves what Crayola and Lucas Levya already had: “Light Bulb” may indeed go out some day, but for now it keeps turning and turning and . . .

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Rachel Goodrich New Album Out on iTunes

By | February 22nd, 2011 | No Comments

Early this morning, Miami’s favorite ladybug dropped her self-titled second album from her home away from home in Los Angeles. For those of us who caught Rachel Goodrich live plenty in the months leading up to her westward move, many of the 11 tracks on the new album will be familiar (“Lightbulb”, “Morning Light”, “Na Na Na”). But there are some never-heard-befores, and expect to hear the influence of producer Greg Wells, who has worked with a mixed bag of pop artists (Katy Perry, Mika, Pink, Rufus Wainwright, the Deftones).

Goodrich evidently took full advantage of Wells’ well-stocked studio, incorporating a charango, pump organ, whistles, a kazoo (of course), bells, and other “obscure objects” into her Tinker Toys follow up. I haven’t heard the entire album yet (just finished downloading). But judging from the preview clips on iTunes, listeners are in for a memorable and perhaps surprising trip. The swing from pop piano ballad “Let Me Go” to the super silly “G-Dino” to the slow and sultry “Fire” (video below) alone may throw even long-time Goodrich fans for a loop. But what else would you expect from a Miami gal who can find it in her tropical heart to love a polar bear?

Check out Rachel Goodrich on iTunes.

Rachel Goodrich Sings Miami Adieux at Greynolds

By | December 27th, 2010 | No Comments

As we mentioned in an earlier post, Miami’s prettiest voice is packing up her ukulele and heading to the West Coast indefinitely. We’re sad to see Rachel Goodrich go, but it was a consolation to record her playing a short farewell set in Greynolds Park last week. Here are a few clips from atop Greynolds’ castle-on-a-hill, as fitting a place as any for one last Miami encore. Enjoy.

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Westward bound, Rachel Goodrich plays last Miami show

By | December 19th, 2010 | 2 Comments
Madame Kazoo

Madame Kazoo played her last Miami show at Grey Area in Wynwood before heading west.

Early this morning, Rachel Goodrich played what was billed as her last show in Miami before she moves to Los Angeles later this month. The gig was scheduled for Jimbo’s on Virginia Key, but the rain had its say and so it happened somewhat haphazardly at the Grey Area warehouse in Wynwood. I’ve seen Rachel play as often as every one else over the last several years, and each time it is a similar experience in that soon after she gets going I remember she is easily the most talented musician in the city. This morning was no different. In a yellow shirt with oversized buttons, black pants, faded red Converse, and a pair of thin suspenders holding it all together, she played eight songs for a small crowd that seemed genuinely sad about her leaving. At the same time, the size of the crowd — maybe 40 people — suggested why she is leaving. She has outgrown this city. That is the fact, and Miami needs to realize it to understand it has a way to go in reaching its cultural benchmarks. The merest test of a city’s culture is whether it can retain its homegrown talent. I believe Miami is close, but last night showed it is not there yet.

The show was great. Rachel passed out maracas, tambourines, a bass drum, and the the audience lent percussion to her acoustic guitar and ukulele. Her voice, childlike or lonesome as she pleases, filled the concrete hall. A yellow kazoo buzzed over the harmonies. It was too short a set, considering there was no one around for many miles to complain about the noise. But it was satisfying nonetheless. Besides, to drag it out might have given the impression that she was as reluctant to move on as the crowd was to let her go, and I don’t think that’s the case.

Here are some pics from the night.

Rachel busted out the slide on a “Side of the Road” encore.

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Zitfest or Gone West? That is the question.

By | December 16th, 2010 | 4 Comments
Zitfest Flyer

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.

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Arboles Libres Unroot Crowd at Churchill’s

By | November 4th, 2010 | 2 Comments
Juan “Nacho” Londono

Miami band Arboles Libres at Churchill's Pub

At Churchill’s last night, Arboles Libres did me two good turns. First guitarist Eddie Moreno tracked me down to give me my phone, which I’d left on the bar out back and didn’t even know I was missing. Then, Moreno and his two band mates — guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Juan “Nacho” Londono and drummer Anthony Genovese — roused the folk rocker who slumbers in my soul with their brand of sincere, crescendoing, simple music.

Like another great rock trio, the Violent Femmes, Arboles Libres combine the raw energy of rock-n-roll with the sonic clarity of a jazz combo. Their music passes freely from slow and soothing to jumpy to raucous as their lyrics flow from Spanish to English and back again. Within a song or two of their roughly 30-minute set last night, they had breathed oxygen into the small crowd (as arboles, or trees, are wont to do) and moved two chicks, drunk on alcohol and tight tunes, to dance on the stage. (It resembled dancing.) Playing between Jesse Jackson and Rachel Goodrich, Arboles Libres injected several doses of adrenaline into the lineup of top-notch Miami talent and more than held their own. Here are some photos from their set and a video of Arboles Libres — one of the few gems on the Miami Music Festival roster — playing “Comienzos.”

Juan “Nacho” Londono
Arboles Libres singer Juan “Nacho” Londono, with dancers at his back

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The 2010 Miami Music Festival unpromises to be good

By | October 17th, 2010 | 4 Comments

Miami Music Festival Logo

The modern music festival presents the music lover with a dilemma. On the one hand, it is a voracious capitalist beast, sucking money out of attendees’ bank accounts and nipping at the heels of corporate sponsors. In the end, organizers rake in tons of cash, the host city gets a cut, and the bands get a little richer. The attendees – here’s the other hand – they get the memories.

In its second year, the Miami Music Festival (Nov. 11 – 14) amps up the dilemma by cutting the bands out of the profit. In fact, musicians must submit a $35 application fee to be considered for the MMF lineup. At which point MMF forfeits its claim to be a festival and becomes a short-term business model with a great name.

Perhaps the $35 non-refundable application fee explains the dearth of known quantities in the MMF lineup. Among the 400-plus acts, only the Vivian Girls have national clout … and they’re from Brooklyn!

Without the allure of national headliners, one would at least expect to see Miami’s musical core beefing up the lineup. But don’t get excited for Rachel Goodrich, Jessie Jackson, Raffa & Rainer, Sloane Peterson, or Harvey and the Buckets. They’re not playing. When I asked Irwin Kornfeld, MMF’s CEO and organizer, why, he turned the table.

“We don’t choose acts,” he said. “The acts choose us.”

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