Jason Handelsman: the Poet Preacher of Cutler Ridge

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Untitled rough draft manuscript for The President's Reality Show sequel.

The night before I met Jason Handelsman at the Sports Grill on the Green (the one at the Palmetto Golf Course off US1), I was pacing in my bathroom and brushing my teeth when, out of nowhere, I felt like Jason and I were communicating somehow -- both of us in our respective lavatories, toothpaste burning our mouths, and that tingly feeling in the back of the skull that comes with what people sometimes think of as telepathy.

Handelsman -- writer, poet, musician, performer, and ordained pastor -- is glowering proof that our identities and lives are not cohesive, straightforward things. Not because of all the creative capacities just listed, but rather due to the fact that before becoming a man of God, Handelsman was Azar Alcazar. He was also the Ghost of Dirty. Not to mention, The President, a practicing freemason, and more.

Harder things first though: In 2009, Handelsman was writing for the New Times, interviewing countless luminaries such as Rick Ross and Lil Wayne and growing an audience for his out-there, Dadaist style of writing and humor. It was then, while rising in the sordid ranks of South Florida's cultural journalism circuit, that everything came to a bloody halt. On Halloween night, on assignment in South Beach, Handelsman struck a man with his car while driving drunk.

By Rob Goyanes

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Hearing Damage: The Rat Opera Brings Dialogue and Song to the Life of Rat Bastard

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The logo.

Rob Elba and Brian Franklin have gathered a large and notable cast of local musicians turned actors to perform their rock show Hearing Damage: The Rat Opera. The band -- which also includes Russell Mofsky, Andre Serafini, and William Trev -- started warming up with some Led Zeppelin last Wednesday night during its penultimate practice. They played with big, childlike smiles on their faces. The room was filled with song and laughter, more than a dozen old friends creating together and consuming a decent amount of beer, orzo salad, and sushi in the process.

Next week, they perform the rock opera inspired by the life of noise legend Frank Falestra, AKA Rat Bastard, onstage at Fort Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso. Rat Bastard has helped guide the Miami music scene for three decades. He's recorded just about every local band or act that's come through town, and he's known as the mastermind behind Scraping Teeth (Spin magazine's worst band in America circa 1993), Laundry Room Squelchers, and the annual International Noise Conference at Churchill's Pub.

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9 Best Band T-Shirts to Wear to an Urban Outfitters Interview

Categories: Talking Shit

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Colin Young-Wolff

Times are tough friends, and freelancing does not pay as much as it used to. Eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner gets old quick, no matter how much siracha you put on it. Because of these reasons, and the incessant need to make rent every month, this freelancer went (rather reluctantly) in search of a day job. We sent out tons of applications, for all sorts of gigs -- retail, service industry, sales, you name it. One of the places we heard back from first was Urban Outfitters.

We panicked about going in for an interview. Are we hip enough to make the cut? Urban Outfitters has long ruled the world's hipster apparel market. But most people look ridiculous in skinny jeans, and we don't own one pair of those faux thick-rimmed glasses. Our haircut isn't buzzed on one side either.

We needed to figure out how to nail this gig. And we realized that would require the right band T-shirt. One that says, "Yeah I'm with it, I've got my finger on the pulse of the scene." But which one is the right one? After the jump, help us chose the right shirt.


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Radio-Active Records Dishes on Record Store Day 2014: One Direction, Ghostbusters, and More

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Ian Witlen

"It's all kind of a blur," Mikey Ramirez, co-owner of Fort Lauderdale's Radio-Active Records, says of their extremely busy 2014 Record Store Day. When we arrived, the wait was about 30 minutes to even get in the door, but apparently some people stood out there for hours to get a peek at what the store had to offer for this musical holiday.

The day started with some anxiety due to a heavy morning rain. "I was about to have a heart attack," Ramirez admits, "I thought, 'This day is not going to go the way I want it to go.'" But the line just kept growing larger and larger until it wrapped around the block.


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Bruce Springsteen's Biographer on the Boss' Ten Most Pivotal Moments

Categories: Interview

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Danny Clinch

There aren't many musicians who inspire serious scholarship, but Bruce Springsteen is one of them. The New Jersey native has sold more than 120 million albums over his four-decade-plus career. Although many acts that started in the 1960s or '70s still sell out arenas, most of these musicians (without naming names) have evolved into nostalgia acts. The Boss, however, continues to pump out new music, most recently January's High Hopes. Springsteen's music and life touch upon many critical historical and cultural moments of the past 60 years, from Ed Sullivan's weekly smiling face to the stresses of Vietnam and 9/11 to our tabloid obsession with celebrity.

To help navigate the pivotal moments in this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's career, New Times turned to Jeff Burger, editor of Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches, and Encounters. To compile the collection, Burger did plenty of sleuthing to track down rare interviews with Springsteen.

See also: Springsteen Photographer Chronicles 32 Years of the Boss

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Eric Biddines Talks About His MTV Hit "Railroads Down/Unfinished"

Categories: Q&A

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You do not turn to adjust your set. The stations have not been renumbered. It is not a local channel you accidentally landed on playing Palm Beach rapper Eric Biddines's new video. You are in fact watching MTV Jams which has put Biddines's "Railroads Down/Unfinished" in heavy rotation.

The song, off his 2013 album Planetcoffeebean 2, with its Southern roots and playful samples is earning him comparisons to Outkast. Which is one of the ultimate compliments.

New Times caught up with the homegrown favorite who is in a bit of shock over his newfound yet long-time-coming fame. Excited about his future, Biddnes discussed the making of the video, his further explorations of Planetcoffeebean, and researching professional basketball players.

See also: Eric Biddines Is So Obsessed With Coffee, He Even Raps About It

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Ten Flexible Yogis on Their Favorite Yoga Tunes

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Natalya Jones

This weekend, we decided to search for some inner peace at YogaFest in Huizenga Park, Fort Lauderdale. We want to say we weren't inspired by overconsumption of weed brownies or Easter candy, but, then we'd be lying. Too much THC and sugar will naturally send you into the downward facing dog and/or child's pose.

Besides the typical yoga classes offered at the affair, there was cool workout garb for sale, delicious organic food, an abundance of good vibes, and a butt-ton of flexibility. We spoke with the most bendy yogis we encountered about which songs are their favorite to stretch to. Feel free to take these tunes and add them to your playlist -- whether used to inspire yoga, sewing, or just plain making pliant amour. And to that we say, "Namaste, bitches."

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How Dangerous Are Music Festivals Like Coachella and Ultra, Really?

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Timothy Norris

On Thursday, Coachella attendee Kimchi Truong died after an apparent overdose. It's believed to be the first death tied to the giant annual festival since 2008 -- though the actual number is hard to ascertain, since the Riverside County Coroner's Office says it does not track them.

But as always happens when a young person ODs at a music festival, parents and onlookers alike are wondering: Just how safe are these bacchanals? Should they be shut down entirely? Or should we just be glad there aren't more fatalities?

By Andrea Domanick

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Alex Segura of the Faulkner Detectives on Writing First Novel Silent City and Working With Kiss

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Robert Kidd

We first met Miami native Alex Segura when reviewing his band the Faulkner Detectives's EP (Livid Records) The Modern Handshake back in 2012. Since then, his career in journalism and comics publishing has kept him bouncing between South Florida and New York City. His most recent, nonmusical musical endeavor: He penned the script for a surreal issue of Archie Comics in which the gang from Riverdale meets Kiss.

With that in tow, Segura just published his debut novel, Silent City, a gritty crime noir steeped in the decadence of a bygone era of hard-drinking journalists with mild poetic inclinations who can manage a little pearl in the swine before giving in to the personal demons. A speedy read and a solid first novel, Silent City is imbued with enough music to have you humming along and visualizing all those places in Miami you'd rather not set foot in.


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Top Ten Porn Stars to Watch Out for at EXXXotica 2014

Categories: Exxxotica 2014

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Photo by Ian Witlen
In just a few weeks, the folks of Exxxotica, their sticky luggage in tow, will head to Fort Lauderdale's Broward County Convention Center for three days of dildos, sexual puns, and, presumably, a few awkward social and physical situations. Most important, this adult entertainment gathering, starting May 2, will present South Florida with some of the industry's finest porn stars.

We set our browsers to private mode and clicked our way over to the weirdest parts of the internet to find you the top ten porn stars to watch out for at Exxxotica 2014.

Enjoy.

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