No, WLRN, You Don't Have to Leave South Florida to Hear Rock 'n' Roll

Monica McGivern

Last week, WLRN ran a positively ludicrous piece suggesting that fans of rock 'n' roll "might have to leave Miami" to enjoy a good bit of organically made sonic piss and vinegar.

While we know all too well the area's reputation through our own efforts to extol and defend South Florida's validity as a rock 'n' roll town, WLRN's story failed to dig past the experiences of a scant two bands and a single club owner and, in doing so, failed every single person working hard to disprove the notion that this is a place so inhospitable that only DJs and bottle service can survive here.

See also: Ten Signs South Florida's Music Scene Is Thriving

Let's get a few facts straight: Rock 'n' roll -- however vague a moniker that is in 2014 -- is no longer the reigning choice in popular music anywhere. However, rock music is still absolutely thriving in 2014, and Miami is contributing as much to the cause as any major city in the country.

Monica McGivern

Don't buy it? Ask any of the bands that have spawned here to go on to international success, like the Jacuzzi Boys or Torche. Take a look at the lineups for events like Sweat Records' epic annual Record Store Day event, Sweatstock, or one of the recent Fourth of July blowouts the Audio Junkie brothers Greg and Eddy Alvarez hosted at Gramps Bar in Wynwood.

These events, and so many others, consistently put together bills featuring homegrown artists ranging from garage rock to hardcore, punk rock to metal, and every other microgenre you could possibly cram under the rock music umbrella.

Pay some attention to some of the awesome shows and being put on by Steev Rullman of PureHoney or some of the heavy-hitting national garage and psych-rock acts that Rob Budowski of Strutter Productions has brought to town lately. Check out the DIY spots, like Space Mountain in Little Haiti, the Bubble in Fort Lauderdale, or maybe get to a larger show on time (for once, you assholes) and pay the openers -- whom are almost always locals -- the respect they deserve.

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Clearly Von Bader did not carefully read the web story or listen to the radio report. The headline reads "Wanna Hear Rock 'N' Roll? You Might Have To Leave Miami," not South Florida, and the writer has a very valid point. Rock and Roll IS NOT what people want to hear in MIAMI, which is better suited for DJ culture, EDM and, in some instances, Latin funk. Once a year blowouts at Sweat Records and on the 4th of July do not a healthy ROCK N ROLL scene make. 


Having lived in Austin and Washington, DC - I can tell you that anyone who thinks there is a good music scene in south Florida doesn't know what a good music scene is.  

This place is a sweaty terrarium filled with the sounds of an EDM-ified version of muzak.


WOW...Von Bader sounds very defensive...almost like WLRN hit a nerve (of fact)...his profanity laden response indicates maybe rock and rock is dead in South Florida...wait a minute rock and roll has always been dead in South Florida...there has never been a reputation that this large metropolitan area has ever been a bastion of's always had the reputation as a lame rock haven...yeah there is a thriving local rock scene, always has been...but there has never been a big city synergy to create the energy needed for "big" nationally known attention...maybe it's the hot weather or lack of enough intellectualism to create a unique Von Bader rantings exhibit

lonianderson1979 topcommenter

Nice work. While I still agree with what WLRN was pointing out, articles like this spot light that Rock still exists down here. New Times itself pays at least 10 times the attention to DJ shows and events than to Rock n Roll.

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