20 Greatest Britpop Bands of All Time

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Ian Witlen

I was only 7 when the Smiths split, was still in diapers (or nappies, as we call them in England) when the Two-Tone Ska revival was in full flow, and was but a twinkle in my father's eye when punk first came around. By the early 1990s, the British charts were dominated by disposable Eurodance (2 Unlimited, anyone?), the angst-ridden drone of patently American grunge, and Phil Collins. Scenes that had threatened the mainstream from the margins, Madchester and Shoegaze, were fizzling out fast.

Madchester leaders the Stone Roses seemed liked false messiahs, stubbornly refusing to come back to their disciples as the follow-up to their 1989 seminal eponymous debut took a biblical age to arrive (when it did, in 1994, it could only be a letdown). As a distinctly awkward teen in the early '90s, there was a sense that popular music didn't really care much about what I was doing, and try as I might, I didn't understand what they were doing. Then came Britpop.


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Deep City: Birth of the Miami Sound Screens at MIFF

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LongPlayMiami.wordpress.com

South Florida owes a debt of gratitude to former Florida A&M Marching bandmates, schoolteachers, and music aficionados Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall. Without their gamble on the short-lived Deep City Records, there would've never been such a culturally identifiable thing as the "Miami sound." While some of the Deep City Records' artists went on to much more with TK Records or into the vaults of obscurity, the slabs that were cut remain some of the best R&B and proto-Motown/funk known to man.

Had it not been for the disagreement between Clarke and Pearsall trying to push Betty Wright and Helene Smith respectively, the latter being Pearsall's wife; the musical landscape of South Florida might just be slightly different nowadays, for surely the caliber of their stars, had they remained under the same stable, would've vaulted this sliver of America into the same rooms Motown would eventually come to occupy. Oh, well.

This year's Miami International Film Festival will feature Deep City: Birth of the Miami Sound as part of their roster of fine films. For info on the movie and the team behind it, click here. Hopefully this piece of Floridiana will not go unnoticed by the locals and let's hope local filmmakers are detracted from pulling Ai Weiwei-styled protesting. What follows is a Miami sound playlist for your listening pleasure.

See also: Deep City Records Documentary: A Behind the Scenes Look


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Lose the Rookie on Punk Ambition: "We Never Had Any Delusions of Grandeur"

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Though a guitarist by trade, when the then-unnamed South Florida punk band Lose the Rookie held their first practice in the latter half of 1998, Paul Chase sat behind a drum kit doing his best to keep up. By all accounts, he was dreadfully bad. Joined by guitarist Tim Rohde, singer Julio Pena (the self-professed handsomest member of the group), and bassist Bryan Goldsmith, the quartet worked their way through a makeshift set consisting of numbers inspired by the Impossibles, Weezer, and a hodgepodge of other influences.

"We all came from such diverse musical backgrounds," says Rohde. "There were a few common influences, and as far as writing went, there was no single person. We all kind of brought something to the table."

It was at a table at TGI Fridays in The Falls where the four men in their early 20s decided on their name -- one that Rohde believes aptly described their attitude at the time -- by throwing every idea they could think of into a hat. They agreed to accept whatever title fate saw fit to grace them with, however that plan deteriorated not long after being set into motion.

"We sat there for a few hours and beers -- shit, even the waiter picked out a few names," recalls Pena. "After the failed process, I think the winner was 'Nevernot,' but we didn't all dig it. So Paul busted out, 'Hey, how about Lose the Rookie?' meaning, 'get rid of the new guy.' We all liked the sound of it and went with it."

"Our name could have easily been something like Goldfish Grenade," says Chase.


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Blowfly to Get Weird at Churchill's with Pals Torche and Jacuzzi Boys Tonight

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At this point, everything that can be said about Clarence Reid, aka Blowfly, has been said within our digital and newsprint pages. There's little to add save for a few unknown and completely made-up facts; like when Blowfly, in full funky regalia saved schoolchildren from a burning bus in the mid '80s or when he recently coached Ministry's Al Jourgensen in the arts of humane raccoon removal. But his Churchill's Pub performance tonight is not about aggrandizing the Blowfly myth or to mark any particular anniversary in the man's six-decade long career.

No. Tonight's entry into his often confusing, but always satisfying weird world is about drummer/manager "Uncle Tom" Bowker doing right by the 'Fly and his hometown of Miami. As a longtime member of South Florida's music scene in the Da Vincian capacities of musician, journalist, label operator, producer, promoter, etc... Bowker's list of friends and foes is long and strong.

Feel free to insert your own dick joke there, but do not deny the man's influence on our musical landscape.

See also: 'Fly Unzipped

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Out of Focus on the Old Cheers Days: "That Was our Life Back Then"

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Out of Focus came together like many high school punk bands do -- the product of idle ambition and idealistic teenage gumption. Formed in late 1994, and operating until 1997, the group's earliest roots can be traced back to a short-lived Killian High outfit called Forehead, a hodgepodge of future South Florida punk scene stalwarts which served as an early incarnation of what would become Caught Inside. The group split up when Sean Fernandez and Andy Malchiodi came to a mutual agreement resulting in Fernandez leaving with Forehead guitarist John Moore to start Out of Focus.

"We were actually best friends growing up and realized shortly that we couldn't be in a band together because we both kind of wanted to be frontmen," says Fernandez. "So he [Malchiodi] started getting guys together for Caught Inside, and me and John started getting people together for Out of Focus, vowing to each other that we would always help one another out and get each other shows. So we played a lot of shows together."


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Top Ten Best Uses of Beach Boys' Songs in Movies and on TV

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Sayre Berman

Brian Wilson coming to town again brings back memories of bikinis, beach parties, and endless summer nights where old age doesn't exist. But these aren't our own memories of Beach Boys' songs. Nope, they're ones we got watching the Beach Boys' songs play during movies or on TV during sandy surfy scenes. Usually, when the Beach Boys music is playing on a soundtrack, it's lazy shorthand for the director to convey the feeling that everyone's having fun in the sun. Here are ten examples of movies that used the Beach Boys' brilliant music in more inventive ways.

See also: Brian Wilson on Songwriting: "I'm Always Anxious to Make Each One Better"


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Eight South Florida Mosh Pit Memories from a Former Slam Dancing Enthusiast

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Alex Markow
No matter how you feel about moshing -- whether you gawk from the civilian sidelines, or are guaranteed to tear your shirt off like a Hulkamaniac, scream "Let's tear this place apart!" and plunge headfirst into the melee -- there's no denying it is an integral (see also: unavoidable) component of the live music experience.

People can -- and will! -- mosh to anything!

Even today, right now, at this very moment, someone somewhere is moshing to Dubstep.

I have wasted a shameful amount of my life on live music. And as a young male in North America (not to mention the freak incubator that is Florida) with an interest in rock music, I must admit that I found myself, on more than one occasion, caught in a mosh.

Later, I would go on to write emo-anarchist zine articles about why the practice was part of hegemonic power structures and blahlahblah. These days, I still abstain, but have a thorough appreciation for the group theatrics and intense displays of physicality underlying the pit.

In keeping with this ability to appreciate Da Mosh from a distance, here are a bruised gaggle of entertaining memories from when I used to count being bashed and thrashed during live music exhibitions as a hobby.

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Top Ten Musical Performances on the Original Arsenio Hall Show

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Though weird, this one did not make the list.

No, it's not a dream! Arsenio Hall is back on the air with a late night talk show with the Dog
Pound, the Posse 2.0, and the deskless interview. While he's getting trashed by critics for having a guest list that's 20-years old, and for telling both Nas and Kendrick Lamar on separate nights that they were each the specific reason why he wanted to come back to late night TV, we come here to praise Arsenio not to bury him.

While there were plenty of awful musical moments represented on The Arsenio Hall Show (Kenny G, New Kids on the Block, Bill Clinton...), he also brought on acts completely unrepresented anywhere else on late night television. After digging through the archives of a guest list that included countless appearances by Andrew Dice Clay and MC Hammer, we present you with the top ten musical performances on the original Arsenio Hall Show. Here's hoping his new show can last long enough to give us ten more memorable moments.

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Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson Duets Are Pretty Much What You'd Expect

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YouTube

Considering he's been dead for over two decades, it has been a busy year for Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of Queen.

Earlier this year, a stunning isolated vocal track of Mercury and David Bowie singing "Under Pressure" leaked onto the internet. Then last week Sacha Baron Cohen abandoned the title role of a long gestating Freddie Mercury bio-pic over the producers attempting to make it a family friendly PG film. And now came news that later this year, three duets sung by Mercury and Michael Jackson will finally be released.

See also
- Queen and Bowie's "Under Pressure" and Five More Isolated Vocal Tracks We'd Love to Hear


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Ten Scariest Ozzy Osbourne Moments

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Aging and appearing on a terrible reality show have reshaped Ozzy Osbourne's public image. Now seen as a lovable old coot, it's hard to remember that in the 1980s, Ozzy was one of the two scariest boogeymen lurking in popular culture. And while kids were pretty certain that the other boogeyman, Freddy Krueger, wasn't real, Ozzy most assuredly was.

With the Prince of Darkness coming to Cruzan Amphitheatre tonight with a reunited Black Sabbath, we thought it an opportune time to look back and reminisce about the ten scariest moments from Ozzy Osbourne's checkered past.

See also
- Top 10 Black Sabbath-Influenced South Florida Bands
- Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness, on His Nickname: "It's Better Than Being Called an Asshole"

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