Counting Down: a Tribute to Casey Kasem

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Photo by Alan Light
Before the option of typing the name of any song into Google, the surest way to hear the hits of the day was on Sunday mornings. You would simply turn the radio station to American Top 40 and Casey Kasem would count the best tunes down from numbers 40 to one.

Between songs, he would spout out little known facts about the artists, the movement of the songs on the charts, and even recite long distance heartfelt song dedications between lovers, proud parents, or grieving pet owners.

Kasem who died this past Sunday had a timeless voice that continues to live on with rebroadcasts of the syndicated show American Top 40 - The 70's that can be heard locally on Magic 102.7 every Sunday morning 7 to 10 a.m. In honor of the man's passing here's a top 10 countdown of Casey Kasem's 82 years on this Earth.

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Five Hukilau Tiki Essentials

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Monica McGivern

Seems like Hawaiian style is bigger than ever these days. Is the tiki life reaching a mass level appeal again? We can't say for sure, but we know everyone needs a Tahitian mind-cation once in awhile.

Wednesday was the kickoff of the Hukilau's 11th year in Fort Lauderdale at the historic Mai Kai, one day more than usual. And as we told you yesterday, this tropical excursion to yesteryear offers many more activities than in the past as well.

For those that have never been to a Hukilau, it's much more than just you watching gals hulaing in grass skirts and sipping stiff libations out of coconuts. It's also about the music and culture of this lost time; it's a vibe, a party, a chance to play dress-up and rub tatted elbows with like-minded folks.

For Hukilau rookies, let us be your Rick Steves on this Polynesian journey. Here are five Hukilau essentials that will help you make the best of this luau. Aloha.

See also: Hukilau Is Thriving and Taking It "to the Next Level" at Mai Kai Again

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Respectable Street's '80s Prom 2014 Was Totally Tubular (PHOTOS)

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Monica McGivern

Time-travel machines might still be hard to come by, but with Respectable Street's yearly '80s flashback to the past within your reach, it's like yesterday is today.

The eighth '80s prom was a full-on spectacle, as well as the only place where it was proper to dress like Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Robert Smith, or Teen Wolf on Saturday night. While costumes and permitted booze helped differentiate this dance from your high school counterpart, another thing that set it apart was clear: Wallflowers were not allowed. The dance floor was straight packed all night with confident booty-shakers regardless of the outside embarrassment level of their moves. It was a major upgrade to the real-world-prom counterpart.

See also: Slideshow of Respectable Street's '80s Prom 2014

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Eight Fashion Tips for the 8th Ever '80s Prom at Respectable Street

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Photo by Jipsy/nefariousgirl.com
It's a totally tubular blast from the past!

Bring out your pink ruffles, giant dangling earrings, and white tux. We're gonna get Footloose and party like it's 1982 at Respectable Street's Eighth Ever '80s Prom!

And since you were a lanky, flat-chested teenager with braces all over your mouth and only scored a free, crappy meal with bland chicken and stale bread that night, chances are your real prom was grody to the max.

While you can't turn back the clock and show your entire class how hot you are now (and probably wouldn't want to, anyway), you can pretend it's senior year all over again this Sunday when the WPB rock institution transforms into your high school auditorium.

See also: Ten Memorial Day Parties to Kick Off Summer in Broward and Palm Beach

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1984: A Probing Musical Retrospective

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George Orwell's predictions in his dystopian classic 1984 seem more apt for 2014 than the titular year. The scale and scope of our intelligence agencies suggest that Big Brother is well and truly with us. Our corruption of the English language in social media is more than reminiscent of newspeak (LOL, LMFAO, LOLROTF&ICGU), while the circus surrounding things like Kim Kardashian's ever increasingly bulbous bum keeps many distracted from what their elected officials do in the realms of power.

No, perhaps a more representative prophecy of the actual 1984 can be found in the first lines of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. To quote Boz himself, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity" and so on.

Former B-movie actor, Ronald Reagan told us that it was "morning in America" again, while the number of families living below the poverty line tripled. Carl Lewis took the L.A. Olympics by storm as the Cold War continued, famine thrived in Ethiopia, and a civil war was fought out on the streets of Beirut. Apple released the Macintosh computer three months before the U.S. government belatedly announced recognition of the AIDS virus.

See also: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the BB&T Center Fulfilled in Every Way

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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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