Girls Rock Camp Miami Seeks to Inspire Young Women by Teaching Them to Rock

Categories: Concert Preview

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Jim Hall/Primitivejim.com
Emile Milgrim is a powerful lady drummer.

There is a commanding, outwardly visible shift that starts to happen to a Girls Rock Camp attendee. It takes place somewhere around midweek. Terminal shyness, remnants of self-doubt, and any sour notes start to fade as more important things like song structure, sisterhood, and powerful stage swagger gain significance.

"If you can take on a new instrument, you can take on anything in the world!" musician Steph Taylor professes convincingly. She's working with fellow musician and Sweat Records' Emile Milgrim to bring a South Florida version of Girls Rock Camp into fruition this summer.

Taylor's father showed her every song by the Beatles on piano, songs that she picked up and played at an obsessive rate while still in grade school. This helped strengthen her as a person and musician. Now, Taylor wants area girls to know that same wonderful feeling.


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Arts Garage Unveils New Space at Grunge & Glamour Fundraiser

Categories: Concert Preview

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Amy Pasquantonio
Toots Lorraine & the Traffic are headlining.

Arts Garage, the cultural funhouse in Delray Beach, is once again putting on its annual fundraiser, Grunge & Glamour. But this time, the team is doing things a little differently.

The president of Arts Garage, Alyona Aleksandra Ushe, said the event was moved from the fall to February 28 to match up with the arts season. They also wanted to make the event more relaxed so their guests could feel comfortable enough to come in shorts and sandals or go all out and wear a costume.

The big unveil of the night is the org's recently expanded space. About a month ago, the group went from hosting events in a 5,500-square-foot space to and 11,000 square-foot-area. Now that the venue has doubled in size, Ushe said they plan to use it for bigger events, including this casual, classy fundraiser.

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Doobie Brothers' Tom Johnston: "It's All About American Music"

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Courtesy of the band.
The Doobie Brothers, but with no doobies.

When we spoke with Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, the singer and guitarist was relaxing in Miranda, California. Not that he had much downtime; Johnston just came back from Orlando and next the band was on to stoping that included Boston, Texas, California, then a rock cruise with Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult. Finally, tomorrow night, the Doobies land in sunny South Florida to perform at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre.

Johnston stays true to his West Coast roots in his music, but not just because he was born there. "It's not so much about being born in California, but where you were brought up," he explains. "I was born in the central part. Speaking for myself, I listen to a lot of blues, R&B, got into early rock and roll, Hendrix, all that stuff. Geographically, where you live has a lot of influence."


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Blue Ă–yster Cult Plays Live Tonight in West Palm Beach

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Blue Ă–yster Cult
More cowbell!

In the mid- to late '70s, Blue Ă–yster Cult was among the biggest bands in the musical stratosphere. Its records sold in the millions, and the band could claim three hit singles -- "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," "Burnin' for You," and "Godzilla." It was also a constant fixture on the still-fledgling MTV. The group went on to sell some 24 million albums, became a key operative in heavy-rock realms, and remained equally influential in the decades that followed.

BĂ–C's apocalyptic songs, sci-fi themes, and remarkably literate lyrics elevated it well beyond the standard sound of primal, mind-bending rock. Indeed, its list of highbrow collaborators included Patti Smith, poet Jim Carroll, and anti-establishment scribe Richard Meltzer.

"Critics labeled us 'the thinking man's metal band,' " singer and cofounder Eric Bloom recalls. "I don't know if that sticks, considering our biggest hit certainly isn't a 'heavy' tune. I've always thought of us as a hard rock band."


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Shpongle Will Boggle Minds With Shpongletron 3.1 at Revolution in Fort Lauderdale

Categories: Concert Preview

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Khaotiqbeats' Instagram
This was last time Shpongle took over Rev's stage.

When was the last time you went to church? Whenever it was, we're going to guess psychedelic stagecraft wasn't a big part of the spiritual production.

Maybe the church crowd isn't really your scene, but if you love great music, great vibes, and great spectacles, Shpongle live might be the religious experience your sorry soul's been waiting for.

See also: Shpongle at Revolution and 10 Other Electronic Acts Who Love Live Instruments

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Six Signs of the Grateful Dead's Lingering Legacy

Categories: Concert Preview

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Suzy Perler
Dark Star Orchestra is keeping the spirit of the Dead alive.

Music changed forever during the heady days of the late '60s. Indeed, while the bands may no longer be around, their legacies still survive thanks to the influence that resonated with so many musical acts that followed.

The roll call of immortal outfits that left an indelible imprint reads like the membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, the Who, the Buffalo Springfield, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, the Velvet Underground, and on and on and on. There's no shortage of artists today that trace their sounds to the seminal ones exercised by these stalwarts.

Still, if you were to isolate any one band that weighed most heavily on those that followed, the Grateful Dead would certainly be among those in the top tier of influential ensembles. The Dead certainly spawned its share of groups willing to carry on its torch, from tribute bands like the Dark Star Orchestra to those headed up by the surviving members themselves -- Bob Weir's Ratdog, Phil Lesh and Friends, and even the name given what remains of the mother ship, the Dead pure and simple. We offer as proof six examples of how the band's heritage lingers on.

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The Marshall Tucker Band Plays Opening Night at Lafayette's in West Palm Beach

Categories: Concert Preview

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Clay Terrell
We can definitely see the Marshall Tucker Band.

In the early and mid-'70s, only the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd typified the sound of Southern rock better than the Marshall Tucker Band. The band became one of the leading lights on the budding Capricorn Records label courtesy of their eponymous 1973 debut. Originally dubbed the Toy Factory, the group later changed its name. The moniker was borrowed from a piano tuner who'd once rented space in the band's rehearsal loft in its hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

A promotional push by its record label helped the band achieve national prominence early on with several hit albums and a string of successful singles, among them "Can't You See," "Take the Highway," "Heard It in a Love Song," and "Fire on the Mountain."

"We loved the idea of being a very close and Southern group of players and always looked at it as if we were Southern rock's bad boys," says singer Doug Gray, the band's sole original member. "The Allmans were a huge influence for us, along with James Brown and all the rhythm and blues players of that era."

See also: Lafayette's Aims to Become West Palm Beach's Go-To Venue for Exceptional Live Music

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Wastelands Is a Crusty Miami Band With a Lot of Hype

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Walter Wlodarczyk
Wastelands taking the Churchill's stage.

It's a ridiculously exciting time for music in South Florida. And it feels so great to be able to state that honestly and not have to feign enthusiasm for the region's scene just because the job of a music writer depends on it. The artists creeping up out of the swamp in recent times have all been disarmingly topnotch, and there's a genuine, unprecedented buzz surrounding their sounds.

One of the most exciting new bands to pop up recently is Wastelands, a trio of Miami lifers that rips a unique brand of psych-infused rock with a punk attitude that defies definition -- like many of our area's other musical marsupials. Sure, they're a rock 'n' roll band -- just like a marsupial is a mammal -- but what the fuck are they really? They're all some strange thing unto themselves. And whatever it is, it's awesome.

We caught up with the band's guitarist/vocalist, Alex Nunez, and bassist/vocalist, Ale Campos, as the pair settled into a day of tracking for an impending full-length vinyl release at Miami's (sadly soon-to-be-defunct) Pine Crust Studios.

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Game of Thrones' Kristian Nairn Promises to "Be a Sweaty Mess" at Rave of Thrones

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Kristian Nairn doing Rave of Thrones at Exchange L.A.
Photo by Shannon Cottrell via LA Weekly

South Florida Game of Thrones fans don't have to wait until the show's fifth-season premiere on April 12 to experience some of their favorite crazy fantasy action. This week, Kristian Nairn will be sitting on Revolution's Iron Throne.

Nairn, the Northern Irish actor and DJ best-known for playing hulking giant Hodor on the HBO smash-hit series, will be stopping in Fort Lauderdale on his Rave of Thrones tour. There most likely won't be as much blood and guts as you'll find on the small screen, but it promises to be a sweltering dance party full of electronic craziness.

"Game of Thrones has presented us with vast opportunities... all of us in the show," assures Nairn, who's been spinning tracks for about 20 years.

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Andrea Bocelli Gives His Best Advice on Love

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Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood
This guy defines "romance."

Although there are gifted entertainers in the world of music, it's truly difficult to find a musician who is timeless and cares about the music more than the fame.

Enter Andrea Bocelli, tenor opera singer straight from Tuscany, Italy. Afflicted with congenital glaucoma that was further worsened by a soccer head injury, Bocelli became one hundred percent blind at the age of 12. However, the disability didn't hinder him at all and instead furthered his career. In fact, aside from playing piano at the tender age of six, Bocelli also played the flute and the saxophone.

Since his first operatic performance in 1994 in Verdi's Macbeth as Macduff, Bocelli has recorded with big name musicians such as Sarah Brightman, Jennifer Lopez, and Nelly Furtado. Accolades for the gifted tenor include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards as well as a 1999 Grammy nomination and a Golden Globe award the same year. With his career spanning over 20 years, Bocelli has sold more than 80 million records and sang on numerous countless worldwide tours.

He's actually a new South Florida resident, having purchased a home in Miami last year. Bocelli will perform at Hollywood's Hard Rock Live for the fifth year in a row on Valentine's Day weekend. We spoke with Bocelli about his newest album, Manon Lescaut, his famous song "Time to Say Goodbye," the infamous scene from Stepbrothers, and he gave us some love advice.

See also: Best Things to Do on Valentine's Day 2015 in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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