The Hard Richards' Breakup After Twenty Years of Music, Calling It "Gut-Wrenching"

Categories: Goodbye

The original lineup

Palm Beach County show-goers come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. But you would be hard-pressed to find one that hasn't seen the Hard Richards live. Performing locally for a staggering 20 years, this gnarly Boynton Beach crew has played their hearts out and is calling it quits on its own on terms. Going out Seinfeld style, the group is disbanding at a high point, before any outside forces can weigh in on the matter. It's nothing short of the end of a legacy, and the crater left in place of the Hard Richards will be near impossible to fill.

The band played its last show and Propaganda's Summer Daze, day one, last week. Jager shots were consumed, tears were shed, and moshing commenced for one last time. To reflect on the past two decades and look toward what the future might hold, we talked with original frontman Steve Abbott, who's seen it all. He started this band right out of high school and it's consumed half of his lifetime, so this news is equal parts heartbreaking and relieving. Read on to get a peek into the mind of a lifelong Hard Richard, coping with the decision to put an end to a band that meant everything to him.

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Churchill's Pub Owner Dave Daniels: Thank You for Everything

George Martinez

There is a way of speaking and writing that maintains an air of dignity and reverence about that subject that toes the line between eulogia and the elegiac. Thankfully, I as an orator and man of letters have failed with thunderous aplomb in all three scenarios. Don't let me sing your praises. Don't let me speak at your funeral. And, for the love of God, don't let me pretend like I'm keeping a neutral tone. Now that we are all on the same page, know a little bit more. On this site, last week, my editor here, Liz Tracy, announced the potential sale of our beloved Churchill's Pub.

I'm not one to lend himself to the whimsical fancies of attachment with brick and mortar locales. Does it make me sad to see a place go? Yes, but I triage my feelings. Losing Books & Books would be a blow to our literate community, but when the death knell finally takes the few remaining Barnes & Noble stores that are strewn throughout the tri-county area, c'est la vie to those unperson-able behemoths.

See also: Churchill's Pub Owner Dave Daniels Accepts Offer to Sell

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Fort Lauderdale Hukilau Says Its Final Aloha with "the Hukilau to End All Hukilaus"

Categories: Goodbye

Monica McGivern

One of the important life lessons, a cliché that's oh-so-true, is that all good things must come to an end. Things that bring us delight and wonderment diminish all too quickly -- like boy bands, Twinkies, or fanny packs. Just yesterday, though, a treasured Fort Lauderdale tradition announced it is soon to also become a thing of the past. Hukilau, a four-day Tiki fest that celebrates Polynesian pop culture will bid "aloha" as it celebrates its final run this June.

See also: Photos from 2013 Hukilau at Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale

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Kilmo Shutting Down Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall This Weekend

Categories: Goodbye

native florida tap room.jpg
Via Facebook

Just this week, Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall owner Kilmo Doome announced that he's selling the venue and skipping town.

He wrote on Facebook: "I have accepted an offer I couldn't refuse and I'm relocating to New Orleans, where music and culinary opportunities have beckoned me for years. I will continue to perform and produce some music events in South Florida." Then he thanked all the great musicians, fans, and lovers of beer who supported his venture.

Kilmo told us that a combination of factors led to the Tap Room's demise. "When I started doing venues," he said, "I really didn't know it would go this long." But after giving it a good try with this latest location in Hollywood, it seemed the hoops the city set up were too high for Kilmo to jump, and the allure of the Big Easy was too strong.

See also
- Best Hollywood Neighborhood Bar, 2012: Native Florida Tap Room & Music Hall
- Hollywood's Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall Open Mic Edition
- Native Florida Tap Room & Music Hall Offers South Florida's Coolest New Hangout
- Native Florida Tap Room and Music Hall Thursday Night Tryouts for Local Talent

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DJ Laz and Five Other South Florida Radio Personalities We Miss So Much

The word in the Twittersphere as of Tuesday was that DJ Laz and Power 96 were breaking up. After a 22-year love affair made in South Florida radio heaven, Laz says, he just wants to throw his alarm clock against the wall at 4 a.m. instead of going on the air. Well, that's what he told NBC Miami, at least. And who can blame him! Four in the morning is time to go to bed, not wake up! 

We won't lie, we're gonna miss the shit out of one of South Florida's most unifying voices. Show us a person in the tricounty area who doesn't know of Laz, and we will show you a liar. Power 96 will go on, but what about us? How are we gonna make it? A look back at other former radio personalities we lived with and loved like family over the years will show us how. 

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Jimbo's Is Closing? Say It Ain't So!

Categories: Goodbye
Michael McElroy
Read Miami New Times' Riptide report on this topic from earlier today. 

Although Jimbo's is located just south of these parts on Virginia Key, it's truly a South Florida institution. It is a lawless land where people who want to escape the confines of traditional society can enjoy some smoked fish, a cold beer, and bocce ball at a swampy port overlooked by colorful shacks. 

When we interviewed Jimbo Luznar, his son, and daughter-in-law Jennie, who've been managing the site, just months ago, it seemed they were ready to revamp the place and keep it open. Miami New Times reports that they've been running on generators for two years and high gas prices are making it impossible for them to keep power. Via text, Jennie Luznar told County Grind that Jimbo's might stay open, but without power. They're looking to file a law suit and fight the City of Miami to regain electricity, or turn to solar energy. 

This is one of those places that we, as a state, hell, as a country, cannot afford to lose. Authenticity is so scarce, that when you find it, you have to hold on to it, and tightly. And give it some power for fuck's sake. 

Most importantly, if Jimbo's closes, where will Swampfoot play?
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Not a Goodbye to County Grind but a See You Later

Categories: Goodbye
Photo by Crissy Borges, I think.
Notepad, pen, earplugs, overpriced cocktail, pastel-colored T-shirt? Check.
On my final day as New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor, I can say with certainty that County Grind is much more than just the name of this blog. What began as my play on the phrase "county line," which ties our multicity coverage area together, also sums up an adventurous way of life for South Florida music fans. I've witnessed every possible interpretation of the "county grind" unfold, and I've loved my two years here as much as any period of my professional life. (And all of you should come party with me on Saturday for my last night in town at the Green Room.)

I was introduced to this county grind almost as soon as I first visited South Florida back in January 2010 to formally interview for the job. Past Miami New Times' Music Editor Arielle Castillo and her boyfriend, Anthony, picked me up from my hotel in Fort Lauderdale, and we trekked up to Respectable Street in West Palm Beach to catch Monotonix and the local openers Surfer Blood and Love Handles. Not only was this an introduction to many locals who would become valued colleagues -- photographer Ian Witlen and eventual Miami New Times Music Editor Sean Pajot were in attendance -- but Monotonix frontman Ami Shalev epically broke his leg.

The night was a 140-mile round trip for Castillo, and it was far from the first time anyone in attendance had put that type of mileage on their vehicles in an evening. As I found out, there are countless others who probably wouldn't be eligible for Progressive Insurance's "Snapshot Discount" with all of the trips on area highways executed in the wee hours of the morning after a stop at Tacos Al Carbon or Howley's.

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Farewell, New Times; Hello City Pages!

Categories: Goodbye
One of my many South Florida mementos.
When many South Floridians read this, the reaction is going to be, "This guy is more deranged than Scott Stapp." This January, I am packing up my things and, like a snowbird flying backwards, heading to Minnesota to take over as the new music editor of the Twin Cities alt-weekly City Pages (a sibling paper to New Times). I'll be overseeing their music blog, Gimme Noise.

I'm sad about leaving such a Vitamin D-rich part of the world, but this is a good thing. I grew up in a small town on the outskirts of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, so this move is a homecoming.

Although I managed to do two years in Fort Lauderdale without getting a tattoo, this place did turn me into a local in a hurry.

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RIP, the Buzz 103.1 -- Long Live Sexist Radio Formats?

CBS Radio to women: We know you are thinking about Lady Gaga to Lady Antebellum.
There was a huge online response yesterday that continues today with the news of the Buzz 103.1's sudden exit from FM on Monday and the subsequent switch to Now 103.1 in West Palm Beach. 

With another South Florida rock station erased from the airwaves, there is a petition and a Facebook boycott page and a threat of an occupation. And there are a few who just repeat the familiar mantra "corporate radio still suuuucks!" Someone even quoted Korn.

But there's another strong strain of discontent coming from female Buzz listeners. The news release announcing the format switch includes this language: "Women in West Palm Beach have been searching for an alternative to cluttered, talky radio stations. NOW promises to deliver on this need. Finally, there is a choice that both mothers and daughters can agree on."

I've never taken a feminist theory class, and I've been heavily scolded for never reading The Feminine Mystique, but there's definitely some wonky gender (and race?) politics mixed in with this market-research-motivated shift. "Im sorry but both my mother and I will not be listening to this new "NOW"!!!" writes a commenter named Megan. "We are both equally very mad about this! Bad move for CBS." And she's not alone.

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Five Songs U.S. Postal Service Woes Have Changed Forever

d40452p-box tops.JPG
We're not seeing so many of these anymore.
The news about the budgetary crisis that is plaguing the U.S. Postal Service is not only distressing but also all but impossible to imagine. As a music writer, I depend on the CDs that arrive in the mail in order to write about music. Although it may be easier for a publicist to send me a link instead of an actual CD, I rue the day when there will no longer be any option and that's all that's offered.

And yet, two mail processing centers in Broward County may have to be closed, and their employees could be let go. It's part of a continuing trend caused by a $3 billion shortfall, a crisis that could have serious repercussions for the USPS overall. Sure, we can retreat to our computers and speak to one another on Skype or share a comment on Facebook, but the absence of a letter, card, or some other physical package passed from one person to another is just one more example of the isolation and indifference of modern society.

Nobody's saying the postal carrier will disappear, but the ramifications of an abbreviated number of delivery days and slower service could have a ripple effect on all segments of our society. Take for example, popular song. To illustrate our point, here are five pop classics that we'll never listen to in the same way:

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