Hearing Damage: The Rat Opera Brings Dialogue and Song to the Life of Rat Bastard

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The logo.

Rob Elba and Brian Franklin have gathered a large and notable cast of local musicians turned actors to perform their rock show Hearing Damage: The Rat Opera. The band -- which also includes Russell Mofsky, Andre Serafini, and William Trev -- started warming up with some Led Zeppelin last Wednesday night during its penultimate practice. They played with big, childlike smiles on their faces. The room was filled with song and laughter, more than a dozen old friends creating together and consuming a decent amount of beer, orzo salad, and sushi in the process.

Next week, they perform the rock opera inspired by the life of noise legend Frank Falestra, AKA Rat Bastard, onstage at Fort Lauderdale's Cinema Paradiso. Rat Bastard has helped guide the Miami music scene for three decades. He's recorded just about every local band or act that's come through town, and he's known as the mastermind behind Scraping Teeth (Spin magazine's worst band in America circa 1993), Laundry Room Squelchers, and the annual International Noise Conference at Churchill's Pub.

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Pawn Shop Lounge Opens Tonight; We Scored Preview Photos!

Categories: Heads Up

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Ian Witlen

Tonight, the formerly bumping and alarmingly kitsch downtown Miami club Pawn Shop is opening its doors again in West Palm Beach. The old place was housed in an actual pawn shop and was very much one of the the finest club spots in South Florida for many years, hosting some of the wildest, most memorable parties. We remember going to its opening night and getting silly on free Bacardi, mesmerized by the active halfpipe out back. Now, it's a parking lot for the Arsht Center. But in its new spot at the former Dr. Feelgoods at 219 Clematis St., there's no chance Pawn Shop'll meet the same fate twice.

We were fortunate enough to catch a sneak peek of this newest Palm Beach County venue last night, the eve before the club opens to the public. We'll be reviewing tonight's opening and, thus, likely see you there. But to whet your palette beforehand, here are the preview photos of the seriously eye-catching, brand-spanking-new Pawn Shop.

See also: Pawn Shop Opens March 6 With Ferris Wheel, School Bus, and So Much More

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DJs Donnie Lowe and Michael Gin Emerge from "Rave Cave" to Launch New Night, Soundbox, in Fort Lauderdale

Categories: Heads Up

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Michael Ignition Photography

This Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sandbar Fort Lauderdale will be hosting an all new party, Soundbox. The promoters promise it will be heavenly madness.

Top billing of the no cover festivities belongs to Lost Pieces, which is made up of DJ Donnie Lowe and Michael Gin. Lowe came from the house and techno side of things while Gin was more into trance. They bonded while doing a remix together for Carlo Gambino on Over Recordings and thought Lost Pieces was a perfect name considering their disparate influences ('90's hip-hop aside).

New Times caught up with DJ Donnie Lowe, the publication's reigning title holder of best DJ in Broward and Palm Beach, to ask what we could expect on Sunday and what music is currently making him whole.

See also: DJ Donnie Lowe Doesn't "Consider the Stuff on the Radio Dance Music"

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Tate's Comics Is Expanding Its Original Location

Categories: Heads Up

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Ian Witlen

Tate's Comics, the original Lauderhill massive headquarters for all things comic-book-related, is currently growing even more enormous.

Walls have been struck to expand the location by 3,400 square feet, making it bigger than Giant Man, The Blob, and possibly Godzilla at more than 10,000 square feet. Tate Ottati, the store's owner, believes this will put the store as one of the five largest in the country. Ottati told County Grind the new space will make room for "more boutique displays of individual titles and lines like The Walking Dead, Fables, and DC's New 52. We'll also have more space for accessories like T-shirts from Fine Print, socks, hats, and weird goggles, like the new Harry Potter ones we just got."

See also: Tate's Comics to Open New Location in Boynton Beach


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Justin Timberlake's Top Five Collaborations

Categories: Heads Up

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Tom Munro/RCA Records

It's hard to imagine a world without Justin Timberlake. No lovably awkward Mickey Mouse Club duets, no bleached-blond curls or coordinating denim outfits, zero hours spent in front of the mirror trying to learn the choreography from the "Bye Bye Bye" video, definitely no "Cry Me a River" (the greatest break-up anthem of all time). Hell, who knows if "sexy" would have ever come back were it not for our boy JT.

After he transformed a humiliating split with pop princess Britney Spears into a debut solo album of Billboard bangers, it didn't take long for the world to understand: Our favorite turn-of-the-millennium boy-bander was turning out to be a crazy-talented, bona fide badass.

Fast-forward to now, and it's no surprise the soul-dancing, falsetto-singing actor-producer-entrepreneur-whatever has collaborated with some of the best in the biz. In honor of his upcoming concerts at the BB&T Center and American Airlines Arena, let's take a look at some of JT's most genius collaborations.


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Death Jam Posse and Laser Wolf Records Release "Death Wolf" on Vinyl

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Digital Cypher

"Our mission is to resurrect the bass gods and have coochies popping worldwide," says Da $wap $hop Kid of his new project Death Jam Posse. Three dudes you may recognize as Bleubird, Jabrjaw, and Protoman have taken on entirely new personas: Young Lauderdale, Mr. Belvedere, and Da $wap $hop Kid. With this new endeavor, they promise lots of bass and nothing but fun. "A Death Jam party is pure unadulterated ratchetness," the rapper brags, "head-banging, twerking, moshing, puke, and blood. It's an experience. You will dance or die." Definitely start prepping early and well for a Death Jam party.

This new trio is dripping with 954 pride. They're even putting out their first release on Laser Wolf Records. That's right, the craft beer-centric watering hole isn't just a place to get silly on hops, the guys behind it, specifically Chris Bellus, are managing an imprint. "He helped us put the 7-inch out. He spent tens of thousands of dollars finding the right vinyl pressing plant that would transfer our bass properly to record. After six months of searching the globe, he finally found one. And at last, Death Wolf will be released," describes Da $wap $hop Kid.


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Montage and Alarmists Perform in Tribute to Ray Pachter at Flaunt

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Montage's Facebook
The band's 2003 lineup, from left to right: Peter Ferrandi, Ray Pachter, Ben Pachter

Tonight, friends from all walks of life will gather at Flaunt, the long standing Respectable Street indie dance party in West Palm Beach, to commemorate the life and music of the late Ray Pachter.

Montage, the band he lovingly crafted with his brother Ben, will be performing along with Alarmists to pay him tribute once again, the only way they know how, through cheap drinks and some serious tunes. We caught up with Ben to find out more and discover what the band has been up to.

See also: Montage Live, In Memory of Ray Pachter, Tonight at Respectable Street, West Palm Beach


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Wake Up Tour with Surfer Blood in a Chevy Suburban

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Despite being in his mid-twenties, it seems musician Evan Mui has been a perennial member of Lake Worth's music scene for ages. With stints in Palm Beach County favorites like Guy Harvey and the Dewars, Mui has more than cut his teeth. His newest project Wake Up has given Mui a chance to spread his wings and strike out on his own -- and it looks like he's struck gold, as well.

Wake Up's blend of chiming hooks, Superchunk-y guitar riffs over Mui's crackling J Masics-ish vocals has been raising eyebrows. His band has landed on local label Decades Records (home to other notables like Band in Heaven and Jean Jacket), and with successful stints at CMJ and a current tour with Surfer Blood, it seems like breakout stardom is within reach for Mui.


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Lost Weekend Moving to 500 Block of Clematis in West Palm Beach

Categories: Heads Up

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Lost Weekend facebook page
Most of the time it's hard to believe that the old adage, "Change is good" is true; sometimes it's hard to deny the proof.

In late November, Feelgoods Rock Bar and Grill announced it would be shuttering its doors to make way for a West Palm version of former downtown Miami hotspot Pawn Shop Lounge.

That left many wondering what would come of its upstairs neighbor former indie haven Lost Weekend.

Partners Rodney Mayo and Scott Frielich are reconcepting and relocating the bar to the 500 block of Clematis.

See Also: Pawn Shop Lounge Set to Open in West Palm Beach in Dr. Feelgood's Location


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Music Writers, New Times Needs You

Categories: Heads Up

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Every once in awhile, we here at Miami New Times and New Times Broward Palm Beach start looking around for some fresh meat (fresh as in sassy and new; meat as in freelance writers).

That time has come again!

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