How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

Categories: Longreads

The Masterminds Behind Fort Lauderdale's Flagler Village from Voice Media Group and Mitchel Worley on Vimeo.

Flip-flops aren't dancing shoes. But on any given afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, you can find too-tan folks working off hangovers by chugging Coors Light, jamming out to covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd... in flip-flops.

That's only part of Fort Lauderdale in 2014. Over the past five years or so, the city has taken a turn for the more cultural. This is especially true in the area north of downtown known as Flagler Village. Dedicated business owners, locals, developers, and community members have upgraded the blocks just west of Federal Highway, south of Sunrise Boulevard, and north of NE Fourth Street. Though it is still desolate in places, mainstay McGuire's Irish Pub is as popular as ever, small nearby businesses like Radio-Active Records are thriving, and mid-rises are quickly going up.

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Phantom of the Opera Dazzles at the Broward Center but Fails to Connect

Categories: Concert Review

Photo by: Matthew Murphy
It's hard to turn a classic on its head, especially when you're talking about one of the most performed and beloved musicals of all time.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera has hooked children into theater and dazzled audiences young and old since its premiere in 1986, and yet, it felt sometimes as if the audience at the Broward Center on Friday night never truly connected with the performers onstage.

Was that because the performance itself was somewhat muddled, or was the performance somewhat muddled because the audience was rude? It's hard to tell. One thing is certain though -- the stagecraft of this Phantom is absolutely as brilliant as anything we've ever seen.

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The Clap Reunites in Fort Lauderdale for Poorhouse Show with Chaos and Punk Covers

Categories: Concert Preview


Many years ago, South Florida had herself some evenings of particular wanton excess that resulted in the Clap.

A quad of musicians left to their own devices formed a separate VD-named entity while their bands, Radiobaghdad and the Holy Terrors, took some "much needed time off."

The Clap made a racket with chaos and punk rock covers. Not to be confused with the early '80s Anglo-inspired punk band from Pennsylvania, South Florida's the Clap was a thousand times more tropical and has a solid sense of humor.

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The Exiles Brought Rockabilly and a Lost Feature on Native Culture to Fort Lauderdale

Ollie Wareham
(Left to Right) Spencer who starred in The Legacy of Exiled Ndnz, Pamela Peters, and Everett Osceola

Friday night, the Stranahan House Museum was transformed into a 1950s dance fest. At 6 p.m., Rockabilly band Slip and the Spinouts were playing music made for greasers and pre-auxiliary cord cars were displayed out front in all their shiny glory.

The reason for these festivities was not an interactive screening of Grease but rather of the lost movie The Exiles. Created in the late '50s by director Kent MacKenzie, it tells the story of three Native Americans who moved from their reservation to Los Angeles. The movie was created around the time of the Indian Relocation Act, a United States law created to encourage indigenous people to leave their reservations and move to certain cities in the U.S. where they were promised a solid job and good life.

See also: A Gay -- or "Two-Spirit" -- Miccosukee Man Fights for the Everglades

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Jump the Shark's Grand Opening This Week Is a Who's Who of South Florida's Art and Music Scenes

Categories: Concert Preview

Jump the Shark's Facebook page.

When IWAN's (Independent Working Artists Network) Concept Production Facility opened in 2009, it was a signal that Fort Lauderdale was beginning a climb toward gaining equal cultural footing with post-Art Basel Miami.

Named the Bubble after its first event, the venue -- an amalgam of gallery space and meeting ground for the area's creatives -- became a center of activity in the nascent days of the contemporary art scene. All the culture seems familiar now, like the monthly art walk and off-the-beaten path eateries and cafés that opened in the area.

Just this year, it was renamed Jump the Shark and is run solely by IWAN cofounder Garo Gallo. He's done an about-face while retaining the important set pieces that make the space a compelling community destination. Some key differences are securing a beer and wine license for the new bar and giving a face-lift to the patio area and incidental art adorning the venue.

See also: How Flagler Village Became Fort Lauderdale's Cultural Core

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Five Things to Do Under $10 This Weekend

Categories: Five Under $5

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
5. The Fort Lauderdale Beach Fall Music Fest
Noon, Saturday, November 22 to November 23, at Da Big Kahuna, 17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Suite 308, Fort Lauderdale. Free with online registration or with a food donation. Visit Facebook.

The boys of Beach Place music festivals are back. Dave Neri and Colby Taylor are returning with over 12 hours of local live music in plenty of different genres for very cheap. You'll hear anything from hip-hop act Fresha Got The Kush to classic rock cover band Crush jamming out to Rush.

What makes this festival different from the rest is the fact that there will be a food donation for a Thanksgiving food drive. Oh, and if you're thinking of shaving that stache, don't. There will be a Stache Off with with prizes for the winner of the best mustache in honor of No Shave November, the huge viral campaign for men's health issues such as testicular and prostate cancer.

"It's extraordinarily important that we give to the community, and every child deserves food on their plate," says Taylor. In addition, there will be special promotion giveaways by Monster Energy Gaming and Grateful J's.

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Mike Nichols, Director of The Birdcage and The Graduate Dies at 83

Categories: Obituaries, RIP

Publicity photo for Mike Nichols

This was a brutal year for fans of the 1996 box office smash The Birdcage.

There will be no Dumb and Dumber, twenty-year-later sequel for the movie that showcased South Beach as a whimsical American Riviera. This August, the film's star Robin Williams passed away and just yesterday, its director Mike Nichols died of cardiac arrest.

That comedy about a gay couple pretending to be straight helped transform South Florida's image in pop culture as packed with cocaine dealers and riddled with gangland shootings into a region of decadent brunches.

While The Birdcage has great relevance regionally and also portrayed homosexuals in a positive light before Ellen came out or Will & Grace aired, it still might be just an asterisk in Mike Nichols brilliant career.

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Planet of the Drums' "Compelling Story" to Be Documented by Local Filmmakers

Photo courtesy of Kevin Kocak
Planet of the Drums documentary creators Ronaldo Bahamon, Kevin Kocak, and Steven Brevig.

A team of South Florida filmmakers are gearing up to shoot an independent documentary on Planet of the Drums, the longest running electronic dance tour headed up by four DJs who, at the millennium, were intent on bringing drum 'n' bass out of the underground into the world.

The four-person film crew will be on-site at Will Call in downtown Miami getting footage this weekend that will be used in the feature-length documentary geared at profiling said DJs: AK1200 (Orlando's Dave Minner), DJ Dara (Darragh Guilfoyle), Dieselboy (Damian Higgins), and MC Messinian (James Fiorella).

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Archaeology and AMIT Bring Old School Drum 'n' Bass and Dubstep to West Palm Beach

Categories: DJ Mix

Archaeology members Bradley Brown, Kevin Kocak, Landon Yerby, Alex Gerhardt, and Rene Aguiar.

There's a rebirth of old school drum 'n' bass and purist-friendly dubstep happening in a particularly unlikely place: West Palm Beach.

Friends Alex Gerhardt (DJ Depth), Kevin Kocak (DJ Bownce), Landon Yerby (Dcypher), Bradley Brown (Rok Is Dead), and Rene Aguiar (The Reazin) are the five-strong beatmakers behind the collective Archaeology. They've recently decided to band together with a mission of delivering underground electronic music to the people of South Florida.

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Anberlin Two-Ticket Giveaway for November 24 Revolution Live Concert

Categories: Ticket Giveaway

Parker Young

It's not often that a band breaks up amicably. But Winter Haven-bred rockers Anberlin are consciously disbanding on good terms after 12 long years.

Touring currently to promote its album Lowborn, the guys told fans well before the group took to the road that this would be its final one together. And it's probably safe to say that, unlike Cher, this'll be it.

Given that information, you'll definitely want to see them again live one last time. Luckily, we've got two tickets to offer to Anberlin's biggest fans totally free for its Monday-night show at Revolution.

See also: Anberlin's Christian McAlhaney on the Farewell Tour and Final Album

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