Devalued Musically Provides "Substantial Content Behind the Violence"

Categories: Interview

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Photo by Armando Zamora

By Mariel Zayas-Bazan

They've dubbed it "salsacore."

While the tongue-in-cheek subgenre would likely make Celia Cruz turn in her sequined grave, it's Broward locals, Conor Barbato, Nico Cordova, and Matt Stoyka's way of lumping sludge, grindcore, and Floridian D-beat together. It's sweaty and rhythmic like Celia, but heavy and dissonant like other defunct Florida bands.

"Local bands were our biggest influences, and three years ago Eztorbo and Consular were playing shows all the time before they broke up. I was in the Panix and I knew that was dying down too, but I wanted to keep playing guitar," says Nico, vocalist and guitarist of Devalued. As active patrons of the South Florida scene, the trio chose to fill the void before they could feel it.

See also: Devalued Releases Cassette, Talks Jamiroquai, Sludge, and Holly Hunt


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Washed Out's Ernest Greene: a New Breed of Southern Music Man

Categories: Interview

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Christina Mendenhall

You could be forgiven for thinking Washed Out's Ernest Greene is from Portland, Oregon. He gets it all the time since his song "Feel It All Around" is the theme for the TV satire of all things hipster, Portlandia. But if you have a conversation with the man, as New Times did moments after he checked into a hotel room, you will detect a Southern drawl. Greene is proud to be from the South even if the chilled-out aesthetic of Washed Out was created in direct opposition to Southern rock.

"I grew up in a small town in Georgia, which is actually where the Allman Brothers came out of, in Macon," Greene said over the phone. "That was the music my parents were into and the people around me were into. So as a 16-year-old kid really learning to love music, it was all about rebelling against that. That became making music on a computer, listening to electronic and hip-hop, stuff that was as far away from guitar music as possible."

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Steve Martin on the Banjo's Popularity, Martin Short, and the Loss of Robin Williams

Categories: Comedy, Interview

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Before answering Steve Martin's phone call, you spend some time biting your nails, giggling nervously, and wondering which Steve Martin you'll be speaking with at the other end of the line. He's King Tut, but he's also The Jerk. He's dueled banjos with Kermit the Frog and even pissed himself as Ruprecht in what is, safe to say, one of the best movies ever made, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Something else he'll also always be is one of the Three Amigos. He's currently touring with Martin Short who costarred with him in the 1986 comedy. These are two of the funniest men of their generation. And Martin is by far one of the most successfully versatile. He is currently working on his first musical, with Edie Brickell, called Bright Star. He told us that if he shared the plot, it'd ruin it but did divulge that it's set in the 1920s and '40s and "reveals a secret about a woman's life."

This weekend, on the Hard Rock Live stage in Hollywood, we can expect to hear at least one Three Amigos song and plenty of banjo tunes. Here's what he had to say about his instrument of choice, Martin Short, and the late Robin Williams.

See also: Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell - Kravis Center, West Palm Beach - May 24


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Savoy Promises "a Crazy Ass Light Show" at Revolution Live

Categories: Interview

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Savoy hit the scene only a few years back and already has a diverse following of devoted fans addicted to its adrenaline-inducing, notoriously high-energy live shows. The band's name itself is all inclusive. The trio of Gray Smith, Ben Eberdt, and Mike Kelly titled their act after the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, the first nightclub where everyone, all races included, could come dance for free.

The group's unique setup - two DJs and a live drummer - is just one of the things that has it standing out starkly from countless other EDM acts filling up venues. Drummer Mike Kelly explains why this format works for them. "When drumming with a traditional band, you're really the machine that is keeping time. With the live production stuff, the time is being kept by the computers giving me more room to rock out and embellish the tracks."

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Freekbass Says, "I Think of Myself as a Drummer Who Plays Notes"

Categories: Interview

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"I think of myself as a drummer who plays notes," the man known as Freekbass explained to New Times about his distinctive style of playing the bass. "I think of the beat first."

The Ohio native started out as a youngster playing drums. Then fate intervened. Oberlin College had a jazz band that toured around the region playing schools. A sixth-grade Freekbass attended a performance. "I was seated directly in front of the bass player, and watching him changed everything. All my friends were into Nirvana and Green Day, and I liked them too, but I was more into funk."

See also: Bootsy Collins at Soul Food Fest: Father of the Year Brings Daughter to First Concert

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Roadkill Ghost Choir Headlines PureHoney Magazine's Three Year Anniversary

Categories: Interview

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This weekend, our very own "fold-out party Bible," PureHoney magazine, celebrates its third year of existence. The noble endeavor of creating an indie print publication in this digital world is undertaken by Steve Rullman. Besides going strong, PureHoney is hosting a proper shindig at Respectable Street to celebrate its anniversary, featuring stellar local bands like Plastic Pink, Sweet Bronco, and Central Florida's indie folk troupe Roadkill Ghost Choir.

In the same alt vein as this local music guide, the organic Americana sound created by Roadkill Ghost Choir stands in stark contrast to the sleek, modern, Top 40 radio pop. Banjo-led songs with touches of folk, like the group's breakout track "Beggars' Guild," are as refreshing as taking a dip in Central Florida springs.


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Diane Ward on Surviving Breast Cancer and Beautiful Ways

Categories: Interview

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In 2011, Diane Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, the Hollywood-based singer/songwriter, four albums deep with decades of musical experience, had already begun production on her latest release, Beautiful Ways.

Both her parents are cancer survivors, so when she heard the news, she says that though it was intense, "It's always been in my mind. It's always been a part of my life."

Luckily, the album provided her with, well, a beautiful way to cope. "Everyone has a different process of how they go through it, what they do and how they are with it," she explains. "Mine was that I was able to dive into this music project with the support of my closest friends and my family. I used it as a vehicle to get through the treatment -- the chemo, the radiation."


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Agalloch's Aesop Dekker: "People Tend to Either Downplay or Overexaggerate the Role of the Drummer"

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Agalloch official Facebook page

Aesop Dekker currently drums for the incredible and long-running metal outfit Agalloch, as well as VHÖL and Worm Ouroboros. Whereas I would love to spend the next three sentences exhausting my word count hailing his skills and making crap statements like "powerhouse dynamo" and/or "a whirling dervish of the skins" -- I will abstain, because he's been very vocal in his dislike of the ephemera of such language concerning drummers.

South Florida might remember this current West Coaster as a drummer and co-conspirator of seminal Florida punk-rock band the Fuckboyz back in the late '80s/early '90s. As a music journalist, in the past, I have failed time and time again to sing the praises of this band. For that I am sorry. Its entire catalog is flawless.

Dekker may no longer embody the spirit and chutzpah of a young punk rocker; truth be told, we're not entirely sure "smiling" is something that occurs naturally to him, but this roguish, rough-around-the-edges, thoroughly tattooed musician is one of maybe five people in the universe whose knowledge, understanding, and just sheer erudition of music is one I respect and believe in blindly.


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The Lovers Key Unveils Vintage Sound with Here Today, Gone Tomorrow at Respectable Street

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"Wanted: a '60s-influenced singer looking to participate in a project with a sense of energy and soul," read a Craigslist ad posted by local musical whiz Christopher Moll two years ago.

Moll had gotten the itch to start crafting music again after stepping away from a bustling career with his orchestral, cinematic creation the Postmarks. He was the driving force behind this Burt Bacharach-idolizing trio based out of Pompano Beach. It churned out three records in three years (of which Moll served as the principal engineer, producer, and composer), and eventually, Moll got burned out. He decided to take a self-imposed break from the limelight.

But in that one year off, his former musical counterpart, Postmarks' singer Tim Yehezkely, came to the conclusion she'd rather be a pharmacist than a pop star. This left Moll without a vocal yin to his honeyed vintage pop yang.

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Ballyhoo!'s Howi Spangler Says, "We Just Get Out There and Crush It!"

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The all-knowing internet defines "ballyhoo" as "a buildup, hoopla, fanfare." And no title more aptly describes the musical output produced by the Aberdeen, Maryland, reggae/rock/punk fusion quartet known by that handle. Add an exclamation point to the end -- Ballyhoo! -- and one can already imagine the level of merriment set forth by this lively troupe before even pressing play.

The group has been on the grind since 1995 but only recently started making inroads in the music business. A successful jaunt across the country during the Vans Warped Tour in 2012 and an impressive showing on the Billboard charts for its self-released album, Pineapple Grenade, in 2013 helped them gain real traction.

It's been a long time coming for Ballyhoo!'s lead singer, Howi Spangler, who, as a Green Day- and Goldfinger-obsessed teenager, began writing his own pop-punk and ska creations. He hoped to separate himself from the hip-hop and mainstream rock environment that dominated his suburban Baltimore confines.

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