Conspirator's Marc Brownstein on Hulaween 2014, His New Act Electron, and Social Activism

Categories: Interview, Q&A

Andrew Scott Blackstein
As Halloween draws nearer, so does the annual, aptly titled Hulaween Festival at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. It's four days of camping and jamming out to Medicine for the People, the String Cheese Incident, Thievery Corporation -- the lineup goes for days.

But there's only one man with the power of two bands seeking rain check redemption after last year's fest, and that man is Marc Brownstein. Opening the festival during the Thursday pre-party with Electron and guaranteed to keep your feet moving throughout the days ahead with Conspirator, the Disco Biscuits' bassist sat down with New Times to talk about what it's like to help create a genre and how the misspelling of his name lead to his proudest Halloween costume to date.

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American Authors' Zac Barnett on Pranking One Republic

Categories: Interview

Photographer Andrew Zaeh

If you're like the rest of the Western world, you've heard the song "Best Day of My Life." American Authors have usurped these words in your mental vocabulary, and now when you say them, you sing them.

The Brooklyn based foursome met in college in 2007 and has only one album out so far, but this big song has been featured just about everywhere -- including on the big screen, in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and the small, in Vampire Diaries.

Enjoying their success, American Authors have already toured with pop-rock bands like One Republic and the Script and are currently showcasing their album Oh What a Life on the Honda Civic tour, featuring openers Oh Honey for fans attending East Coast shows. The tour hits Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live on Thursday, October 23, in honor of the venue's tenth anniversary.

In a recent interview with lead singer Zac Barnett, we got to talking about how he and the guys pulled the ultimate prank on One Republic's Ryan Tedder, the fact that he's a total adrenaline junkie, and his guiltless love for 5 Seconds of Summer.

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Jeezy on Seeing "Some Justice" in Ferguson and "the New Generation" of Trap


Believe it or not, there is a limit to how much a rapper can (or should) mention "flippin' bricks," "gettin' it for the low," or still "meeting papi at the dock." But if they stop talking about this lifestyle, will fans get bored and move on? What are they to do?

"I remember being posted up on the first and the third/Just re'ed up/Nigga got a nine piece" are the first bars Jeezy spits on "1/4 Block" off his latest album, Seen It All: The Autobiography. Though, still on point with witty remarks about his pre-fame Snowman days, Jeezy has refrained from speaking as though that wild life is current, opting to take a more personal and distanced approach to his past. He's an ever evolving character.

Jeezy took some time out on the road to speak to us about trap music, the tragedy in Ferguson, Kendrick Lamar, a possible Trap Or Die 3, and he even asked us a couple of questions of his own.

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The Miami Street Band Perform Pumpkinfest in Honor of Activist Steve Schultze

Categories: Interview


You've seen them outside Miami Heat games thirty members strong with their trombones, trumpets, and percussion playing "Hot Hot Hot" while dragging members of the crowd into a limbo line, but the Miami Heat Street Band also play non-Miami Heat affiliated events under the title "the Street Band" including Pumpkinfest on Saturday, October 25 at Beef O'Brady's in Cooper City.

"We started playing for the Miami Heat in 2003," explains the band's director Michael A. Randle. "There was a desire to have us play outside venues. So as the Street Band, this is an opportunity for us, as we have professional, collegiate, and high school musicians."

Randle got his start playing in the band at Miami Edison Senior High School which evolved into joining FAMU's famed Marching 100. Graduation led to a gig in the Busch Gardens' band which performed halftime gigs at Miami Heat games. The Heat organization liked what they saw and expressed interest in forming their own street band.

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Three Bad Jacks on South Florida as "the Wild West," Its DIY Ethic, and Staying Indie

Categories: Interview


Three Bad Jacks is a rarity in music. The band's been together for almost two decades, touring since it formed in Los Angeles in 1995, and members still manage it themselves.

Even after performing with such music legends as Joe Strummer and Dwight Yoakam, along with creating a springboard for the West Coast sound, guitarist and lead singer Elvis Suissa still books every gig.

"We've survived. Most bands are together for three years and then they're done," he says. "Being significant and still being able to headline theaters is sort of a miracle."

The rockabilly-psychobilly trio will be bringing its raucous sounds to the Kreepy Tiki Lounge in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday night, alongside South Florida locals the Riot Act and Jangle Leg.

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The Toasters' Buck: "Once a Toaster, Always a Toaster"

Categories: Interview

Toasters Facebook

With newer acts like Streetlight Manifesto to OGs like Rancid and Reel Big Fish all still touring, it's clear ska never died. But probably before these guys even picked up guitars, there was the Toasters. The 2 tone act was one of the first American bands that emerged in the early eighties and is readying to celebrate its 35th year of existence. The band's only one consistent and remaining member is Brit, Robert "Bucket" Hingley. Two other originals have since passed away and the fourth is in a British monastery.

So how does a band tour with only one member? "There are a lot of local bands and guest members from local bands," Buck explained. "There are 150 guys I work with, guys I've been working with for years -- it's been running pretty smoothly." And yes, Buck picks all the temporary members himself. "I'm in touch with everyone," Buck continued. "That's one of the useful things about Facebook. If we're in town and one of the guys want to jump onstage in their city, we leave a hole in the lineup... Once a Toaster, always a Toaster. You're never allowed to leave."

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Francesco Yates on Working With Pharrell: "It Was Very, Very Special"

Categories: Interview


At just 19 years old, Canadian pop singer/songwriter Francesco Yates has accomplished more for his age than the average college freshman. Not only is he on his first U.S. tour, but he is also one of the many faces of the global "Faces of Fall Winter 2014 'People' Campaign from international clothing retailer UNIQLO, whose new stores will be opening in Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Let's not forget that he just released his music video for "Call" and collaborated with famous producers Pharrell Williams and Robin Hannibal of Rhye/Quadron (Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B.) for his debut album.

So how does it feel to be so young in the hungry music industry? "I mean, it's just good to be doing what I do in the way that I'm doing it," says Yates. "It's a great thing, it's a beautiful thing."

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Jump the Shark, Fort Lauderdale's Newest Venue


Opening its doors in March 2009, the IWAN (Independent Working Artists Network) Concept Production Facility proved to be a pioneering concept in what once was a blighted area of Fort Lauderdale. Come to be known as "The Bubble" (which was actually the title of the first event held at the venue; it just stuck), this art gallery, performance venue, and general hangout facility became a much-needed hub for Broward County's underground and underserved artistic set. Predating the popularity of FAT Village's monthly art walks, vinyl record haven Radio-Active Records' move to Federal Highway, and the opening of hipster craft-beer mecca Laser Wolf, the Bubble was a catalyst for the revitalization of the area just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale known as Flagler Village.

We speak in past tense here because the Bubble, in its previous iteration anyway, is no more. The Bubble cofounder Garo Gallo has officially split from the IWAN group and has taken it upon himself to give the art space a bit of a face-lift and a shift in attitude.

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Taylor Loren: "Bringing Old Country Back With a New Twist"

Courtesy of Taylor Loren

Avoiding the usual country music songs about Daisy Dukes, pickup trucks, and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Delray Beach cutie Taylor Loren has more of an edge.

"My music is country with a little bit of outlaw Western style with a little bit of folk because I play acoustic guitar," the 22-year-old gushes.

And gush is the perfect verb to describe Loren. Upon talking to her, you can hear her smile and the excitement in her voice. The best part is, you can't help but smile back. It's damned contagious. So imagine our surprise when Loren, all smiles and bubbles, described the premise for her song "Wanted" as "two girls killing another girl because there is a price out for her -- she stole their man."

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Everymen: "If We Did It for Money, I Would Have Quit a Long Time Ago"

Photo by Alexis Lawson

Now is not the time to start a band. Not if your intention is to be rich and famous. Not if you think you're going to get by on talent alone. Not if it's for anything more than an innate need to create and make people, yourself more than anything, happy with your music.

The music industry isn't for every man, but for Lake Worth's Everymen, there's hardly any other choice.

"I feel like if we did it for money, I would have quit a long time ago," says singer Sergio Witis, AKA Capt'n Bobo. "We really do it because we love to do it. I feel like if we didn't have that -- and we talk about this all the time -- I don't know what the fuck I'd be doing."

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