Blackjack Billy Explains "Redneck Rock" at Tortuga Music Festival

Blackjack Billy
Blackjack Billy has experienced a heavy shot of success in a short amount of time. These hard-working Southern boys are now living the country star dream, touring he country with tons of dates, and watching their song "Booze Cruise" rise to the top of the iTunes pile.

Blackjack Billy just finished performing a Spring Break concert in Panama City before heading to Fort Lauderdale for the beachside hoedown known as the Tortuga Music Festival. Guitarist Coplan pointed out about both: "There's women in bikinis. That never gets old!"

We sat down with Blackjack Billy after their set to talk about prude partying and their stolen trailer. Here's what happened when we met Noll Billings (vocals), Rob Blackledge (vocals, guitar), Jeff Coplan (electric guitar), Brad Cummings (drums), and Patrick Cornell (bass guitar) on the sand.

See also: Tortuga Music Festival 2014's Ten Hottest Beach Bods

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White Denim's Newest Album, Corsicana Lemonade, Is "Fresh," Not "Overworked"


We last spoke with White Denim's drummer, Joshua Block, when their album D dropped. He told New Times the odd album title came about because it's their fourth album and because "D" is the band's favorite letter in the alphabet. This was a strange enough assessment that we felt compelled to communicate with Block again. It's also hard not to be drawn to the Texas band's sound. Their newest release, Corsicana Lemonade, is groovy and psychedelic enough to have you doodling hearts on the album cover.

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Humbert on Opening for Dead Milkmen with Special Guests and Hialeah Fest

Categories: Interview

Photo by teajayphoto
Ferny Copiel has been recording musicians at his warehouse studio the Shack North for 26 years. The space is packed with the most interesting things mankind has ever produced. Graffiti ripped from the walls of the now defunct Washington Square, "Hialeah Kicks Ass" T-shirts for sale, an Uncle Luke 4 Mayor sign, huge statues of both Yoda and Jabba the Hutt. There's even a live snake (which, a sign says, you can touch). It all seems less like a distraction and more like a visual match for all the stimulating sounds coming from the studio.

Late Monday night, Copiel and his Humbert bandmates, Tony Landa and Izo Besares, were meeting up to practice for their upcoming opening set alongside Sandratz for Dead Milkmen show at Grand Central. It'll be a sort of family affair with Copiel's young daughter coming out and the addition of two special guest collaborators, Jeff Rolloson of Curious Hair and Night of the Weirds and multi-instrumentalist and singer Ali Culotta of Stop the Presses.

See also: Humbert's Ferny Coipel on Healing and Their Musical Take on the Crying of Lot 49

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Peoplewatch Bring Funking Miami Rock and Soul to Hard Rock Rising Friday Night

Categories: Interview


Peoplewatch is a Miami trio that has been vibing since 2012. Together, drummer Alan Ash, singer Cris Diaz, and bassist Branden De Caso create an ever-evolving sound that melds jazz, funk, and soul with rock music. Ash calls it "an eclectic mix of groovy and catchy lines that will have you humming on the way home from a show." And once you hear their songs after the jump, you'll be humming them at your computer.

The band has been playing around town at places like Tobacco Road and Churchill's Pub, but most recently, they gained praise and attention at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's Hollywood Hard Rock Rising competition. The band was of the two wild card picks in the preliminary competition, won the second round, and this weekend, on April 11, will be playing for the chance to go global. The winner heads to Rome, and Ash explains their ultimate goal is to "represent Miami to the fullest." And certainly, Italy needs a little of that spicy Miami flavor every now and again.

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Heady & Sullen Debut EP Is a Testament to Their Undying Love


Ariel Vega is no stranger to our New Times readership. As the drummer for the Honeysticks in the '90s, he helped pave the way for the alternative sounds of South Florida today. An eternally busy musician with live tried-and-true chops and a penchant for creation within the studio and session setting, his latest musical endeavor involves his wife Tammy Fons, an accomplished and classically trained pianist.

Under the name of Heady & Sullen they're releasing a debut four-song EP replete with atmosphere and melody. Formed by their different backgrounds but catapulted into creation by a symbiotic link, their music is lofty and baroque and full of love without the aegis of cliché.

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Fireworks Play the Talent Farm; Still Banned from Culture Room

Photo courtesy of Fireworks

By Emily Bloch

Some things are inevitable at a good rock show. Someone will try to get in for free, someone will get kicked in the face by a crowd surfer, and someone's going to stage-dive.
But not if Culture Room has anything to say about it.

In August 2009, Michigan pop-punk band Fireworks performed at Culture Room as a supporting act on the Gig Life tour, featuring Polar Bear Club and Set Your Goals. Fireworks went on second. "[The crowd] instantly set it off," recalls J.R. Cedeno, who was in the crowd and 17 at the time. "I remember a kid got kicked out for stage-diving, and the band wasn't having it."

That's when Fireworks told everyone to bum-rush the stage.

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The Cost Talk Fighting, Loving, and the Cure

Categories: Interview


Apparently, one night, years back, I told the Cost that I really liked their music but their name sucked. In typical Cost fashion, they didn't give a shit and kept the name. Lovable yet combative, the Miami foursome plays post-punk tunes filled with heartbreak that stick to the inside of your skull and help you get a good cry in when necessary. "If you want to put it on a fucking menu," singer and guitarist Manny Roman reluctantly said of their band's focus, "my blueprint is to adopt -- it sounds cheesy, dude -- a Cure audience." And if you worship at the altar of Robert Smith, you will likely enjoy the Cost's songs.

The band consists of four recognizable characters: There's Roman with his sweet smile, curls, and round glasses, bassist Nathan Molina, totting a camera and starting fights, guitarist Julian Navarrete who has the longest, straightest hair maybe ever, and Danny Calle, the sweetheart drummer of the band. Their scrappy ways have sometimes kept them from completing shows, but they've survived, so far, on a genuine interpersonal connection.

After about four years together, the band is playing a show on May 1, at Churchill's Pub, which is where we met up with the guys a few weeks back. The conversation revolved around what objects they've struck each other with lately and about the pure love they feel for their bandmates.

See also: The Cost on Loving Postpunk: "When Girls Break Your Heart, That's When It Starts to Make Sense"

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The Go-Go Dancers of Ultra Music Festival

Photo by: George Martinez
From left to right: Jessie Wedell, C.J. Jones, and Kelli Rika

We've all seen them. They're gorgeous, perfectly unattainable beauties with grace, poise, and loads of talent.

They're the go-go dancers of Ultra Music Festival, and they're dressed in fantastic costumes, floating from the rafters, and charming the crowd from lofty pedestals flanked by fire and lasers.

But who are these women? Turns out, they're just like the rest of us -- except they're gorgeous and paid to dance at Ultra. We sat down with a few of the ladies from the main stage and Carl Cox mega-structure to pull back the veil of mystery by asking about their jobs, their day-to-day lives, and what kind of guys (or girls) they go for.

See also: The Virgins and Veterans of Ultra Music Festival: A Video Interview

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Giorgio Moroder on DJing, Daft Punk, Retirement: "Playing Golf Is Great but Boring"

Photo by Ian Witlen/Red Bull Content Pool
Giorgio Moroder.

"Hello, my name is Giovanni Giorgio. But you can call me Giorgio," he says before kicking off his hour-and-a-half set on the rooftop of the Gale Hotel on South Beach.

Reality is, the man needs no introduction. He's Giorgio Moroder, one of the 20th Century's most influential record producers. He's worked with everyone from Donna Summer to Debbie Harry to David Bowie. However, the works that may have most firmly secured his spot in the pantheon of American pop culture are his compositions for films. Whether it be "What a Feeling" from Flashdance or "Chase" from Midnight Express or "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun, you've encountered Moroder's work.

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The Virgins and Veterans of Ultra Music Festival: A Video Interview

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

What is it about Ultra Music Festival that makes the young kids go crazy? Can this year's UMF top the twin weekends of 2013? Does it live up to the hype? What's better: PLUR or molly?

These are the hard-hitting questions that we asked the brave
souls of Ultra 2014. We harassed virgins and veterans alike on their way into the fest. Some of them were so emotional about the festival, they just had to cry.

We also talked to a Christian guy shouting into a megaphone to hear why Ultra will send you to hell.

See also: Ultra Ravers Answer: What's in Your Fanny Pack?

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