Against All Authority's Joe Koontz Reinvented as One-Man Band MC1

Reinvention usually makes you think of the chameleonic, the sham, the put-on, the need to reassess to remain relevant -- negative connotations. Reinvention is, though, closer to rebirth in many instances, a chance for someone to evolve, not completely change but, in a way, improve.

It is those who reinvent while retaining authorship and identity who fare better than others. For many growing up in South Florida during the mid- to late '90s, ska-punk powerhouse Against All Authority was a way of life. Like the UK/DK documentary did for a generation of second-wave British punkers, AAA, or Triple A as the locals know them, were the diving bell by which to fully comprehend the nuances of punk, ska, and hardcore and how they were, for a brilliant moment, one and the same.

From their humble beginnings out of a Goulds warehouse affectionately referred to as the "Butt Hut" and on to global success, guitarist Joe Koontz knows a thing or two about the limelight in the underground. Now in 2014, he has been reborn as a one-man band known now as MC1, which performed last weekend at the Poorhouse. We had the chance to speak with him about a ton of stuff, including the challenges of being a one-man band, building his own equipment, AAA, and playing guitar while Cuban.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Punk Guitarists of All Time


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Zebra's Randy Jackson Tells the Secret to Keeping a Band Together for 40 Years

Categories: Interview

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Robert Geiger

Must be something about bands that start with Z. After ZZ Top, the longest running professional band still playing with all its original members is Zebra. The band known for early MTV hits like "Tell Me What You Want" and "Who's Behind The Door" is currently touring, but on a night off, singer and guitarist Randy Jackson will play a solo acoustic show Friday night at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

His set will include, he says, "A lot of Zebra stuff along with other stuff I like, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles." Jackson's love for the the Fab Four shined in his most recent solo album, Empathy for the Walrus. It's comprised entirely of Beatles covers and every song was produced, engineered, sung and every instrument played by Jackson.

The singer spoke with New Times about growing up in New Orleans, seeing the Beatles live in concert, and the secret to Zebra's longevity.

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Taj Weekes Talks About Real Love, Herb, and Reggae Music

Categories: Interview

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From the Caribbean island of St. Lucia to the stage at the Funky Biscuit in Boca where he'll be performing this Friday night with his band Adowa, reggae singer Taj Weekes has undergone a long, interesting musical journey.

"We would sing to our parents in the living room," he reminisced about his early crooning days as the youngest of ten children. "We would sing Nat King Cole, Sly & the Family Stone, the Jackson 5, anything we would hear on the radio. My brothers and I then started a cover band, and I had my own radio program where I'd play whatever music I liked at 13."


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Gravel Kings Release Debut LP Arrows and Maps

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By Olivia Feldman

Fort Pierce natives Gravel Kings have come a ways since funding their self-titled EP with a Kickstarter account a year and a half ago. Since the release of Gravel Kings last March, the folk-rock quartet has lost two members (upright bassist Mike Seniuk and drummer Johnnie Schumacher) and been signed to West Palm Beach label Decades Records, which represents other popular local bands the Band in Heaven and Wake Up.

Gravel Kings have embraced these changes with Arrows and Maps, their first full-length album, released yesterday. The upright bass has been tossed in favor of a regular bass guitar, played by James Dickens, says Zack Jones, guitarist and lead vocalist. "With James, we were able to go in a different direction with the same style," Jones says.
In preparation for recording Arrows, the band turned to the road for inspiration. Each of the album's nine songs revolves around tales of the band members' travels both within and outside of the Sunshine State.

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Adam Matza and His iPad: On Making Music a New Kind of Way

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Barry Stock

Some people will remember Adam Matza from his days with the Baboons, pioneers of South Florida's genre-defying musical amalgams that blended from everywhere and filtered out one heavily percussive party of lackadaisical fun. He's been a poet and spoken-word performer before that was really a "thing" locally, and he's also experienced the highs and lows of life, as an artist and as a person.

For a while now, he has turned his musical attentions to experimental sounds and has fully embraced and immersed himself into the developing technologies of tablet-based music/instrumentation applications and is set to release his latest album, Refractions & Echoes, next month. Matza is also one of the most earnest and involved supporters of South Florida's varied underground, and we had a chance to catch up with him and discuss his work's evolution and process as an artist.

See also: The Weeds Move From Beat Poetry to Ambient Sounds


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Jacob Jeffries Went Solo, to Brooklyn, and is Heading Home for a Show at Original Fat Cat's

Categories: Interview

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Jacob Jeffries is flying solo these days, sans the "Band." He released an album this past June entitled Neighborhood Nights all by his lonesome. And while he's been living in Brooklyn and is planning on taking the next step West, and heading to Hollywood, he hasn't forgotten his South Florida roots, as is demonstrated by a song title on the album, "Florida Sky."


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The Pretty Reckless' Taylor Momsen Asks You to "Listen to the Fucking Songs... My Entire Life Is in the Songs"

Categories: Interview

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The Pretty Reckless currently has a hell of a lot to be happy about. The band's latest album, Going to Hell, has already produced two hit tunes, "Heaven Knows" and "Fucked Up World," and the group just kicked off the second leg of its North American tour.

It's no surprise that Taylor Momsen, who once acted in Gossip Girl, is heading straight to the top. What is surprising is that she's been able to do it with aggressive rock 'n' roll. While most music geared to 21-year-old girls is total "popcorn" pop, as Momsen calls it, she told us she's on a much different musical path.

As for whether we'll be seeing Momsen on the big or little screen again, the answer is, probs not. We found this all out and so much more when speaking with Momsen before the tour brings the Pretty Reckless back to Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live on September 21.


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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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