Amy Fiddler, Former Indie Record Label Entrepreneur Publishes Debut Novel About "the Ultimate Music Fan"

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Emily Shur, compliments of the author

Amy Fleisher Madden, better known to South Florida's punk scene as Amy Fiddler, began a strange journey into self-publication and independent record label operating at the tender age of 16. Her fanzine, Fiddler Jones was indicative of the pop punk '90s with a Cometbus-styled bend that balanced band interviews, reviews, and personal musings with humorous anecdotes about the scene strewn about for good measure.

From the fledgling upstart, undoubtedly fabricated during the heydays of the Office Depot "honor system," Fleisher went on to found Fiddler Records in 1996 that released records by local favorites the Vacant Andys, Milkshed, and the Agency as well as national heavy-hitters like New Found Glory, Dashboard Confessional, and Juliette Lewis & the Licks.

It's been many years since her hectic teenage years as an entrepreneur and Fleisher has reinvented herself first into the world of advertising and more recently back into the world of publication -- armed with her first novel A Million Miles. We had a chance to discuss her past and the book. And while she might no longer be a local resident, this local girl done good, is proud of her South Florida roots.

See also: The Queen of the Fiddler Records Empire Returns to the Music Biz

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DJ Craze's "New Slaves Routine" Proves He's #RealDJing

Categories: Local Music, Video

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Photo by: Jason 'Ohdagyo' Fenmore

Has it really gotten to that point where now DJs, real DJs, suffer the way musicians did when DJs first took over the club scene?

Let's look at the case of Miami Beach, a former Mecca for live music like jazz and soul that thrived and put South Florida on the map. When the Beach fell on hard times and disarray, out went those nightclubs. When the redevelopers came in the '80s and revitalized the Art Deco community, the new clubs brought in DJs not live bands because it was cheaper.

Musicians in those days harbored some ill will towards DJs since the damn DJ took their jobs. In the '90s, when hip-hop achieved larger mainstream and commercial appeal, DJs became turntablists and took it to new heights that combined astute selecting with what is basically performance art. One of the dopest and most respected turntablists to emerge from that era is the Nicaraguan-born Miami resident, DJ Craze.

See Also: DJ Craze's Five Best Battle DJs of All Time


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Danny Ashe Moved to Germany, Started Cygne Noir, Realized His Hispanic Roots

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When Danny Ashe relocated to Germany in 2010, he left behind a tangible void in South Florida's music scene. As a DJ and musician, his presence had been felt in the tricounty area for numerous years with his eclectic sets of rock 'n' roll infused with Motown, postpunk, and pop music. As a musician, his numerous projects furthered his selector ethos with a dark wave/"pop noir" aesthetic with outfits Lunabelle and Marqui Adora.

Moving primarily for new job opportunities in Europe's culinary fields, Ashe has had resurgence in his musical recording as Cygne Noir while balancing new surroundings and his growing family. His latest EP, Smile at the Sun is his most accessible and tropical work to date and betrays the nature of the "black swan" as an object of simple beauty.

We had a chance to speak with him about the release and his current musical climate.

See also: Head Spins: Danny Ashe

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Cavity's Dan Gorostiaga on Zinemaking and His Top Ten Records of All Time

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From left: Barge, Landrian, Gorostiaga, Norris, and Weinstein.

Dan Gorostiaga has been a key a figure in South Florida's underground. As founder and sole constant of Cavity, he put Miami on the metal map during the '90s with the band's highly imitated, stripped-down sludge. Since its split in 2001, I have personally pestered him about the band getting back together and even campaigned through County Grind's Blast From the Past columns to stir interest.

This past summer, during his former bandmates' band Black Cobra's stop at Gramps in Wynwood, Gorostiaga performed "Crawling" and "Supercollider" to a crowd that was largely unaware of this intention.

As an artist, Gorostiaga's recent inspirations have seen him become a maker of zines and artist's books that are limited-edition objects d'art. We recently had the chance to discuss Cavity, his art, and being onstage once again.

See also: Beatriz Monteavaro and Priya Ray Curate Echos Myron Exhibition with Art by Musicians

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Jump the Shark, Fort Lauderdale's Newest Venue

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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"

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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"

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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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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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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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Tha Wolf Pakk: "Every Single Song Doesn't Have to Be About Women, Cars, and Most Notably Money"

Categories: Local Music, Video

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Hip-hop in South Florida continues to grow and evolve. Headline-grabbing, flash-in-the-pan acts aside, the underground movement is alive and kicking and it will be no time before the rest of the nation takes note. A newer addition to the growing roster of conscious and thoughtful hip-hop is Tha Wolf Pakk, a duo comprised of MCs Dylan "Achileez" Campbell and Joshua "Antics" Tennie.

It's always a bit of a cliché when an outfit attempts to change the game and/or bring something different to the table, but this young act is slowly getting its guiding voice together. So far it's evident that Tha Wolf Pakk is well-versed in the better aspects of rap and understand the collective strength of its voices when staggering verses.

By enlisting the soulful vocals of Liza Forero, it adds an informed, R&B dynamic to this early crop of cuts that the duo is using to dip its artistic toes into South Florida's hip-hop scene.

See also: Best Internet Memes of Stitches, the Miami Rapper

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