Ten Signs South Florida's Music Scene Is Thriving

Categories: Local Music

Ian Witlen
Record Store Day brings us all together.

A month ago, two of the most prolific musical brothers in the state, Audio Junkie's Greg and Eddy Alvarez, wrapped up a wild, packed weekend of musical Independence Day fun at Gramps in Miami. Drinks were poured; songs were shared. It got us thinking about our South Florida music scene and how it's blossoming more and more each day.

Why do people keep saying we don't have a strong music scene even though events like that one so obviously prove otherwise? We thought it was about time to point out everything that makes watching and creating and performing music in South Florida so great.

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West Palm Beach Electronic Teen Duo Jude Is Taking Over the Internet

Categories: Local Music

Erica Paul
Hey, Jude. (Sorry... we had to.)

Local bands meet, create music, and start playing shows to establish themselves. Then down the line, they hope to get into the studio and walk away with a shiny new record full of their original jams. But a new generation of music-makers is taking a staunchly different approach.

Meet Jude. The stage name for West Palm-raised Kevin Neal and Sydney Morris, this electronic duo has been making waves on the blogosphere without ever playing a show. Their approach to creating music is to use the internet as their main vehicle, and it's working. The success of this flip-flopped method might have a little something to do with their age. Morris is only 17, Neal is 18, and no, neither one of them went to Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

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Fsik Huvnx or David Brieske: the Visual Side of Musicians


Sometimes it's hard to explain to outsiders just how rich and deep culture truly runs in South Florida. Blame it on Miami Vice or the excesses of ruinous Fort Lauderdale Spring Break youth behavior. It's just not easy to break the stereotypes. At least we locals can take some comfort in knowing that we know what's up.

There is a large contingent of musicians down here who are also visual artists. In this series, the Visual Side of Musicians, we will showcase their dual natures and help promote across creative outlets the communal fabric that makes our tip of the U.S. a unique and fun place, regardless of others' perception.

David Brieske is a local painter and collage artist who has for the last five plus years operated as Fsik Huvnx. His is an ambient/experimental project that has involved the improvisational use of digital applications with the organic ruminations of found objects and tweaked instrumentation.

See also: MP3 of the Day: Fsik Huvnx (David Brieske)

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Mandy Moon Could Be Your Future Yogi

Categories: Local Music, Q&A


Local gal Mandy Wright lives a normal life. She grew up in Boca Raton, attended Florida Atlantic University, she even worked a stint at Starbucks in Mizner Park. But when she started out as a singer-songwriter, she took on the cosmic moniker, Mandy Moon. In 2011, she formed a band, a close knit team that jams out a fusion of blues, indie rock, and soul.

Mandy Moon and co. are planning to show off some fresh tunes and a very new addition, a brand new bassist, at Dada on Friday night. "We're writing a lot more material, a lot more blues," Moon explains. "We're pretty excited with the new stuff we're coming out with." She feels like this will be the band's breakout album. The previous one was released with a little help from friends and fans via their Kickstarter.

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Propaganda's Summer Daze Essentials for 2014

Categories: Local Music

Dana Drolet
Spred The Dub rocking the inside stage, full of beers, tanks and ears.

We realize that it is only their second year, but it already feels like it wouldn't quite be summer without Propaganda's Summer Daze music series. The all-out block party is a culmination of pure energy -- from local music's finest offerings, skate competitions, and pools -- South Florida culture all comes together on J Street. It's basically summer camp for big people. Your same friends are there each time, and you indulge in a day full of activities until you basically pass out.

More than a good time though, Summer daze is important for your mental health. Prop cranks out bad ass shows all year, but Summer Daze is now an essential element in an increasingly blah season. Where else are we supposed to go in the summer that serves up this much fun?

This weekend kicked off the first of the three in the Saturday series. It was the full day dose we needed. While your sheer presence might be enough, here are a few more ways you can prepare for the next glorious seasonal jam -- day two with Lit.

See Also: The Summer Daze Concert Series Returns to Propaganda with Badfish

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Askultura on Its Name: "It Means Waffle House Is Bad for Your Spirit"

Categories: Local Music

J.T. Turret

The World Cup might bring the world together once every four years, but Askultura does it every day. The soccer-crazed gang of nine punk rockers describes itself as "globally-sourced." What makes this Miami-based band so different from their ska friends is their diversity and the ability to create music that hits close to home. Coming together from Peru, Columbia, France, and beyond, Askultura is as seriously worldly.

With the release of its new album I.N.F.E.R.N.O. comes another Askultura tour, this time to the Northeastern U.S. But when Askultura hits the road, it's not just a tour, it's a traveling circus. The only automobile capable of containing all their crazy is the official Cool Bus -- a school bus converted into a dream on wheels, packed to the brim with not just equipment but stations of fun.

Before it journeys north, we chatted with singer, guitarist And Mazzatoro about what's for dinner and the thing the Cool Bus has in common with MTV's Real World.

See Also: Askultura Hits the Road in a School Bus Filled with Beer and Dried Apricots

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Your Big Picture Cafe Hosts a Slew of Musical Nights and Days

Categories: Local Music

Len Perry and Robert Mitchell at open mic

Many run-of-the-mill cafes tend to work a wannabe Starbucks angle, with overpriced sugary drinks and CDs for sale by the register. Your Big Picture Café, however, is a step above.

Located on University Drive, Your Big Picture Café is laden with cozy furniture and jam packed bookshelves. It has a warm, welcoming feel. Menu items at this café are largely organic and even include beer and wine at extremely reasonable prices. The most expensive item being a 12-inch cheese pizza for $12.49. And the place even plays host to belly-dancing, Tai Chi, drum circles, live music, and other classes promoting spiritual wellness.

Robert Mitchell, host of some open mics and workshops there, says that the cafe was started in 2010 by Charlene Vairy as an homage to her late mother. Vairy kept her mother, a cancer victim, alive eight years longer than predicted by using natural remedies such as plant-based treatments and meditation techniques. Vairy opened the café to share her knowledge on the subject while "nurturing" the local community, particularly with music.

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Shorty the Giant Is "Stoked" to Play Propaganda's Summer Daze

Categories: Local Music

Michael Shaffer
Hey Shorty.

There is something so refreshing about Shorty the Giant. Maybe it's that the band's name is more confusing than descriptive. Definitely part of it is the act's raunchy blend of big guitar blues and modern reggae.

Shorty the Giant is an integral part of the massive, annual Summer Daze day one lineup at Propaganda. Badfish is headlining, but the chunky list of locals on the bill doesn't fail to impress either. A lot of the local talent taking the stage is more reggae focused, so the touch of blues Shorty brings is more than welcome.

Before the Summer Daze series kicks off in Lake Worth, we chatted with the band's bassist Billy Kontos about its special sound, how he feels about the scene around here, and why Summer Daze is important to the group.

See Also: Lake Worth Long Shots: "I Don't Ever Want to Do an Acoustic Show Again"

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Decades Records Showcase Brings the Cool Back to Clematis

Categories: Local Music

Ates Isildak
Always the right weather for a Jean Jacket
Supporting local music comes in many forms: going to shows, buying merch, and even sharing a music video on your Facebook page. Passing out fliers was simply not enough support for one local crew. The need to provide a platform for South Florida's glorious strangeness is what inspired the creation of Decades Records. The West Palm Beach label, part of the Frenchkiss Group, is on a distinct mission to find and promote the area's most original music.

With club owner and coffee aficionado Rodney Mayo backing the label, it's no surprise that the inaugural Decades Records Showcase will be shining its light in one of his own venues, Respectable Street, this week. But it's not just the reputation of the bar that will no doubt transform this six-band assault into memorable performances. With two stages available and plenty of talent, each band is almost guaranteed to deliver big on sound and stage presence.

See also: Rodney Mayo on the Short Life of Dubliner in Fort Lauderdale

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Counting Crows' Adam Duritz Doesn't Want to Sound Like Your Grandpa

David Elmes@cc2.0
Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows at EMC World 2010

Counting Crows first made their mark on the music industry in 1993 with their hit album August and Everything After, pumping airwaves with a thick dose of the addictive "Mr. Jones." Over the next two decades and beyond, that song continues to get radio play; the band has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and is still going strong, with live performances that surpass expectations.

Somewhere Under Wonderland is the band's first new studio album since 2008 and is expected out on Capitol Records this fall. But Counting Crows hit the road with a national tour that kicked off in Tampa and hits Hollywood's sold-out Hard Rock Live on Thursday. Duritz spoke with New Times about the album, his work with the Outlaw Roadshow, and his surprising opinion of Auto-Tune.

See also: Is It Wrong to Like Counting Crows?

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