The Radiators Party With South Florida Fish Heads For The Last Time This Weekend


33 years is a long time to throw a party. So you can hardly begrudge New Orleans og jam band, The Radiators for hanging it up while the band is still popular worldwide and on the top of their game.  Especially since they gave everyone fair warning, with a farewell tour that began last year.

Fort Lauderdale gets a double shot of gumbo rock this weekend at Revolution this Friday and Saturday before the Radiators overheat for the last time. It's a good time for local jam rock fans to learn where their genre comes from. For everyone else, a Radiators gig is an excellent excuse to knock back a few beers and appreciate the musicianship that can only come with 3+ decades of roadhouse and festival work. The Radiators pride themselves on being "new every night", so you never know when they will bust out with an amazing, off the wall cover like Roky Erickson's "I Walked With a Zombie."


The Radiators play Friday, April 8th and Saturday, April 9th at Revoution, 100 SW 3rd ave, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $25-$49. Showtime for each night is 8PM. There's no opening act.

Posted by Tom Bowker at 11:32 AM in Music
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Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks Swing Through The Kravis Center Thursday Night

Dan Hicks Tracks

If there was justice in the world, Webster's definition of "bohemian" would point to a picture of gypsy jazz man Dan Hicks. His cabaret guitar swing first delighted audiences back in the late 1960s, when he dropped out of an acid rock band to perform with the hot licks: a jazz violinist, a lead guitarist, a stand up bassist and two "lickettes" on back-up vocals and percussion.

The interweaving of gyspy music, swing and Hicks' dry sense of humor made him a sensation, which made it all the more shocking when he disbanded the Hot Licks in 1973. Instead of appearing on national TV shows, Hicks was content to write jingles and tinker with his band the Acoustic Warriors on a casual level that kept him in the driver's seat.

25 years later, Hicks resumed recording under the Hot Licks banner and hasn't looked back since. His latest record, "Tangled Tales," is so playful that it features a title track with scat vocals all the way through it.  It's the perfect counterweight to his Mr. Wilson-from-Dennis-The-Menace grump-fest "The Diplomat" and his funky rendition of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

But just to give you a taste of where the Squirrel Nut Zippers stole their mojo, here's a clip of Dan and his orignal hot licks on the Flip Wilson show - complete with bizzaro use of the laugh track.


Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks perform Thursday Night At The Kravis Center 701 Okeechobee Rd, West Palm Beach. Tickets are $38.

Posted by Tom Bowker at 11:00 AM in Music
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Baker Acted & Meddling Kids Revive Miami Hardcore, Release Split Cassette Friday At Miami Chum Bucket

(Photo: Amanda Alard)

In 1979, Bad Brains drummer Earl Hudson was playing a mid-tempo punk set in Washington D.C., when he spied a girl that he wanted to mack on. So sped up the songs in order to talk to her before it was too late - accidentally inventing hardcore punk. 

Since then, hardcore has been the soundtrack for the young and wild - be they sanctimonious rule makers (straight edge) or beer swilling jocks (nardcore) or kids who can only get their party on when the music is jackhammer-fast.

Despite having its heyday in the 1980s, well before most current hardcore punk fans were born, the loud, fast rules of hardcore continues to scorch eardrums, thanks in part to token acts on the Warped tour (specifically NYC Exploited wanna-bees, The Casualties), the Hot Topic mall-rat chain, and the fact that studded leather jackets and Misfits t-shirts  simply smell like rebellion and never go out of style.

Pushing the anachronism further, Miami hardcore bands Baker Acted and Meddling Kids are releasing a split cassette this Friday at brand new Allapattah DIY club Miami Chum Bucket- forcing their fans to hit pawn shops,flea markets and garage sales for boom boxes and stereos old enough to support the worst sounding sonic medium in music history. 

But then, any medium with artwork and a physical shape is preferable to the de-evolution of music in mp3 form. And the cassette- blunt, noisy and cheap - is a perfect medium for cramming as many 4-on-the-floor scream-alongs as humanly possible. There will be 100 available for $3, and then it will immediately go out of print and into the ether of local punk rock history.


Baker Acted and Meddling Kids will perform a split set to celebrate their split-cassette release as part of "Would've, Could've, Should've" Friday at Miami Chum Bucket, 1545 NW 28th st, Miami.  Admission is $5, plus $1 membership fee. For more information, check out the event page.


Posted by Tom Bowker at 12:43 PM in Music
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Kool Keith Gets Freaky Saturday Night At Eve


Occupying the freak-space  between Africa Bambattaa, Dr. Funkenstein, Blowfly and Sun Ra - Hip Hop icon Kool Keith emerged to keep the music that he loves weird, sexy and relevant. 

Like Dr. Funkenstein, Kool Keith concocted a funky mythology featuring numerous alter egos (Black Elvis, Dr. Octagon and Dr. Doom are his best known ones) that work themselves out over album cycles and take place in outer space.

Like Blowfly, Keith is porno-loving, cape wearing, potty mouth that gets nasty as he wants to be. and instead of being too rude for the ladies, they love it to the point where a nightly female parade gets onstage during "Sex Style" to shake their moneymakers  and collect free pornos.

Like Sun Ra, you can always count on bizarre things emanating from his mouth, like a treatise on why you should treat your body like a 98 year old refrigerator.

Like Afrika Bambatta, Kool Keith can be found rocking clubs around the globe at all times, performing for sold-out audiences who don't care that he hasn't had anything approaching a hit in ages. Kool Keith makes records to satisfy his own creative impulses - and he doesn't care if the masses dig it or not. 

While his persona may be a sum of his influences, KKs musical contribution is owned by him alone. A staccato, mechanical, off-kilter flow that identifies him like a fingerprint. It cuts against the funk like Ricky Williams in his Heisman year: bowling over anyone in his path and outrunning the rest of the field.


Kool Keith performs Saturday, april 2nd at Eve -1306 N. Miami Ave. Admission is $15 for 21+ / $20 for 18-20. Doors are at 10PM.

Posted by Tom Bowker at 02:08 PM in Music
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The Crumbs Return To Miami For "April Pool's Day" Celebration At Churchill's Friday Night


You can take the boy out of Miami, but you can't take the Miami out of the Boy. Hometown punk rock hero Raf Classic is back in town for the triumphant return of his 16-years and running outfit, The Crumbs. Sure, Classic may have left town in the dark of night 18 months ago ala the  Baltimore Colts. But it's hard to begrudge him a little space.  After all, the man has a way of catching up to you when you've lived on a combination of wits and schlitz for two decades.

Thankfully, the smoke has cleared: allowing Classic to visit Miami long enough for The Crumbs to play "April Pool's Day" at Churchill's this Friday night. Songs about alien girl love, homeless bards, and what it's like to be truly "Down at Churchill's" will be performed. Classic will lay down bar chatter like Cheech Marin on a bender.  He will embrace "Dade County Trash" and wonder aloud why his bassist's moustache hasn't flown south for the winter. A Crumbs show at Churchill's is a uniquely Miami experience. Attending one is not unlike going to Cafe Versailles at 3 AM, minus the heartburn.

Go and see why Classic has managed to convince five different record labels to underwrite recording sessions in vacation destination conducive to drinking. You won't be disappointed. Unless of course, you wind up with Classic's bar tab.


Posted by Tom Bowker at 12:36 PM in Music
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Further Seems Forever Reunite @ Propaganda, Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of The Moon Is Down


Rejoice ye local lovers of emo-rock! Broward emo heroes Further Seems Forever will reunite onstage with their prodigal platinum selling singer, April 14th at Propaganda in Lake Worth!

Back in 2000, The now ubiquitous platinum-selling monolith known as Dashboard Confessional was a mere an acoustic side project for Further Seems Forever frontman Chris Carrabba. FSF, an emo-punk band comprised of  Carrabba and the members of straight edge hardcore act Strongarm, formed in 1998 and immediately made a mark by getting their tune "Vengeance Factor" placed in the 4th installment of the  highly influential Deep Elm Records compilation series: "The Emo Diaries."

The band toured steadily, quickly landing a record deal with high profile indie label Tooth & Nail. Unfortunately, guitarist Nick Dominguez didn't want to leave his day job. So after a few tours with multiple substitute guitarists, Carrabba recorded  his debut Dashboard Confessional CD,"The Swiss Army Romance,"  and began opening for the band with short, solo sets. 

Needless to say, those sets were well-received, and Carrabba parted ways with Further Seems Forever after recording their debut CD, "The Moon Is Down."

After Carrabba's exit, FSF soldiered on, often opening up for Dashboard Confessional - before finally giving up the ghost in 2006 when drummer Steve Kleisath discovered he was the last original member and didn't want to play in a Further Seems Forever cover band.

When Carrabba moved back to South Florida in 2009, backyard barbecues and 12 ounce curls with his old band mates led to jam sessions. Those begat this spring's slate of shows, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of "The Moon Is Down." The Propaganda show is a warm up for the Groezrock festival in Belgium. So catch your homeboys in a small club before they play in front of tens of thousands. Ticket information will be released soon on this event page.


Posted by Tom Bowker at 02:51 AM in Music
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Torche Introduce Guitarist Andrew Elstner To South Florida Saturday Night at Propaganda

Torche steve

While Miami-bred doom pop band Torche have continued to tour the globe and release excellent records since the 2008 Spinal Tap-esque sound check punch-up between then-lead guitarist Juan Montoya (currently in Atlanta metal band MonstrO) and singer/guitarist Steve Brooks that led to Montoya's firing - there was always something missing sonically. As a power trio, Torche lacked the Montoya-created bells and whistles which made their 2nd Lp "Meanderthal" revered by guitar geeks and indie rock critics alike. Furthermore, sans Montoya, Torche didn't sound that different from Brooks' previous combo Floor - a point underlined by Floor's successful reformation last year.

So after two years as a trio (save for one tour with a temp on guitar), Torche have brought in ex-Riddle Of Steel singer/guitarist Andrew Elstner as a permanent member. Saturday night, Torche conclude their first tour with Elstner at Propaganda in Lake Worth. The tour/hazing is a bizarrely routed  10 date affair that apparently was planned with the intention of Elstner picking up his belongings in his native St. Louis without having to hire a u-haul. After crossing half of the US in 10 days, Elstner should be more than ready to play in South Florida, and prove his worth to Torche's local fan base.

The below video, shot last Friday in Richmond, Virginia, proves Elstner to be an able guitarist, accurately playing Montoya's intricate parts, and adding a few of his own. He also can sing, and his harmonies in the clip improve Torche's live sound. 

It's obvious that the heavy pop hooks and guitar "bomb string" drops Brooks is known for are best dropped with a wing-man at his side. Here's hoping Torche remain a two-guitar army for the rest of their career.


Posted by Tom Bowker at 12:37 PM in Music
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Bummed Ultra Sold Out? Want To Pay Big Bucks For An Electronic Music Show? Don't Fear - Pretty Lights Is Here!

Pretty lights

If there's one thing the Live Nation borg is good at, it's taking big hints. Ultra Music Fest and Winter Music Conference have a falling out and water down their wares over a three week period? Bring on the highest profile gig of  "Miami Music Week!" 

Boulder, Colorado electro act Pretty Lights is here to fill in the gap for those who were unwilling  or unable to throw down triple figures for Ultra's bizarre 2011 mix that opens with Tiesto & Duran Duran co headlining on Friday and closes with 1999 Zen Fest headliner The Chemical Brothers topping Sunday's bill. 

Ultra goers should be familiar with Pretty Lights, as they played last year's event. For those not in the electro loop, Pretty Lights is the nom de guerre of producer Derek Vincent Smith, who became famous for releasing entire albums of his mash-ups and sample-based compositions for free on the internet ala Girl Talk. Like Girl Talk, Pretty Lights/Smith couldn't possibly charge for those records because they contain tons of obvious pop music samples that would cost him more money than he could possibly make by selling them. Both acts also are known for their live presentation, which in Pretty Lights' case features  a live drummer and a full technical production featuring  a giant LED screen, lasers and hundreds of...pretty lights!

While Pretty Lights may use the familiar samples to give the audience a sense they have a well-rounded record collection, instead of overexposure to bad radio - that's not to say he's without his charms. His tune "Hot Like Sauce" is undeniably catchy and trips out Aaron Neville's vocal from "Tell It Like It Is" in ways that Gibby Haynes would be proud of.


Pretty Lights performs Thursday night at the Fillmore on Miami Beach. For some reason, the reserved tickets on the second level are $62, while the rest of the theater is general admission and only $48, so it will pay to show up early (the show starts at 8:30!) instead of on Miami time and have a friend hold your seats while you get party favors from the snack booth.



Posted by Tom Bowker at 05:38 PM in Music
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Big John Bates & The Grindshow Spark Up At The Monterey Club Thursday Night

Big john bates

Scratch a rockabilly guy, and you'll find a Cramps T shirt crumbling underneath his jean jacket and star tattoo. Scratch Vancouver guitarist Big John Bates' Russ Meyer starlet-like dancers - and you might get knocked out cold.  Bates and his old outfit, The Voodoo Dollz,  were notorious road dogs who encouraged mad, bad, and deviant behavior via nipple tassels that squirted southern comfort and riffs emanated from mainlining a mish mash of music from the  sun and chess labels.

A few months back, Bates replaced his drummer, promoted his bassist Brandy "Bones" Anderson to co lead singer, and encouraged  his dance troupe, Calamity Kate and Lincoln Electra, to use metal grinders, switchblades, and anything else dangerous that could be used to disturb the peace. The resulting "grindshow"  is a more deliberate paced extravaganza that uses Cramps-esque material ("Bad P***y") to attempt to disturb jaded 21st century hipsters and 5th wave greasers.

Thursday night, Big John Bates & The Grindshow play the Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale, which should be interesting as the joint is small enough to where the sparks from the grinders could land in someone's pomade and create a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial. But that's nothing a cold PBR and a bar towel can't solve.

Below is a clip from Bates' Vodoo Dollz period, but seeing how the tune is entitled "Burlesque Is Dead", I'm guessing it made the cut into the Grindshow.


Posted by Tom Bowker at 05:51 PM in Music
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Bobby Load & The Vomits Play The Dive Bar Tonight In Fort Lauderdale

Bobby load

(Photo: Southern Flaw)

The artist known as Bobby Load (nee Johnston) has drunkenly assaulted South Florida's stages for over two decades. A period long enough for him to be both the frontman of the dirtiest, loudest, smelliest, and greatest punk rock band we've ever had, LOAD, (who were kind enough to bestow their name upon him, which remains some 12 years after their last gig) and to play with numerous combos since then , both as a singer (Southern Flaw, various incarnations of bands named after him) and drumming in the final incarnation of the late,great, Johnny Salton's band, The Psycho Daises.

Between 1992-1994, Bobby Load was a bigger rock star than Marilyn Manson. He was better looking, had a much better stage presence and a scream that sent otherwise rational people into maniacal fits of slam dancing and binge drinking. His guitarist, Jeff Tucci, was a monster riff maker. Drummer Fausto Figueredo, aka "Something Smelly On Drums,"  beat his kit like it owed him money. Bassist Tony Qualls, he of the iron liver, picked out unforgettable bass lines that transcended his chops.

For better or worse, LOAD also had a manager that while clueless in most useful ways - was excellent at getting LOAD as the opening act in front of large, sold out crowds until their own shows were also, large and mostly sold out. The result being LOAD was synonymous with South Florida's metal, punk and alternative scene . What LOAD didn't have was enough drive to tour farther than Texas, where Bobby got arrested for public urination in an alley. Eventually the big-fish-little-pond syndrome ate all the band's oxygen, leaving LOAD's career hopelessly derailed by 1995 and belly-up in 1999.

Since then, Bobby Load has veered somewhere between local music legend and Otis The Drunk from the Andy Griffth Show. At his own shows he's prone to take pre-show naps, using the vocal monitor for a pillow.  If it's not his show but still a viable rock and roll thing, you can still count on Bobby to be there with 3-4 old mill waters stashed in his jean jacket. . More often than not, he'll jump onstage to greet the band or attempt to sit in. This habit got him body slammed off the stage mid-show by Jessica from Jack Off Jill at their record release party. Imagine Miss Piggy savaging a drunken Kermit while screaming "This Is My Show! Not The Bobby Load Show!"

Throw a beer cap at a punk rock gig, anywhere in a 100 mile radius, and you'll hit someone with a Bobby Load story. Tonight, at the aptly named "Dive Bar" on Fort Lauderdale Beach, Bobby's newest backing band, "The Vomits" will crank out the garage punk fare that he's championed since 1992, when someone made him a Sonics tape that he proceeded to pull out at every house party he attended for the next five years.  Some free shots will allegedly be passed out around 10 for the early birds, and then Bobby Load and The Vomits will open for  femme fatale punkers Angry Pudding, garage rock stylists The Instant Whips and Shroud Eater, who play a noisy skronk that Load fans should be into. Undoubtedly, at least a dozen folks in the audience will have a new Bobby Load story to tell after tonight. Here's hoping it doesn't involve the band's name turning the show into the pie eating contest scene from "Stand By Me."



The Dive Bar is located at N. Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 9:30. Admission is free.

Posted by Tom Bowker at 07:56 PM in Music
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