Sitting In: Titanic Brewery Holds Its First Tuesday Night Jam Session Tomorrow Night (5/24)!

Tomorrow night, Titanic Brewery (5813 Ponce de Leon) will hold its very first Tuesday night Jam Session at 10 p.m.

And I’m the host!

Titanic Restaurant & Brewery

The idea of the Titanic Jam Session is to give players in the community a place to mingle and feel each other out musically. Titanic is already known for hosting music four nights out of the week and UM with their Frost School of Music is right next door.

Since it will be the first one, I’m going to let it fly a little. See where it wants to go. There will be a house trio consisting of Alejandro Elizondo  on the keys, Ricardo Mere on the drumkit and myself on bass, but musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments of choice to sit in with us and rotate on the instruments.

Tunes will be allowed provided that all the players are comfortable and willing to play them, but a large part of the Jam Session will revolve around free jamming—improvised music around a loose set of chords of musical ideas.

So the players we’re trying to attract are those that are comfortable playing with strangers and making up music on the fly.

Dizzy Bird at Titanic Restaurant & Brewery

There are already a handful of great musicians expected to make appearances. Flavio Rocha with his guitar, for one. Kevin Tomas of Hoosha for another. And Orlando Vega, my friend and frontman of our old group, Dizzy Bird, will be dropping by as well.

The beautiful part about the Titanic Jam Session, at least how I imagine it, is that anything goes. So long as the players are game (and the music doesn’t suck), anything goes.

If the jams aren’t enough to get players out, Titanic also offers a special Tuesday night burger menu featuring any burger with a side of fries for $6.

So players, be sure pick up your instrument and drop by Titanic tomorrow night for the first Titanic Jam Session. It’s like a musical Pandora’s Box.

Nobody knows what we’ll find when we open it.

-Chris Lazaga

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Right By The Beach: Bushwood’s Debut Album Drops

Bushwood

Bushwood is a name that’s been on South Florida’s tongue for quite some time. Now, it’s as loud as ever. After a seven-month hiatus, Bushwood is back in high gear with a brand new studio album. The self-titled work features ten wonderfully produced original tunes that draw from the undeniable beach-party vibe Miami is known for worldwide.

Bassist Adam Moskowitz thought it was high time for the Bushwood album.

“We decided it was time to give our fans something tangible. Something they could throw on and let it bump and sing and jam along with all summer,” said Moskowitz.

"Bushwood" cover art

Objectively speaking, the album is of a similar vein to Sublime or Slightly Stoopid, though it sits on another end of the reggae/rock spectrum with it’s funkier feels on tunes like “Flomanja,” or more radio-friendly sound on tunes like “Drop The Anchor.”

Yet there’s still something else that sets it apart from other reggae/rock trios (of which there are many). Listening to the album a few times over, I’m still not sure what that thing is. The closest I can get is how it feels so much like… home, I guess. It brings me back to high school when all there was to life were friends and parties.

What I was reminded of listening to "Bushwood"

The album as a whole goes down like smooth rum served out of a hollowed out melon beneath the shade of a surf side tiki hut (see picture to the right).

Most importantly, “Bushwood” serves the group as a strong anchor point for the band to build upon. Perhaps it’s too early to think too far into the future, but I am already wondering what the trio has in store for us in times to come.

On a selfish note, it’s kind of nice that Bushwood isn’t taking off across the states to promote their new album, so we have plenty of opportunities to catch them live in the motherland of sun, surf and sultry women.

The album was released two days ago (5/20) when the band played a 3 set show at the Bierbrunnen Beer Garden in Ft. Lauderdale. You can get Bushwood’s self-titled debut album for $7 – $9 online, but you can pick up a CD from the band with artwork for $5 at any of their upcoming shows (see Bushwood’s official website for a schedule of dates).

As has always been my personal philosophy, music is best served live. And Bushwood is best known for being a live band. That said, get yourself over to a show and dig your toes into the sands of their sound.

-Chris Lazaga

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Feminine Gossip: Girl Talk Rocks A Packed House at The Fillmore Miami Beach – Review

5-19-11     Photos

The night started with a BANG—well, it was more of a thud—as a car hit a passing motorcyclist on the corner of 17th and Washington. It was only about 8:45 p.m. A small crowd gathered at the corner of the sidewalk gawking at the emergency vehicles swarming the scene, but most moved on when the cops started barking and the motorcyclist started moving around on the ground. He is lucky to be alive.

Max Tundra

Meanwhile, folks were filing into the Fillmore to catch Max Tundra, an electronic madman from the UK. Max Tundra joined Girl Talk for a leg of his tour through Florida.

Inside, the main hall seemed to fill up in a blink when Max Tundra went on. He had an odd array of synthesizers, machines and instruments arranged on a table in front of the massive closed curtains of the Fillmore’s stage.

Using everything from beat machines to finger harps, Max Tundra got the crowd grooving before ending his set with a surprising version of “So Long, Farewell.”

Now that the masses were lubed up, it was time to really get down. Anticipation mounted as the crush grew larger and larger. When the lights dimmed and a low bass sweep looped across the hall, the Fillmore exploded in cheers and applause. When the bass sweeps gained pitch and momentum, they became words. “Girl Talk,” the bass sweeps chanted, spurring the crowd to chant along.

Girl Talk

The curtains parted to reveal a massive LED wall and Gregg Gillis, a.k.a. Girl Talk, ran onto the stage and kicked off his set. He was barely onstage for two minutes when a crowd of VIPs stormed the stage. Stagehands wielding leaf-blowers blew toilet paper streamers over the pit.

The rest of the night blended into a confused haze of flashing lights, frenzied ragers and snippets of pop culture spliced together and strung along by the steady thump of the bass. It was the kind of bass that literally blew your hair back if you stood too close to the massive subwoofers on the sides of the stage.

Giant balloons filled with confetti bounced along the mob of people that eventually filled the massive venue from wall to wall.

Girl Talk

And the music never stopped. Girl Talk’s set was a continuous flow of popular music sampled and remixed to the point that you just weren’t sure what you were listening to anymore. All you had was a vague sense of familiarity and an irresistible rhythm pounding into your very core. You had to be stone dead not to get down at this party.

By the time Girl Talk finished his encore, the pit was a mess. We waded through ankle deep piles of confetti and toilet paper to exit the theatre. Outside, any passerby could see we just left a party of epic proportions. Pieces of confetti still sticking to sweaty bodies were a dead giveaway.

And it’s all happening again tonight. Get out there and grab a piece of the action while it’s still hot!

-Chris Lazaga

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Summer Music Madness: Primus, IDentity Festival, Zappa Plays Zappa, Return to Forever and More!

It’s officially time to start getting excited about South Florida’s summer music schedule. In addition to a number of smaller shows recently announced like the RX Bandits farewell show (see previous post) there are some serious concerts coming to town.

First, on June 4, prepare for some bass madness with Primus at the Fillmore Miami Beach. Opening for Primus is sax savant Skerik’s trio, The Dead Kenny G’s.

Second, Skullcandy’s IDentity Festival Tour is coming to Bayfront Park on August 25. If you could imagine a miniature UMF, that would be IDentity. A handful of UMF artists will be returning, such as Disco Biscuits, Crystal Method, Rusko and Kaskade.

The event will feature three stages. For the full lineup, click here.

Dweezil Zappa

The following month we have the great fortune to see Zappa Plays Zappa and Chick Corea’s Return to Forever IV at the same show! They will be performing at Mizner Park Amphitheatre on September 10.

Return to Forever IV’s touring lineup feature Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Frank Gambale and Jean-Luc Ponty. Prepare for this one—there will be A LOT to take in.

Other shows scheduled this summer include Black Uhuru on June 15 at Grand Central, Hot Tuna on August 5 at Revolution Live, Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto on August 6 at Revolution Live, two nights of Perpetual Groove at the Culture Room (August 12 and 13) and Matisyahu at the Fillmore Miami Beach on August 25.

Surely more will come up as time goes by, so check back to stay up to date. In the meantime, prepare yourself for a wild summer.

UPDATE: Slightly Stoopid just announced Sunset Cove Amphitheatre in Boca Raton on August 20 as part of their Seedless Summer Tour!

-Chris Lazaga

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RX Bandits Embark On Farewell Tour This Summer

RX Bandits

It was recently announced that progressive rock group Rx Bandits will be embarking on their farewell tour this summer. The tour, lasting from June 26 to August 7, will take the Bandits to the four corners of the US. Most importantly for us, it will land them at The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale on July 7.

The band released a brief statement on April 12 when they announced this would be their final tour:

“We would like to express our love and appreciation for all that you’ve done for us and how much a part of our growth you have been. We have all mutually decided that this summer will be our last tour. We love each other and love you all and hope to see you at the shows.”

Matt Embree of RX Bandits

The Rx Bandits are a study in musical evolution. With their roots in the third-wave ska revival, the Bandits went on to mature into something much more than a stereotypical ska band. By the end of their 16-year run as a band, the Bandits style had changed from simple horn-driven ska to carefully orchestrated rock odysseys rife with rhythmically and harmonically rich passages, all the while not sacrificing an ounce of energy.

From “Those Damn Bandits,” to “Mandala,” hearing the RX Bandits explore their sound and push the envelope has been a great pleasure. Personally, I hate to see them go, but at least we have one more chance to tear it up with the RX Bandits.

-Chris Lazaga

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Young and Old: Mac Miller and Candlebox Review

5-14-11     Photos

It was a soggy Saturday (5/14) night in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The rain came down in sheets, pinning people in small alcoves along Las Olas to wait out the downpour. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed, but inside Revolution Live, patrons kept dry drinking and digging the alternative rock sounds of Jacob Jeffries Band, Ghosts of Gloria and The Light Exchange.

Candlebox

It felt like a Zeta concert (you remember 94.9 FM ZETA Rocks, don’t you?) in there. There were many short, stocky men with short haircuts and almost out-of-character facial piercings milling about. They wore their Alice In Chains t-shirts proudly. Revolution’s headliner, a remnant from the lighter side of the 90’s grunge movement in Seattle called Candlebox, would take the stage at around 10:15 p.m. But that wasn’t the only thing going on.

Right next door, America’s Backyard was flooded with wet teenagers. The outdoor venue was playing host to a sold out performance by rapper Mac Miller. The kids didn’t seem to mind some rain.

Mac Miller

Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert on current trends in rap music, but this Mac Miller fellow seems to be somewhat of a big deal. Outside, a blonde girl sat against the wall next to the box office glumly staring at her phone. Lauren was her name. She said she couldn’t get into the sold out Mac Miller concert. The friends she came with abandoned her to catch the show. Either this concert is THE concert event of the decade or Laura has some pretty crappy friends. My guess is the latter. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree when I offered to get her in as my plus-one. That was my good deed for the week.

Inside America’s Backyard, there was a crush of high school kids pressed up against the stage. When Mac Miller took the stage, the crowd broke out into a wave of applause that matched the peals of thunder sounding through the night.

After calling out the audience for booing one of the opening acts, Miller went on to do what he does best—rap about everything a mother doesn’t want their impressionable young teenagers to hear about. Sex, drugs, I think there was something about money… You know, the usual.

The kids loved it. When Miller raised his hands, the crowd raised their hands. When Miller jumped, the crowd jumped. I’ll give this to him— he sure has fan support.

At one point, Miller pulled one kid up onto the stage. His name was Jordan and he was 14 years old. Miller asked if he had a girlfriend. Jordan proudly said, “Yeah.” Miller chuckled to himself. “I was tryin’ to get him some pussy,” said Miller, “But he says he already has a girlfriend!”

"Jordan" and Mac Miller

The kids ate it up. Wow. Mac Miller is so cool. He was totally going to get that guy—excuse me—that little boy some sweet vag. I won’t lie, I laughed out loud. Never would I have thought I’d see a white rapper try to pimp out a 14-year-old boy at a sold out concert. At least he gave the kid some decent advice, to be faithful to his girlfriend. I was touched. Once I had my fill of laughs, I made my way back into Revolution to catch the Candlebox performance.

Candlebox started at about the same time as Mac Miller, so they were a little ways into their set. The crowd wasn’t as thick, or as young, as the Mac Miller crowd, but they certainly were enjoying themselves.

The Candlebox set was better than I expected. Alternative rock isn’t really my bag, but I could dig it for a while. With teases of popular tunes by AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, Candlebox’s set was a good time and full of energy.

Kevin Martin

Singer Kevin Martin climbed off the stage and over to the side railings to shake hands with some fans. The guitar players threw a number of Planet Wave guitar picks into the sea of fans.

The band came to their biggest single, “You,” towards the end of the set and shortly afterwards, they wrapped it up and left the stage. Cries for an encore brought the band back out for a couple more tunes, but before they started, Martin invited someone up to the stage.

The Proposal

A man climbed onto the stage. He brought a blonde woman with him. The man told a short story about how his first date with his lady friend was a Candlebox concert, so it was only fitting to pop the question onstage at a Candlebox concert. He pulled a small black box from his pocket and asked her to marry him. The woman flung herself at him and hugged him tightly. The kiss that followed must have meant yes.

By that point the rain had, for the most part, subsided. It was as good a time as any to head back to the car. In the end, I’m glad I went. It was a better time than I thought it’d be. And thanks to Mac Miller, it was a hell of a lot funnier too.

-Chris Lazaga

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Electric Forest Final Lineup Additions

The day before yesterday (5/12), Electric Forest announced the final additions to their inaugural lineup. The 15 additional artists announced are Conspirator, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Zach Deputy, Future Rock, Papadosio, Dieselboy, That 1 Guy, Porter Robinson, Keys N Krates, Van Ghost, Lance Herbstrong, Cas Haley, Zedd, Michal Menert, and The Werks.

Crossed with the already stellar lineup, Electric Forest is certain to be one of the heavy hitters of the summer. No surprise there, seeing as it’s following up the legendary Rothbury Music Festival. For the full lineup, click here.

Start making plans, people. This is going to be a big one.

Also, prepare for the Langerado lineup announcement on June 1. Word through the grapevine says it’s shaping up to be quite epic. Did someone say cheese?

-Chris Lazaga

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