I’m in Miami. In South Beach specifically (long story) where the uncool come to pretend to be cool. Where tourist from NYC and middle America and all over the world flock to act like self absorbed a*&holes and pretend they are ballers. Where a cup of coffee cost $4 and even the local dry cleaner has a “tip me” cup out. The dry cleaner? For real? Traffic is a mess and it’s overrun with dumb asses, more than typical as it’s January and much of the U.S. of A is slogging through arctic cold and snow flurries.
So the idiots arrive and clog up the highways and byways and drive all manner of F’ed up (And I’ve lived and driven abroad and I know F’d up driving when I see it and when I do it). Get your car insurance policy updated before you come down. Load up the wallet before you come down and get out the lube before you come down because if you come to South Beach… your going to get screwed. And not the fun kind either.
I’m here for work but I had to escape the silly South Beach scene if just for a moment and hang out with some genuine people. Luckily for me and for the rest of Miami whom I can only imagine hate South Beach even more than I, there are plenty of genuine articles where you can escape the buffoonary and have legitimate experiences.
Little Havana if you are into Cuban culture. Little Haiti if you want to feel you’re in the 3rd world (and I say that with the utmost respect, Haitians struggle mightily at home and come here and it’s not much better, but at least they have a shot here).
And if you’re into the punk and underground music scene, there really is just one place you need to know (though I’m sure there are more), it’s Churchill’s Pub, THE spot to go for punk and alternative music and as far as I know, not a single bit of EDM (Electronic Dance Music I think it’s called, or is that Electronic Douchebag Music?… I’m not sure). It’s also a spot where some neighboring Haitian entrepreneurs will watch your car in the parking lot for you for a couple of bucks and make sure “nothing happens to it”.
On this night, my buddies from Los Bastardos Magnificos weren’t just running things, they were actually playing. What a treat to finally see these guys live and performing music near and dear to my heart, hillbilly music.
Let’s face it, by and large the Nashville Country music scene is garbage. Nashville’s polished, pre-fab sound makes Justine Bieber look like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. These days, California is more authentic country than Nashville with it’s historic Bakersfield sound of Marty Robbins, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam and let us not forget the original punkabilly kings.. you know I’m going to say it.. wait for it.. Mike Ness and Social Distortion.. whew.. got that out.. feel.. much.. better… now. Then there is X and geez, the list goes on and I’m tired of name dropping.
Well Florida may be giving California, Tennessee and Texas a run for their money and for my money, I prefer the authentic punk-country crooning of bands like Los Bastardos Magnificos. I’ve written about the big scene just north of Miami in Lake Worth where bands like the “Darling Sweets” and “Everymen” come down to play at Churchills and inject a bit of their homegrown hillbilly punk into the metropolitan mecca of Miami. (Missed it? Read it HERE)
This is a scene worth taking notice. If you didn’t know where you were, you’d probably swear your in Austin, but this ain’t Texas it’s Miami and it’s a reminder that Florida is a big, diverse state and as much as I love the diversity of immigrant Latin cultures in Miami, the red-neckish musical stylings one would think more at home in North Florida or South Georgia is expressed right here in Miami is a refreshing change of pace. Country punk is alive and well at Churchill’s Pub (minus all that pesky ignorance and intolerance).
Next up was a one man performance from Joe Buck Yourself, he with the wild haircut and wild eyed stare as he furiously pounded on the footpedal drum and simultaneously strummed his rust colored guitar. I have one word for Joe Buck Yourself and it’s INTENSE.
I wish I’d been able to stick around for Holly Hunt, a 2 person sludge /noize? rock act I’ve enjoyed immensely before and can only say good things about. But as I said I am here working and it’s an “early to bed, early to rise” regimen for me.
I also would have liked to seen the Anti-Seen, but tonight, there were not to be seen, at least by me. But you can check out their scene at their site HERE. (OK, enough Seen jokes). From what I hear they kick it old school punk rock which means hitting the stage at midnight or later I assumed, so I hightailed home to bed (actually to work, yes I had to work some more.. feel sorry for me yet?).
I’m in Miami the rest of the week.. did I mention I was working? But it’s good to know Churchill’s is there. I may have to go back and get a “real people” fix if the whole South Beach silliness gets to me again. I’m pretty sure it will. So stay tuned.