Featuring: Joe Roger, The Teen Heat, Floresita Reyes, Samantha Leah Shiff, Bristol, Mind You, Afrobeta, Radio Boxer On The Cover - SHAMELESS BURLESQUE New Feature: ASK DR. LOVE & The Wisdom Jeweler - Karin Paul ALSO Yodiferus Rips Kanye.
As I walk up to the so familiar door with a stenciled "1835" imprinted on its face, I felt a bit of sadness as if I was walking into a funeral. See, this would the last time this small warehouse turned recording studio would ever be called Reverse Polarity Studios. You may have heard of the name, or perhaps some of the names that have branched out from this conglomerate family tree such as: DJ Immortal, The 7D, Underlab Studios, Hip Hop Elements, Renda Writer, Nocternal Music and so many more. All of these people have called 1835 Mears Pkwy in Margate, "home" or "office" at some point during its life.
f these walls could talk, they would say nothing because Reverse don't snitch. They will simply say "Shit went down, and great music was made."
I opened the door and was greeted by Flawless the MC as I walked right up to the middle of a blunt cipher and I just so happened to be NEXT. My timing is impeccable. Always. As we blazed, some still seemed in disbelief of this proverbial fork in the road. Was this DENIAL? Are we grieving? I pondered.
I looked around to flashing memories vividly embodying me as if it were a quantum leap to the days I watched DJ Immortal giving private DJ lessons (a precursor to his now heavy involvement with SCRATCH ACADEMY) while I sat on the couch sketching my next painting. I thought of Jared Cole and his guitar. I thought of DJ Reakt who tagged his name on the now visible hard concrete floor. I thought of the now defunct Mother's Pub (next door to Reverse), where Browards - and sometimes Miamis - top MC's like Raw Filth and Surgeon General constantly battled it out. I thought all the music videos, and short films I created there. I thought of my office and how for months straight 4 young graphic designers and animators sat together diligently trying to conquer the world, while listening to Moon Doggie create beats we felt at the time were epic. I thought of that dream ending with Hurricane Wilma. I thought of PR and J.Dot who also had a studio next door and my favorite line he quoted: "9 to the 5 to the 4, J. Dot Packs more lines in your nose." I thought of the devious debauchery that went on that will never be spoken or heard of again. I thought of meeting Canibus, witnessing a hip hop icon making music with my high school pal DJ Immortal and another one of my closest friends Chopp Devize right here in this now dismantled warehouse. Overwhelmed with it all, I bummed a cigarette from Eileen - as I always do because I think I am technically saving her life by sacrificing my lungs for my buddy Paul Raimondo's girl. I am just a good friend that way.
I proceeded to make my rounds saying hello to the people there. DJ Trails who I can attest to being one of my best friends greeted me with much love and proceeded to talk to Immortal on some business venture. I touched the walls as if absorbing it's last field of energy. I felt as if it touched back.
Chopp D soon arrives followed by Hugh Hayes, and Bless of Nocternal Music. Now what do you think is going to happen when you have the likes of Flawless The MC, Pilot Rai, Hugh Hayes, Bless, and Chopp Devize with DJ Immortal on the ones and twos? Perhaps the greatest fucking freestyle cipher NEVER to be documented. A few photos and slight iphone clips sure but not to the level Underlab always took it. It's all good because we were all there to give our last respects to an end of an era like only real hip hop heads know how to do. It was more about living the moment. Each MC took turns murdering the mic like a pack of hip hop Devils Rejects.
Yes, this was the last night at Reverse Polarity Studios, now Mars Auto Parts. It was glorious, but all good things unfortunately do come to an end, making room for greater things in our lives. When I spoke to Immortal, expressing my sadness he comforted me by saying that "this place had a great run. We are all headed towards a bigger direction this year. It's always for the best."
Perhaps. No use in dwelling on it, because fact is this place did have a great run. Over 10 years recording many locals and some mainstream artists. Nothing can explain the symbiotic relationship between Reverse and Underlab other than Ying and Yang. Now it is only Yang (rhymes with wang, so I went with it). I now realize that Reverse was like a springboard which we all jumped and are now diving into unknown waters, fearless, head first, no life vest but trust in the universe that great things will happen as we remember the platform from which we came.
To my Reverse Family - DJ Immortal and the whole Faderballistix crew, Mordechai, Colossus, HD Goodman (Good Music Makers), Chopp Devize (7th Direction/7D), Urban Rose(7th Direction), Pilot Rai AKA John Paul James (7th Direction/7D), DJ Trails (Hip Hop Elements), Moon Doggie (Nocternal Music) , Hugh Hayes(Nocternal Music), Bless(Nocternal Music), SonDay(Nocternal Music), The other PR, JDot aka John Paul, Diego Becerra (Underlab Studios) Stone Smith (Underlab Studios/Nocternal Music) Dwayne Adams (Underlab Studios / WEMERGE), Renda Writer, Dawn Dubriel (Underlab Studios/Redawn TV), The Architect, Flawless the MC, Skarlit Rose, Shawn W, Vibe One, and Kevin Keogh - One Love.
Fuck Paris, We will always have Reverse.
A sound analogous with a creepy journey to the boonies of New Orleans amongst the rattlesnakes, witches and vampires are the chords that splinter the air this night.Front center is the mysterious man with the voice of a musical ringmaster, who here commands a circus of rockabilly apparitions. His name is Tony Bones and his ribs make his guitar. His even more enigmatic companions - Percussionist Antoine Dukes, a squeezebox playing creature known as Paultergeist and Thee Scarecrow Jenkins on a bullfiddle - collaborate to release a soul long lost since the death of hip swashing skinny Elvis. Along comes the beautiful Audrey Rose of Shameless Burlesque sinfully moving in synch to the conjuring music which invokes a spirit gone astray.
This is a typical evening with South Florida's rockabilly sensation Viva Le Vox, who for the past year has been touring the SFL Coast in the fashion of spell casting gypsies luring us onlookers with their hypnotic sound. Their latest album Desperation Alley offers a great mix of roots rock delivered by an insane bunch of carnie types, reminiscent of Rob Zombie's Devil's Rejects. You can buy the album right now on ITunes, or you can actually experience this eccentric band for yourself this February 3rd and 6th at Miami's Church Hill's Pub 5501 NE 2nd Ave or at the Poor House - 110 SW 3rd Ave in Fort Lauderdale - on Feb 12th. The experience will be like a bottle of Southern Comfort, the 1st season of True Blood and someone sexy to enjoy it with.
While attending Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, photography students, Kim Drake, Jaime "The Mex", and Mike D realized their mutual pursuits also extended into Music, and the triad fused a brilliant alliance. They ignited City Link's Beerfest two years in a row, represented FemmeFest at Tobacco Road, released their self-titled album at Radio-Active Records, received an outstanding concert review in Miami New Times from Auteur Explosion XI @ Cinema Paradiso, and continue to bang out creative melodies interwoven with the pearls of wisdom that can only come from experience.
Front woman Kim Drake, is exactly who you want to see and listen to. The animal rights activist sings from the heart and voices her light to topics such as: the state of the world today, relationship break-ups, suburban life, frenemies, positive intentions, etc... that make you want to forget the dramas of everyday existence and roll out to the beach in her Camero.
The rocking triad also combines their visual creativity and shot their own music video for "Stolen Flowers" on Kim's Mark II that can be seen at www.theshuttermusic.com. Keep a look out for "The Shutter" at a venue near you.
I recently posted an article on the ARTISTOCATS forum asking Whats wrong with the south florida live music scene and what can we do to fix it. Too much can be said. Sure we can sit here pointing fingers saying it's so-and-so's fault, or we can make this a positive learning experience. I am writing this now to give some free pointers to you bands out there. Yes, some of this is obviously common sense, but believe it or not, some of you bands need this. So pay attention!
#1. Practice. If you have to play with sheet music on stage, you have no business booking a gig.
#2. Bring Someone. If you can't bring at least, MINIMUM, one person per band member to come see your band play live, don't bother booking a gig.
#3. Promote Yourself. If you think it's the promoter's job to promote your band, don't bother booking a gig. Yes, it is the promoter's job to promote the event, but would you really rely on someone else to do it all? Wouldn't you want the best show possible and to play in front of as many people as possible, including your own friends, family and fan base? Be your own promoter. Music is equally art and business.
#4. Style. Seriously. Put some effort into how you look. You might not be Brad Pitt, but you should respect your fan base enough to run a brush through your hair, at least. You can have style without looking like a poser. You don't have to be a model. but whatever you do, make it unique. Make it YOU. (Personal Tip- Guys with eyeliner=HOT. Guys with Glitter=HOTTER).
#5. Develop a stage show. Your front man should have charisma and the whole band should have a chemistry that shows. Anyone can stay home and listen to a CD or the radio. When they go out to see a live band, they want to see a SHOW. Give 100% for your performance, every time!
#6. Play and STAY. Shows are your best networking opportunity. Far too often bands show up right before they play and leave right after, giving no opportunity for people to come up and say "great job, when can I see you again, do you have a CD, etc". You might have lost a big opportunity with local media or a label scout. Plus, if you support the other acts on the bill, they'd be more inclined to stay and support you as well.
#7. Get involved in your local music scene. The more you know about what's going on, the more opportunities you will learn about. Make friends with other bands so they'll support you. It's very common at shows that the majority of the audience is made up of other local musicians. Make contacts and find out who the good people to know are and who you should probably stay away from.
#8. Know Your Fans. Pass around a mailing list at your shows. Keep in touch with people by sending emails announcing future shows. Include news about the band, picture's, maybe even a free download once in a while. Most importantly, make sure there IS news to announce. Make your band sound interesting by announcing newspaper or magazine articles, videos, awards, anything. If you have nothing to announce, no one will remember you or care about you after awhile.
#9. MERCH! Demos, CD's, T-Shirts, Stickers, and Buttons - Anything with your bands name on it. You are nothing until you have something tangible for people. You should really develop a recognizable logo. Free is always good for the crowd, but you should always give value to your product, so giving things away for free should be limited. How often have you been given something for free and just tossed it, figuring its crap? How often have you given away your CD's just to find that people leave them lying around? That's because they assume there's no value to it. Save the freebies for specials friends and fans who you know will appreciate it and to media who could help further your career. If you really want to give things away free, just to get them in some hands, do a CD release party or some type of special event for that reason. Got New Shirts? Make a deal such as "buy our CD and you get a free t-shirt!".
#10. Physical and Electronic Press Kits. You should have them ready to mailed out or emailed at any given moment's notice.
Stay tuned for next issue where I will discuss exactly what should be included in your press kits!
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South Florida's Local Music Scene Website
There is an emerging Palm Beach collective of talented MC's that have been running musical mayhem. Dj Fono is the eye of this storm. His company Roundabout Records has been behind the production of many of our local talents including Dino Ferrari, J Saavy, Cat Shell and many more.
But Fono is not a just a DJ; he is a musical entrepreneur and has been blessed by a keen sense of the hustle. He makes his rounds down the east contour of our gun shaped state, lighting life on the dance floors of many of our favorite local venues. One may say it's in his blood, and one may be right. Fono's father was a DJ who passed down the finger cutting genes to his two sons. Early on in his childhood Fono was groomed for music. While most 16 year olds were scrubbing toilets at McDonald's, Fono was already getting his DJ career started working for an audio-mixing company in Boca Raton known as R&R Dj's. A lover of beats and sound, DJ Fono brilliantly pounds away silence with his repertoire of Hip-Hop, Dancehall Reggae, Drum & Bass, Electro-House, Dubstep, Funk and Soul.
CSKA, one of Fono's latest progenies has now hit the streets with a new single Drop Down which has the astute producer's electro funk grooves all over it like fingerprints in a crime scene.
And what good is a DJ without an online Mix Show? When the hour strikes 8pm, jump on to www.DJFono.com and catch Roundabout Radio where DJ Fono spins hits and features Live Guests from the local South Florida Music and Art Scene.
In South Florida there is very underground Horrorcore / Acid Rap music scene with a cult following, lead by popular local acts such as Web Three, Urban Horror Clique, and The J.Hexx Project. Square in the middle is a label on the rise ready to feed South Florida's as well as the entire globe's dark music appetites with a tantalizing smorgasbord of raw hip hop acts. E2DaP Records (pronounced "E to the P"), is headed by dark mind of Horrorcore MC Epitaph.
Recently his label delivered an onslaught of 3 professional releases. The first of which is a self titled LP released by Jersey's own Sullen Mc, it features horrorcore legends Mars and J. Hexx as well as a few other familiar faces (Dj Immortal, Randum Shotz, & Epitaph to name a few). Second up on the list is an experimental, horror themed, Hip Hop EP entitled, "There is No Rest..." all produced by acclaimed producer "J Nyce" of "Psychward". The pseudo-storytelling album revolves around Epitaph's retelling of a horrific sleep study supposedly done in Soviet Union years ago. The final release is the smash hit follow up to last yearâ€™s surprisingly successful volume one of the label's debut Horrocore mixtape. Volume Two is entitled "The Descent". It features many of last yearâ€™s favorites as well as some of the more established acts in the Horrorcore genre from around the world.
This yearâ€™s HC Mixtape murders mainstream instrumentals real Dexter style, with the sharp, edgy, and shocking lyrics spawned from E2DaP and their ever expanding network. You can interact and check out more music from many featured artists on the nefarious www.horrorcore.com.
Remember Rock? Yeah you know, the rock you grew up with. Not the sub-genres and the offshoots that tread on the fence of a being described as rock, but their original parent and core elements? When vocals ( Daniel Rayon), guitar (Daniel Cartegna), bass (Luke Rice) and drums (Angel Delgado) pound on our pulses with cool and slick attitudes, that my friends, is what we call “rock”.South Florida is far from dry of Rock Virtuosos thanks to the emergence of this group - Dear Dad Yours Truly.ARTISTOCATS was lucky enough to sit down and converse though SKYPE with this local rock quartet.
ARTISTOCATS: “So first question - Your Name - An Open Letter and Signature, what does it mean?”
DDYT: “Basically, it is addressed to God, we sought a name the world could relate to, and being as God is love, everyone can relate to love in one form or another. It is the beginning and ending of a letter. Also, It leaves it open to the middle, as it simply addresses the beginning and ending, and each of us writes his own story. That's why the body is missing of the letter.”
ARTISTOCATS: “So would you say you could be bordering the genre of Christian Rock?”
DDYT: “Not really. Being as our fit lies in the fact that we write secular music, and our personal lives are kept private, the Christian influence is in the interpretation of the lyrics from the listeners’ perspective. Depending on who you ask in the band, depends on your answer.”
Christian or not, this group’s skills place what was once deemed as “Satan’s Music” into a well deserving divine musical paradigm. Their lyrics bring positive messages of love and drive awareness to many important social issues that face us today. So how did they meet?
DDYT: “MySpace (laughs) But seriously... thanks Tom...”
ARTISTOCATS: “(laughing) For real?”
DDYT: “Yes.... seriously... no joke. This band was a miracle.”
ARTISTOCATS: “I heard of couples meeting on MySpace, but not super group rock bands”
DDYT: “It just so happens we all get along”
While Facebook is quickly becoming the leader in the Social Media field, MySpace is to thank for the creation of this awesome rock collective. The gang is now signed with Sparks Management and is represented by former Vice President of Universal Music Latin America, Tere Batista. The local rock media have also taken interest, as Dear Dad Yours Truly has been recently interviewed by 93 Rock (Youtube.com/watch?v=9jAobnwm2MY).
ARTISTOCATS: What’s up with 93 Rock. How did you get on?
DDYT: We were cherry picked by Spano from 93 Rock, who asked us to come in and do an interview.
ARTISTOCATS: Cherry picked from where, myspace? Or did he see you rock a house down?
DDYT: Both, he found us on MySpace, and attended our concert at Pulp Live in Fort Lauderdale before approving the interview. One thing that really touched him was our name. He said he related with it on a personal level.
Although currently working on a full-length album, the band has an EP circulating the buzzed up, tattoo loving hooligans of the SoFla rock scene. Self-Produced, and recorded @ The Shack North Studios, these 6 tracks will leave you for an appetite for more. Listening to their favorite track SAINT OF SIN is like entering a dark corridor alone and exiting with an army of angels to abolish the sins of today’s society.
With Influences that range from SlipKnot, 3 Doors down, Metallica, to even Evanescence, Dear Dad Yours Truly will soar through your speakers from the beginning to end. Their current album, “2009 Untitled Demo” can be found on their website www.deardadyourstruly.com, or you may get your copy by coming and seeing them LIVE @ CINEMA PARADISO for the 1st Auteur Explosion of 2010 on Jan. 23rd.
ARTISTOCATS: So on Tiger Woods....any comment?
DDYT: …Is an idiot, Obviously, his wife has as good of a swing he does.
Growing up, I always liked things that were outside the box and leaned more toward underground music. I was weird before weird was cool.Â I found a way to experience the underground scene through local music. Going to local shows was like my own secret universe that no one else I knew, knew about. Going to Goth Clubs was sort of the same. You'd see the same people week after week, but you still felt it was your own secret escape.
Unfortunately, these days I haven't found a band that I can enjoy seeing and hearing live who had the qualities of the underground goth sound like bauhaus, Joy Division or The Cure. That is, until I found Daysleeper a few months ago. Imagine my suprise to learn they've been making music since 1999, right here in Miami. Daysleeper is a sort of Post Punk band. Their sound is dark, not entirely black, but a medium shade of grey. Is it even possible to call music today New Wave? If lead vocalist and one of TWO bassists, Alfred Von Blume's Ian Curtis-esque voice isn't enough to be considered New Wave, Perhaps the Synths of Emery Cowan would be the hands down factor. Despite the anomaly of genre one thing is clear as they claim in their bio -â€œDaysleeper strives to be innovative while maintaining originality and simplicity - creating music with substance.â€
Miami based Radio Boxer is a band that believes in giving their fans an experience to remember. This is an objective that the band follows in everything they do from promotions to specific concert themes. This past August they held a CD release party for their full-length album, Radio Drama, at the Annex in Hialeah. The party was staged to be a circus side show, and each band member represented a different strange character. Radio Boxer created a buzz for the party by releasing various eerie commercials featuring their different characters on the web. The â€œcircusâ€ included fortunetellers, fire-eaters, artists displaying their work, and listening stations playing the music of local bands.
Radio Boxer has developed a strong following by combining their powerful sound with their clever marketing tools. Their album Radio Drama is a form of Alternative Latin Rock that meanders between crunchy guitars and gentle gypsy undertones. The vocals are always sexy, sometimes belting out in anger other times softly seducing the listener.
November promises to be a busy month for Radio Boxer, starting on the 6th, when they will be sharing the stage with friends, Huma, at Cinema Paradiso after FLIFF's films at 11:30pm. Next is a mini tour west, stopping at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada and wrapping up in Los Angeles. When the band returns home they will be performing a â€œrock soap operaâ€ on the radio show, Sound Theory. The show airs live December 11 2009, from 7-9pm and is hosted by Carlos Garcia on WDNA 88.9 FM.
Written by Steve Imas ( www.revmiami.com )
Afrobetaâ€™s front woman, Cristina "Cuci Amador" Garcia, takes the stage at Transit Lounge in a red sequined dress, glittery zebra pumps and bright, red lips. With a nod to sound mastermind Tony Smurphio, Amador leads her legions through what can only be described as a blend of 80s alternative- electro-disco pop -something -otherness which renders it impossible to pigeonhole Afrobetaâ€™s genre.
Well, almost anyone. â€œWe are folk-not as in, techno rural ravers,â€ laughs Amador. â€œThatâ€™s our new genre.â€
Amador, a Miami native, credits her time at FSU as the genesis of her musical style.
â€œAfter high school I was prime to get out,â€ recalls Amador. â€œI wanted something new, live music acts, a college town. I grew so much. I returned to Miami completely different.â€
Back on stage, she vigorously dances with a tambourine in hand, mascara running, and sings original songs about secret love or underground sounds which at times, is intermingled with old familiar riffs. And somehow, it all gels.
â€œWhen we are on stage, it feels like a celebration,â€ says Amador. â€œWe are as honest as possible, and the audience returns the positivity. Itâ€™s a reciprocal relationship.â€
Amador credits artists as diametrically opposed as Tori Amos, Nancy Wilson and Bjork as her musical influences. â€œI admire people who tell a story through their music,â€ explains Amador. â€œI wish to be known as a female singer/songwriter, storyteller and actor.â€
These arenâ€™t lofty goals for Afrobeta. With a label deal well on its way, a big announcement is soon expected.
Stay tuned to their blog at www.afrobetalovesyou.blogspot.com or www.myspace.com/afrobeta for more information.