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Abel's 4,000 Albums that Matter: Part Fifteen

Part the fifteenth is a chockfull of international wonders, British punk rock and as close to a confession on masturbation as we’ll get for a while. Read on, make notes of the transgressions against the English Language and Her Grammars and Spellings. I also posit against jazz fusion, but then again, wouldn’t you?

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Liz Tracy’s new role at The Heat Lightning: commenter

You may or may not have already heard my news. I’ve written about it twice, and it’s going to start getting really redundant here. And wait, yes, it is about to get really redundant right here. That’s right. I’m saying goodbye again. Hold your horses, this one’s directed at THL. With all of these posts, it kind of seems like I’m dying not just moving 20 minutes north.

As the new music editor at the New Times Broward-Palm Beach, I will be saying good-bye to Miami, moving to Broward, and to The Heat Lightning – the blog which I birthed with Alesh a year and a half ago.

I’m not a public emoter past anger, furious anger, and the occasional hurt feeling tear. Every time I try to be a human, I feel like Data when he was implanted with the emotion chip. That’s why writing this farewell has taken me forever, or a week to be accurate.

When I moved to Miami as a kid, I hated it. I really hated it and everyone in it. It was only in ninth grade when I met my best friend Liza a recent arrival from New York that I fell in love with this shitty city. Liza illuminated all the beauty of this foreign place with her always seemingly rational perspective. The banyans, the sun, the sand. How could I not embrace it and make it my home?

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The Atlantic let Liz tell you you're cool, Miami

Flickr user rebeccaseung / Creative Commons

The Atlantic let Liz write something up about how Miami is a hell of a lot cooler than you’ve ever been lead to believe. Give it a whirl, won’t you?


Abel's 4,000 albums that matter: part five

blue cheer

Parts one through four

Here we go again… purposeless, listless, listy, whatever you will, this is as much a waste of my time as it is yours. Will I really hit 4000 records? Should all accidents be slow so we can gawk at ‘em longer? Will I ever get more than 12 readers? Who knows. All we can really count on is my dismal grasp of grammar. Huzzah!

101. BLACK FLAGTHE FIRST FOUR YEARS. I got this after Wasted… Again and it further solidified the reason why I got the bars tacked on me. Brutal. “I’ve Heard it Before” is simply, perfect.

102. REDD KROSSNEUROTICA. “Ghandi is Dead (I’m a Cartoon Man)” sums up how these wacky brothers have tackled pop punk in a bizarre version of American Eater meets weird LSD trips near the beach. Wacky, funny, bubblegum-pop executed very well.

103. BLUE CHEERVINCEBUS ERUPTUM. Acid roadhouse blues done right. Am I wrong in believing that their cover of “Summertime Blues” might actually be better than the original? Their first and best, don’t even bother looking up the other albums. They lost something after this one, but on this one, whatever they got, is good.

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U2 concert: spacemen, Palestine, and Catholic-talk

octopus u2 stage

I never thought I’d go to a U2 concert. Not because I don’t like Bono or I think the music is corny, because I like that shit, and I think Bono’s a stand-up dude. I thought the experience would elude me for more practical reasons; I could never afford a ticket.

So, when my friend Gaby invited me to go to the show last night, I was thrilled. I haven’t had an evening off in weeks and Joshua Tree is one of my all-time favorite, doesn’t-get-bad albums. Since I was a pre-teen, I’ve enjoyed its goodness. When he told me we were taking a party bus complete with booze, along with his older brother and friends, I was like, no way, hellz yes, and party time.

Everyone we were driving with, Gaby insisted, were Catholics. My whole family’s a bunch of Catholics, so, you know, who cares? They clearly are professionals and probably most of them went to Belen. I totally couldn’t have given a shit if they went to Aleister Crowley’s Academy of Little Satanists. We were going to a show!

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The best time ever would be the time I had at Gonerfest
the final of two THL reviews

Guitar Wolf crowd

Here’s a slideshow with mostly band pictures, which includes shots from Pink Palace, Cooper Young Farmers Market, eating a ton of meat at Bryant’s Breakfast where we got free honey and molasses with our biscuits, House of Mews (adopt one of those freaking cuties), and the crazy Crystal Shrine Grotto. Enjoy.

Last year, Emily and I talked about going to Gonerfest, but my brother had to get married that weekend. Thanks, Jim. You suck. We decided that next year, which is now this year, we would make our way to Memphis for a few days of nonstop, really loud, sometimes messy music by all definitely worth watching and hearing bands. Last June, we bought our tickets, and this September, after discussing details for four months, we met up for what became one of the raddest weekends I’ve had in years. And I have fun. Like all the fucking time, so that’s saying A LOT.

I cannot get past the tinnitus, nor the euphoric feeling of having experienced such a bonding concert-going experience. The awesome performances, music, crowd, and meeting so many new people. The five days of shows, my roommate likened to sleep-away camp. It kinda was, you have a schedule of activities with the same people everyday, except that the way I remember camp was awful, and it involved menstruation, hiding my hairy legs, and definitely much, much more acne.

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Jennifer the Leopard: a band of grown women

Video edited by birthday girl and THL contributor Amanda Leah

Jennifer the Leopard, known also as J-Lep, is an all-woman musical and performance art group living in Los Angeles. I held an ichat interview with them not too long ago to talk about the band and their new T-shirt line with Obey Clothing.

Two band members are original Miami bros, Stephanie Hutin and Marissa Mayer, and the other two lovely ladies, Lauren Fisher and Lana Kim, are gals we wish were original Miami bros.

Make sure to enjoy the part where our pets kiss transcontinentally.

Here’s another J-Lep vid to whet your J-Lep palette.

Lookin’ Good, Feelin’ Fine by J Lep from Lauren Fisher on Vimeo.


Q&A with the Crumbs
see them in San Diego tomorrow

the crumbs

I was 15 when I first saw the Crumbs play. It was at the Kitchen Club in the Grove. Up until then, I thought punk was all about playing loud and fast; I was partially right, punk is loud and fast. The Crumbs played a set full of catchy songs that have been stuck in my head ever since. I guess I didn’t know much about the Ramones at the point, but by the end of that week my punk preferences shifted from Minor Threat and Black Flag to the Ramones and the Queers.

When the Crumbs got signed to Lookout Records in 1996, I thought they had arrived. When I saw Billie Joe Armstrong playing a guitar with a Crumbs sticker on it, I thought they had arrived. When they asked me to fill in on bass in 2001, I thought I had arrived. It turns out; success and punk rock go together like cocaine and waffles.

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Roofless Records communicates via email with THL

roofless flyer

In an attempt to gather much information with very little effort, I wrote an email to Matt from Roofless Records. This email included a couple of mediocre questions for him to answer. Luckily and surprisingly, he responded. Also lucky for me, even though my questions are choppy and nauseatingly boring, he was able to answer them in a way that was interesting, informative and without much need of an editor. Delightful!

Roofless has three shows coming up in the near future, including one on Saturday night at PS14 (Bar) Strange Days # 4, and next week Justice Yeldham, and Weird Wives.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? What’s the deal with Roofless Records? Where’d you get the name? What are you putting out, records/CDs, what?

I’m 24, from Miami originally, and moved to Sarasota in 2004 to study Comparative Literature at New College of Florida. That’s where I met Dana Bassett, 23 and also originally from Miami, who is the other half of Roofless. We founded the label in the fall of 2007 to document the rapidly growing noise/weird rock/performance art scene on campus and in the greater Sarasota house party scene. I had been promoting concerts since high school, and it felt like it was time to expand to more permanent documents of the music I found exciting. I graduated in 2008, moved to Philadelphia on an impulsive whim, and found myself back in Miami in fall of 2009. Dana is currently pursuing her masters at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, but is definitely still apart of the operation.

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Big Boi concert owned Sobe Live

big boi miami

Big Boi doesn’t seem scared of making great big music. It’s like he just does it. While so many others will always struggle trying to balance between innovation and technique, intimidated by success, this guy boldly goes forth, knowing what he’s doing, and doing it well.

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Coke and Mantrap Open House at the Elks on August 14

coke and abel

Better than: A pool party at your cousin Hector’s new house.

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Coke. From my Blast From the Past review this past February to my more recent interview with their keyboardist and musical director Joe Rubio, it fails me to accurately describe the feelings that I was having coming into last Saturday’s Open House concert. First, I can’t claim that I was there back in the day and secondly, I was a little wary of the venue being an Elks’ Lodge, but we can chalk that up to childhood recollections of Fred Flintsone in his silly bison hat.

Trying my best to score a free t-shirt, I arrived at 7:50 p.m. to find that I was probably the two-hundredth person to walk in and since I was banking on Cuban-time, apparently so were two-hundred other people. After quickly figuring out the Elks’ drinking system which included three bars and a table where one could purchase colored chips for drinks, I made my way around the rapidly increasing crowd.

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the gist of the Jesp

Apparently, there’s been some air-kickin’, key-clickin’ online activism going on in the Miami/NY music scene this past week.

Local musician, Jesp, is on a mission (bro) to perform at Miami’s newest, mid-sized, live music venue, Grand Central. There’s been a recent Facebook push to get lil’ ol’ Jesp a gig at the majestic club. Apparently he has a ridiculous amount of support, and people think his music needs to be showcased. Although Jesp is a Miami guy, he has “had to relocate to NY” due to shitty sound systems in Miami, according to his online call-to-arms (shrug). THL does not judge, we loves us some internet drama (unless it’s our own)!

THL was a teensy bit insulted by the following statement by Jesp though, since it craps a little on our two favorite places, “No one wants to play at BAR as their only spot. No local musician wants to feel like Churchill’s is their best chance of sharing something they believe in.”

Anyway, one of our contributors has compiled a list of links that offer some information on this dramatic situation.

The Gist of the Jesp



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Musical Herstory: Women and Noise, or Music for Men?

girl germs riot grrrl

Musical Herstory is a series by women on women and music.

Following The Heat Lightning’s recent Lightning Bolt show review, the heavy debate in the comment stream briefly touched upon the topic of gender in the noise/punk/experimental scene. Let’s explore this issue further, shall we?

I’m a woman. I’ve always preferred my music loud, fast, and a little out of tune; I desire to be in the thick of things at shows – front, center, out of control. I certainly don’t mind being battered about. It didn’t take me long to realize that among my gender this makes me a minority.

Why do I enjoy myself? It’s physical, it’s communal, it’s a release, it’s fun. The music is raw. On rare occasions it’s a little unsafe, I get bruised, I fall down. Things get broken; phones, glasses, teeth. I’m sure that’s enough to dissuade a fair amount of folks – male or female, from venturing too close. But why are women most often relegated to the fringes at such shows – is it by choice or necessity? Did the whole Riot Grrrl thing do nothing for women of the subsequent generations or just create a further gender divide of “his and her” punk rock?

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Lightning Bolt gives good show

A few members of THL crew braved drama and physical harm to attend the recent Lightning Bolt show at Churchill’s Pub. It was more than worth all risks, considering it could possibly have been the best show Miami’s seen since the band was here five years ago, and we’re not just saying that because we have similar names.

Lightning Bolt consists of two guys, one on bass, the other on drums. The concert is made up of said two guys on the ground, not on the stage floor, but level with the audience. Many, many people then crowd all up on them, bouncing, jumping, and swaying to the music.

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The Getback and Beings at Sweat Records
Miami, Saturday, June 26th, 2010


It’s kinda hard to imagine that it had been almost two years since The Getback took to a South Florida stage. Here’s a band whose first gig I booked at the now defunct Gables Pub almost eight years ago, and whose career I had tracked with glee. It isn’t so much being a fan, which I am, but just seeing their effect on the crowd cements it; these guys make good time rock and roll! Their balance of straight-up rockers and punk rock numbers have satisfied for many years and their CD Right About Now has spun many times in my player, as I’m sure it has in many players across South Florida, judging by the sweet turnout this past Saturday.

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Wrong camera setting at So Raw 2

so raw blurry

As I was saying, Miami’s second annual So Raw Festival is genuinely cool. I know, I know, you ask: what’s so cool about it, Ms. Not Good With Words? What I mean is that there was music; it was outside in the Design District; there was free beer, vodka, and Vitamin Water; there were dirty young boys and band boys, cleaner looking men, girls with shorts, girls with makeup, a few grown women. There was lightning, lots of it, and few people budged. There were bands and guitars and screaming guitarists. These are things to like! These are things that make for a fun festival.

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Grand Central
A look at the new venue, plus a review of two indie bands

grand central

I do not particularly care for either Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Surfer Blood, so I was not exited about the music when I got practically dragged to their show this past weekend. However I was exited to check out the venue, Grand Central. Since the closing of Studio A, Miami has been without a mid-sized venue that could accommodate the medium-popular bands that are making some of the best music these days.

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