Whew! OK, here's the conclusion of our great and groovy Florida show duo starring a suparrr select slice of SoFla's coolest local garage/psych/experimental bands and our pal Lars Finberg of L.A./Seattle-based band the Intelligence! Part One gives you a little of HOW ON EARTH this ever managed to come about in the first place and the review/photos for the mighty and magical first performance for Velvet Underground Night, located at Dada in Delray Beach. (You also might enjoy reading this show preview and interview with Meestar Feenberg by myself, Miss Ten, and our friend Stacy B. It's improbable-yet-amusing-and-informative things like this that keep you coming here, I bet. Or hope.)
After a some sleep/recovery time on Saturday, we headed south into Miami's Wynwood Art District (which I covered a bit here earlier in the year, if you'd like to browse some of the amazing building art and the best-ever photo of Miss Ten) to get everyone set up at Gramps, a brand-new bar/club that's still in it's soft open phase and has already became a hotspot for Miami's nightlife hepcats and kitties. I really love what owner Adam Gersten is setting up here -- Gramps has an awesome, stark retro vibe that fits in perfectly with the grit and funk of the surrounding 'hood, but at the same time it feels welcoming and fun, like you were heading over to a friend's tricked-out rec room from decades past. Our modest lil' event would be Gramps' first rock show ever, and we were all so excited for the bands to be playing on the outdoor stage underneath the stars and big jets making their big ways to Miami International. Strutter Productions' Rob and Stacy Budowsky helped man the door, and -- oh yes! -- there was a grilled cheese food truck outside! Lars and the irrepressible and delightful Gabriel Alcala of Miami's Jacuzzi Boys started up their dual DJ 'puters (Gabe inside, Lars outside) and I admit I was hovering off the ground a little when Lars played all of the Kinks' "Arthur" album. Just a little.
Tonight's show opener, West Palm Beach's New Coke, is a band I've been very eager to see play live for months since Rob B. played me some of their stuff, which immediately went into high rotation on my iTunes. The trio did not disappoint, and delivered a very solid set that I totally dug. I really think these guys have a shot at breaking through to a much larger audience -- consistent, unique sound, with songs that stay in your head. I'm a fan, and hope to bring you more good news about them in 2013.
(Click on the photos to enlarge, and go to the Flickr set links to see more!)
(New Coke Gramps 1/5/13 Flickr set)
New Coke video! This is "Vanilla Sailing" (thanks to Joe Onimus)
As more and more and MORE people filed into Gramps, I realized that we had quite a crowd going and was very happy that SoFla was turning out for our guys! It was a really good sign that I saw so many faces that had been at the show the night before, because the culture is such here that (generally) people stick to their local urban hubs for shows and don't travel for them. But they did this time. Soon enough, it was time for Lars and WPB's Cop City Chill Pillars to begin. The match-up of musicians here really was so fortuitous, both sound- and personality-wise. Having only met briefly once before during the Intelligence's last tour, the guys had never worked together before, much less spent pretty much all of 2-3 days together rehearsing rehearsing rehearsing, catching a tiny amount of sleep, and eating lentil soup. They first played a set of CCCP originals, and then concluded the night with the five Velvet Underground songs they did at Dada the night before. A couple of enthusiastic fans joined in at the end!
(Lars Finberg + Cop City Chill Pillars Gramps 1/5/13 Flickr set)
We stayed at Gramps movin' and groovin' and talking with old and new friends very long into the night, even when a freak burst of rain forced us all to high-tail it inside to proceed to overwork the bar staff with requests for delicious beverages.
So, that's it. I'm back in Seattle, my leetel fren Finberg is back in L.A., and all the local Florida bands that played are back home, too. I still can't believe it happened, but am so very happy that it did. There are so many people to thank for helping to get a crazy idea into crazy reality, bringing some fun and goodwill into the new year for us all: huge hugs to The Budowsky family, The Stock family, Aly Gore & Liam Milano of Kismet Vintage, everyone at Dada in Delray Beach, Adam Gersten and everyone at Gramps, also Steev Rullman at Pure Honey, my family, Tunecore, Monica McGivern, Liz Tracy, our dear Tet De Vac and the other Jacuzzi Boys, Rich at Florida's Dying, and everyone who attended. Of course my biggest and longest hugs go to the bands themselves for agreeing to play on very VERY short notice, and coming though with flying colors: Black Seal and Justin Crumpton, Beach Day, New Coke, Cop City Chill Pillars, and Lars Finberg. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you...a million times over. I'll never forget it.