Hey everyone!

Just a quick announcement: I’m now the Miami Local Music Examiner for Examiner.com, so I’d like to invite anyone who comes across this page to go to my Examiner page.  I have my contact information on that page as well, so e-mail me for any press needs.

Thanks!

Packy’s Irish Sports Pub’s Halloween Party Featuring Ghost of Gloria

Halloween party and Irish pub aren’t exactly synonymous, but that is exactly what happened on October 26, 2011. Packy’s Sports Pub in Lighthouse Point hosted a costume party complete with crazy costumes, a costume contest and  rockin’ entertainment by Ghost of Gloria. You can see the insanity for yourself in the slideshow below. Remember to turn on the captions!

http://hosting.soundslides.com/ldsml/iframe.html

The song featured in the slide show is Ghost of Gloria’s own “Guard Dog”. According to their Facebook page, “Ghost of Gloria is a four piece modern rock band out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Since forming in the fall of 2007, the band has made it’s mark in the rock scene: the release of their critically acclaimed 7 song EP ‘Voices from the Red Room’, opening spots for bands like Godsmack and Fuel alongside their own touring, a coveted publishing deal with Stellar Songs/EMI Publishing, and more” . They currently have three EPs out on iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon. “Guard Dog” is available on the Trial and Virtue Volume 2 EP.

Packy’s has their own parking lot for customers and there’s nearly always a place. There’s also never a cover or an age limit for the live entertainment, which they have every Friday and Saturday. The pub also serves as part restaurant, offering everything from soups to wings to chicken quesadillas to even flatbread pizzas. They also have the standard bar appetizers: potato skins, wings, mozzarella sticks and chili cheese fries.

The chili cheese fries, called “Packy’s Fries” on the menu, are the best chili cheese fries you will ever have. They are served with nacho cheese (the best part, in my opinion), chili, and bacon. There’s no risk of the fries getting soggy on you either – it’s never happened in the two times I’ve had them.

Packy's Fries

I wish I could say the same about the chicken quesadillas. The one time I had them, they were beyond bland. Order something else if you’re in the mood for dinner.

For more information on either Packy’s Sports Pub’s events or on Ghost of Gloria, go to http://www.packysportspub.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/GhostofGloria?sk=info

The Look is Everything

Have you ever passed by a place and thought ‘wow, that place looks cool, I wonder how it is inside’? I know I have, so I had the idea to go to each of the venues mentioned and really get a feel for what it was like inside. In the slideshow below, I put together pictures of interesting things the bars and pubs mentioned feature. Remember to turn on the captions!

http://hosting.soundslides.com/z9lfb/iframe.html

The song used in the slideshow is “Instant Star” by Norwegian rock band Rebolt.

Dark Rift

Gem number three comes in the form of a two-man band consisting of bassist Robert Bare and drummer Addison Smith. Together they call themselves Dark Rift. I saw them play at Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti on November 23, 2011. Churchill’s is a dive bar in the classic sense: inexpensive drinks and billiards, small cover charges (if any) and good, local entertainment. It’s also one of the only places that still allows smoking inside. One of the more unusual things about Churchill’s, however, is that as soon as you park at the lot across the street from the pub, a “parking attendant” will come out and offer to “watch” your car for a dollar or two. They’ll even help you park – they’re just really after “tips”.

It’s been said that you aren’t a local band unless you’ve played Churchill’s, and as any band or patron who’s been there in the pub’s 32-year history could tell you, it’s the “beating heart of Miami’s independent music scene” *.

Dark Rift is off to a good start. They’ve only been playing together for three months but they have a solid sound as well as truly hilarious lyrics (one of their songs is about guacamole, for example).  Below is the band in full form, playing a song called “A Pirate’s Life”.

They cite Justin Bieber as one of their influences because “he never says never”.

Dark Rift’s next show is The Winter Welcome on December 11th, 2011, at Churchill’s Pub. As of this writing, there is no mention of a cover charge, but bring $5-7 just in case. The pub is 18+ unless mentioned otherwise.

For more information on Dark Rift or Churchill’s, go to http://www.facebook.com/#!/DarkRiftMusic?sk=info or http://churchillspub.com/calendar/calendar.php#

* http://www.beachedmiami.com/2011/11/14/churchills-pub-dave-daniels/


Music Source Podcast Episode 1!

It’s hard to find people who like to go to rock shows more than me. It’s even harder to find someone who likes to go to local shows. I get into why this is with “showaholic” and music promoter, Jonathan Schulz, in the following podcast.

The introduction music is by German rock band November 11. The song is called “Illusion”.

Pat De Leon

Gem number two comes in the form of a blues singer named Pat De Leon. I saw him perform on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, at Tobacco Road in Downtown Miami. Tobacco Road is Miami’s oldest bar, restaurant and performance venue. It opened in 1912 and, according to their website, became known for many things throughout the years: “a speakeasy, gambling den, gay bar, strip joint and blues bar”. The website also adds that “while ownership has changed, the primary purpose of the establishment – a neighborhood watering hole – has always been the same”.

Tobacco Road became known for booking national blues and jazz acts in the 1980s. Since then, the bar has expanded to book everything from rap to metal to reggae. The bar’s reputation has changed along with this, says their website: “Tobacco Road [has] gained a new reputation as a popular hangout with downtown professionals, celebrities and tourists. Today Tobacco Road continues to champion Miami’s local music scene with live music seven nights a week”. Below is a video of one of these artists, DeLeon, performing.

There is a very laid back feel to Tobacco Road that’s exemplified by just walking in and sitting at the bar. There are the standard issue TV screens playing sports. What sets Tobacco Road apart from every other pub and sports bar in the area, however, is the assortment of classic rock and today’s rock that plays at the perfect volume in the background. The bartenders are friendly and so are the other patrons at the bar.

If you go on a weekday, there’s usually no cover, a free parking lot down the street, and one featured artist. Weekends are where it gets a little different. The parking lot charges around $10, especially if it’s a holiday weekend.

6th St. parking lot

There’s also usually a small cover charge ranging anywhere from $5-10.  If you get there before 9 p.m., however, they don’t charge the cover. Make sure you bring your ID as well, since there is a bouncer who will check your ID at the door (21 and up only). The music can be anything ranging from a full-on festival to just one or two featured artists. The stages are located either upstairs or on the patio. There are bars by both stages as well.

DeLeon, for example, performs every Wednesday at 8 p.m in the midst of Ladies Night. He performs a mix of blues covers and his original songs until midnight. Blues songs of any sort in Miami are a rarity and a real treat to see performed.

Tobacco Road is also known for having excellent food. They have homemade empanadas, nachos, chicken quesadillas, salads, ribs, brisket, award-winning burgers, “the Best F’in Chili” and chili fries. I had the chicken quesadillas when I was there, and I’d definitely recommend them. If your sweet tooth gets the better of you, the desserts are great too.

Chicken quesadillas with pepper jack cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. A Sailor Jerry and Coke accompanied it.

Fudge Brownie with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream.

For more information on Pat DeLeon or Tobacco Road, go to http://www.myspace.com/patdeleonmusic or http://www.tobacco-road.com

Falseta!

So here’s your first gem: Hialeah based rock band Falseta. I went to the Rock Culture Showcase at The Stage Miami in the Design District on September 15th, 2011. One of musicians’ main complaints about bars and clubs is that their systems are not set up for optimum sound. That is not so with The Stage. It is known for being one of the few venues that has a sound system, so everything sounds 10 times better than it would in any other club, which is what makes it such a great venue to listen to bands.

Now to the band! They played a 45-minute set alongside three other local bands (Urban Rebel, Brand Name Punk, and The Deadly Blank. Check them out too!). Falseta’s sound, as described on their Facebook page, is described as “rockistic” and “the kind of music metal dudes listen to with their girlfriends”. I think that if you love Incubus, you’ll love these guys too. But don’t take our respective words for it, check them out below:

If you go to The Stage in the future, get there early so you can find a place to park in the back lot, otherwise you’ll probably get stuck parallel parking. The back lot is most likely the only place you’ll get charged (parking machine, pay by the hour) as most of the shows at The Stage have no cover charge. Oh, and bring cash too because the bar has a $20 minimum for credit cards.

Falseta’s next show is a 21+ show at the Billiard Club in Miami Lakes on October 5th at 9:30.  No cover charge. So if you like what you heard here, go check them out there or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Falseta.

There’s a local music scene in Miami?

Miami. Home to rap, South Beach, techno, and absolutely no rock radio. So what’s a rock music lover to do if they want to see a good live show without breaking the bank? Tap into the local music scene! And before you say, like most people, that there isn’t one, I have this to say to you: you’re just looking in the wrong places. Good live (and local) music can be found for either a small cover charge or for free around a lot of bars and clubs in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. This blog will show you where to find them and other inside tidbits.