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Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo has been hard at work, making it possible for roots-music types to sneak Sally through the alley again -- Alligator Alley, that is. His old location (in a strip mall!) boasted the bestest sound system in the area but was located way the fuck out on University Drive in some town -- apparently called Sunrise by the people who "live" there. Needless to add, it was a place where most partiers wouldn't go even on a dare. But the big room had its moments. "That was like the House of Blues, done Florida style," Kilmo says.
The new location (in a strip mall!), he reports, will be on a much smaller scale. Nestled between a Chinese restaurant and a coffee shop, the new Alligator Alley, at 1321 E. Commercial Blvd., is a long, narrow room with stage in front. Comes complete with a kitchen too, because the space formerly housed several Italian restaurants and at least a half-dozen raw bars. And it sounds like something this town has sorely needed since the old Alley faded and folded.
"It's a restaurant, it's a bar, it's a club," Kilmo brags. "We can sling beer and burgers with the best of 'em and put on a show. It's not that Jimmy Buffett/Margaritaville commercial Florida, either; this is the real old Florida I grew up in." He promises Southern cooking with a Florida vibe, including his award-winning gumbo, Seminole fry bread, and "killer real alligator, not that pre-fab frozen shit, either. We get the choicest white meat filleted into tiny little alligator cutlets with our own secret-flavored breading. Real alligator connoisseurs freak out when they see it."
Consider us freaked. Stop by and try them tasty little items this weekend when Alligator Alley hosts a sneak preview with Brian Stoltz, who's played guitar with funkier-than-thou factions like Dr. John, the Meters, and the Neville Brothers. With its new, nonsucky digs, the Alley should be the place to help the legend continue.
Without trying too hard, Kilmo has become the wizened old curator of the leathery local music scene. "I always thought it would be some other old fuck; instead, it's me," he laughs. "We love music, we love life, we like to have a good time, put up good food and good drinks, hang with good people, jam some killer tunes -- that's our life. Anyone's welcome to join."
They started six and a half years ago as a Pixies tribute act, quickly outgrew that, and became one of South Florida's most talked-about, difficult, and often overrated acts. But the last time I caught them (at Billabong), their strong, sweaty set made it clear all the hype was finally leading to something. But alas and alack, we won't have Machete to kick around anymore. After making fans wait and wait and wait for a debut disc that still hasn't been released, the dynamic quartet will take its leave of us following a finale performance this Friday night, June 14, at Churchill's Hideaway in Miami. Witnessing Machete's endgame will be Bling Bling, Tonsure, and the Stop Motion.
Primary protagonist Justin Gracer is moving to New York City this summer, bringing Machete to an end. Drummer Kris King will hang around town, replacing Mike Marsh (who's keeping himself just a little busy with Dashboard Confessional) in Seville. And Ed Artigas, the man behind Spy-Fi Records and a shitload of cool local bands, spent a recent weekend burning a bunch of CD-R's of that long-promised Machete album and will be passing out copies. He'll no doubt be wiping away a salty tear for his boys as well.
"You know what's kind of sad?" Artigas says. "When you pay for a record, and they tell you right before you're going to press it that 'The band's breaking up and you can put out the record if you like, but we're not going to support it, and we'd like to pay you back, but we don't know how.'" But dollars collected at the door, he says, will offset costs. They better: Artigas starts booking shows at Billabong next month, taking the reins from Elena Effrat, who has helped make the Hallandale Beach beer bar the best rock stop between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Someone's looking for a new antistatic slip mat right now, because both the Fort Lauderdale and the West Palm Beach locations of the well-stocked and seemingly popular DJ Store are shuttered. Details to follow.