For one night, at least, "We're doin' it for the kids" will cease to be a hollow music-industry cliché. At the Dada All-Star Independence Jubilee, a generation of local musicians performs Sunday at a converted school in a benefit intended to put instruments into the little hands of their grade-school successors.
"Politicians have been slicing budgets," says Todd Stone, general manager at Dada, a Delray Beach restaurant and performance space that caters to colorful oral and aural palettes. "It seems that the art and music programs have been sliced the most. Dada revolves its business around art and music, and we hate to see kids have less of an opportunity to pursue their creative interests. So we wanted to do something to help."
The assembled talent will make a big noise from the spacious, state-of-the-art entertainment pavilion sprawling across the grassy back yard of Old School Square, a closed public school on the corner of Atlantic and Swinton avenues whose structure survives as a cultural arts center. Revenue from food, tickets, and liquor will benefit local public-school music and art curricula, the Old School Square Fund, and the youth outreach program at Compass (Palm Beach County's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community center). The concert will include a 9/11 tribute and a moment of silence for those fighting overseas. Rock the Vote also plans to set up a booth.
Philanthropic though it may be, the All-Star Jubilee will provide some serious summer schooling in South Florida's indie-genous music landscape. More than a good-cause benefit, the jubilee is possibly the largest localpalooza of rock, pop, punk, jazz, and blues talent ever amassed on one stage. A Kite Is a Victim, CPM, Beatnik Boy, Brownie Points, Spazimoto, Maypop, Baby Robots, Whirlaway, Doorway 27, New Graduates, Pank Shovel, Keith Scott, Mindlikewater, the Yoko Theory, Groovenics, Dotfash -- these bands have raised the ceiling of almost every local venue in the tricounty area.
Stone attributes the surplus of local talent to a creative force that grows only in the shadows of larger metropolitan locales. "If you go an hour outside of any major city, there's always a counterculture, an area that feeds off of the energy of the larger city and then goes in its own direction," he says. "L.A. has Venice Beach, for example. Miami has us."
At the Jubilee, rock and pop sets will frequent the early hours, yielding the floor to harder rock and punk fare as the natural lighting dims for a darker atmosphere. The music lasts from 1 to 11 p.m. If it rains, the show will go on in Dada and Delux nightclubs; both are located on or around Delray Beach's downtown beanstalk, the thriving Atlantic Avenue.