Though DJ culture has filtered into mainstream consciousness, it's basically up to those who evoke its potential to ensure longevity. In other words, why give a damn about seeing some pubescent schmuck or "superstar" DJ spinning others' music for $500 a pop when you can witness the true wizards of wax bringing the decks to life? Since its beginnings in the late '70s/early '80s, turntablism has evolved from an underground experiment into an art form, beginning with Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc and inspiring modern-day maestros like the Invisibl Skratch Piklz and the Beat Junkies. Rather than just rely on its revolving capabilities, turntablists recognize the marriage of the player and its parts to the record and create a new instrument out of that.
While this genre has gained plenty of exposure in the media, no other outlet has provided it a better springboard for newcomers and veterans alike than the annual DMC Championships. A DJ's scratching, mixing, and beat-juggling capabilities are put to the test, and each year, new heights of originality are reached, from the contestant molesting the wax with his feet while eating a bowl of cereal to using rubber bands on needles to create new effects. This year, South Florida plays host to one of the crucial preliminary events, which isn't surprising, since Miami's DJ Craze won the ultimate battle three years in a row. Since its inception in 1986, the DMC tournament has taken place in more than 40 countries, and this year promises to be the biggest yet. Don't miss these hi-fi high jinks at Venu (100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Competition starts at 3 p.m.; $10 cover charge. Call 954-727-0950. -- Kiran Aditham
It seems every new band and their moms are being compared to the Velvet Underground these days. Have we forgotten the original "next coming of the Velvet Underground" band? The Dandy Warhols hit the scene with their debut album, Dandy's Rule OK?, in 1995. Songs such as "Lou Reed" and "Ride" painted a perfectly clear picture, even if the druggy noise pop failed to do so. The band's latest album, Welcome to the Monkey House, continues the Velvets' imagery -- I mean, a banana on the cover? Could we get more obvious? The music hasn't changed much either, but to fans of the band, that's just Dandy. Check out the latest from the Dandy Warhols at a listening party at Respectable Street (518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). Call 561-832-9999. -- Dan Sweeney
This Land Is Woody's Land
Woody Guthrie is one of those rare figures whom one can point to and say, "That man changed the history of music." As the most important man in folk music from the 1930s to the '50s, later greats of the 1960s folk movement simply would not have had a career without Guthrie. Local folksters such as Steve Greenberg, Grant Livingston, and Amy Carol Webb come together to pay tribute to Guthrie and raise funds for the Broward Cooperative Feeding Program at the Unitarian Universalist Church (3970 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. The performers do a couple of Guthrie songs (should be easy, with more than 2,000 to choose from) and one of their own. Tickets cost $15. Call 954-484-6734. -- Dan Sweeney
Hail to the Queen
Queen Sheba is a busy woman. In addition to silencing and inspiring audiences with her powerful spoken word, she was keynote speaker for the "National Take Back the Night Campaign" in 2001, a campaign that addresses topics of rape and sexual abuse. She has also won various poetry slams across the country and taken home a win at the influential Nuyorican Poet's Café. She has opened for artists such as Amel Laureux, Blu Cantrell, and the Roots. And now, she's bringing her master lyricism and urban poetry to the Empire (6029 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar) to share with other open-minded folk. Starts at 8 p.m. and costs $5. Call 305-519-1369. -- Audra Schroeder