By Ashley Zimmerman
By Dana Krangel
By John Hood
By Ashley Zimmerman
By David Von Bader
By Sayre Berman
By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
It has taken Gainesville, Florida, punk quartet Hot Water Music ten years to get past anonymity, a breakup, and some sonic transitions. Along the way, it grew from hardcore roots toward more likable pop punk while still hovering just under the radar. The band's 1996 debut, Fuel for the Hate Game, and 1997's Forever and Counting solidified its cult status among the coffee house literati. (Indeed the band's name is the title of a 1983 collection of short stories by Charles Bukowski). Its 2002 offering, Caution, serves earfuls of melody without painting itself into the emo corner, and catchy hooks without catering too heavily to the pop-punk crowd. Gone is the throaty grit of the Chuck Ragan/Chris Wollard vocal combo. But as the band continues to prove, screams don't capture attention -- solid songwriting does. -- Omar Perez
Hot Water Music, Get Up Kids, Thrice, and Dashboard Confessional play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, at Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $26. Call 954-946-2402.
Hisham Sawami is a talented, up-and-coming DJ bound to go far, says Marco Davalos, co-creator and host of the online radio mix show and weekly DJ night known as P:M Sessions. Who the heck is Sawami? Well, the Swiss/Libyan New Yorker comes from the new school of electronic heads who seamlessly mix subgenres -- house, techno, trance, and breaks -- into a hard-hitting, infectious wave of sounds and beats. Some call it tech-house, but it more resembles a banging, pounding fusillade redeemed by occasional melodies and solid grooves. In other words, it's damn good to dance to, and Sawami is damn good at spinning it. -- Mosi Reeves
Hisham Sawami spins at 11 p.m. Friday, June 11, at Privilege, 637 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-695-9909.
For most local bands, a tour involves a smelly, broken-down van, numerous cases of fast food-induced digestive problems, and a hellacious seven-hour drive out of Florida. For the band Sevens (formerly known as Vinyl and soon to be named something else thanks to copyright woes), an upcoming tour involves passports, baggage checks, and a couple of English-to-insert-foreign-language-here dictionaries. They're not only about to embark on a European tour but will release a new album while they're there. For the send-off, Sevens rocks Lake Worth with a bit of Brit popistry for one night and one night ooonlyyy. Local schmocal -- this could the last time you see the boys before they become international superstars and grace the glossy pages of Tiger Beat's Cute Guy Centerfold Spectacular. Flirt with them now. -- Maggie-Margret
Check out Sevens at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at Brogues on Avenue Irish Pub, 621 Lake Ave., Lake Worth. Call 561-585-1885.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The pedal steel guitar is usually associated with mournful country-western ballads or the lilting tones of traditional Hawaiian music. But the instrument is also integral to the musical tradition of the House of God Church, an African-American Pentecostal sect that takes Psalms 150:4 -- "praise Him with stringed instruments" -- literally, incorporating pedal steel guitar into its services since the 1930s.
Sacred steel, as this offshoot of gospel music is called, has recently rolled from the churches into concert halls, and the man responsible is Robert Randolph, a 20-something former troublemaker whose life was saved by his dedication to perfecting the pedal steel. He got his start in the church but later incorporated elements of rock guitar legends -- most notably Stevie Ray Vaughan -- into his playing, creating an uplifting and explosive blend of the secular and the sacrosanct. -- Scott Medvin
Robert Randolph and the Family Band open for Eric Clapton at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, at Office Depot Center, 1 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise. Tickets cost $46.50 to $86.50. Call 954-835-8000.
When artists as varied as Kylie Minogue, Solex, and Kool Keith have laid down vocal tracks on your records, where can you really go from there? Australian three-piece Gerling achieved that rock 'n' roll cream dream on its 2002 album, Headzcleaner, completing the celebrity-studded event with a mixture of old equipment and dance-heavy beats. They're not afraid to admit that the oft-overused "disco punk" label suits them fine, although the cover of their latest album, badblood!!!, features a bloody disco ball. Identity crisis? Snarky hipster irony? A tribute to PiL's 1979 single "Death Disco"? You decide. -- Audra Schroeder
Gerling performs with Lennon, Silverstein, and the Suicide Girls Burlesque Act at 7 p.m. Friday, June 11, at the Factory, 2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-566-6331.