If you're one of those people who thinks rock music can be only about sex and drugs, then you need to check out Anti-Sessions. Sponsored by TheHoneycomb.com, the monthly event puts into practice the music with a message aesthetic, aiming to generate discussion and educate people about the importance of getting a certain administration out of the White House. The event began in April and is held at the end of each month until October -- just before the November 2 presidential election. The idea is to get people interested in the political process -- quite a challenge, given the lethargy that plagues the local scene like a crippling bout of catatonia.
"There's a lot of apathy in the 18-to-30 segment of the population," promoter Steve Rullman comments. "If we can overcome some of that apathy, that would be a good thing." Keith Michaud, who handles booking for Anti-Sessions shows (including his own bands, Summer Blanket and Publicity Cunt), echoes Rullman's sentiments about the need for participation from more than just musicians. "We need more artists to donate their time and art to the proceeds," Michaud says. "Between bands, we could have poets reading, if any were showing up. Get your asses out here if you want to have your voice heard."
So far, local artists include Kenny 5 of Purple Haze, who made a looping DVD of President Bush morphing into a red devil. The video is projected on the wall beside the bands. Rullman hopes to eventually add more images to the display. He's also trying to get nonvoters registered and ready to carry out their constitutional duty.
While Anti-Sessions shows are free, Rullman pulls in money from the host venues, as well as from T-shirt sales and donations. After all is said and done, the remaining money will go to release a compilation CD of the bands that play the final Anti-Sessions show at Respectable Street in late October. The next Anti-Sessions takes place at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at the Lounge (517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach) and features Humbert, Nothing Rhymes with Orange, and Publicity Cunt. Call 561-655-9747. --Jason Budjinski
Live Lange and prosper
When Chris Farley died at age 33, the obvious comparisons were made to his Saturday Night Live predecessor John Belushi, who had a similar drug problem and died at the same age. However, some people have taken such parallels and applied them to someone who's not even dead yet -- comedian Artie Lange. Being a tad on the heavy side, prone to pratfalls, and having played David Spade's sidekick in Lost and Found, Lange has been pegged by some superstitious fans as next in line to meet the Grim Reaper. Sure enough, 2003 saw the launch of ArtieLangeDeathWatch.com, which claims to monitor "changes in Artie's health, eating habits and general sloth."
Unfortunately, such websites and the E! cable network are about our only way to keep up with Lange's latest escapades; his current gig as fun-loving wiseacre on the Howard Stern Show is off-limits to us South Floridians. Though, if you want to see Lange in all his goofy glory, tune in to Comedy Central for reruns of Mad TV. Of course, if Lange chokes on one of his beloved Devil Dogs, some paranoid fans will probably create a deathwatch website for Mad TV's current chunkster, Paul Vogt. It figures, right? Lange performs Friday and Saturday at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Tickets cost $25 to $30. Call 561-470-6887. -- Jason Budjinski
Celebrate Venezuelan and U.S. independence
Each month, the Latin jazz brunch called Fiesta! Fort Lauderdale explores a different theme. This time it's the coincidental independence days of Venezuela (July 5) and the United States (July 4). At the fiesta, you can eat, drink, wander through booths, listen to music (Luis Ramos or Tony Marrero and the Salsa Express Orchestra), and move your hips with dance lessons from the Salsa Knights.
Here's a joke you can tell at the fair: How are Florida and Venezuela alike? They're both places where international observers should be dispatched to monitor and keep elections honest. OK, maybe not that funny. At Fiesta!, if you're Venezuelan, you can talk about the upcoming August referendum that could result in a recall election of President Hugo "I never met a Supreme Court I didn't want to stack" Chavez. And if you're an American, you know what to do: Register to vote at one of the booths. Fiesta! Fort Lauderdale (Las Olas Riverfront on the Riverwalk, Fort Lauderdale), takes place Sunday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.fiestafortlauderdale.com, or call 954-527-0627. --Dave Amber
Fire It Up
One of the more curious cultural phenomena of the modern world, in which nobody smokes and everybody has an account with AT&T Wireless, is that at concerts, people now wave their cell phones instead of their lighters when a ballad comes on. The promoters at Rumba's (5195 S. University Dr., Davie) suggest you bring whatever accessories you have -- "lighters, cell phones, rags, and flags" -- that might go with the theme of Saturday night's party: "Blaze." It' s doubtful, however, that any ballads will be played; the Latin grill is better-known for booty-shakin' sounds. "Musical fire" by MeggaFlex, Earthquake, Prodigy Movements, and New Fashion is promised, but you might want to make sure that miniskirt is nonflammable. Ladies get in free before 12:15 a.m. Call 954-434-2202. -- Deirdra Funcheon