It's hard to imagine that ten years ago, downtown West Palm Beach wasn't full of torn-up sidewalks and half-built condos. Even stranger is that alternative culture existed east of the train tracks -- that live music, poetry, and philosophical discussions were as common to Olive Avenue as Bob's Barricades are today. But that was the scene, and it all went down at a small venue called the Wormhole. Although the original location is just another part of the city's trendy club scene, former proprietor Steve Rullman revived the old spirit in 2003 with a weekly event at the Lounge (517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). This week marks Wormhole Wednesdays' Two-Year Anniversary.
"Wormhole is really just a small piece of the overall puzzle [and we're] just beginning to see what the puzzle may actually end up looking like," Rullman says. So far, the puzzle pieces have come in the form of national bands like Troubled Hubble, the Show is the Rainbow, Sybris, Grand Buffet, and other indie-rock stalwarts.
Rullman notes that having Respectable Street located next door helps cross-promote certain shows. "When John Ralston played here after the Over the Rhine show [at Respectable Street], you couldn't even move," Rullman recalls. "There were people piled up on chairs trying to see him play. The same thing happened when Secret French Kissing Society [pictured] played after the Album Leaf show."
Of course, the most notable Wormhole venture thus far was the Anti-Sessions, a series of monthly shows that counted down to the 2004 elections. More than your average rock shows, the Sessions brought in artists, poets, and anyone else who had it out for Bush. Rullman says he would like to do a similar event in the future, though there's nothing currently on the radar. For now, he's got enough on his plate -- namely, Respectable Street's July 30 anniversary, which will close down the entire 500 block of Clematis Street. It's sure to be a whopper.
Wormhole Wednesdays' Two-Year Anniversary features Summer Blanket, Secret French Kissing Society, and Objects in Transit. The free event kicks off at 9 p.m. Call 561-655-9747, or visit www.thewormhole.org.
A Rock 'N' Roll Antidepressant
Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer offers pure, unadulterated fun at a time when shows are either about moping or punching other people in the face. The band compares to early No Doubt, but there's no annoying ska influence -- and it's loads more fun. Zolof describes its music as "beating yourself in the head with a candy bar," but it's more like snorting a line of powdered sugar; you'll be bouncing all night. Singer Rachel Minton has a charming and perky voice to match the catchy sound. But this is one girl who's not made of sugar, spice, and all that happy-faced crap. For instance, Zolof's June 30 show in New York City ended with Minton's getting body-slammed by the bassist and her pants around her ankles. Guitarist Vince Ratti says, "When we play, we're up there to have a good time, because it's fun to be in a band. We dance and make fools of ourselves." Zolof opens for Reel Big Fish on Thursday at Revolution (200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $20. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. (see article in the Music section). Call 954-727-0950, or visit www.zoloftherockandrolldestroyer.com. -- Jake Smith
Bringin' the Noise
A heaping helping of hip-hop
Local scenemaster Jared Cole is at it again. He set up Schmoorgis Board Sundays at Ray's Downtown in West Palm Beach. Then earlier this year, he expanded to Schmoorgis Board Saturdayz, bringing even more music to the spin-craven South Florida. Apparently Cole had Fridays free to put on more shows. This Friday, he assembles 12 local bands for your beat-deprived little minds at the Hideout (7200 N. Dixie Hwy., Boca Raton). Cole describes a few of the performers for us: Souleye ("He's a good old boy from Boca; he's positive."); Dead to the World ("A back-to-back rap foursome; they talk about Armageddon a lot."); Xavier Hawk ("He's like Sublime meets Tribe Called Quest but with a didgeridoo."); Bad Breed ("They're your 'sound tough' hip-hop"); and M.O.B. ("They definitely got crunk juice."). At 8 p.m., Cole, a.k.a. DJ Joker, warms up the turntables and fills those awkward silences between bands. Tickets cost $8 for under 21, and $5 if you're of age. Call 561-994-9494, or visit www.toke1.com. -- Jake Smith
Good looks and nasty jokes -- what's not to love about Lisa Ann Walter? Yes, the gorgeous babe you first caught sight of a couple of years ago in Bruce Almighty is on the road with her standup comedy routine. Though she's a multitalented writer/producer/actor/singer, Walter can split your sides open with adult-oriented schtick. Starring in Steven Spielberg's gory sci-fi blockbuster War of the Worlds as well as a new comedy film (soon to be released) called Dee Dee Rutherford, the busy 41-year-old from Maryland must be dying to hit the live stage. Just imagine the boatload of jokes she's probably compiled after working with Tom Cruise -- especially if she ever tried popping a Tylenol in front of him. Walter performs Friday and Saturday at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). Tickets cost $12. Call 561-470-6887, or visit www.nyccboca.com. -- John Shannon