Well, we all know what happened the last time they tried to hold the Latin Grammys in Miami. While the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences would like to be as inclusive of the entire Latin world as possible, a certain element of Miami (read: Cuban exile groups) wants the Latin Grammys to include performers from more or less every Spanish-speaking country except Cuba. They managed to get the event moved across the country two years ago, and they've promised more shenanigans if any Cuban artists who are nominated this year either perform or give out awards. To point out the problems with this, let's take a look at the situation in the style of our beloved secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld.
Is Castro a murdering dictator? Absolutely. Are there other Latin dictatorships out there? You bet. Any problems with performers from those nations? None at all. Is that hypocrisy? Sure thing.
Hopefully, politics will take a back seat to music when the Latin Grammys come to Miami this September 3, though it's already begun -- the Miami City Commission voted to withhold money from the Latin Grammys as long as the organization invites Cuban artists, despite the reservations of some commissioners that boycotting Cuban artists has no direct effect on Castro. Here we go again. In the meantime, kick off this year's Grammys at Riverwalk (along the New River between Fifth Street and Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Musicians set to perform throughout the day include Luis Junior Ramos, Salsa Knight Dance Studios, Jennifer C, Amereida, and the Ponce Latin Jazz Quartet. Admission is free. Call 954-527-5346. -- Dan Sweeney
DC-3 Off to LA
Fans of rapid-fire hook-drenched rock lose one of the local scene's finest performers (for a while, anyway) as the Derek Cintron Trio heads off to Los Angeles following Saturday's performance at the delightfully sleazy watering hole Churchill's Hideaway (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). OK, maybe the place isn't "delightful." Churchill's is just plain sleazy, but that's the sort of atmosphere that lends a place some rock cred. If Churchill's had pastel walls instead of sticky beer-drenched floors, then we'd be worried. The Stop Motion, the Brand, and Vidavox share the bill at 11 p.m. And if you can't make it, don't worry -- Cintron will be standing bare-chested behind a drum kit in South Florida once again in the near future. Admission is free. Call 305-757-1807. -- Dan Sweeney
Local comedy groups find out who's best, once and for all
You've seen the names in our comedy listings, some of them for several years. Heck, maybe you've even seen a couple of them at your preferred local comedy club, asking audience members to give them a topic so they can perform a hilarious improvised scene. Well, an improvised scene, certainly. Hilarious may or may not be the right word. It all depends on the troupe. But six local improv acts -- Name Change Pending, Separate Checks, Laughing Gas, IMPROMEDY, Just the Funny, and Mod 27 -- come together at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton) from 7 to 9:30 p.m. to determine which takes the proverbial improv cake. Each group hits the stage for 20 minutes to show off its own style of improvisation. The event benefits Gilda's Club South Florida, a not-for-profit cancer support group. Tickets cost $10. Call 954-763-6776. -- Dan Sweeney
Comin' straight outta Coral Springz, yo
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Pauly Jett likes to talk about himself. A lot. But isn't that what being a solo musician is fundamentally about? The Coral Springs resident is a one-man pop band with obsessive tendencies and an acoustic guitar. And he isn't about to let the often-stagnant water of South Florida music tip over his little musical canoe. "I love the music scene down here," Jett reflects. "Suburbia is very conducive to creativity. People think the only place they can be creative is New York or Los Angeles, but the people there are so competitive. In Florida, everyone works together." Jett, whose last name is indeed a tribute to Joan, has produced and recorded a solo album that he describes as "an experience and an experiment." Check him out for yourself at Soho Lounge (175 NE 36th St., Miami). Show starts at 11 p.m., and Foy Thou opens. Call 305-576-1988, or visit www.paulyjett.net. -- Audra Schroeder
Novocaine Won't Help
So, like, the Numb Ones wear fishnet tops and eyeliner, right? They're ex-members of the band dotFash who then changed their name to Voodoo Death Gods who then changed it again after they thought it was "not representative of their sound." And they describe their sound as "dark rock" and "reminiscent of the era when Fugazi and the Pixies ruled the underground." Well, we'll just see about that, boys. Check them out at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) for the release of their new CD, All Time High. Nothing Rhymes with Orange opens. The all-ages show starts at 8 p.m. Call 954-564-1074. -- Audra Schroeder