Nobody's ever projected a bruised heart and put the melody in melancholy quite like Robert Smith and the Cure. Fondly considered the masters of mope for almost 25 years, Smith and his revolving-door lineup have made it safe for boys to wear makeup and for the angst-ridden population to cuddle one another in the corner. Though the output has fluctuated from masterpiece (Disintegration) to mediocre (Bloodflowers), the Cure's history has nonetheless reached mythic proportions with its devotees, spawning hundreds of clones and tribute bands, for better or worse.
Ed Artigas, owner of Miami's Spy-Fi Records, is well-aware of the Cure's magnetism, so as he's done before with the Smiths and Joy Division, he's gathered a handful of South Florida's best for a night dedicated solely to the Cure's catalog. It's been christened "Friday, I'm in Love," and bands such as Whirlaway, Fashionista, and Secret Service have prepared their own renditions of the classics and rarities. "Each band chose two songs at random and reported them in to avoid doubles," explains Michael Alen, bassist and singer of the melodic Miami noiseniks Secret Service. "Since the Cure has so much good material, it wasn't very hard to find alternates."
Naturally, tribute shows can make one a bit weary, with some bands capable only of slaughtering their heroes' songs. But Artigas' events have been the rare exception, being solidly organized affairs showcasing bands that not only pay tribute but actually do a damn good job of it. "They are always a great time, and he does an excellent job running them," sums up Steve Copeletti, drummer for Whirlaway. One thing we're not clued in on, though, is the actual set list, an even more intriguing reason to attend. Shuttle Lounge, the Brand, Lexus of Pembroke Pines, Bodega, Summer Blanket, Bling Bling, Zira, Poulain, Waxburn, Glossy, the Easies, Sparkle Motion, McFadden, and the Estate also perform. Show costs $5 and takes place at I/O Lounge, 30 NE 14th St., Miami. Eyeliner and a pained look of ennui are optional. Starts at 9 p.m.; age 18 and older are welcome. Call 305-358-8007. -- Kiran Aditham
Off the Wall Tour
Vans kicks out the jams
So here's a funny one: A veteran ska-punk band, a goth thrash-metal band, a street-punk band, and an Irish man walk out of a bar. Zing! But seriously, folks, it's the "Vans Off the Wall Tour" with the Suicide Machines, Avenged Sevenfold, and the Unseen, respectively, sans Irish man, and it's coming to the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Conceived and put together by Vans' Kurt Soto and cosponsored by Alternative Press, the tour aims to be a more intimate and personal version of the annual summer Warped Tour. That's why it's being held in small clubs instead of outdoor arenas, hence the addition of "off the wall" -- get it? That's right, kids, now you don't have to wait in the sun for five hours to see your favorite (insert appropriate label here)-punk band play while 14-year-old girls in Good Charlotte baby T's sweat copious amounts of glitter down their faces. California skate-punkers Western Waste and hardcore punkers Fourth Street Caravan also join the bill. Show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $15. Call 954-564-1074. -- Audra Schroeder
Hooray for Hollywood
Broward's biggest little city jazzes things up
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The Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St., Hollywood) hosts what has become a 20-year tradition in the City of Hollywood -- the Hollywood Jazz Festival, now in its 21st year. This Friday and Saturday, festivalgoers can catch some great jazz. Well, some pretty good jazz, at the very least. Larry Coryell headlines the first day of the festival at 9:30 p.m. Now, no one is going to deny that Coryell is one of the great names in the world of jazz fusion, but it's beginning to feel like the man has a weekly gig as the house act at some local jazz club or another, so often does one see him in this area. Other artists on the first day include the BCC Jazz Ensemble and the Danilo Pérez Trio. The following day, catch the René Marie Trio and the Stanley Clarke Band. Tickets cost $37.50, or $70 for both days. For $90, you also get entrance to a post-performance meet and greet. Call 877-877-7677, or visit www.southfloridajazz.org. -- Dan Sweeney
Hip-hop and emo. Two great tastes that taste great together. The Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo of Slug and Ant, otherwise known as Atmosphere, makes what could be called "nerd rap," pouring every last journal-worthy line into a mix of abrasive scratching and funkadelic beats. On their latest album, Seven's Travels, MC Slug raps about getting drunk and getting laid. Now, they're not covering any new hip-hop territory here, but the refreshing thing about his lyrics is that he's openly lovelorn; he's sensitive, fragile, and looking for love in all the wrong places. Aww. How many MCs can you say that about these days, what with the overwhelming bitch-better-have-my-money mentality? Well, Atmosphere is on Epitaph, so that could have something to do with it. Check them out, along with Mr. Dibbs, Brother Ali, Deejay Bird, Micranots, and Odd Jobs, on the "Seven's Travels Tour" when it swings into Venu, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Show starts at 6 p.m. and costs $16. Due to the club's recent flakiness, call ahead: 954-727-0950. -- Audra Schroeder