Best of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of 2005

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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Local Band of All Time

What, you thought Marilyn Manson was going to win this one just because the band once called Broward County home? Yeah, you could argue that, in terms of current significance, Manson is more relevant than a group of retired rappers. But the key terms here are local and all time, and 2 Live Crew wins on both counts. Lead by gold-grilled front-man Luther Campbell (a.k.a., Luke Skyywalker), the Crew fought the law and kicked its stuffy, tight ass -- right here in Broward County. The group took on not only Broward Sheriff Nick Navarro but also stuck it to Florida Attorney General Jack Thompson and Judge Jose Gonzalez, who banned the Crew's album As Nasty as They Wanna Be. When the decision was overruled two years later by an appeals court (and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court), Gonzalez's efforts proved to have backfired, as 2 Live Crew ultimately sold more than 2 million copies of the album. So Manson can keep his self-promoting TV appearances and Michael Moore film cameos (and all that horrible music as well). 2 Live Crew did it first, they did it best, and they did it here.

Personal Best

If a list of recent shows at your art museum includes retrospectives of Miró and Nevelson, to say nothing of a startling arrangement of thrift-shop clothing by an artful duo called Guerra de la Paz, you've had a good year. Samantha Salzinger, curator of exhibitions for the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, is bringing the once-unremarkable museum into the artistic mainstream.

Salzinger's favorite art is, yes, kind of carny. A 2003 show, Pamela Joseph's "The Sideshow of the Absurd" (last year's Best Solo Art Exhibition), drew heavily on carnival culture and freak shows. "Joseph had an interesting take on what she called freaks," Salzinger says. "They're like someone in a fairy tale who's gone through a test in life. The rest of us all walk around fearing something terrible will happen to us. They live with it."

Photographer Diane Arbus had a similar vision. "Her pictures of a midget," Salzinger says, "are more about him being a man than a midget."

Best Art Museum
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Eduardo Chacon

Yes, we've said it before -- this time last year, in fact -- but we'll say it again: The Boca Museum continues to dazzle. Some of the newness may have worn off the big, beautiful Mizner Park headquarters it moved into nearly four and a half years ago, but the programming has lost none of its luster. After the grand inaugural Picasso show, the museum has steered away from blockbuster exhibitions and emphasized variety. The payoff has been substantial: photography ranging from Roman Vishniac's documentation of Jewish life in Eastern Europe in the 1930s to Steve McCurry's images of contemporary Asia; Haitian paintings and voodoo flags from a local collector's stash; paintings by American expressionist Charles Burchfield as well as by Uruguayan visionary Ignacio Iturria; jewel-encrusted art objects from Italy's Buccellati family of goldsmiths; and the just-ended retrospective of the career of legendary American realist Andrew Wyeth. Any gaps in the schedule are readily filled by the annual "All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition" and an ongoing series that highlights selections from local private collections. Throw in a respected art school, special events such as a film series, and one of the best permanent collections in South Florida and you have a full-service art museum that's hard to beat.

501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 33432
MAP
561-392-2500
Best Local Artist

By the time he turned 40 last year, Enrique Martínez Celaya had a decade of exhibitions under his belt. His work -- which runs the gamut from paintings and drawings to photographs to sculptures and mixed-media installations -- is in demand among private collectors in America and Europe, and it has found its way into the collections of major museums such as the Met and the Whitney in New York and L.A.'s County Museum. So where does the Cuban-born Martínez Celaya set up shop? Why, Delray Beach, of course. That's right. Last year, the world-class artist -- someone for whom the world is his oyster -- chose Delray over not just Miami but also Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Berlin... And guess what: He's still a hot ticket. It's good to be Enrique Martínez Celaya.

Best Venue for Live Music
Revolution

When Revolution opened its doors last September, hopes were high that the new club would break the apparent curse that doomed the building's former occupants -- the Edge, Chili Pepper, and Star Bar/Venu (the latter having shut its doors faster than you can say, "What a dumb name for a rock club!"). But Revolution gets many of its acts from Clear Channel, and if there's one thing the communications giant is good for, it's bringing in the bacon. And that it has with a bevy of big names that run the musical gamut, from hip-hop (Snoop Dogg, Mos Def) to punk (Social Distortion, New Found Glory) to funk (George Clinton) and metal (Atreyu). A year ago, many of these acts wouldn't venture south of Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. And if they did, they'd go straight to Miami. Sure, Revolution got off to a shaky start, canceling its Wednesday-night local shows and Friday-night Pulp event. But with plenty of star power on its roster every month (Papa Roach!), Revolution might just beat the curse of 200 W. Broward Blvd. Let's hope that if a new venue wins this category next year, it has a different address.

100 SW 3rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 33312-1773
MAP
954-449-1025
Best Local Rock Band

Yes, the band that New Times chose as Best Band to Leave Broward/Palm Beach in 2000 is one of the few bands that hasn't made New York City its new home. Though guitarist/vocalist Derek Hyde and drummer Eddie Brandt took a stab at relocating to the Big Apple, Hyde moved back home in 2001. And we can thank the rock gods for that, because this is one of the few local bands that truly knows how to rock. There ain't no shoe-gazing here, just pure entertainment. The Creepy T's balance song and shtick, whether it's Hyde's manic meltdowns or the band's catchy, B-movie-inspired tunes with amusing titles you're not likely to find on the next Franz Ferdinand album. Try "Tiger with the She-Bitch On" or "Fire Gods of the South Pacific" -- quite a bit more interesting than songs about heartbreak and cheating girlfriends. Then again, Hyde's not big on following the whole indie hipster trend; he's more likely to wear a hula skirt than denim and Converse. And while the vintage farfisa sounds of keyboardist Thomas Dementrius place the Creepy T's in garage territory, the band operates outside that genre's hipster image as well. But if you doubt the T's rock cred, check out their new gig as backing band for King Coleman, the legendary "Mashed Potato Man" himself. Indeed, the Creepy T's carry the torch of rock 'n' roll like a South Pacific fire god -- hula skirt and all.

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Best Local Band of All Time: 2 Live Crew

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