Art Basel Miami Beach's Masterful Slate of Music Performances
Go ahead, lie. You might manage to persuade a clueless acquaintance or airheaded first date that you're some kind of enlightened and worldly art lover with an underground bunker stuffed full of priceless avant-garde treasures. But we're too wise for that line. Face it: You're broke. So this week, when Art Basel Miami Beach and all those other satellite fairs invade our scuzzy neon streets, don't try to con us and pretend you're shopping for an investment piece. Just admit that you're only loitering long enough to sniff out one of those supersecret spots seething with rich dudes, hot models, pseudocelebrities, awesome music, and cheap booze.
No worries, though. New Times is just like you, so here's a rundown of Basel's best bands, booze, and other nonart events. On Thursday, head to Grand Central for a hipster-riffic Twin Shadow and Phantogram doubleheader. Then Friday, lose your mind with either indie noise duo No Age in Wynwood or the Broken Hearts Club Berlin out at the Oceanfront pavilion. And finally, roll deep on Saturday with David Guetta or the mysterious Brothers Macklovitch.
George Lewis Jr. (AKA Twin Shadow) is Dominican-born, Florida-raised, and New York City-bred. What's in a name? Lewis was close to his sisters growing up, particularly to his twin. He has a thing for the nostalgic — some of his lyrics for his debut album, Forget, were crafted on an old typewriter, and his Facebook bio describes a sweaty, lonely day on a Brooklyn street instead of actual bio information. He calls his music "B-movie pop," and the unique blend of sounds were enough for Rolling Stone to highlight him as its Band of the Week this past October. Add beat-influenced indie-pop duo Phantogram's Sarah Barthel and Joshua Carter (and a drummer), who stopped by the Electric Pickle on tour in October. Between Barthel's sultry voice and keyboard mastery and Carter's musicianship on guitar, the gig at the Grand ought to fit into any tight-knit Basel schedule. Liana Lozada
It's time to work it out, bitches. Slip on your sleeveless hoodies and bike shorts, suck down some Red Bull, and stretch like a cheerleader 'cause Get Physical label guy and M.A.N.D.Y. member Philipp Jung is back for Basel 2010. You can definitely expect Hamburg, Germany's DJ Koze (AKA Adolf Noise, Kosi Annan, Monaco Schranze) to join Jung for the sweat sesh. But right now, those two are the only aerobics instructors set to show their glutes this Thursday. However, if we weren't already too broke, we might bet on a late addition. Who knows? There's precedent. For those lazy asses who've missed M.A.N.D.Y.'s annual fitness fests during Winter Music Conference (and other random Miami stops), think back to last March for some idea of Get Physical's official program. You got DJ Hell going hard, M.A.N.D.Y. and Damian Lazarus doing deep squats, and a million people aerobicizing amid lights, lasers, and sweat-slicked floors. S. Pajot
If we could live in any other area in the world besides South Florida, it'd probably be Berlin. But while we wait on that work visa, we'll have to settle for a popular German dance party. A few years ago, Broken Hearts Club Berlin started as a monthly event where "DJs, musicians, artists, and music lovers" gathered for a "raucous fairy-tale mix of rock, sleazy disco, post punk, burlesque, whorehouse, torch song, neo-wave, raging house, and eighties pop." In other words, the best fucking party ever.
Ironic mustaches, pencil-thin ties, and horn-rimmed glasses are plentiful at a Broken Hearts party, so it's only natural that its founders — Ingrid Junker, Niki Pauls, and Conny Opper — take the hipster freak show on the road each year to culturally relevant, highbrow events around the globe like NYC Fashion Week and Art Basel Miami. Victor Gonzalez
The most confusing way you can describe No Age is that it's a punk band that people listen to for the production. This means its fans aren't necessarily punks, though the two-person band whose singer is the drummer would be anomalous even so. The way that No Age isn't punk is the same way that Nirvana wasn't punk, the same way the Replacements weren't punk. It's good company. And not only did it attract Sub Pop's interest in 2008's breakthrough, Nouns, but Dean Spunt and Randy Randall, neither quite in his 30s yet, are even more vital in distortion-starved 2010. With Everything in Between, No Age's adrenaline stage has lasted at least one album longer than the Ponys' or the Liars'. And in an age when bands have finally cashed in on unlimited artistic freedom, bless these guys for not outgrowing themselves too quickly. Fabricating the friction from the bygone era of art versus commerce may prove their greatest trick yet. Dan Weiss
If you weren't aware, producer/DJ A-Trak and Chromeo frontman Dave 1 are brothers — actual blood-related brothers. Both were born in Montreal, but A-Trak went on to become Kanye West's touring DJ and later a well-known producer. Dave 1, on the other hand, took a stab at reinventing '80s new wave with plenty of funk and electro in the mix. So what damage could they cause together as the Brothers Macklovitch during their party at Grand Central? With their packed résumés, the output is probably going to be amazing. Jose D. Duran
You can hate him all you want, but David Guetta is a superstar, and the F*** Me I'm Famous event hammers home the point. He stays away from the highbrow EDM and instead delivers house music that's easily digestible. "Sexy Bitch" and "Memories" can rock any party. On top of that, he won a Grammy and found massive success as producer for the Black Eyed Peas' "I Got a Feeling." Those things alone don't necessarily measure success, but he's spoon-feeding electronic music to the masses. And if he's able to get American audiences more into the genre, doesn't everyone win in the end? Jose D. Duran
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