People Who Made the Music Scene Great in 2014: Part 2
This past year, there were plenty of people that have done a ton of work to make really cool shit happen in South Florida. We tried to honor at least a fraction of them here out of respect and appreciation. If you haven't seen the first part of the blog, check it out for sure.
Here is the second and final part of our 2014 list of people who made the music scene great. Feel free to add your picks in the comments.
Ates Isildak of Decades Records
By Dana Krangel
Isildak is one of those dudes that has a hat in all the rings of local music aspects. As the lead singer of Band in Heaven, he provides showmanship that's made the group one of the most lauded in the local scene. But he's taken his support of local acts to new heights again and again. Isildak produced music videos for the likes of Octo Gato and Symbols this year alone. He's also at the helm of Decades Records (along with Rodney Mayo), a West Palm Beach record label.
With Decades, Isildak works to support some of the most talented musicians in the area and helps them grow while creating a more unified scene. He also manages to find time to run sound and book bands. Chances are that if you head to Respects on Thursday, you can thank him in person for all he's done here.
Dana Drolet Photography
By Dana Krangel
There would be no list like this to write without the fans. Some fans just passively attend shows when it's convenient, others see show-going as a lifestyle, and then there is Dana Drolet.
The local reggae superfan has done more to support the niche Rasta scene than basically anyone else, and all just because she cares about the music. The official Spred rhe Dub photographer, Drolet makes the band look good and helps promote its weekly rage-fest, better known as Monday Night Reggae.
But she's not just limited to Spred the Dub. Drolet's hobby is supporting local music and spreading the word about her favorite acts. Sure the pictures and the promotions are killer, but it's her unwavering enthusiasm for local music that earned Drolet a spot right here.
By Abel Folgar
The world of rock and roll poster art is one of swirly, oscillating lettering, bright colors, mythical creatures, third eyes, and the meltdown you'd want in any type of lysergic dreaming.
For years, the art form lay dormant, giving way to different forms of promotion. Thankfully, poster art didn't fully go away and a more resurgence in interest and creation has kept it active.
Locally, Nathaniel Deas has been at it since his first commission for a promoter to make some flyers when he was an undergrad at the University of Florida. From there, he graduated to his first concert poster, an '08 Built for Spill show in Gainesville. His most recent creation is a Blue Cheer-inspired and already collectible "Oatmeal" variant glow-in-the-dark poster for the Black Keys' recent gig at BB&T Center.
Deas' young talent will only continue down that neon path of silk-screened fungal landscapes that are an integral part of rock and roll memorabilia.
Destiny and Matt Beck of Brotherly Love Productions
By Derek Heid
For the last seven years, Brotherly Love Productions has helped create a strong and vibrant jam scene in South Florida. Newly married couple, Destiny and Matt Beck, founded and still run this important musical endeavor. Destiny is the PR director, skillfully promoting shows, and Matt handles the band and event management aspects of the company.
The full-service production outfit manages, promotes, and books acts, working to publicize an impressive array of live shows for clients like the Heavy Pets, the Resolvers, and Kung Fu, and festivals like Aura and Bear Creek. These two hard-workers also make a huge effort to bring out-of-town acts to fans in the area -- big jammin' names like Tauk, the Nth Power, and Pink Talking Fish.
BLP also handles the media and marketing for a webseries called Live from AURA Studios, the brainchild of Aura Music Festival founders Daryl Wolff and Cameron Ferguson. It gives national acts the means and location to reach the world live via the internet from Boca Raton. They both have an amazing attitude that makes working with them a pleasure, and are working on some big plans for 2015, starting with a host of Phish after-parties around the band's four-day New Year's Eve run in Miami.
Matt Krug and Jon Jordan of Propaganda
By Nicole Danna
Good vibrations. It's what Matt Krug is all about. The South Florida native is many things: a musician, promoter, and -- most recently -- bar owner. These days, most know him as co-owner of Lake Worth's active live music venue Propaganda, alongside longtime friend and fellow musician, Jon Jordan.
But the story of how they came to be the men behind Prop begins more than a decade ago. In 2006, Krug and Jordan came together to create Sick Boy Productions. Their goal was to help grow the local music scene by finding stages for area acts.
Together, they did just that, working to book bands at multiple spots across Palm Beach County. Over the course of four years, the duo helped keep the local scene alive. Their biggest accomplishment however, was taking the reigns at Propaganda, catapulting it from a struggling dive punk metal bar to a successful venue booking musicians across all genres.
Today, their goal remains the same: to support live music. Thanks to successful events, including the three-day Summer Daze concert series and the third annual J Street New Year's Eve block party, Propaganda has made Lake Worth a top destination for live music. For Krug, it proves once again that when you work hard for what you love, the whole world is bound to love it right back.
Courtesy of Ron Royce
Ron Royce of Pinned Miami
By Michelle de Carion
Ron Royce has a longstanding career and history of success in creating retro events and promoting bands from the '50s and '60s.
With over 35 years of experience, he continues to bring the best swing and surf bands of Florida, and the country, to Broward County, PBC, and beyond. In 2014, he not only helped organize the largest rockabilly event of the year -- Pinned Miami -- but also brought around legends like Jimmy Cavallo & the Houserockers, out-of-town bands like Beau and the Burners from Jacksonville, and new local talent like Cuban Pete and the Hialeah Hooligans. Royce has also kept swing and surf music alive at venues like Kreepy Tiki and the Annual South Florida Tattoo Expo in Coral Springs.
Along with with concert promoters, he's currently in the planning stages of bringing a bunch of '50s doo-wop and rock 'n' roll bands that he's worked with in New York to Boca in the spring of 2015.
Kevin Burns of the Talent Farm
By David Von Bader
Kevin Burns was unfortunately forced to close his all-ages outpost of fun in the swamp, the Talent Farm, this year. However, we believe the grace with which Burns handled the situation and bounced back is something sadly missing from the world of promotion and venue-ownership these days. It also makes him a hero of sorts.
Faced with a proper bit of adversity that included an unexpected closure and an emergency move out operation, the man who gave countless generations and genres of South Florida musicians and music fans a safe place to act a fool and find their voices, rebounded quickly with a promotion merger that involved Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live. He also scrambled to find new venues for just about every show he had booked for the coming months -- exemplifying the selflessness that really has defined Burns' career in music.
The man's final year rocking the swamps of Pembroke Pines was certainly one for the books, too, and included more solid shows than we could ever hope to list in a blurb such as this. Burns is taking a breather at the moment, but we highly doubt we've seen the last of him. And if we have, the man has certainly earned a break.
By Abel Folgar
Sure, Miami might be all high profile with its eternally hip status in the art world, but Fort Lauderdale is no slouch in that department thanks in part to dedicated people like Garo Gallo.
Back in 2009, he was involved with IWAN (Independent Working Artists Network) at the Bubble. The Bubble became a great hang for artists and musicians and created a sense of community. Already a respected musician with the avant-garde indie power-pop outfit Dooms de Pop, Gallo, with his distinctive curls, knows quite well that when something's not working how you want it to, you pull a Fonz and you jump the shark.
And as such, Gallo recently reformatted the Bubble into Fort Lauderdale's newest and most happening gallery and venue, Jump the Shark. Continuing the focus on art and music with a newly secured beer and wine license for the bar will ensure this spot continues to be a compelling destination for visual artists and musicians.
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