Best DJ 2015 | Mister Gray | Arts & Entertainment | South Florida

For more than ten years, Broward-based DJ and producer Mister Gray has been slaving away behind the decks to make distinctive and quality dance music. A visit to his Soundcloud page reveals an online party — perfectly packaged and just waiting for the sun to set for booties to drop. You may have seen Mister Gray around town, sporting his signature heavy beard, Ray-Bans, and cap. He's on the rise and versatile, and he's got the whole South Florida scene covered and bouncing with his beats. You can catch him spinning live at places like downtown Miami's E11even, Monarchy in West Palm Beach, and Wall at the W on South Beach. And if there's a man who has put in his time and knows his shit, it's Mister Gray. The unofficial tastemaker of all things EDM, Diplo, even played Ruen and Gray's remix of 2 Chainz's "Birthday Song" on his BBC Radio 1 show Diplo & Friends. Mister Gray has been partnering quite a bit with Ruen, and their most recent release, "Boom Boom," is a veritable Vegas-style club banger. Enjoy him locally before he bursts from the South Florida cocoon and starts DJ'ing far, far away.

Readers' Choice: Misha Samson

This Hollywood duo picked the perfect name for their band, as their latest album, Native Echoes, is ten tracks of Florida sunshine. It is perfect to listen to while cruising along the coast or if you're trapped inland and wish you weren't. From the first listen, you can hear that singer/guitarist Kimmy Drake and drummer Skyler Black seem to be influenced by everyone who was influenced by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Opener "All My Friends Were Punks" has a hint of the Ramones, and standout "Don't Call Me on the Phone" is the Ronettes by way of Amy Winehouse, while "Gnarly Waves" is just that, the peaceful surf crashing in over an instrumental. Native Echoes is a must for all those who still get giddy when "Be My Baby" comes on the airwaves.

Playing currently in his band Sweet Bronco and previously in Catalonia, Horgan is, year in and year out, probably the single best songwriter in South Florida. Like all great singers, he started early and was lucky enough to have ended up in the Florida Singing Sons, which produced other local success stories like Boots (Beyoncé's producer and songwriter). It should be noted, though, that training alone does not an artist make, and both Horgan's songwriting and voice are far stronger than most in the South Florida scene. Putting his boy-choir skills to work, Horgan has steadily built a massive catalog and toured last year in Sweet Bronco supporting the French singer Soko around the Southeast. The Horganator is currently engaged in a variety of writing and performance projects, working with former Boots bandmate David Barnard and others on new and interesting stuff.

At this friendly gay bar, Friday-night karaoke has entered the 21st Century. No longer must one fight over dusty old binders to see which selection of Nancy or Frank Sinatra songs you might croon along to. Instead check out the computer consoles, where you can type any song or artist that comes to mind and see if you, in your drunken stupor, can mutilate it. Even more 2015: Once you sign in, you can check through the comfort of your own iPhone to see which Elvis song you want to sing on the small stage. Be aware, though: The competition is fierce from regulars who have their Kenny Rogers down. But everyone is polite, and there is little heckling of newbies.

Readers' Choice: Whiskey Tango

If you want to snag a babe with some balance and brawn, you'll meet her with her (very toned) butt in the air on a floating vessel. Here, on the nice calm waters of the Middle River (by Whole Foods) is the place where your future lady friend will be improving those abs and calves as she strengthens her inner beauty as well. You'll meet yogis with a sense of adventure at this Fort Lauderdale spot. And having a first meeting in a bathing suit will likely feel as wonderfully disarming as When Harry Met Sally. If you're not up for a partner who can do really cool shit like a headstand on a surfboard or downward-facing dog with a paddle in her mouth, then don't even bother coming (kidding about that last part — the paddles will be in no one's mouths). Sunrise charges only $40 per paddleboard yoga session (other places charge like $75 or $80, which is cray). The sessions are offered Fridays at 9:30 a.m., but you also have the option of setting up a group session — only two people needed. However, we think you should organize a singles paddleboard yoga mixer with Speedos and bikinis. You'll thank us later.

What's hotter than a single dad who caters to his beloved spawn? A single adventurous dad who adores his little beasts and brings them to Off the Wall Trampoline Fun Center, that's what. Sure, if you go cruising for dudes in this massive, 36,500-square-foot ADHD paradise, you're going to find a few that are still married. But bars ain't cutting it for scoring a mature man. At Off the Wall, you'll find fit fathers who you know are committed — at least to their kids. And if old dudes aren't your thing, catch a muscular parkour pro bouncing off the walls, literally, or a fun guy playing laser tag, a gamer nerd at the arcade center, or Mr. Rock Wall Climber who is sure to at least offer to pay for the first round of drinks. Best part is, if you get bored and the pops are all lame-o, you can get a nice workout playing trampoline dodgeball. There's also a grownup sports lounge area for stretching before you show off those ten years of gymnastics to the starry-eyed padres looking just for you and your impressive split skills.

When C&I Studios and Exposed PR put their heads together, great things happen. Need proof? Invent a time machine and go back to February's For the Love Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale's FAT Village. The daylong event showcased some of the best local talent Broward and Palm Beach counties had to offer. Bands and fans flooded the streets of Fort Lauderdale's blossoming arts district, bouncing from stage to stage and enjoying local acts like Corey James Bost, Kids, Phil Barnes, and Lakeland's Copeland. What's that? Your time machine's broken and your feet smell like kale? That second part was unnecessary, but you're in luck, you weirdo. Because the FAT Village idea agency C&I Studios and Sara Shake's Fort Lauderdale-based Exposed PR are already working on For the Love 2016. This one is sure to be bigger and better, squeezed full of local talent like an obese Twinkie. In the meantime, work on those feet.

Everybody has a type, and if non-American is your type, Paladium Nightclub in Margate might be a thing you want to check out — if you're single and ready to mingle. Paladium has a reputation for being the place you go to dance, not like "teach me how to Dougie" dance, but, like, salsa dance. Live acts and special guests litter Paladium's monthly schedule, and you can always be sure that their weekends include a line out-the-door of young people looking to break a sweat on the dance floor. Located in a spacious shopping plaza, not some ditch in the middle of nowhere, Paladium is a place you and your friends can go out to and concentrate on having a good time. Not a huge dancer, but wish you were? Paladium has salsa lessons going on all month long that will help you impress when the weekend rolls around. Open bars and all-you-can eat buffets are a plus if you're trying to get to know a special someone without spending your entire paycheck. Paladium is one of the best kept secrets in South Florida if you're looking to meet a significant other (preferably a foreigner).

Bowling has gotten a little... how do we say this?... soft. The lasers, the light shows, cosmic this and disco that. What happened to just picking up a damned ball and rolling? Holiday Lanes Bowling Center in Hallandale offers bowling with zero bullshit. Sixteen lanes, wonderfully greasy food from the kitchen, and a bar where you've got to be careful who you mouth off to toward closing time — what more could any red-blooded American want?

Readers' Choice: Manor Lanes Bowling and Sports Den Pub

It might have all the clichés of New Orleans without any of the gritty authenticity of that city, but as soon as you get off your high horse and embrace the Vegas-like cheesiness, the Mardi Gras Casino emerges as a fun place to blow loads of cash. In addition to the regular gambling necessities like slots and cards, this place offers an odd mix of showgirls in Carnival attire, controversial greyhound racing (made less controversial with a greyhound adoption program sponsored by the casino), and good-ol', all-American events like slider-eating competitions. But it gets better — as of presstime, the casino's featured performer every Sunday was Ghaleb, a Miami-based singer from Venezuela who was booted off American Idol after a good, albeit heavily accented, performance of Marc Anthony's "You Sang to Me." Simon Cowell wasn't impressed, but the young singer garnered a spirited following, and he's now the top billing at the Mardi Gras.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of