Trouble was, with the power out, we couldn't see a damn thing. So we rested against the burnished-brown walls of the mine shaft, our helmets protecting us from the sharp shards of nougat falling from above. By the time we were rescued -- specks of caramel still clinging to our coveralls -- none of the crew wanted to see a Milky Way, Three Musketeers, or Snickers bar ever again. It took several minutes for our eyes to adjust to the harsh sunlight. Though safe again on the surface, we all knew it would be only a matter of time before we plunged the depths of the nougat mine again, emerging from the dark, creamy shaft with carts filled with chunks of the chocolatey goodness we extracted from the swirly veins of nougat beneath the earth.

Best Band to Break Up or Leave Town in the Past 12 Months

Baby Robots

It's only fitting that we'd have tons of tears to shed for the group we named Best Rock Band only this time last year. Suppose it was expecting too much for Bobby Baker's beloved Boca-based Baby Robots (say that five times fast) to hang around much longer. After all, as Bobby would say, this is the place where "you stick to yourself twice a day." The 'Bots went through several permutations since their 1997 inception, beginning with acoustic guitars and pretty female vocals, ending up as a terrifying psychedelic combo along the lines of Medicine or Bardo Pond. Baker always claimed a frontman without an instrument was a waste, and it's true, he wasn't much of a singer. But his Black Sabbath-cum-Spaceman 3 guitar work always sprawled, stretched, and screamed into the right shadows. At New Times' Best Of concert last December, the Baby Robots trafficked in richly sensual swirls of feedback, contorted melodies, and songs that careened around the room for upward of 15 minutes before resting. With girlfriend and fellow guitarist Tamara Engle, Baker (who could also be found playing guitar with Cactus Eye Relief, Mr. Entertainment and the Pookie Smackers, Game 4, and Wolfboy and the Fantods) split for Austin, Texas, around the first of this year. He'll rebuild the Robots there, so Boca's loss is Austin's gain. As if they need it.

Best Band to Break Up or Leave Town in the Past 12 Months

Baby Robots

It's only fitting that we'd have tons of tears to shed for the group we named Best Rock Band only this time last year. Suppose it was expecting too much for Bobby Baker's beloved Boca-based Baby Robots (say that five times fast) to hang around much longer. After all, as Bobby would say, this is the place where "you stick to yourself twice a day." The 'Bots went through several permutations since their 1997 inception, beginning with acoustic guitars and pretty female vocals, ending up as a terrifying psychedelic combo along the lines of Medicine or Bardo Pond. Baker always claimed a frontman without an instrument was a waste, and it's true, he wasn't much of a singer. But his Black Sabbath-cum-Spaceman 3 guitar work always sprawled, stretched, and screamed into the right shadows. At New Times' Best Of concert last December, the Baby Robots trafficked in richly sensual swirls of feedback, contorted melodies, and songs that careened around the room for upward of 15 minutes before resting. With girlfriend and fellow guitarist Tamara Engle, Baker (who could also be found playing guitar with Cactus Eye Relief, Mr. Entertainment and the Pookie Smackers, Game 4, and Wolfboy and the Fantods) split for Austin, Texas, around the first of this year. He'll rebuild the Robots there, so Boca's loss is Austin's gain. As if they need it.
After disbanding Iris, Seth Brody (five-foot-six), that cute, curly-haired little Jewish kid with the huge record collection hooked up with Jimmy Allen (six-foot-five), a fan of "the original phase-shifter, Karl-heinz Stockhausen." The result: fivesixsixfive, Fort Lauderdale's computer-bohemian, cut-and-paste, electro-indie-pop stars. Clever marketing strategies, including saturating the area with bumper stickers and lighters and passing out a promo photo of the pair as Styrofoam silhouettes, fivesixsixfive hit the scene running. Half of the 12 tracks on the band's self-titled debut sound like half-baked experiments revolving around synths, samplers, and drum machines; but the quirky pop songs that make up the rest make it the best local release all year. Marrying hip-hop beats to acoustic guitars and even glockenspiels, xylophone, and timpani, the album's should-be single, "Freeform," sports an innate catchiness thanks to playful boy-girl breathy vocals. The band's sole live performance turned into a charmingly chaotic blend of dinner theater, live jamming, and karaoke. Unfortunately, with Brody planning to follow his career track in stage design all the way to New York City, the future of fivesixsixfive, sadly, may stay short.
After disbanding Iris, Seth Brody (five-foot-six), that cute, curly-haired little Jewish kid with the huge record collection hooked up with Jimmy Allen (six-foot-five), a fan of "the original phase-shifter, Karl-heinz Stockhausen." The result: fivesixsixfive, Fort Lauderdale's computer-bohemian, cut-and-paste, electro-indie-pop stars. Clever marketing strategies, including saturating the area with bumper stickers and lighters and passing out a promo photo of the pair as Styrofoam silhouettes, fivesixsixfive hit the scene running. Half of the 12 tracks on the band's self-titled debut sound like half-baked experiments revolving around synths, samplers, and drum machines; but the quirky pop songs that make up the rest make it the best local release all year. Marrying hip-hop beats to acoustic guitars and even glockenspiels, xylophone, and timpani, the album's should-be single, "Freeform," sports an innate catchiness thanks to playful boy-girl breathy vocals. The band's sole live performance turned into a charmingly chaotic blend of dinner theater, live jamming, and karaoke. Unfortunately, with Brody planning to follow his career track in stage design all the way to New York City, the future of fivesixsixfive, sadly, may stay short.
Surfing a wave of positive press heralding Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as album of the year, Wilco made its South Florida debut during a fortuitous moment in its history. At this sold-out performance -- the same week the band's documentary film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart opened in area movie theaters -- a very ripped Wilco flexed strong creative muscles. Mid-concert, sensing the 750 seated souls had melted into their seats, leader Jeff Tweedy invited the crowd to its feet, announcing, "You guys can stand up, you know -- this isn't the Wilco movie!" With the gap between audience and performer bridged for good, Tweedy and company rode the songs from Summerteeth, Being There, and YHF atop monstrous, "A Day in the Life"-styled crescendos amid a sound mix so pristine that instruments could be heard bouncing from speaker to speaker in stereophonic acrobatics. Talk about catching a band at the top of its game -- this night, Wilco blasted 'em out of the park with every pitch.
Surfing a wave of positive press heralding Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as album of the year, Wilco made its South Florida debut during a fortuitous moment in its history. At this sold-out performance -- the same week the band's documentary film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart opened in area movie theaters -- a very ripped Wilco flexed strong creative muscles. Mid-concert, sensing the 750 seated souls had melted into their seats, leader Jeff Tweedy invited the crowd to its feet, announcing, "You guys can stand up, you know -- this isn't the Wilco movie!" With the gap between audience and performer bridged for good, Tweedy and company rode the songs from Summerteeth, Being There, and YHF atop monstrous, "A Day in the Life"-styled crescendos amid a sound mix so pristine that instruments could be heard bouncing from speaker to speaker in stereophonic acrobatics. Talk about catching a band at the top of its game -- this night, Wilco blasted 'em out of the park with every pitch.
Though this year was Langerado's inaugural, the local jam fest got off to a good start, drawing a crowd of more than 3,500 noodle-dancing souls. Those die-hard fans who braved the whole concert were rewarded with performances by luminaries of the festival set such as moe.; Medeski, Martin, and Wood; and G. Love and Special Sauce as well as standout sets by local performers like Jerrods Door and Hashbrown. If you missed out on all the fun or if you simply salivate at the idea of doing it again, fear not -- plans are already underway for the second-annual Langerado. And while it's still too early to tell which bands will make an appearance, we can rest assured that, with such auspicious beginnings, Langerado may linger for years to come.
Though this year was Langerado's inaugural, the local jam fest got off to a good start, drawing a crowd of more than 3,500 noodle-dancing souls. Those die-hard fans who braved the whole concert were rewarded with performances by luminaries of the festival set such as moe.; Medeski, Martin, and Wood; and G. Love and Special Sauce as well as standout sets by local performers like Jerrods Door and Hashbrown. If you missed out on all the fun or if you simply salivate at the idea of doing it again, fear not -- plans are already underway for the second-annual Langerado. And while it's still too early to tell which bands will make an appearance, we can rest assured that, with such auspicious beginnings, Langerado may linger for years to come.
South Florida radio sucks. We'll say it again -- the radio down here flat-out sucksssssss. It's so completely worthless, so dominated by industry whores, payola, corporate streamlining, unfettered monopolization, dumb DJs, and strictly limited playlists that hardly anyone bothers to listen to it anymore. The best bet on the LCD dial remains the underground pirate stations that are still lashed to their own narrow MOs, naturally, but have so much more to offer in terms of local flavor and personality. The illegal reggae station 90.9 remains high on our list, but the regional roundup of radio outlaws changes as often as the weather. Lock it!

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