Round Up Nightclub & Restaurant

When people think South Florida, dudes in cowboy hats and Wranglers aren't the first things to come to mind. But come on down to Round Up (not to be confused with the killer Monsanto pesticide) and see Broward County get in touch with its Garth Brooks side. South Florida's finest country-western bar is a multilevel hang with live music, a huge dance floor, and ridiculously good drink specials, such as free drinks for ladies every Wednesday and Friday — that's free drinks all night long, not just during happy hour. But it's still South Florida, so if you want to get your VIP section and bottle service as you listen to the band sing about lost love and pickup trucks, this is the place. Oh, yeah — there's also an art gallery. This place is enough to make you stop saying crazy things like, "I listen to everything except country."

Readers' Choice: Revolution Live

Bimini Bay Bar

Maybe it's the divey charm. Or the old-school porn on massive flat-screen TVs. Or a bartender who can open a Bud Light with one elegant clench of her buttocks. Kind of a turn on, yes? Stick around for a half an hour and that bathroom will start making sense. Disclaimer: Take too long and you'll have the staff calling you out on your whereabouts. But when you emerge from its wood-paneled wonderland, you'll be received with smiles and winks from everyone at the bar. But no high-fives, please. We don't know where those hands have been.

Revolution Live

This Fort Lauderdale musical institution shows no prejudice. Just in the past couple of months, it's emphasized diversity: from the hip-hop of Lil Wayne to industrial legends Ministry to pop princess Charli XCX to the indie dance of the Ting Tings. With a massive pit in front of the stage bordered by elevated edges hosting the bars, coupled with a second-floor wraparound balcony, there truly is not a bad spot in the house.

Readers' Choice: Revolution Live

Since opening last January, Crafti Bar has been giving Fort Lauderdale a heavy dose of live music. In an intimate environment with a friendly staff, you can reggae reggae reggae every Friday night with Fourth Dimension. Rock 'n' roll and jazz are also represented regularly. If staring at live musicians creeps you out, DJs are also on the schedule. Monday night is old-school hip-hop night, and Wednesday features house music. The owners are trying to bring a Wynwood vibe to Fort Lauderdale and named themselves after the craft cocktails they pride themselves on serving, so you can come for the drinks and stay for the music... or if you prefer, come for the music and stay for the drinks.

It's no coincidence that Bobby Lee Rodgers is always being booked along the coast of South Florida. From opening at the Fillmore for Dave Chappelle or at Revolution for Les Claypool, whether alone or as the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, he always brings it. Jamming out on his blues guitar, smiling throughout his sets, the native Georgian but current Broward County resident always has the energy to get the crowd dancing. Get to the venue early.

The Sunny Devilles, a Boca-based hip-hop duo consisting of Tanner Kauffman and James Bauer that adds jazzy soul to its beats and lyrics, have been a welcome addition to the South Florida hip-hop scene. The two musicians, who met while skipping class in high school, draw on a wide range of genres outside of hip-hop on their debut album, In Search Of..., which features everything from synthesizers to saxophones. More for conscious hip-hop heads than house-party jams, the album, Kauffman says, is "reclusive. It's more for something you listen to when you are by yourself, when you are in a rut and need to get out of it." After busily touring South Florida, the group recently brought its chilled-out funk style to other parts of the country, making sure other towns get to see that South Florida's hip-hop scene is far more diverse than generally depicted. Strip clubs and hustlers are still cool, but there's much more going on here, as the Sunny Devilles easily prove.

Readers' Choice: Rick Ross

Ever watch a man perform a noise set while he's sitting on a toilet and taking care of business? No? Well, we feel damned sorry for you then, because this is what art is all about — taking dirty risks. Robert Wilson Brantley III is also known by a less regal title: Human Fluid Rot. It is under that moniker that he shits and turns knobs for thrilled onlookers. That's not his only schtick, though. We can't understate how interesting and engaging his performances are. He just completed a collabo track with Crust Girls, out online or available soon on eight-track, and he's "bending new instruments" for his live sets. But this Pompano Beach dude isn't stopping there. He's got other noise projects coming up: xPARASYTEx with some dudes from Delray, a two-piece project grossly called GIRLPARTZ with a guy from St. Pete, and SLWMTNGNGBNG with Emile Milgrim of Sweat Records and Quarter Horses. Sure, Brantley plays music in the more traditional sense with Between Enemies, but we suggest you catch him at his danged weirdest.

Its playlist ranges into rock, pop, and singer/songwriter territory, but its roots and heart are in that old-time religion: Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Joan Baez, and (pre-electric) Dylan. A second, late-blooming career for vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Bill Bowen and Joan Friedenberg (she was a linguistics prof; he was a sportswriter and photojournalist), the band still shows an instructional and reportorial (and decidedly left-wing political) bent. It plays multimedia tribute shows at area schools and libraries, in addition to gigs at the usual bars and not-so-usual assisted living and rehab centers. If its act takes in the Beatles and Elvis, hey: Folks have made those tunes their own, and thus, call it folk.

Masticator is one of the finest names for a band. The word sounds ominous and authoritative, and it means "one who chews or grinds or kneads." It's almost tongue-in-cheek. Almost. Once you hear the West Palm Beach band, though, you'll feel like you're being crushed by the unforgiving choppers of metal in the mouth of music. The band's recently recorded LP, The Basement Murders, may not have a lot to do with the architecture of South Florida, but this release will baptize Florida metalheads with the brutal and inspired sounds of nine new tracks and two re-recordings from its Global Mastication EP. Guitarist Mike Dickson explains the band "broke into the modern wave of extreme in the death metal world while keeping our old school Florida death metal roots attached." Dickson himself just signed an endorsement deal with South Dakota's Blakhart guitars, which he identifies as, "an up-and-coming juggernaut of six-string creation." With songs names like "Chloroform," "Night of Long Knives," and "A Fatal Feasting," it's pretty clear your time in their cellar won't be pretty. But with Masticator luring you into the darkness of their sonic basement, you'll quickly embrace their credo: "Death Is Destiny."

A garage-rock revival washed over South Florida like a tsunami a few years ago, and people have been soaking themselves in its groovy mosh pits since. Though the metaphorical waters have subsided, one band continues to thrive with its own punchy sounds. The Gun Hoes have opened for Trick Daddy and King Khan, but the band is also perfectly comfortable playing tiny, dirty house parties all over town. The band's "mascot" is drummer Anthony Hernandez's hairiest of chests. It's hard to look away from this glistening carpet of human fur, even when you're slamming your sweaty body into another on the dance floor. Singer and guitarist Gabe Miranda is the brains of the band and the main melody maker. Nico Toussaint rounds out the threesome with his cool style and by slappin' da bass. The Gun Hoes have put out music on both Blood Oath Slumber Party and Cheap Miami but are coming out with an EP, Lust at the Beach. The three have plans to keep touring, carrying the psych torch 'round the nation, and getting everyone dancing in its wake.

Readers' Choice: Panic Disorder

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