We said E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons knew how to pick 'em, and here's proof: Randi Fishenfeld, the 37-year-old criminal lawyer turned electric-violin player Clemons chose for his other group, Band of Faith. When Fishenfeld goes into her patented gypsy number on stage, she becomes possessed by the music. She goes crazy, and the club crowds go crazy with her. Besides fiddling with Band of Faith, she also plays with her own band, Blue Fire, which puts in appearances at O'Hara's in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood and at the A Train in Delray Beach. It's a busy schedule, but that's exactly what she wants. "When I get all that energy back," she says, "it makes me want to go out and kiss everyone." Oh, if only she would.

Hey, now. Don't shy away from a band brave enough to call itself something slightly embarrassing. We've all had poopy pants at one time or another, with most of us perfecting the art of creating them at a very young age. North Miami troublemakers Poopy Pants are youthful, snotty, and irreverent, and sometimes they go for a deep, rumbling trombone-sax roar that almost encourages an onset of their name. Emerging last year with the fittingly titled Anal Devastation, the cover of which depicts a gentleman with a blazing stick of dynamite emerging from his hindquarters, Poopy Pants offer a quaintly pedestrian take on horn-driven ska-core with silly songs such as "Snap Into My Slim Jim." With any luck Poopy Pants has staying power -- because when a band like this gets cranky, it must be time to change them.
Hey, now. Don't shy away from a band brave enough to call itself something slightly embarrassing. We've all had poopy pants at one time or another, with most of us perfecting the art of creating them at a very young age. North Miami troublemakers Poopy Pants are youthful, snotty, and irreverent, and sometimes they go for a deep, rumbling trombone-sax roar that almost encourages an onset of their name. Emerging last year with the fittingly titled Anal Devastation, the cover of which depicts a gentleman with a blazing stick of dynamite emerging from his hindquarters, Poopy Pants offer a quaintly pedestrian take on horn-driven ska-core with silly songs such as "Snap Into My Slim Jim." With any luck Poopy Pants has staying power -- because when a band like this gets cranky, it must be time to change them.
The mood is never the same: One minute you have some raving headbanger still stuck in '80s metal straining every vocal chord to belt out an Iron Maiden song, only to be followed three minutes later by a housewife gently whispering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Or maybe the Motown Man goes after those high notes in a Jackson 5 or Smokey Robinson song. Then there's the blonde who does her weekly tribute to Britney Spears, and Italian Joe, with his heartfelt take on Sinatra. For those party people who just can't let go of the weekend, the Falcon Pub, which doesn't get hot till around midnight, boasts an extravagant video system that transforms even the sorriest performance into a video clip worthy of five minutes of stardom. A few Miami Dolphins have even been known to drop in from time to time. Before heading to Seattle last year for the playoffs, for example, quarterback Damon Huard and linebacker Larry Izzo thought it appropriate to test their pipes on Bob Seger's "On the Road Again." Big Dan was there, too, but Number 13 decided just to sit back and watch for a change. Who says Sunday nights have to be quiet and peaceful?
Ye Olde Falcon Pub
The mood is never the same: One minute you have some raving headbanger still stuck in '80s metal straining every vocal chord to belt out an Iron Maiden song, only to be followed three minutes later by a housewife gently whispering Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me." Or maybe the Motown Man goes after those high notes in a Jackson 5 or Smokey Robinson song. Then there's the blonde who does her weekly tribute to Britney Spears, and Italian Joe, with his heartfelt take on Sinatra. For those party people who just can't let go of the weekend, the Falcon Pub, which doesn't get hot till around midnight, boasts an extravagant video system that transforms even the sorriest performance into a video clip worthy of five minutes of stardom. A few Miami Dolphins have even been known to drop in from time to time. Before heading to Seattle last year for the playoffs, for example, quarterback Damon Huard and linebacker Larry Izzo thought it appropriate to test their pipes on Bob Seger's "On the Road Again." Big Dan was there, too, but Number 13 decided just to sit back and watch for a change. Who says Sunday nights have to be quiet and peaceful?
The point of happy hour has never been happiness. The point is excess -- more for less. So we like our happy hours dressed in something more than fried and something other than chicken wings. Tarpon Bend fits the bill on all counts. Drinks are two-for-one from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we prefer Tuesdays. That's when you can order a pound-and-a-quarter lobster for $9.99 or all the fried catfish you can eat for $14.95 or another equally great deal (depending on the season). On other days the happy-hour menu includes oysters or clams (steamed or raw), shrimp, or conch fritters, each for 25 cents, depending on the day. You can sit in the black booths, drink excessively, eat too many oysters, and study record-catch fish statistics chalked on the big board -- the most excessive stat describes a great white shark that weighed in at 2664 pounds. If you get drunk enough on the two-for-one martinis or flagons of Anchor Steam lager, you might even decide to buy some fishing tackle and take up the life. Rods, reels, hooks, lines, and sinkers are all conveniently displayed for sale in the front of the restaurant. And if you do your fishing 100 yards away on the banks of the New River, you'll be close enough to get back for happy hour the next day.
Tarpon Bend Food & Tackle
Michael McElroy
The point of happy hour has never been happiness. The point is excess -- more for less. So we like our happy hours dressed in something more than fried and something other than chicken wings. Tarpon Bend fits the bill on all counts. Drinks are two-for-one from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we prefer Tuesdays. That's when you can order a pound-and-a-quarter lobster for $9.99 or all the fried catfish you can eat for $14.95 or another equally great deal (depending on the season). On other days the happy-hour menu includes oysters or clams (steamed or raw), shrimp, or conch fritters, each for 25 cents, depending on the day. You can sit in the black booths, drink excessively, eat too many oysters, and study record-catch fish statistics chalked on the big board -- the most excessive stat describes a great white shark that weighed in at 2664 pounds. If you get drunk enough on the two-for-one martinis or flagons of Anchor Steam lager, you might even decide to buy some fishing tackle and take up the life. Rods, reels, hooks, lines, and sinkers are all conveniently displayed for sale in the front of the restaurant. And if you do your fishing 100 yards away on the banks of the New River, you'll be close enough to get back for happy hour the next day.
No neon bar sign. No pool table. No TV. At Alligator Alley there's just sweet, sweet music rolling out of a state-of-the-art sound system as hot and clean as any you'll hear in Broward County. Proprietor Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo and a consortium of investors opened the 10,000-square-foot club early last October. Since then an encouraging bevy of local and national acts has kicked out the jams from atop the Alley's huge main stage, with Leon Russell, the Wailers, Maynard Ferguson, Parliament/Funkadelic, and the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz all recently performing in the otherwise dreary strip mall in the heart of suburban Sunrise. And if superior music night after night starts to wear you down, maybe you can buck up with something off the menu. We recommend the buffalo gator with the brutal hot sauce, but then, we're gluttons for gastrointestinal punishment.
No neon bar sign. No pool table. No TV. At Alligator Alley there's just sweet, sweet music rolling out of a state-of-the-art sound system as hot and clean as any you'll hear in Broward County. Proprietor Carl "Kilmo" Pacillo and a consortium of investors opened the 10,000-square-foot club early last October. Since then an encouraging bevy of local and national acts has kicked out the jams from atop the Alley's huge main stage, with Leon Russell, the Wailers, Maynard Ferguson, Parliament/Funkadelic, and the Rev. Billy C. Wirtz all recently performing in the otherwise dreary strip mall in the heart of suburban Sunrise. And if superior music night after night starts to wear you down, maybe you can buck up with something off the menu. We recommend the buffalo gator with the brutal hot sauce, but then, we're gluttons for gastrointestinal punishment. UPDATED: This location is now closed.
Bluesman Ernie Southern does it all: He plays a mean slide guitar, he wields a wailing ten-hole harp, and he sells a demo tape that just won't quit, especially when he delivers it personally in his purple Ford like a man (you guessed it) "on a mission from God." The line from the 1980 John Landis film, The Blues Brothers, fits Ernie Southern almost as well as it did Belushi and Aykroyd. When we heard Southern's incendiary cover "All Over Now," sung Delta-style on Nova Southeastern University's 88.5 FM Sunday-morning blues hour (the second-best blues hour in the Western world, behind the original King Biscuit Flour Hour out of Helena, Arkansas), we called him up. Two hours later he was handing us a tape of the song for $5, thrust through the window of his vehicle like contraband. Now that's a bluesman.

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