Twenty-two-year-old South Florida singer/songwriter Isaac Lekach performs and records under the rubric Poulain, with friends lending helping heads, hands, and feet. And Lekach -- a shy guy with sweet, saucer-sized brown eyes and a mop of tousled brown hair -- has plenty of pals to help him fill out his melancholic, wistful ork-pop or dork-pop or whatever his homespun-but-orchestral tunes are called these days. His ear for brooding balladry and gimmick-free love songs has made him South Florida's answer to the Magnetic Fields, evidence of which can be heard on his two upcoming discs: one recorded in Athens, Georgia, with Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead, Macha) and another he's working on in L.A. for big-deal indie label Fiddler Records.
Twenty-two-year-old South Florida singer/songwriter Isaac Lekach performs and records under the rubric Poulain, with friends lending helping heads, hands, and feet. And Lekach -- a shy guy with sweet, saucer-sized brown eyes and a mop of tousled brown hair -- has plenty of pals to help him fill out his melancholic, wistful ork-pop or dork-pop or whatever his homespun-but-orchestral tunes are called these days. His ear for brooding balladry and gimmick-free love songs has made him South Florida's answer to the Magnetic Fields, evidence of which can be heard on his two upcoming discs: one recorded in Athens, Georgia, with Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead, Macha) and another he's working on in L.A. for big-deal indie label Fiddler Records.
Jerrods Door started out as a sort of elite drum circle featuring didgeridoo. A few other musicians remained on the fringes of the band, but the nebulous group always seemed to center almost solely on percussion. And if you dug the sort of trancey stuff Jerrods Door was capable of producing, that was all fine and good. But over the past year, a subtle transformation has occurred. Sure, a Jerrods Door show still includes a varying number of percussionists, but the bass, guitar, and other instruments that used to be ambient background music now play a larger part, and Jerrods Door is sounding like an honest-to-goodness rock band. An extremely patchouli-scented rock band, but a rock band nevertheless. One almost gets the impression these folks have been, like, rehearsing or something. No, seriously! The group tends to open for most jam bands that come to town, and it's getting to the point where they even upstage the main act on occasion. If Jerrods Door continues to flesh out its sound and its members grow tighter as musicians, we'll just have to take up our bong habits again and get our microbus back from the repo man.
Jerrods Door started out as a sort of elite drum circle featuring didgeridoo. A few other musicians remained on the fringes of the band, but the nebulous group always seemed to center almost solely on percussion. And if you dug the sort of trancey stuff Jerrods Door was capable of producing, that was all fine and good. But over the past year, a subtle transformation has occurred. Sure, a Jerrods Door show still includes a varying number of percussionists, but the bass, guitar, and other instruments that used to be ambient background music now play a larger part, and Jerrods Door is sounding like an honest-to-goodness rock band. An extremely patchouli-scented rock band, but a rock band nevertheless. One almost gets the impression these folks have been, like, rehearsing or something. No, seriously! The group tends to open for most jam bands that come to town, and it's getting to the point where they even upstage the main act on occasion. If Jerrods Door continues to flesh out its sound and its members grow tighter as musicians, we'll just have to take up our bong habits again and get our microbus back from the repo man.
In the world of reggae music, Freddie McGregor is known as "Mr. Big Ship." The name of one of his many albums, as well as his label and Kingston-area recording studio, Big Ship fits McGregor's reputation as a world-traveling ambassador of reggae's positive vibrations. Active in the Jamaican music scene since the early 1960s, Freddie started as a kid too short to reach the microphone, gradually molding his Rasta roots into ultrasmooth, romantic lover's rock. By now, Freddie is one of reggae's most enduring living icons. A family man (six kids!) with a part-time home in Hollywood -- a city whose mayor, Mara Giulianti, even named a day in his honor -- McGregor is known locally for his good works as well as his good music. Dr. Robert Hochstein of Fort Lauderdale's County Line Chiropractic Center treated the singer for a shoulder injury a few years ago. McGregor was so pleased with his recovery that he referred friends to the clinic -- and did a series of radio ads and billboards bearing his beaming likeness. Last year, County Line donated a new Honda Civic that was raffled off to raise funds for the Haile Selassie Comprehensive High School in Kingston, a neglected institution McGregor decided to help out. Living out the example set in one of his early songs, "Do Good and Good Will Follow You," McGregor is still famous for his philanthropic deeds -- like the Freddie McGregor Children's Fund. His last album, 2002's Grammy-nominated Anything for You, contains the most affecting love songs to date from the perennial golden-voiced ladies' man. Like they say, big ship, big heart.
In the world of reggae music, Freddie McGregor is known as "Mr. Big Ship." The name of one of his many albums, as well as his label and Kingston-area recording studio, Big Ship fits McGregor's reputation as a world-traveling ambassador of reggae's positive vibrations. Active in the Jamaican music scene since the early 1960s, Freddie started as a kid too short to reach the microphone, gradually molding his Rasta roots into ultrasmooth, romantic lover's rock. By now, Freddie is one of reggae's most enduring living icons. A family man (six kids!) with a part-time home in Hollywood -- a city whose mayor, Mara Giulianti, even named a day in his honor -- McGregor is known locally for his good works as well as his good music. Dr. Robert Hochstein of Fort Lauderdale's County Line Chiropractic Center treated the singer for a shoulder injury a few years ago. McGregor was so pleased with his recovery that he referred friends to the clinic -- and did a series of radio ads and billboards bearing his beaming likeness. Last year, County Line donated a new Honda Civic that was raffled off to raise funds for the Haile Selassie Comprehensive High School in Kingston, a neglected institution McGregor decided to help out. Living out the example set in one of his early songs, "Do Good and Good Will Follow You," McGregor is still famous for his philanthropic deeds -- like the Freddie McGregor Children's Fund. His last album, 2002's Grammy-nominated Anything for You, contains the most affecting love songs to date from the perennial golden-voiced ladies' man. Like they say, big ship, big heart.
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.
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.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®