"Yeah, well, it was a conflict," says Brown, "but I don't want to get into the details of it. He's leaving; we're just separating." Ricci doesn't allude to fisticuffs or screaming either, saying, "It was fun while it lasted. It was great playing with Keith, and I'm sad that it's over with. I learned a lot. I really don't know why it fell apart. Bands start, and they break up." The Keith Brown Trio, planning to add a guitarist, will still be performing free shows every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bamboo Room, while Ricci will continue to play with his blues outfit the Nucklebusters as well as the occasional solo gig.
Dance music in South Florida crops up in the unlikeliest of places sometimes. It's almost like Muzak, with a bit of adrenaline. But it seems to be ubiquitous -- strip malls, grocery stores -- even the Outback Steakhouse on SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale had techno pumping on our last visit. So it's not surprising there's a new local dance night to report -- Pompano Beach is getting in on the action up at Club 3299. Formerly affiliated with "A Jungle T'ing" and "Winter Music Conference Drum and Bass Showcase," the venue is now hosting "Drumwerks," a Friday-night session that starts at 9 p.m., goes on until 2:30 in the morning, and allows folks 21 and older to bring their own booze. This Friday the DJ lineup includes Gridlok from Tampa and Dread from St. Petersburg. On July 14 the club brings in U.K. drum 'n' bass specialists Zinc and Jordana.
West Palm Beach is home to a downright scary band known as Electric Witchdance. The band visually forms a composite sketch of the male you'd least want ever to see your daughter with. The five members of Witchdance have enough leather, tattoos, makeup, and haphazardly shaved noggins to open a thrilling S&M club. See for yourself when the band performs with the Livid Kittens at Respectable Street on July 8 and at MARS Music Amphitheatre opening for Anthrax, Megadeth, and Mötley Crüe on July 28.
Pay no heed to rumors regarding the alleged financial troubles and imminent demise of west Broward's best live music venue, Alligator Alley in Sunrise. The club is closed for a week but will be back in business July 12.
SlipstreamPresents.com, a Net-based record company operated by Matthew Sabatella of Miami, offers a specialized catalog of local releases available in MP3, Liquid Audio, and RealPlayer formats. SlipstreamPresents.com offers something more tangible and less likely to suffer from signal degradation. It's a CD -- 18 Great Songs From SlipstreamPresents.com.Eighteen Great Songs leads off with the stuttering, shaky pointillism of Maria Marocka's "The Height" and into the pretty, downbeat "Poison Ivy" from Ho Chi Minh, both adopting an altfolk stance. Amanda Green quietly shifts the singer-songwriter tableau with the elegantly skewed "Me and My Wife." Rhett & the Pawnshop Drunks' contribution, "Cast No Stones," could be a long-lost B-side from the Rolling Stones. The Curious Hair goes for a pickup truck country twang on "Downhill."
Not everything is gold, of course: The Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice sport the best name and the worst sound -- sort of a resurrected Toad-the-Rusted-Barenaked-Traveling-Hootie type of thing. But that's quickly forgotten in the wake of Mary Karlzen's strong, saucy "Wonderland." Emotional nudists A Kite Is a Victim softly render "Garden Boat" into a dying-ember campfire song, as somber and sad as Nick Drake with evocative, intricate strumming, occasionally stunning vocal harmonies, and delicate piano and percussion tucked deep into the mix.
This assemblage of songs from these and more low-key local bands should compel you to leave behind the brain-numbing Elbo Room and get your nappy ass up to the Underground Coffeeworks in West Palm Beach Thursdays for SlipstreamPresents' Resident Artists Nights. On July 6 hear Green with Marocka; on July 13 it's A Kite Is a Victim with Angela Patua; and on July 20, the Dharma Bomb teams up with Jim Wurster and the Atomic Playboys. Sabatella will host these events, which begin at 9:30 p.m. The CD will be available at the shows, or you can examine www.slipstreampresents.com's music goodies, T-shirts and such, and order the CD on the Web at the special low price of only $2. Only 11 cents a song? Think of the savings.