Basel 2014's Eight Best Local Music Shows

Come December, megaclubs on South Beach and party spots in downtown Miami vibrate with the sounds of international DJs while every hovel in town is pounding with the sounds of bands from all over the world just itching for their one moment in the Art Basel spotlight.

But Miami's also got a legit local music scene that is more than worthy of your eyes and ears. So get out and check out our swampy and tropical musicians.

Trust us, they've earned their time on the #ABMB stage.

See also: Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 Bar Guide

Audio Junkie's Fourth Annual Art Basel Distraction!

8 p.m. to 2 a.m., December 5 to December 7, at Suite 206, 164 NW 20 St., Miami. No cover. Visit Facebook event page.

Just to offer some context, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth played and then chilled the fuck out at this incredible underground party two years ago. The Art Basel Distraction is put together by Audio Junkie brothers Eddy and Greg Alvarez, who have made significant documentaries about musicians on the South Florida scene. They also play in their own band, the Jellyfish Brothers, and throw plenty of well-curated showcases.

Each Basel week, the Alvarezes turn their large studio apartment, housed in a sort of warehouse complex on the outskirts of Wynwood, into the city's most avant-garde musical bastion, drawing in the weirdest and coolest crowd. This year is co-sponsored by PureHoney Magazine and

For the 2014 edition, they've invited visual artists, as well as photogs Walter Wlodarczyk, Monica Uszerowicz, and plenty of others. Meanwhile, the sonic lineup is a best of the tri-county area. There will be noise made by jazz great Kenny Millions, bands that know how to play instruments, and even a few DJs -- but don't expect any uhntz-uhntz. This is strictly for fans of rock and experimental who are ready for a ridiculous night on the town.

See also: Thurston Moore, Rat Bastard, and Kenny Millions Play Art Basel House Show (Video)

Gummdrops, Tropicult, and PureHoney's Art Basel Live & Local

8 p.m., December 3, at Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. No cover before 10 p.m., $5 after. Visit the Facebook event page.

Sweet, local party-thrower Gummdrops, culture blog Tropicult, and PureHoney present a solid indie-rock lineup of local acts at the Electric Pickle, right in Wynwood. Oh, and yes, there will be two-for-one drinks.

Catch dreamy trio Tremends, the funk of Hunters of the Alps, folky Bluejay, ethereal New Wave dance beats by the Moon Caravan, female-fronted garage-pop by Palette Town, and the harder rock of The Grey 8s.

Afrobeta at the Vagabond Hotel

8 to 11 p.m., Friday, December 5, at the Vagabond Hotel, 7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. No cover. Visit

In honor of Art Basel, Miami's delightfully dancey duo, Afrobeta, will be bringing out the truly tropical vibes for an art crowd maybe not as comfortable in a hibiscus print bikini.

The two will be performing live and doing a DJ set poolside at this perfectly renovated mid-century hotel. Cocktail in hand, swaying like a palm tree, you'll feel like Frank Sinatra's date, just dying for a dip in the chlorine.

Ahol's #HOMETEAM Art Basel Pac Jam BBQ

10 p.m., Friday, December 5, at Mokai, 235 23rd St., Miami Beach. Visit the Facebook event page.

If you want a taste of the real Miami, this is the party to attend. Our most popular muralist -- and not just because American Eagle Outfitters stole his look -- AholSniffsGlue will be presenting his very own backyard barbecue with Jack Daniel's at Mokai on South Beach.

There are promises of burgers and beer, tattoos by Gordie Jones, and a claw machine from which you can grab your very own Ahol-designed plush pillow. The live sounds will be provided by Miami's IDM master Otto von Schirach, spacey hip-hop by Poshgod, trippy electronica by Master Feathers, The Suarez, and Killaka5.

The beautiful, magical, and hairy drag queens Juleisy y Karla will bring the ratchet full circle on SoBe. The rules state: "Pants! No Tanks! No Chanks!" If you're from Miami, you get it.

Kill Your Idol, IFAC, and Pabst Blue Ribbon's MIA Collective Ground with Brian Butler and Plastic Pinks

8 p.m., Thursday, December 4, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Española Way, Miami Beach. No cover. Visit the Facebook event page.

You'll often see Brian Butler sketching in the corner of the coolest live shows around the country. He's got the whole room in his hand, and his drawings make the night perpetually come alive. This year, he'll be painting a live mural with Dr Dax at KYI's most visual Basel night.

There'll be screen printing by Wheel Barrow, so you look good. There will be free PBRs from 10 p.m. to 11, plus two-for-one everything from 8 p.m. to 10, so you feel good. And there will be music by DJ Jayo from Phiily and local Latin garage rockers Plastic Pinks to get you eve further into the groove.

Laundry Room Squelchers' Anti-Art Becomes Art

10 p.m, Tuesday, December 2, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Cover costs $5. Visit the Facebook event page.

Rat Bastard is the Miami scene's hatted and bespectacled high priest. He baptizes local acts, then sends them out into the world to find their fortunes -- and many have. They all return to the roost at some point, usually to play Churchill's Pub or record in his home studio.

As his long-running, ever-evolving Laundry Room Squelchers act demonstrates, he's also the reigning king of noise. So for the Anti-Art Becomes Art showcase, he's bringing people in from all over the world and even some from our own backyard. Expect Andy Ortmann from Chicago, metal from Miami's Snakehole, the lovely songstress JuJu Pie, percussion and guitar by Tatsuya Nakatani and Russell Mofsky, and of course, his cohort Kenny Millions, and others. The flyer claims there will be "free poppers." Fingers crossed.

RAW Project with Psychic Mirrors to Benefit Jose de Diego Middle School

6 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, December 2, at Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd St., Miami. No cover. Visit the Facebook event page. Donate via

Wynwood may be the newest arts district in town, but arts education is being taken from a school right in the neighborhood, Jose de Diego Middle School. Thankfully, the big-hearted culture lovers at RAW Project (Re-Imagining the Arts in Wynwood) are working hard to fundraise in the coolest way possible.

They're using the school walls as a canvas for a group of almost 40 local and international street artists, including Typoe, Santiago Rubino, Magnus Sodamin, David Walker, Hox, Pixelpancho, and Lebo. Meanwhile, Psychic Mirrors, a large groovy group, will be bringing the funk. So dancing shoes and donations are a thing you should definitely consider.

Sade Cover Band at Little Haiti Thrift & Gift

Wednesday, December 3, at Little Haiti Thrift & Gift, 5865 NE Second Ave., Miami.

We don't have all the details on this event just yet, but we think it's very important for you to know that in the heart of Little Haiti tomorrow night, there will be both delicious, homemade Haitian food and a Sade cover band that includes Rainer Davies who used perform as half of Raffa and Rainer.

There's no world in which a Sade cover band should be missed.

Follow Liz Tracy on Twitter.

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy