At this point, everything that can be said about Clarence Reid, aka Blowfly, has been said within our digital and newsprint pages. There's little to add save for a few unknown and completely made-up facts; like when Blowfly, in full funky regalia saved schoolchildren from a burning bus in the mid '80s or when he recently coached Ministry's Al Jourgensen in the arts of humane raccoon removal. But his Churchill's Pub performance tonight is not about aggrandizing the Blowfly myth or to mark any particular anniversary in the man's six-decade long career.
No. Tonight's entry into his often confusing, but always satisfying weird world is about drummer/manager "Uncle Tom" Bowker doing right by the 'Fly and his hometown of Miami. As a longtime member of South Florida's music scene in the Da Vincian capacities of musician, journalist, label operator, producer, promoter, etc... Bowker's list of friends and foes is long and strong.
Feel free to insert your own dick joke there, but do not deny the man's influence on our musical landscape.
See also: 'Fly Unzipped
It's a debatable point as to how obscure Blowfly's career had become to the public at large since the '80s. Debatable in the sense that he was well-known to the musicians who sampled him (like Beyonce, Nate Dogg, Jurassic 5, and the Wu Tang Clan amongst others), record collectors, and humor enthusiasts but not necessarily to South Florida's younger generations. In 2005, after seventeen years of sporadic touring, Reid hooked up with Bowker, and it has been a funky ride since.
Boasting two studio and one live albums, plus something in the vicinity of 300 performances around the world, Blowfly and crew officially release their third album under Bowker's tenure tonight, Black in the Sack with the help of the beloved pop-metal of Torche and the psych/garage-punk of the Jacuzzi Boys who perform their sole 2013 Miami date and embark on a European tour respectively.
As for those who will malign Bowker and spout vitriol about him, especially those who misinterpreted his role in revitalizing the 'Fly's career after Jonathan Furmanski's 2011 documentary The Weird World of Blowfly, I will say this much: South Florida's musical landscape would've been a helluva lot more barren in the '90s if it hadn't been for his oft unappreciated sweat. Yes, I'm a friend of Bowker's and one of the few people in the world who can say that they saw Blowfly perform at his wedding or that they witnessed this tall honky heckle the fuck out of Paul Mooney.
This is not "friend code" talking, this is me as a music lover and live music enthusiast paying my respects in a public platform for the many shows I've enjoyed that he made possible.
That aside, it is worthy of note that this band has done the unthinkable this year; perhaps the greatest musical coup of all time. Something pop culture historians will have a field day with: they performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos and are set to headline MoMA's PS1 Sunday Sessions later this month for their retrospective on artist and musician Mike Kelley of Destroy All Monsters fame. Kelley was a huge fan of the 'Fly, and as far as high/lowbrow culture goes, to quote Bowker (clearly instrumental in this achievement) "this doesn't take the cake. It takes the bakery's pink slip."
Weird World of Blowfly (Trailer)
Do right by the 'Fly and insert your own vaginal joke there. In the meantime, preview the new album here.
Blowfly with Torche and the Jacuzzi Boys, 8 p.m., on Friday, November 8 at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave. Cost is $10. Call 305-757-1807, or visit churchillspub.com.
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