Bruise Cruise Organizers Michelle Cable and Jonas Stein Prep for Dance Parties and Preshows

Bruise Cruise organizers Michelle Cable and Turbo Fruits' Jonas Stein suggest bringing a few essentials on the boat this year. 1. a Speedo, 2. sunglasses, 3. a fanny pack ("Even though it sounds unhip, it was actually our saving grace," Cable advises.), 4. vitamins, 5. formal wear, and 6. An open mind.

"You've got to be down for anything," she said. "People just got cheesy and let their guilty pleasures come out. Dancing to Top 40 hits, letting their hair down, and not caring about how they look in their bathing suit anymore." That's right, even grungy rock guys will feel comfortable in their banana hammocks.

"This year, we want to go over the top with it," Cable says. Expect to do more than sip from a coconut and burn; there will be a butt-ton of interacting. They're adding a hip-hop dance class with Vockah Redu, a dating game on Valentine's Day, standup acts, and, of course, Miss Pussycat's puppet show, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. 

Counter to last year's all-"garage"-band lineup, this cruise will feature groups of different genres. "I feel like everyone has a common thread," Cable notes, "and an amazing energy." Fucked Up, for instance, who Cable describes as "a pretty seminal hardcore band," has a sound unlike the other acts. She was interested in the juxtaposition of their music with the sandy, sunny Bahamian landscape. 

Cable and Stein surveyed cruisers on the maiden voyage to determine this year's lineup. Everyone loved Thee Oh Sees, because they're incredible live, and most suggested they keep it the same. But the times, they are always a-changing. Some acts, Cable believes, should have been on the first bill, like the Dirtbombs, who were merely passengers on that ride.

"We generally wanted to keep the roots from last year but diversify," Stein says. "Bring in a new audience while maintaining our core audience." There will be more Bruise Cruisers this year, but Cable wants to hold on to the intimacy of the affair. The point is to be able to see if Quintron eats Jell-O at lunch or if Neil Hamburger wears a bow tie to the beach. 

Bruiser/Pro-Surfer Dylan Graves from BRUISE CRUISE FEST on Vimeo.

"We wanted to create a rock 'n' roll adventure camp on water," Cable points out. Many people came not knowing one another last year and, after forced interactions, left with a ton of new friends, and people even paired off into romantic unions. The Bruise Cruise was a love boat of sorts. They also fittingly have Bruise Cruise condoms. (We snagged a few last we saw them. Very colorful.)

While the preshow at Grand Central was wild, dirty, and delicious last year, this one will probably be a bit primmer at the Stage. You can catch local acts Deaf Poets and Jacuzzi Boys, who won't be playing onboard. It'll also be the first time supergroup the Togas perform live. The band includes the incredibly young and talented Ty Segall, the adorable Shannon Shaw of Shannon and the Clams, Philip Sambol of Austin's the Strange Boys, and Lance Wille of Reigning Sound. There'll be giveaways, so get there early. We're tellin' ya, the condoms are really cute. 

Expect live coverage from the boat on County Grind. The preparties take place on February 9 and 10 at the Stage (170 NE 38th St., Miami). Click here for the full lineup. 

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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