By Mariel Zayas-Bazan
Blood, sweat, beers, and maybe a few tears were shed three months ago, but Churchill's change of ownership has proven a smooth -- and even positive -- transition. Toes no longer curl at the smell of piss by the door. The patio bar is renovated. Damn decent food is churning out of the kitchen and punks are still booking ceiling-crawling shows. A few fixtures may be missing from the walls, but Mr. C's jar of English jam is still around, and so is he. We can't complain.
This Monday marks 35 years since Churchill's Pub first opened. While a lot has changed since '79, you can still play pool, swig beer, and watch soccer. And for a long while now, you can also catch local bands from the bright side of the bar. This Friday through Saturday you'll have 60 bands and three stages to choose from and no cover. It's only fitting that legendary and soon-to-be legendary Broward heavy-hitters dot the lineup.
Among those are the Shark Valley Sisters, featuring the Holy Terrors' Rob Elba and Load's Fausto Figueredo. Their hardcore roots show in SVS, but they don't seem as delightfully angry and jaded as they used to, which must only mean they've matured. Think Tragedy at a slower tempo with cleaner vocals. You can catch them on Saturday.
And when you find yourself jonesing for ear-piercing frequencies that night, Pompano Beach native, Robert W. Brantley III -- not as proper as his name sounds -- is the man behind solo noise act Human Fluid Rot.
A theremin, a synth, and a crap load of pedals, switches, and amps make his set an auditory overload in the same vein as William Bennett of Whitehouse's sensory assault. It may not be as intentional as pre-millennial noise, but the genre's current state is worth checking out regardless. And maybe you can catch him performing while on the toilet again.
If you are nostalgic for the '90s, Hallandale Beach locals, Milk Spot are playful like Mr.Bungle and heavy like the Melvins. Their name might be creepy -- like the word moist -- but they don't take themselves too seriously so it's OK. After two days of head-banging, seeing them Sunday will be like grabbing coffee with a bud. No spot of milk though. Egh.
While Churchill's Pub has undoubtedly been through waves of people and music, the energy pulsing on its stage of balding carpet remains the same. South Florida locals wouldn't have it any other way, and this weekend should be a testament to that.
Happy anniversary, Churchill's!
35 Years of Churchill's Fest. With Shark Valley Sisters, Human Fluid Rot, Milk Spot, Juju Pie, Dyslexic Postcards, Gun Hoes, Askultura, The Gazms, Rat Bastard, Adam Matza, and others. Friday, August 29, through Monday, September 1. Free show. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. Call 305-757-1807, or visit churchillspub.com.