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Maintaining Radio Silence

104.1-FM the Boss (actually, those call letters are the legal property of a Boston, Massachusetts FM outlet, not to the illegal signal originating somewhere in North Miami-Dade County) fell silent last week. That means no more Michael the Black Man ranting about how Democrats -- or Dixiecrats, or Bob Norman -- are the scourge of the nation or how Janet Reno is in bed with the Ku Klux Klan. No one's answering calls at the station nowadays, making it necessary for us to speculate aloud about exactly what busted the Boss. Did the FCC finally pinpoint the illegitimate signal's secret unlawful location and roust those responsible? Did Michael's ex-wife finally find him, attaching his paycheck, garnishing his wages, and possibly filing a lien against his condo? Maybe his Greek chorus of yes-men and yes-women ("Amen!"; "Yes, brother!'; "You're so right!" et. al.) quit, quickly deflating his warmed-over bag of wind? Perhaps Bill Cosby sued over the station's unauthorized afternoon broadcasting of his old comedy records?

Since it's impossible to believe that a guy as blowhardy as Iron Mike could be hushed for long, we bet he'll be back soon -- with an even more complex persecution complex than before. These underground pirate stations give Florida's radio-wave landscape its only measure of intrigue; Michael may be a complete idiot, but he's an entertaining idiot -- which is more than one can say about the DJs on, say, Zeta. Can't wait for Michael to return just in time to save Miriam Oliphant from the tar-'n'-feather posse.

Easy-like-Sunday-morning types already know that the Downtowner Saloon has the best brunch around -- even better if you're close enough to bike, boat, or walk. This Sunday's buttery banquet plans to be even bigger and better than usual as the three-day New River Street Dance wraps up its roster of local blues artists, which included The Regulators, Iko Iko, Sheba & True Blue, Fabulous Fleetwoods, Hep Cat Boo Daddies, Stan Street & the Streetwalkers, Slip & the Spinouts, Motel Mel & Michael Wainwright, Nucklebusters, and plenty of those bands that send City Link's beloved Bob Weinberg into outbursts of joy. The action begins 5 p.m. Friday both inside the 75-year-old bar and out in back behind the courthouse upon a stage on the Riverwalk.

Sunday's session concludes with a 9 p.m. Blues Jam inside the Downtowner's historic Maxwell Room. Don't forget to wear loose-fitting trousers -- to make the traditional mass mooning of the Jungle Queen as it passes by that much easier!

Lollapalooza's campaign to retake the sheds of summer has staked out Tuesday, August 5, as its D-Day to occupy South Florida's Coral Sky Amphitheatre. So you'll need to take that day off to enjoy Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, Jurassic 5, and the Donnas. Maybe enjoy is the wrong word. If you're not excited about that lineup -- and why in the world would you be? -- let's hope together that a few more interesting acts are added as summertime rolls around.

Speaking of Queens of the Stone Age, touring the world this spring and hitting some decent-sized venues, they presented Fort Lauderdale's venerable Culture Room with one of its biggest nights ever last week. Though Norway's Turbonegro completely blew the Stoners off the stage, the flagrant thrill of being packed into the club, completely unable to move and only barely able to breathe, felt like being somewhere far bigger than Fort Lauderdale. Kudos to the Culture Room's spacious re-design of its stage and main bar, making for more room to rock. Last week, we needed every inch.

Another freak occurrence took place just a few days earlier at the Factory, when Frank Black's solo material actually sounded good -- not as first-class as the handful of Pixies songs he broke out (he opened with "Gouge Away," for cryin' out loud!) -- but much better than those albums by the Catholics.

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

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