Nov 12 Matisyahu, Radical Something at the Florida Theatre
I shaved my beard almost all the way off recently and even though people tell me it looks ok, I still miss that old thing. What gives me the most comfort is that I don’t look as ridiculous as Matisyahu does without a beard. Seriously, why? You have a schtick as a Yiddish reggae-rapper guy, and the ONLY thing you have to do is keep the Hassidic beard/curl combo and just count the money. Apparently management forgot to tell this guy not to take reggae-rap too seriously because this knucklehead must think he’s onto something important and meaningful. Settle down, the guy grew up getting baked at Phish shows and decided to cash in on his heritage; he’s no spiritual leader, and he’s certainly no hero.
Nov 15 Sick Of It All, Negative Approach, Rhythm of Fear at Jack Rabbits
Hey look, real hardcore! These days the lines between hardcore and pop-punk and emo are so blurred and confusing that it just makes me feel old and slow and stupid. But Sick Of It All is what I think of when I think of hardcore. It’s what I grew up with, and it’s tough because it’s tough, not because it has something to prove. Furthermore, they put out an album this year, and it is the furthest thing from terrible. In fact, it sounds comfortingly just like a Sick Of It All album should sound in 2014. This band has aged so gracefully, and it gives me hope.
Nov 22 Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers at Underbelly
You know how you can look at something everyday and yet never actually process it? I’ve been looking at the backside of this poster for what must be months without recognizing that Flatbush Zombies were coming this month. Solid Brooklyn-based trap/hip hop for the A$AP crowd. There will be many Mishka New Eras on heads, possibly including my own. I’m a good sport, and this shit is pretty tight. And isn’t it about time that hip hop and punk realized they were basically on the same side again? Flatbush Zombies released a collabo track with Trash Talk in September, and while Body Count, it may not be, it isn’t half bad at all.
Nov 28-29 WVRM FEST at Burro Bar
Two dudes I respect very much have collaborated to bring you the second annual WVRM FEST, a riotous rager celebrating the place where metal and hardcore overlap without being metalcore. Cliff of Southern Druid does the best underground metal shows in town while Reeder and the On Point Records crew are all about supporting Florida hardcore. This two-day fest features some of the gnarliest bands in the Southeast doing everything from grindcore to doom to black metal. Tickets are only $20 for both days and with over 20 bands on the bill, it’s well-worth the price of ONE FREAKING DOLLAR PER BAND!
Dec 6 Misfits at Underbelly
When people ask the age-old question, “what was your first show?” I’m fortunate enough to be able to stick my nose in the air and reply, “The Misfits, H2O and Marky Ramone & the Intruders.” It was 1998 or so, and 15-year-old me was somehow able to convince my dad it wasn’t going to be a problem – skateboarding was not a crime, I probably was not going to turn out to be a junkie, and as long as I made decent grades, some guys playing loud and fast music with painted faces were not going to corrupt me anymore than the general ennui of life in the suburbs anyhow. But my life was forever altered, and while Glen may now be his own punchline and as Jerry milks every last red cent out of what once was, there’s something universally timeless about the early Misfits stuff and what it means to be punk rock. The Misfits as we know them more or less disbanded the year I was born, and yet the fact that kids more than ten years younger than me still identify with their brand of music speaks volumes as to what they were actually doing up there in New Jersey in the 80s. The point is – it’s the Misfits, it’s a good time, and who knows how much steam they’ve got left in them.
Dec 9 Quintron & Miss Pussycat, White Mystery, The Mold, Burnt Hair at Underbelly
One time, Quintron turned a ratty old house in New Orleans into a weather-controlled synthesizer that sang the song of Mother Nature. The Singing House is modulated by weather, and it’s a beautiful thing that anyone with a single nerdy bone in their body will absolutely freak out about. Another time, Quintron and Miss Pussycat insisted on playing a show in the rattiest, most drippiest, dankest closet of an abandoned auto dealership in Miami during Art Basel while I was on mushrooms, and it was the best thing ever. White Mystery is a brother-sister duo with a logo very similar to Mission Workshop. You can catch them all with two local bands that are very good and very punk.