Yo La Tengo and Sam Green's The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller - Miami Beach

Photo by Mark Diamond

The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller
A live documentary by Sam Green and Yo La Tengo
The Colony Theatre, Miami Beach
Saturday, March 22, 2014

Better Than: Any movie playing in the multiplex (except maybe The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Even in this multitasking day and age when people respond to email, talk on the phone, and watch a rerun of Seinfeld all at the same time, it was hard to know exactly where to keep your eyes on Saturday night at the Colony Theatre.

At center stage was a screen displaying the sound and images of the film documentary The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller. To stage right stood the movie's director Sam Green in a bright orange shirt, live-narrating the movie. And then, most distracting of all, to stage left, sitting amid a scattering of instruments were indie rock legends Yo La Tengo, performing the soundtrack.

See also: Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan on His Band's 30th Year, Scoring Films, and Buckminster Fuller

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Julieta Venegas and Los Amigos Invisibles - Grand Central Miami - 3/19/2014

Photo by Luz Elena Silva

Julieta Venegas and Los Amigos Invisibles
Sala Siete Concert Series, Presented by Jack Daniel's
With Mr. Pauer and Domino Saints
Grand Central, Miami
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It was the middle of the week. But it felt like a Saturday night in Miami.

Doors opened at Grand Central by 8:00 p.m., and in just a few minutes, the party was already full of life and rhythm.

For the last few years, the Jack Daniel's Sala Siete concert series has been promoting Latin music all around the United States. The goal is to bring the beat of salsa, reggae, Latin rock, and cumbia to every corner of the country. As they say: "In Sala Siete, there's room for all music."

And last night, that meant accordion-wielding songstress Julieta Venegas and Venezuelan sextet Amigos Invisibles.

See also: Review & Photos: Pablo Alboran - Fillmore Miami Beach - 3/15/2014

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Pablo Alboran - Fillmore Miami Beach - 3/15/2014

Photo by Luz Elena Silva

Pablo Alborán
Fillmore Miami Beach
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Over the weekend, fans filled the Fillmore Miami Beach for a sold-out night full of rhythm and romanticism as 24-year-old Spanish singer Pablo Alborán performed for the first time in the United States.

Earlier this month, when we here at Crossfade spoke with Alborán, he confessed: "I want to thrill people with my music."

And at the Fillmore, he certainly did.

See also: Pablo Alboran: "I Want to Thrill People With My Music"

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Asaf Avidan, Black Violin, and Carnaval on the Mile 2014

Photo by Laura Morcate
Israel's Asaf Avidan serenading Coral Gables' Carnaval crowd.

Carnaval on the Mile
With Asaf Avidan, Black Violin, Brass-a-holics, Grupo Fantasma, and others
Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
Sunday, March 2, 2014

"It's just me playing music. I'm not going to ask anyone to holler. I'm not going to ask anyone to make noise. I'm just going to play some songs."

Those were the first few words from Asaf Avidan, one of this year's headlining musical acts at Carnaval on the Mile.

Little did he know how much Coral Gables' Carnaval crowd truly appreciated his presence that afternoon as he serenaded them with his ballad blues.

See also: Asaf Avidan on New Album Different Pulses and "Why I Decided to Go Back to Basics"

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Swamp Stomp 2014: Bright Light Social Hour, Roosevelt Collier, and the Tobacco Road Gang

Photo by Alex Markow
Austin's Bright Light Social Hour stompin' the swamp at Tobacco Road.

Swamp Stomp Music Festival
With Bright Light Social Hour, Roosevelt Collier's Phunk Phactory, and others
Tobacco Road, Miami
Saturday, March 1, 2014

Better Than: The sound of alligators and mosquitos lurking in the dark.

As you look toward the sky from the Tobacco Road parking lot and see the multitude of industrial cranes further turning Miami into a cityscape out of Bladerunner, it is easy to forget this was all once swampland.

But the sixth annual Swamp Stomp Music Festival was aimed to remind attendees of our simpler, perhaps more dangerous past.

See also: Bright Light Social Hour on the Next Album and Writing a Song for Texas' Wendy Davis

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Roky Erickson and Black Angels: The Ultimate Psych-Rock Trip at Grand Central Miami

Photo by Erik Hess

Roky Erickson and Black Angels
Grand Central, Miami
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Last night, we here at Crossfade witnessed what may truly be the ultimate in psych-rock shows: A tour featuring the living legend and originator of the genre, Roky Erickson, and the band that has preserved and carried on the spirit of psychedelia, The Black Angels.

This tandem of Austin, Texas' psych royals turned downtown Miami's Grand Central into a swirling cavern of mind-bending sounds and overwhelming aural textures, and the horde of fans that gathered for the rituals reveled in the night as if hypnotized.

See also: Black Angels on What's "Really F#@%ing Cool About the Freedom of Psychedelia"

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Jucifer Rattles Bottles and Brains With Holly Hunt and Devalued at Churchill's Pub

Photo by teajayphoto

Churchill's Pub, Miami
Friday, February 21, 2014

Some bands wield volume artistically, turning sound waves into bludgeoning vehicles of expression and tapping into the very viscera of the audience through sheer force. Bands like Swans, Japan's Boris, and Miami's own Holly Hunt all use decibels to bolster the inherent aural and mental stimuli of their art.

Then, there's Jucifer, a duo so addicted to volume that the members spend most of their waking life either moving a literal wall of amplifiers in and out of clubs or testing the structural integrity of said clubs with its sludge-metal assault. The band took to Churchill's Pub last Friday night to rattle the bottles and crowd members' brains in what was an awesomely obnoxious display of volume.

See also: Miami's Ten Heaviest Current Metal and Punk Bands

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Don Omar, Nas, Juicy J, Busta Rhymes at Soulfrito Music Festival 2014 in Miami

Photo by Max Reed
Check out Crossfade's full 87-photo slideshow of Soulfrito Music Festival 2014.

Soulfrito Music Festival
With Nas, Don Omar, Busta Rhymes, and others
Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens
Saturday, February 22, 2014

Better Than: The Winter Olympics.

In contrast to the Olympic Games being broadcast the past couple weeks, Soulfrito: The Urban Latin Music Festival was organized to represent nations -- Puerto Rico -- and athletic events -- synchonized ass-shaking -- that were nowhere to be found in Sochi.

Officially, the headliner of the daylong event was Don Omar. But by his 11:15 p.m. set time, when the Puerto Rican King of Reggaeton jogged across the stage to the beat of pounding bongo drums, a certain percentage of the crowd had already left.

See also: Soulfrito Festival's Melissa Giles on "Launching Pitbull, Aventura, and Wisin y Yandel"

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Lauryn Hill and Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley at Nine Mile Music Festival 2014

Photo by George Martinez
Check out Crossfade's full 85-photo slideshow of Nine Mile 2014.

Nine Mile Music Festival
With Ms. Lauryn Hill, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley and others
Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, Miami
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Better Than: Staying home, eating discounted Valentine's chocolates while listening to "One Love" over and over again.

After last year's Nine Mile Music Festival earned complaints for making a mess of Virginia Key Beach, this year's edition was held in a less ecologically sensitive site, the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds.

If the home of the Dade County Youth Fair hasn't been harmed by the toxic oils used to deep fry oreos, than the ashes of smoked marijuana and remnants from conch salad should not harm the premises.

See also: Stephen Marley on Legal Weed in Florida: "The Only Time Ya Ever Gonna See Me Vote"

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Deadmau5's Free Show for the Real Fans: "Miami's Been Redeemed"

Photo by Max Reed
The Mau5 heads came out in downtown Miami last night.

Ice Palace Studios, Miami
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Better Than: Sitting at home realizing you definitely can't afford to go to Ultra this year, thinking up futile ways to try and sneak in.

Yep, we did it guys. We've finally earned cranky old Joel Zimmerman's respect.

As you may know, just six weeks ago, the man who goes by the name Deadmau5 condemned our city and its pompous VIP culture after a gig at South Beach's Mansion, declaring, "I won't be playing any more Miami clubs."

Last night, though, the Mau5 gave us another chance. And yes, he even seemed to enjoy himself.

See also: Ten Things Deadmau5 Hates Most About EDM

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