Billy Joel's Ten Most Pivotal Moments, According to Biographer Fred Schruers

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Photo by Myrna Suarez
Billy Joel: Forty-four years behind the mic.

It's easy for cynics to dismiss Billy Joel's decades-long career as nothing more than a continuing cycle of hot singles, alcohol abuse, and roller-coaster relationships. But he has also earned the distinction of being one of the most successful singer-songwriters in music history with indelible melodies that inevitably become standards.

A Miami homeboy until relatively recently -- he sold his palatial La Gorce Island estate in summer 2013 -- Joel has known both universal acclaim and awkward encounters. It's all laid out in Fred Schruers' new book, Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography.

Schruers first met the singer during an interview in 1985. The singer tapped him to be a ghostwriter for a proposed autobiography in 2008. That project was scrubbed, but Joel gave Schruers his blessing to pen a book of his own.

Here, then, in chronological order, are Schruers' picks for the top ten moments that define Billy Joel as both an artist and individual.

See also: Billy Joel Announces First Miami Concert in Seven Years

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Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami: Ten Weirdest Works of Phan Art

Categories: Lists

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Poster by Ryan Kerrigan/RyanKerrigan.com
This is the least weird thing you will see in this blog.

The Phish-inspired art created by the band's devoted fans is an essential part of the community, and the overall Phish experience. Before every show, hundreds of original works are sold and traded in the bustling parking lot, and sometimes at mini Phan Art conventions.

Over the weekend during Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami, Phan Art was on display at the Adrienne Arsht Center in a deservedly civilized and sober manner. The room was clean and calm, people moved at a slow speed, and a gal played Phish tunes on piano while folks bonded over the artwork.

Phan Art ranges from absurd to heartfelt. And to the uninitiated, every bit of it could fairly be called weird. Here are ten exceptionally weird-great examples.

See also: Review & Photos: Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami

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Kanye West & Paul McCartney and Four Other Strange Musical Collaborations

Categories: Lists

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Photo by Inez and Vinoodh
Yeezy and Macca are planning "a prolific musical collaboration."

Bon Iver, Jamie Foxx, Chief Keef, Hudson Mohawk, and now, Paul McCartney. That's just a partial list of Kanye West collaborators. Ever since the Chi-Town don rapped "call him Kwah-li or Kwey-li, I put him on songs with Jay Z," fans have known to expect left-field musical partnerships, and that's part of the rapper/producer's charm.

His latest effort, "Only One," with the former Beatle, is soulful, uplifting, and reflective. We expected a proper duet, but what we got is an auto-tuned Kanye set to McCartney's keys. Still, we're loving it.

As we digest the tune, we can't help thinking about strange pairings. Some not so successful. And others oddly heartwarming.

See also: Bey Z and the Five Greatest Pop Power Couples Ever

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Six New Year's 2015 Resolutions for Miami's Music Scene

Categories: Lists, Local Music

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Photo by Alex Markow

Wow. Much year. Many new.

Miami turned a corner in 2014. The Heat may have failed to three-peat, but there's a certain positivity in the subtropical air that can't be denied. Even as some of our most treasured music and nightlife establishments disappear into the abyss of time, there are lots of things to be excited about.

But wait just a minute... Let's not get carried away with the woo-hoo-ing. We all have some work to do in 2015. So here are our friendly annual suggestions for a better scene.

See also: The 10 People Who Won't Make It in Miami

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The 10 Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2014

Categories: Lists

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Photo by Samantha Muljat

By Jason Roche

Just when we think there is nowhere left to explore in the world of metal, a flood of excellent releases both reinforce what we already love about the genre, and push the boundaries of what we know it to be. Below, we celebrate the top 10 heavy metal albums of 2014 that accomplished both of the above for us.

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Miami's Ten Best Concerts of 2014

Categories: Lists

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Photos by Ian Witlen/theCameraClicks.com

Kerrang. Uhntz-uhntz. Ba-boom. Pop-a-da-da. Tiki-tiki.

We live in a city where the rock, punk, house, techno, EDM, reggae, rap, bass, and Top 40 never stop. There are secret club shows. Pyrotechnic pop tours. Quiet nights at the theater. Sweaty trips to the pit. And massive music festivals that absolutely overrun everything.

There's no denying the 305 is a music mecca. And these were Miami's ten best concerts of 2014.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Live Music Venues

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Ten Albums You Didn't Know Were Recorded in Miami

Categories: Lists

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Photo by Alex Broadwell
Does the Weeknd record in Miami? Yes, he does.

Miami is slowly building a name for itself as one of the great music cities in the U.S., but the 305 has been an under-the-radar favorite for decades.

Pop, rap, R&B, and rock superstars come to Miami to escape the spotlight and the grind. They can get their party on and they can also hit up one of our hidden top-of-the-line recording studios to make magic happen. There's tons of inspiration, from the sun and sand to the beautiful people, delicious food, and melding cultures.

You may know Fleetwood Mac visited Miami to record Rumours, and maybe you even know about the Eagles coming here to make Hotel California, but we're pretty sure you had no idea that our city helped make these ten contemporary classics.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Recording Studios

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Miami's Ten Best Reggae Acts of 2014

Categories: Lists, Local Music

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Photo by Adrian Boot/Island Records
Even Bob Marley left a South Florida legacy.

Down in Florida City, Rasta Rick used to live in an air conditioned tree house, serve bricks of good outdoor ganja, and jam reggae tapes all day.

Dade County is both a downtrodden Babylon, and a Rasta's paradise. And many of the world's greatest reggae artists, bands, and performers can be found right here in Miami, Florida.

From pioneers who helped write and record some of reggae's first hits to the youth of today that's learning from the legends, the genre is still as active, exciting, and infectious as when it appeared on the world's stage in the late 1960s.

Here are Miami's ten best reggae acts of 2014.

See also: Miami's Ten Best Ska Bands of All Time

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Five Reasons Phish Is Better Now Than Ever

Categories: Lists

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Peter Yang
We shall all be Phishheads forever.

It's great to be a Phan during the golden age of Phish. There is just a certain power and richness to the music, the band, and the community right now.

Some of us saw the band at frat houses in the '80s, made it to 350 shows between '93 and '98, and/or tasted the cheesecake at Big Cypress. Others among us will be attending our first shows when Trey Anastasio and the band play their New Year's Run in Miami.

Regardless, the golden age referred to above is equally accessible to all. It has everything to do with the way you relate to the legendary days of yore and the glorious Phish of now.

See also: Review & Photos: Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami</em>

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Miami's Eight Dumbest Music Moments of 2014

Categories: Lists

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A still from Stitches' music video for "Brick in Yo Face."
He has an AK-47 on his face, ho.
Srsly, Miami, wtf?

If you lived 2014 in the 305, you definitely saw a lot of strange headlines related to music.

As we put this bizarre year behind us and look toward the future, we think it's important to reflect upon the past. And because we at Crossfade relish absurdity, we're making special note of the head-scratchinest moments in the past 12 months.

Remember that dumb face tattoo? That race down Alton Road? Those nudes? That brick? We know you don't remember how to twerk, but what else did you forget?

See also: The 10 People Who Won't Make It in Miami

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