South Florida’s been having a decent run these past few months of performances by up-and-coming and mid-level musical acts, which in the past was pretty unheard of. For this, we can credit a host of factors, among them currently very important venues like the Fillmore Miami Beach, as well as the city’s cultural renaissance in general. Blah blah blah. But while we are pretty good at attracting indie bands and left-field electronic acts, it’s unusual for old cult legends to bother making this way this far south.
As such, I’m not the only one here super-excited about two shows coming up in future months. First, in September, one of the most unlikely of all: Michael Gira’s infamously abrasive Swans, who will play in West Palm Beach, of all places. The town is about an hour and a half north of Miami, and generally considered far from everyone and everything else in South Florida. But it is home to a longstanding alternative venue there with a somewhat gothy bent, Respectable Street, where Gira will take the stage and doubtlessly make ear drums bleed.
Not long after, the great Roxy Music maestro Bryan Ferry is set to perform at the Fillmore Miami Beach. This is pretty awesome in and of itself, but more bizarre is the fact that this date, apparently, marks his only one in the United States on this particular outing. Why Miami, of all cities? Why not New York? Did Ferry just want a beach vacation?
Whatever the reasons for either of these bookings, I’ll gladly take them. Miami is not a city that is very aware of history, in general, and that extends many younger acts on the local scene that tend to often ape dance-blog trends. Perhaps these performances by living legends will prove instructive, and feed back some new ideas and energy into the creative cycle here.