Psychobilly pioneers Nekromantix to christen ‘new’ Monterey Club in September

Revered psychobilly trio Nekromantix have “emerged from the depths of isolation to unleash their latest sonic creation, a monstrous slab of demonic rock and roll entitled What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell.” So says Hellcat Records, so you better believe it.

Nekromantix at The Monterey Club

What better band to test-drive what, by mid-summer, will be a newly expanded (350+ capacity) and refurbished Monterey Club in Fort Lauderdale. The cozy rockabilly bar has already been host to some top national touring acts, but its small capacity (around 150) has kept some of the bigger bands from playing there.

That all ends when The Monterey’s new live music room roars to life this summer. The club, which is located on U.S. 1 just north of Fort Lauderdale International Airport (next to the Gold Coast Roller Skating Rink), has taken over the space next door, previously occupied by a motorcycle shop.

Work has begun and plans call for a large stage and PA, possibly even a full liquor bar (it’s currently beer and wine). Good news indeed for “South Florida’s home for rockabilly, punk, hardcore, metal, roots country, and tattooed misfits,” as the website touts.

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What makes Dick Dale ‘King of the Surf Guitar’?

News: Dick Dale talks blowouts, wipeouts and animal screams (Miami New Times)
Dick Dale Still Riding The Wild Surf At 74 (Houston Press)
Related: Historic Dick Dale tour was 7 years in the making

Dick Dale and Laramie Dean

After more than 50 years of guitar shredding, Dick Dale has certainly achieved legendary status. His iconic style and sound have influenced countless musicians and bands and some of his songs, such as Miserlou, are pop culture classics.

To get warmed up for his two South Florida concerts next week (Sunday at The Vagabond in Miami, Monday at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach), we present a litany of reasons why Dick Dale deserves to go down as one of the all-time greats (along with some just-plain-fun facts). We’ve also culled video clips from the 1960s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to showcase his incredible longevity (the 1970s were not his best decade).

  • Before playing electric guitar, Dale learned the drums, ukulele and trumpet. He has also mastered the banjo, piano, organ, harpsichord, trombone, xaxophone, harmonica, xylophone and accordion.
  • Dale is often credited as one of the first electric guitarists to employ non-Western scales in his playing. This can be traced back to one of his early musical influences: His uncle, an oud player who performed belly dance music. Much of his early music shows a Middle Eastern influence.
  • Dale invented surf music in the 1950s, not the ’60’s as is commonly believed.
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    The Hukilau weathers many storms to celebrate 10 years of Tiki madness

    The 10th anniversary Hukilau – featuring four days of music, art, cocktails, vendors, symposiums on Tiki culture and much more – takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, in Fort Lauderdale. Go to TheHukilau.com for the full schedule and more information on all the performers and guests.
    * Related: Hukilau 2010 video preview | Mixologists vie to build a better Barrel

    In the beginning …

    In 2002, a modern Tiki renaissance was in full swing. Inspired by the heyday of Polynesian Pop, which began with groundbreaking efforts of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic in the 1930s and stretched for more than 30 years into the 1960s, a new generation of artists, musicians, mixologists and entrepreneurs had been embracing retro Tiki culture since the 1990s.

    The Hukilau

    As this grassroots movement gained momentum and new devotees discovered the wider world of mid-century pop culture, full-blown events soon followed. In Southern California – the birthplace of Tiki and haven for some of the genre’s most beloved bars, architecture and artists – Tiki Oasis started small in 2001 and quickly became the largest Tiki event in the West by its second installment in 2002.

    The Hukilau was envisioned by its founders not only as the East Coast’s answer to Tiki Oasis, but also a celebration of the growing family and community, or ‘ohana, that had become so enamored with the entire underground movement. The name of the event, of course, comes from the traditional Hawaiian festival held in fishing villages in which a large net is cast into the sea to capture fish for the feast that honors the spirit of family and community.

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    Historic Dick Dale tour was 7 years in the making

    Video: See what makes Dick Dale ‘King of the Surf Guitar’

    Don’t call Laramie Dean obsessed. He’s just a guy who knows what he wants and knows how to get there, even if it takes seven years of slogging it out on the surf and punk touring circuits, several cross-country moves and a lot of luck.

    Dick Dale is the undisputed master of the surf guitar
    Dick Dale is the undisputed master of the surf guitar.

    In 2004, when the budding surf-rock guitarist heard that his icon, Dick Dale, was in the market for a guitar tech, he dropped everything and drove from New Hampshire to Los Angeles. As fate would have it, Laramie got the gig. But not before the “King of the Surf Guitar,” known for his no-nonsense approach to life, gave him some blunt advice: “You better know your shit!”

    Time has proven that, indeed, Laramie Dean knows his shit. He also knows instrumental surf music and the concert touring industry. He has not only carved out his own niche as a solo artist, he’s spent years on the road as a guitar tech, roadie, bandmate and tour manager with icons and friends such as Dale, Agent Orange and The Queers. Now, he’s added tour promoter and booking agent to his repertoire.

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    The Hukilau challenges mixologists: Can you build a better Barrel?

    The 10th anniversary Hukilau – featuring four days of music, art, cocktails, vendors, symposiums on Tiki culture and much more – takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, in Fort Lauderdale. Go to TheHukilau.com for the full schedule and more information on all the performers and guests.
    * Related: Hukilau 2010 video preview | A decade of The Hukilau (video)

    Rum luminaries to judge annual cocktail contest

    In 2010, The Hukilau introduced the Master Mixologist Cocktail Challenge, a high-octane bartending contest in which participants raced the clock to create unique tropical drinks using sponsor rums and exotic mystery ingredients. A panel of Tiki drink experts including artist Josh “Shag” Agle helped crown the first Hukilau Master Mixologist and awarded unique prizes such as custom-sculpted, hand-carved muddler.

    Master Mixologist Rum Barrel Challenge

    In 2011, the most intimate Tiki gathering in the world honors its 10th anniversary and the 55th anniversary of the historic Mai-Kai restaurant with an epic contest featuring an iconic tropical drink and a panel of acclaimed rum experts. Competitors in “The Master Mixologist Rum Barrel Challenge” will take center stage at Fort Lauderdale’s Bahia Cabana Beach Resort on Thursday, June 9, with the task of making a contemporary version of The Mai-Kai’s beloved “Barrel O’ Rum”.

    Sponsors of the event represent the new and the old of the booming craft cocktail movement: Montanya Rum, a 3-year-old Colorado micro-distillery that hand crafts award-winning rum in the Rocky Mountains; and Fee Brothers, a four-generation-old, family-owned manufacturer of top quality cocktail mixes, bitters and flavoring syrups since 1863.

    Judging the contest will be a who’s who of modern Tiki mixology and rum aestheticism: Tiki drink revivalist and author Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (“Beachbum Berry Remixed,” “Sippin’ Safari”), UK Rumfest founder and global “rum ambassador” Ian Burrell, San Francisco bar owner Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove), journalist and author Wayne Curtis (“And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails”), and New Orleans rum historian Stephen Remsberg. The Rum Barrel Challenge judges (aka the Rum Rat Pack) will also be participating in Beachbum Berry’s “Rumposium” special event on Saturday, June 11, at The Mai-Kai. Click here for more on the judges.

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    Hukilau Countdown Party on May 20 at The Mai-Kai

    Join us at the fabulous Mai-Kai for the Hukilau 2011 10th anniversary Countdown Party on Friday, May 20. In addition to the normal happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. there will be a special late-night happy hour with music for dancing (and drinking) starting at 9 p.m. Half-price drink specials run from 10 p.m. until midnight.

    The Hukilau

    There will be prizes and giveaways from The Hukilau and The Atomic Grog will be on hand to give away tickets to Dick Dale’s upcoming South Florida concerts in June.

    Come early and stay late as we start to get in The Hukilau spirit for this year’s 10th anniversary and also the upcoming 55th anniversary of The Mai-Kai.

    The Hukilau, founded in 2002 in Atlanta and moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2003, has grown to become the premiere event on the East Coast for Tiki devotees worldwide. The Hukilau features live music and themed entertainment, informative seminars, acclaimed artisans and vendors plus dining and cocktails at one of the world’s great Polynesian restaurants, The Mai-Kai.

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    Photos from the April 29 dance party at The Mai-Kai

    Dance party at The Mai-Kai

    See the event preview

    Bodies were moving and The Molokai bar was packed last night as the legendary Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale became a haven for hipsters and hangers-on during the latest late-night dance party hosted by the gang from Radioactive Records.

    DJs Sensitive Side, James Brown’s Sweat and Mikey R. rocked the house with the sounds of Soul, ’50s and ’60s R&B, punk, mod, trash, rockabilly, garage and more.

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    We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai

    Zombie Jamboree

    Related links
    * See our photos from the event | Our event preview | More on Rum Renaissance
    * Our recipe (with photos) for the Atomic Zombie Cocktail

    Jeff "Beachbum" Berry teaches a graduate course on the Zombie
    Jeff "Beachbum" Berry teaches a graduate course on the Zombie.

    There was enough revelry and hard-core mixology on display this past Monday to wake the long-dead Tiki spirits at the legendary Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.

    The occasion was a collision course of Tiki culture and rum appreciation known as the Zombie Jamboree, the kickoff party for the seven-day Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

    The evening consisted of three components. First, Tiki drink expert and author Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s seminar on the history of the Zombie cocktail, then the best contemporary mixologists competing in the “Zombie Jam,” followed by The Mai-Kai’s show and dinner.

    When I first heard about this event, I had to pinch myself. Had I died and gone to Tiki heaven? My favorite Mai-Kai drink was being celebrated with a seminar by my mixology guru and a contest that was just beckoning for me to enter. So enter I did.

    Continue reading “We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai”

    Yo, ho, ho! Don’t miss Rum Renaissance this weekend in Miami

    Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

    The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, one of the world’s premier international rum events, wraps up this weekend at the Deauville Beach Resort on Miami Beach. If you’re a rum aficionado or local Tikiphile, you’ll want to be sure to catch this unique event.

    Saturday and Sunday activities run from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include the opportunity to sample more than 100 rums, check out and purchase island lifestyle fashion and arts, and attend celebrity seminars and workshops.

    The festival kicked off Monday at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale with the Zombie Jamboree cocktail seminar with author Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Zombe Jam cocktail competition. Click here to see photos from those fun festivities.

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    Late-night dance party April 29 at The Mai-Kai

    Check out the blog and event preview in New Times

    The legendary Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale will be hosting one of its semi-annual late-night dance parties on Friday, April 29.

    DJs Sensitive Side, James Brown’s Sweat and Mikey R. will be spinning the sounds of Soul, ’50s and ’60s R&B, punk, mod, trash, rockabilly, garage and more.

    Festivities begin in The Molokai bar around 9 p.m. with a special happy hour running from 10 p.m. to midnight with half-price on the Mai-Kai’s famous tropical drinks and appetizers.

    There will also be giveaways from Radio Active Records and The Atomic Grog will be on hand to give away tickets to Dick Dale’s upcoming South Florida concerts in June.

    Click here for the Facebook event.

    The Mai-Kai is at 3599 N. Federal Highway.