Arielle Castillo

  • Torche, Restarter

    Torche: The Heaviest Non-Metal Band in Miami

    Somewhere in a marijuana field in northern California, Steve Brooks realized he had really better make this music thing work. It was last winter, and the round-cheeked, friendly eyed lead singer and guitarist for Torche — one of the sludgiest, most acclaimed bands working today — found himself confronting the realities of sweat-soaked agricultural labor. Every day, he raced the clock to try to trim enough weed to make the promised cash worth his time. It wasn't proving very fruitful. "You'd trim it, and get paid $150 a pound," Brooks says months later, relaxing on a leather couch backstage at the downtown Miami venue Grand Central. "Do you know how much weed you have to trim to get a pound?" He himself didn't, previously.

  • LIl Wayne / Photo by Ian Witlen

    Lil Wayne and T.I. Bring Escapist Fireworks to Post-Trayvon-Verdict Florida

  • Thurston Moore / Photo by Ian Witlen

    Art Basel 'KURT' Event Loosely Celebrates Cobain, Brings Thurston Moore to Miami

    Peak '90s nostalgia and freely flowing art world money converged last night in Miami for KURT, a night of multimedia art and performance loosely inspired by the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The three-act event hit the city's 86-year-old Gusman Center for the Performing Arts as part of the hubbub surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach, a week nominally about art sales but ultimately about surreal confluences. So why not show a short film called KURT in which Cobain himself never technically appears? Why not mount a piece of contemporary choreography featuring dancers in flannel? Why not fly in Thurston Moore to play noise and read poetry in the city he was born, a place in which he hasn't played with Sonic Youth in more than 20 years?Each of the program's three segments related little to each other except in source material.

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    Cut Copy Add Human Touch to Ultra Music Fest

    Cut Copy launched their U.S. tour Saturday night at the sprawling Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami -- a gutsy move. The sold-out dance music rager, which draws 150,000 fans over three days every March, has featured live acts for years, but its nighttime stage slots notoriously demand a thumping intensity, and are often booked with the world's most popular DJs, like Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, and Paul Oakenfold. So how would four Australians in neat, fitted trousers keep up the tribal vibe with material from their latest (and perhaps least dance-y) album, this year's Zonoscope? Just fine, it turns out, with the band's sheer human nature offering a welcome alternative to Ultra's pervasive, synthetic pulse. Frontman Dan Whitford made slight apologies for his decided un-raviness early on.

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    Linkin Park Mix Ambient with Rage in Tour Opener

    Thursday night's opening show of Linkin Park's new tour, at the BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, showed a group of veteran performers standing on a divide. On the one hand, Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, and company clearly want to explore the new, more ambient and electronic sounds of the band's fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns. On the other, these seasoned road dogs clearly aim to please their fans, many of whom have stuck with the band since its early nu metal-ish days. So despite the MTV and radio hype surrounding the release of the new album's first and wildly unexpected single, "The Catalyst," the song was, bizarrely, never played in full during the evening.

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    Inside Lil Wayne's Welcome Home Bash

    Lil Wayne was finally released on Thursday from Rikers Island after an eight month sentence for weapons possession, but it wasn't until Sunday night that he arrived in his adopted hometown of Miami to properly celebrate his freedom, one day after a triumphant return to the stage with Drake in Las Vegas. (See photos of the pair performing.) About 500 friends and family members gathered for the exclusive affair at Miami's Dupont Building, which, fitting for Wayne's label Cash Money, is housed in a former bank - even the vault was turned into a private, banquette-lined lounge. (Wayne hosted a more public party a few hours later at the King of Diamonds strip club.) If Weezy himself seemed a little subdued, skipping across the red carpet and hiding behind sunglasses and under a sweatshirt hood, it was likely due to travel fatigue.

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    Drake Muses on Fame in Miami Tour Opener

    To paraphrase his own lyrics, Drake really is too young to be feeling so old. His current Light Dreams and Nightmares Tour opened last night at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, showcasing an artist who's both reveling in his own swiftly acquired success, and musing on it, introspectively. The Canadian-born rapper performed cuts off this year's chart-topping Thank Me Later, many of which seem devoted to parsing the darker sides and heartbreak of mainstream acclaim. He didn't shy away from any of that last night, spending a decent part of the evening bathed in blue spotlights and crooning most of the near-ballads from that record. Yet the throngs still partied along to songs like "Successful," "Paris Morton Music," and "Light Up," despite their clear themes of loneliness and exhaustion.

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    Flight of the Conchords Charm Miami

    Flight of the Conchords jokingly call themselves "New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo accapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo." But their live show Tuesday night at Miami's 8,000-capacity BankUnited Center proved they're no less than No. 1 to their cult-like U.S. fan base -- and for good reason. The twosome -- Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who are best know for their HBO TV series The Flight of the Conchords -- took the stage in homemade robot getups (cardboard-box heads and Mylar jogging-suit tops) and busted out "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor." The low-rent electro-house song, complete with build-up and breakdown, was a perfect opening to a hilarious show. Then off came the costumes.

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