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Miami Music Club - Giving drummers a chance to shine

Article by David Rolland

Quick — think of a drummer. No, that Muppet doesn't count. It's hard, ain't it? Certainly not as easy as naming a guitarist or a lead singer. "Drummers don't get a chance to stand out. I thought it would be cool to give drummers I respect 15 minutes to come up with a performance," says Dave Rodriguez, the man behind Miami Music Club's Drummer's Night. "I've been subjected to a lot of drum circles, and I didn't want to do that, but I wanted to have an event that showcased drummers. It can be a xylophone, beatbox, hitting a stick on the floor, however you want to do a percussion performance."

Partly inspired by the setup of Churchill's annual International Noise Conference, Drummer's Night hopes to use every square inch of its space to showcase innovative drumming. Some of the dozen of performers already signed up include Dim Past, Beatriz Monteavaro from Holly Hunt, Eric Hernandez from Wrong, and Rodriguez himself. Rodriguez has played drums since he was a teenager, back when he and Miami Music Club cofounder Rob Goyanes were in a punk band called Bare Witness. "We grew up playing house shows," Rodriguez says. "Miami Music Club came out of that lineage. The idea was we wanted a space to bridge the gap between art and music."

Rodriguez's 15 minutes in the spotlight on Drummer's Night will truly mix music and art. His plan is to hook a contact mike through a video synthesizer so that every time he bangs his drum kit, it will project color patterns onto the wall. In other words, this won't be your hippie cousin's drum circle. This is a message the organizers have had to emphasize again and again on their event page because every yahoo with a set of bongos pleads to be a part of the night's entertainment.

Sadly, the Miami Music Club's short time in the Design District is coming to a close. Drummer's Night won't quite be a farewell for the club — it has an event planned for August 28 — but its move-out date inches nearer. The group was given the space this past May 1 but must be out by the end of August or risk being destroyed along with the building.

"Once our current location closes down, we'll be nomadic and have a night here and a night there," Goyanes says. "We might have a flea market to get rid of some of our stuff. August 28 might be the farewell party, but we might have a demolition show. We're going to try to coordinate with the demolition team so people can see and hear the sounds of the building coming down from another spot. We'll shoot some video and audio from a friend's roof as the space goes down."

But whatever the future holds, Drummer's Night intends to represent what Miami Music Club set out to accomplish these past few months. "It's been a place where people do interesting, creative things," Rodriguez says. "It's a place where performers have been able to mix with other types of artists and we could see from each other how the two worlds interact."

Drummer's Night with Dim Past, Anthony Alvarez, and more. 9 p.m. Saturday, August 22, at Miami Music Club, 91 NE 40 Street, Miami; 305-­299-­5226; Admission is $5.

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