This weekend around Miami offers an especially brisk selection of live music, from performances by staple favorites to the lesser known. Here’s a grab-bag of five cheap shows worth checking out, all for $10 or less.
Friday: Jane Jane Pollock and the Growlers at Bardot
Georgia/Tallahassee-based quintet Jane Jane Pollock is a vaguely psychedelic, experimental indie-pop act of the kind currently very much in vogue. This means layers upon layers of weird noises, organs, string instruments, and even pots and pans. They arrive at Bardot as part of a tour with the Growlers, a reverb-heavy psych-garage act from California. Their upcoming third album, due out later this year, was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, so this is likely a band set to blow.
10 p.m. Friday, May 11 at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Admission is $10; age 21 and up. Call 305-576-7750, or visit bardotmiami.com.
Saturday: Qoolfest at the Hard Rock Cafe Bayside
Don’t skip over this if none of the names on this bill, featuring dozens of local bands, immediately jump out at you. This is another creation by Qool Productions, the duo of Oski Gonzalez and pseudonymous “Queen of the Scene,” who often mount similar all-local festivals at Tobacco Road. Their m.o. is giving everyone a fair chance based on quality, and not necessarily local reputation, so their fests often feature bands who have just appeared but show promise. With no real genre restrictions, either, there’s always bound to be a pleasant surprise of some kind. We suggest looking out for Planelifter, which features Miami music vets from now-defunct groups like Map of the Universe.
More importantly, this show is designed as a benefit for Team in Training, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s endurance sports-training organization that benefits blood cancer research and support. A dollar from each attendee’s admission goes to the nonprofit, as do the proceeds from an onside raffle.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at the Hard Rock Cafe Miami, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami (inside Bayside). Admission is $6; all ages. Call 305-377-3100, or visit here.
Saturday: Jacuzzi Boys and their Unusual Friends
Miami’s beloved hometown J. Boys just returned from their maiden voyage overseas, a trek that lasted just a little over a month and spanned most of western Europe. Unsurprisingly, they’re going to mark their homecoming show with a show at – where else – Churchill’s. The twist on the usual rowdiness is that this time they share a bill with Miami punk rock and roll lifers the Holy Terrors. They’re one of the pioneering area bands without which younger acts like Jacuzzi Boys might not have a Churchill’s scene to call home. Also, instead of immediately clearing out, the event organizers invite you to stay by starting a DJed dance party at 2 a.m. – you can likely expect soul, psych, and other bubblegum-y favorites.
9 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. Admission is $7; age 18 and up. Call 305-757-1807, or visit churchillspub.com.
Saturday: Crimson at Bougainvillea’s
Anywhere southwest of I-95 usually escapes the brains of most local music luminaries, but Bougainvillea’s in South Miami has, for all of its existence, provided a place for locals to play original music of various genres. Tonight that means Crimson, a female-fronted, metal-tinged, melodic rock act fronted by the powerfully piped and, uh, crimson-haired Elisa Melendez. (She’s also a brain in her own right, focusing grad studies on gender roles in the male-heavy gaming industry). Other cute stuff: Her husband also plays in the band, and there’s a keytar involved.
10 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at Bougainvillea’s, 7221 SW 58th Ave., South Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up. Call 305-669-8577, or visit bougiesbar.com.
Sunday: Ashworth at Tropical Bass Sundays, at Blackbird Ordinary
Alright, so this technically isn’t live but we’re going to throw it in here because it’s a weekly party filling in a couple of critical gaps for Miami. First, it’s a cool-out Sunday thing, with a breezy vibe, an indoor-outdoor setup, and cheap drinks ($6 pisco sours, $3 beers). Secondly, it’s one of the few regular nights in the area devoted to so-called “tropical bass” sounds, which might mean moombahton, baile funk, tribal cumbia, and more. With dubstep now overly saturated, the tropical sound is the next big thing — so go now to collect your hipster points.
6 p.m. Sunday, May 13 at Blackbird Ordinary, 729 SW 1st Ave., Miami. Admission is free; age 21 and up. Call 305-671-3307, or visit blackbirdordinary.com.