Miami Nightclubs Grow a Dick?

For too many years there hasn’t been many choices to go hear quality electronic music in Miami, and perhaps most of the U.S. Most venues have stuck to a Top 10, commercial, safe, cheese sound. Basically whatever is on the radio or Area. Most venues have stuck to the same boring, stale, played out Guetta, Afrojack, Laidback Luke formula month after month with no hope of fresh sounds in sight.

Like most real house music lovers, I don’t ever listen to the radio, and I especially don’t listen to Satellite Radio. Whenever I’m in a friends car that has satellite radio, and we turn on Area, we burst out laughing at how bad the music is. Then BPM is even more of an abortion. It’s sounds like “Kids Bop 21.” I picture a bunch of kids dancing around a cartoon mascot. If it’s a successful formula, why does Area keep changing it’s name every month?

I don’t shuffle everyday, or ever.

Electric Pickle came in around 2008 and was the only club that had the guts push the envelope. It was a risk that worked way better than anyone’s expectations, with the venue now overcapacity most nights. Miami New Times rated Electric Pickle a well deserved Best Nightclub. Pickle has been consistently flying in the hottest upcoming talent week after week. It’s one of the few venues where people “Go For The Music.”

Other than Pickle, there’s Treehouse, and the Monthly Techno Beach party we started due of the lack of choices.

Right after WMC 2012, all of a sudden other venues are Growing a Dick.

I realize, underground house music sounds are not for everyone and every venue. Case and point – A few months ago Mansion had Dennis Ferrer, who I thought was a perfect fit that could have just played his cheesy “Hey Hey” hit track all night long, and the crowd would have been happy. However, Ferrer decided to play Subb-an and other Deep House grooves. It was quite the mistake, clearing half the room, and getting Ferrer kicked off the decks within 45 minutes.

I’ve been to Mansion once, and never again. Everyone I respect has the same view. The layout sucks, the vip consumes the dance floor, and the crowd consists of top 10 desperate douche bags. We all feel the same way about SET and pretty much anything Opium Group puts out.

Now Mansion is doing Art Department on Thursdays. I still will not go though.

Live is probably one step above Mansion and other Opium properties as far as over the top commercial sound. LIV attracts people like Paris Hiltion that think it’s a fucking barmitzvah and you can nag the DJ even if it’s Steve Angello to play Hip Hop or “Something You Can Dance Too” mentality.

Now LIV is bringing in Danny Daze this Thursday to open up for Guy Gerber. WTF?

Club Space
I haven’t been to Club Space in over (4) years either. The last time I was there, I had a girlfriend in town and wanted to show her the Terrace till the next day. Unfortunately Lazardi (their resident DJ) was playing the most awful top 10 garbage mixed in with latin beats. Yes I know we’re in Miami, but it doesn’t mean you have to play so latiny. The small group of people that seemed to enjoy it would jump up only when the smoke blew while the majority stood around barely moving their heads. Needless to say we were disgusted that the #1 rated club for electronic music in the U.S. was like this. We left, and I have not returned. Occasionally they bring in Loco Dice, Marco Carola, Desyn Massielo, some talent in the Techno Loft, and I’ve been tempted to go. Other than that, Club Space hasn’t brought in breakthrough talent in a long time.

Now Club Space is bringing in Audiojack on May 5. If they’re doing it in the Techno Loft – Lame, Terrace – Awesome!

What does all this mean for the electronic music lover in Miami? Variety finally? I don’t think clubs like Mansion and LIV are ready, or will ever be. They should stick to their mainstream Demographic. Club Space on the other hand can probably pull it off and should get rid of commercial sounds all together. Yes I realize it’s a business, but you have to take risks.

Whatever happens, I’m happy enjoying quality electronic music with friends and quality music lovers at Electric Pickle, Treehouse, and Techno Beach.

1 comment

  1. Your observations are right on the money! When I go to a club, I’m there for 3 things: the music/DJ, the dancing and the group of friends I came in with. I couldn’t care less about who sees me ordering bottles or what celebrity is lounging in the VIP. Mansion & Set are the biggest jokes in the Miami club scene. The reason the VIP consumes the dance floor is that these places have nothing to do with the music and everything to do with baller mentality and bottle sales. As for Space, I remember it was a place you needed to be wearing slacks and a button down shirt to get into (back in the old venue). I remember seeing some of my favorite DJs there every month back in the day. Nowadays they’ll let ANYBODY in and honestly, who wants to see a bunch of guys with their jeans hanging below their ass and wifebeaters on (or shirtless) sweating all over the dance floor? To be honest, I’ve lost all respect for these clubs. I don’t go out as much as I used to, but the Pickle is still one of my favorite places. There’s a real, non-pretentiousness about it and the people there are always classy, cool and approachable.

    To answer your last question, yes there will always be “top 40 joints.” BUT… ideally, the venues with multiple rooms should cater to both the radio and the underground set. Get your pop/hiphop fix in the main room with the oversized VIP and get your underground EDM on the oversized dance floor in the back/upstairs/whatever room. Following this formula will not only be good for business, it will also restore some much needed street cred and variety to club life in the Miami area.

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