The other day, I got not one but two invitations from Grand Central on Facebook to more imported alternative rock acts visiting South Florida during the month of September. I have already detailed five noteworthy shows I hope to attend during the month. Now here come two more, both thanks to Grand Central. And both perfectly paired, as one is a group of New Wave pioneers and the other is a revivalist of the New Wave sound. The UK’s Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Australia’s Cut/Copy will travel across the world for their respective US tours during the month of September, and both tours include stops in Miami (click on the respective artists’ names to see other dates on their tours).

Once again, it seems luck allows for no overlaps in the shows noted in my earlier posts regarding September live shows in South Florida (Manu Chao to make Miami debut in Sept.; September offering some good concerts in SoFla). OMD’s show is the earlier of the two shows, happening Friday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. It marks the start of the band’s US tour featuring original members that at least date back to 1986’s The Pacific Age (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the vinyl on, including founding members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys. It’s classic British new wave, and I was first turned on to the band through a video clip on one of the great documents of the early eighties music scene, as a kid thanks to the movie Urgh! A music War (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the DVD on I remember repeatedly renting out that VHS from a local video shop to experience over and over again. One of the highlights on that compilation video of live performances was OMD’s energetic interpretation of their hit single “Enola Gay”:

Hopefully they can give up some more of that energy on Friday night. They will be joined by Aussie recording artist Washington (very poppy).

Next comes Cut/Copy, whose date in Miami falls in the middle of the band’s US tour, again on a Friday night: this time Sept. 30. The show starts at 10 p.m. and bounds to be a long night, with two notable acts touring along with Cut/Copy: Washed Out recently signed with Sub Pop Records. Those who have seen “Portlandia” on IFC, may recognize this song. Meanwhile, Midnight Magic, a very disco-retro sort of band, should warm-up the stage nicely.

I know I slagged off Cut/Copy’s latest album for being way too derivative of the worst of eighties pop, from the musical clichés to the vintage instruments. I stand by the review. However, I am still a fan of their first album, Bright Like Neon Love (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the album on, which had Cut/Copy bursting on the scene with a dramatic sound that celebrated electro dance music while throwing interesting curve balls of psychedelia. Here’s “Going Nowhere” from that album, live…

I think, with a little less than two months to go for the string of dates I already have tickets for, this beats the amount of shows I saw last October. I plan to start preparing posts ahead of time for live reviews, pictures and videos, this time (Who knows what could happen?). If possible, maybe some artist profiles will come out of it.

If September is not enough, just as I was preparing this post, Grand Central sent another invite to an indie rock show of interest: Ladytron. Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9 p.m., that concert comes soon after the release of the band’s new full-length Gravity the Seducer (Support the Independent Ethos, pre-order the vinyl on The band has posted three full tracks from the album on Soundcloud. You can stream them all for free here:

Tickets to all shows are available from Grand Central’s website.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2011 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

September in South Florida is beginning to look as good as last year’s October, or should I say: “Rocktober.” It’s still four months away, but I’ve already bought advance tickets for two acts below, and there is one I am hoping to turn into an interview, but we shall see…

First was news of Bryan Ferry appearing at the intimate Fillmore Theater in Miami Beach (Sept. 29). The last time I attended one of his concerts in South Florida was the mid-nineties, at the much larger Sunrise Theater in Broward County. Though his latest album Olympia (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the vinyl on Amazon via this link) did little to move me, even if it included every member of his old band Roxy Music in some form, I’ll be there. His solo work in general has been a hit and miss affair, but this English glam-rock pioneer has always done justice to the early seventies Roxy Music tunes that I thinks stands up as some of his best work, yes, even better than the later-era Roxy Music.

That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how he pulls off “Virginia Plain” nowadays. So sue me, I’m stuck on the past glories of Bryan Ferry. Here’s Roxy Music, when they were a new pop band on the scene, circa 1972, promoting “Virginia Plain” with a lip-synced performance on the BBC’s “Top of the Pops” (legend has it their set up was too complex to hook up all the instrumentation in the TV studio, so they had to mime the song, and yes, there is Phil Manzanera on guitar and Brian Eno on organ):

Then I get a text from a friend recommending I get my Peter, Bjorn and John tickets for their appearance at the even more intimate Bardot, in Miami (Sept. 23). He said they were going fast. When I purchased them they were $25 and could be up to $30 now, if not sold out. I’ll admit, I got the tickets because my wife would not forgive this opportunity should I pass on it. I have only casually listened to their work, but over the course of six full-length albums, they have shown an interesting career, from their third album’s breakout hit “Young Folks” in 2006 to their surprisingly spare and at times dark follow-up Living Thing (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the vinyl on Amazon via this link) and now comes the Swedish trio’s return to perky form, Gimme Some (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the vinyl on Amazon via this link).  Here’s a video from a their new single on the new album, “Second Chance”:

But, speaking of dark: the reliably grim Swans are the capper for me (thanks to Sweat Record’s mailing list for the heads up!). The band I liken to the sound of the end of the world if it had melody, is only making it as far south as Respectable Street in West Palm Beach (Sept. 14) , but I will be there. I have been into this gloom and doom band, which stands head and shoulders above any Goth or Industrial band ever, in its own wall-busting genre,  since the early nineties.

I first stumbled across their music during my years at Florida International University’s radio station when it was on the AM dial and played grunge music before MTV (and nobody listened). But Swans was not grunge, industrial, Goth, dream pop, shoe gaze, noise pop or any of those scenes of that era. They were an entity unto themselves. They still are. The band broke up soon after I got into them in the mid-nineties, but 2010 saw the group’s baritoned singer and songwriter Michael Gira re-form the moniker for a new album and tour. I will now finally have a chance to see them live (I have never even bothered looking up live videos of them, as I have only heard of some of their legendary performances, and I prefer to be surprised). I’ll leave you with the rare video “Love of Life” that appeared on MTV’s “120 Minutes” once or twice: relentless drums, minor key piano, roaring guitars, creepy warped backward female voices, quickly cut disturbing images. Don’t call it Goth rock. This is music of grandiose doom…

P.S. Emile at Sweat Records told me Sir Richard Bishop will warm up the stage for Swans with his Flamenco-inspired noise. He is the co-founder of late-seventies-era experimental rock band Sun City Girls.

Another show of note in September includes another dark, re-formed nineties-era act, Berlin’s electro-hardcore act Atari Teenage Riot. They will play the night before Swans (Sept. 13— funny, that’s my deceased, Berlin-born father’s birthday) at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale.

I have heard the band’s new album already thanks to an advance copy from their PR company. Fans will be happy to know that the “hacktavist”- inspired album features Atari Teenage Riot as raucous and ear-splittingly aggro as ever. Is This Hyperreal? (Support the Independent Ethos, buy the album on Amazon via this link) is slated for US release on July 26. They have already recorded one of their new songs during a recent session for Daytrotter, which you can stream or download by clicking on their Daytrotter-drawn mugs above. I don’t know how these geezers can still do it, but just as their new album is true to their familiar sound of inhuman rhythms and screeching electronics, their live shows will probably be just as brain-melting. Here’s a taste of a recent live performance in HD:

Hopefully, September will see even more cool shows in South Florida. If so, I plan to up-date this post, so stay tuned and maybe bookmark this post.

Addendum: Manu Chao to make Miami debut Sept. 9

Addendum 2: Grand Central to host OMD and Cut/Copy, adding to more notable Sept. shows in S. Fla.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2011 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)