Originally published in Miami Herald’s Street Magazine on January 25th, 2002
Article written by Rene Alvarez in his Underbelly column just before the release of the new Transcendence album RISE AND SHINE
Rene and I went way back alreadyÂ byÂ the time this article came about. He was the long haired dark and moody chick magnet lead singer for Forget the Name back when I and the boys in Broken Spectacles were just starting to cut our teeth and get our feet wet playing in the local bars of south florida. Rene and and Jose and the rest ofÂ the crew were already well established local rock gods. Years passed. We played a shitload of shows together and were always very friendly. But that local comraderie was always accompanied by a subtle competetive vibe that i beleive now is just a natural extension of being young and hot (or perhaps just hungry or ambitious) in any industry. By the time we all went through the fire a few more years, bands breaking up, new bands forming, solo acts igniting and extenguishing left and right, some of our contemporaries ODing or dying in other crazy ways, then the crew who were still alive and kicking and still involved in the music scene in some way or another bonded more and more.
Rene got this job writing for the now defunct Street Magazine. WhichÂ was great for the scene becauseÂ there was a spell whenÂ local scene literatti hero greg baker stopped writing about the local scene; i never got the scoop on the detailsÂ because i was living in new york during those dull days. all i know is that by theÂ time iÂ got back to miami that scene was as dead as it is today. all the local music hauntsÂ had been turned into dance clubs and discos. live rock music was hard toÂ find. But soon i started hearing things from people. going to various places around the tri-county area to catch shows. running into the same old crowd.Â I saw Rene perform with Debbie Duke on bass and Derek Murphy on drums at Power Studios and it just blew me away. i will never forget that night. Nill sang too. And i felt ripped apart by the dichotomy of how good these guysÂ still were and howÂ deadÂ and lonesomeÂ the scene was at that point. Miami is not a dead town. It’s just dead to pop and rock music. If those guys wereÂ doing shows in the carolinas or new york, they’dÂ pack the clubs.
Long story shortÂ Rene starts writing more and more and performing less and less. Nill still packs ‘em in at the Road on his own terms, charging whatever he wants to at the door and is still totally fucking brilliant and the envy of most of us there. I throwÂ a new group together — thinking i wanted it to be the anti-broken spectacles. No four guys all for and one for all mentality, but more of a collective of great players,Â really culturally diverse, age-diverse,Â style-diverse, just whoever i met whoÂ was great on their instrument, had a good attitude, and dug what we were doing.Â We record Rise and Shine and give it to a few people before its release. Rene calls me one day and says he is asked to cover the CD release party for Street Magazine and i’m like “you fucker, whats up? Don’t rip it apart too bad.” And we have a good laugh. He emails me all these super-cryptic questions and asks me to send him back answers. Good questions actually. That was how the article came about. There is no text version of the article because the magazine no longer exists, not even online. Too bad. Rene filled much needed niche in that scene for a long time.
The only version that exists today is this jpg scan of the original article. Click on the thumbnail and then click again. It will open in its own window and then you can blow it up to read it.
This is the first official article on Transcendence that I know of.