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This Little Underground: Music vs. SeaWorld, the Thermals

Our music columnist also covers a special Record Club meeting, Guardian Alien, Black Tide, Beach Day and Good Graeff

Photo: James Dechert, License: N/A

James Dechert

Photo: James Dechert, License: N/A

James Dechert

Their support was wholly Floridian, the most credentialed being South Florida’s Beach Day. Beach Day’s songwriting hasn’t exactly proven eternal, even to me, who was very much behind them early on. But seeing them perform again was a reminder that Kimmy Drake’s ’60s cherry-bomb voice is still something special. But they’re young and, despite already being on the national stage, are really just starting. It’s quite possible that their plan includes evolving. I hope so because there’s still a good deal here to work with. Their best songs are still anthems. And if they can keep those, deepen their sound and develop their playing, they’ll have staying power.

Also opening was Sarasota’s Good Graeff, a likeable twin-sister powered act that would appeal to Tegan & Sara fans with their marketably fresh faces and folk-pop crispness.

Later that night (Will’s Pub), I walked in on locals Sons of Ragnar, who bill themselves as a Viking metal band but whose painted faces and pencil necks were more Renaissance faire than Amon Amarth (coming Jan. 27, House of Blues).

But I was there to check up on Miami’s Black Tide since I was one of the music journalists to write about them early on, dating back to 2005 when they rocked the Florida Music Festival as teenage metal phenoms. Since then, they gained major-label status but lost the novelty of youth. Unfortunately, this show – often clouded with the commercial stink of modern heavy-rock stripes both passé and dubious – proved that they’ve lost much more than that. Like child actors in transition, they need to regroup and find their core. Unless, of course, this is really where they want to be, which is an entirely different conversation altogether.

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