Friday, April 19, 2024

Art Basel Music Guide

One of the most exciting elements of Art Basel is the music end of things: the flurry of terrific artists traveling down to Miami and playing intimate shows in tiny nightclubs. There will be an embarrassment of music riches tonight through Saturday, with websites like this one detailing all of the concerts in Miami’s four-day answer to South by Southwest.

With so much to choose from, here’s our guide to the can’t-miss show each night.


Santigold at Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; $60; 305/674-4680

Born Santi White, singer Santigold is a genre sponge, absorbing everything from punk rock (she once fronted a punk act, produced by Bad Brains, in her hometown of Philadelphia) to ‘80s pop, hip-hop and reggae, eventually finding solid rotation on indie and college stations with her 2008 album “Santogold.” No two Santigold songs sound the same, and she’s already collaborated with such crème de la crème artists as M.I.A., Beastie Boys and Karen O. The opening act will be talented underground rapper Wale.


YACHT, 11 p.m. at Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami; $15; 305/456-5613

The solo project of musician Jona Bechtolt for the first seven years of its existence, YACHT drew mainstream attention after he expanded his project to a duo and, ultimately, a full touring band. “See Mystery Lights,” released in 2009, was carried by the infectious and groovy singles “Psychic City” and “I’m in Love With a Ripper,” which characterize the band’s hipster dance-music M.O. Buoyed by a goofy sense of humor, YACHT is all the more genuine for not taking themselves seriously; in their personae and videos, they are an heir apparent to Devo.


TV on the Radio at Ricochet Bar & Lounge, 3250 N.E. First Ave., Miami; 305/673-3873

… And here’s with things get snobby and exclusive. Eclectic indie rockers TV on the Radio are no strangers to Miami, having played the Fillmore recently, but it would be killer to see them in this intimate, newly opened Midtown lounge, with its modern-art motif and array of board games. Unfortunately, this show is “invite only,” so that only the cool kids and winners of raffles on the bar’sFacebook page will be able to attend (the same goes for legendary rapper Nas, who performs at Ricochet Friday). Visit the site and do what you can do get in; this will probably be one of the highlights of Basel.


GZA, 9 p.m. at The Stage, 170 N.E. 38th St., Miami; $20 advance or $25 at the door; 305/576-9577

I have a weakness for artists who perform albums in their entirety – I’m still jealous of anyone who saw Sonic Youth perform “Daydream Nation” at select shows a few years back – especially when the album in question is as great as 1995’s “Liquid Swords.” GZA’s hip-hip epic is one of the best and most enduring solo rap records to emerge from the Wu-Tang Clan cocoon, and I can’t think of a better way to finish off Art Basel’s nightlife. Method Man, another Wu Tanger, will play over at Cameo (1445 Washington Ave.) the same night; I would expect some exciting cross-pollination between these two shows.

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