Three Art Basel Hotspots Worth Visiting

Plan on visiting Miami for Art Basel this week? Chances are if you’re in Dade County anywhere and anytime from today through Sunday, you could throw a rock and hit a piece of art. So don’t throw any rocks, because you’ll probably have to pay for that sculpture you unknowingly pelt.

Art Basel extends well beyond the signature fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center, featuring 2,000 artists from more than 250 galleries around the world (which the venue’s website immodestly but correctly bruits as “the most important art fair in the United States”). There are also dozens upon dozens of special gallery shows and satellite art fairs throughout the county as well as special Basel-related concerts, film screenings, plays and book signings. Believe me, it’s a seemingly endless buffet of cultural enlightenment: A Google search for “Art Basel 2010 events” will alone yield a day’s worth of reading, let alone actually visiting some of this stuff. More extensive coverage of an indie rock concert by Twin Shadow and Phantogram at Grand Central Thursday and a review of the Basel-related play “South Beach Babylon” at the Arsht Center this weekend will follow in this blog over the coming days. In the meantime, here’s a look at a few events this week/weekend that might be worth your time.

Metric

Canadian Electro-pop/alt rockers Metric, last seen in South Florida at the 2009 Buzz Bake Sale, return for a free concert at Collins Park Wednesday night. The show is advertised from 6 p.m. to midnight, which suggests a couple of awfully long sets of Metric goodness. The groups’ first album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” is still its best, but Metric continues to churn out quality dance-rock music, and is probably best known these days for its titular contribution to the “Twilight: Eclipse” soundtrack.

From 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, the Miami Art Museum will host an opening reception for its new exhibitions. “Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place” and “Between Here and There: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Permanent Collection.” The Rothenberg show sounds particularly exciting; it will be the renowned contemporary artist’s first museum show in more than 10 years and her first exhibition in Miami. Known primarily for her primitive renderings of horses, Rothenberg’s art blurs the abstract and the figural with playful rawness.

Miami nightclub Bardot (which also immodestly calls itself “the best live music venue outside of NY and LA”) will be playing host to a flurry of Art Basel activity. On Wednesday night, Nancy Whang of hipster electroclash act LCD Soundsystem will play a DJ set. On Friday, popular indie duo Matt & Kim, fresh off their Culture Room appearance in October, return for a DJ set, along with surprise “special guests.”

Could there be a Matt & Kim live performance in the works, too? On Saturday, chillwave heroes Toro Y Moi and How to Dress Well offer a eclectic lineup of hip live music. On Sunday, the insanely talented multi-genre ambassador of music Questlove – best known these days as the bandleader of the Roots, Jimmy Fallon’s late-night house band – will perform. Awesome stuff. Admission is free to these events, but RSVPs are required atreservations@bardotmiami.com.