It all started with a scheduling conflict. “The band Steve Jr. from New York were touring their new album. They hit me up about playing in Miami,” Ricardo Guerrero, who produces a series of shows called Death to the Sun, tells New Times. “I reached out to Churchill’s, and they already told me that Gordo [Emmanuel Nanni, who promotes Hardcore for Punx] already had the date reserved for a punk show. I’d known Gordo a while, so I asked him: ‘Instead of doing each of our shows the same night at different venues, why don’t we combine forces?'”
Thus, on Thursday, January 17, the two will present a night offering seven live acts, five of which are touring from out of town. But Guerrero hopes his and Nanni’s union can be bigger than a one-off event borne of convenience. “The show is kind of a statement that local promoters should work together — put our heads together so three people aren’t putting on a show the same night and nobody comes to any of them.”
For this show, Guerrero has booked the headliner Tonstartssbandht. “They’re two brothers from Orlando who play a 30-minute continuous psychedelic set that’s mesmerizing to watch. They have this brotherly psychic connection where they cue each other without talking.” The group Steve Jr. plays “heavy, slow riffs with alternative vocals that fit the music,” he says. Leya is a two-piece experimental band featuring a harp and violin, and local outfit Other Body plays noise rock.
Nanni’s acts include the local band Beat Obsolete as well as the Philadelphia groups Dark Thoughts and the Smart Hearts. Guerrero describes the last as “sounding like the Buzzcocks. They’re poppy punk but not pop punk.”
The two promoters plan for the show to be efficient. “We’ll have the main stage and the floor stage. The flow should go well. It will ping-pong so one band is getting ready while another is playing. It should be back-to-back music.”
If all goes well at this Churchill’s bash, Guerrero hopes this can be the beginning of some beautiful friendships. “I want to show people we can all collaborate to make better and bigger things for the scene. I’ve been talking about doing a workshop for years, passing on knowledge to younger kids who want to put on shows,” he says. “Only a handful of people are doing it down here now. I want to get more people involved booking shows and injecting life into the music scene. A lot of fans want to get involved with music but aren’t in a band. Put on a show instead!”
Hardcore for Punx and Death to the Sun. 10 p.m. Thursday, January 17, at Churchill’s Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission costs $10.