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Tue February 5, 2013
9 South Florida Arts and Culture Blogs You Need to Read Right Now
A happy side effect of South Florida's booming arts scene is that the related blogosphere is booming as well. For a while, blogs by major media outlets were the only game in town, but that's quickly changing. Of course, these still provide essential daily reading. If you're interested in the area's cultural life, then -- besides WLRN, of course -- you should check out arts blogs from the Huffington Post Miami, Miami New Times (culture here, music specifically here), New Times Broward-Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Post's PBPulse, and others.
But if you'd like to go deeper, add these nine established and nascent sites to your blog rounds. Some are more polished or frequently updated than others, but all provide a pulse on what's bubbling under the metro area's glossy surface. They're listed in no particular order, and we'll share more soon. If you have any essential local cultural bogs to share, please do so in the comments.
Led by a handful of whip-smart writers, Beached values quality over quantity, contributing thoughtful feature reporting and essays on Miami's cultural and civic life. That includes covering the bike scene along with the usual music and art. Beached also launched the successful Sketchy Miami project, which invites artists to submit portraits of Miami characters. The goal of that site spin-off is lofty: To amass a portrait of every person in Miami.
South Florida Classical Review
To call this a "blog" is something of an understatement. This site serves more like an online magazine, complete with regular in-depth profiles and up-to-date event listings. This is simply the source for extensive classical music coverage in South Florida, and it's helmed by an expert: Lawrence A. Johnson, a former critic for both The Miami Herald and the Sun Sentinel.
What this website lacks in posting frequency, it makes up for in sheer depth. Each post, which might come, say, bimonthly, offers a magazine-style essay or critique on local contemporary art. You won't find breathless boosterism here, but instead, real critical engaging with the highlighted works.
Started mainly by a handful of young former staffers for both the New Times and Tribune companies, this daily updated website covers books, music, culture, politics, and more. (Disclaimer: I also write for this site.) The lens here is often liberal and feminist, but never taking itself too seriously.
South Florida Music Obsessed
This is pretty much the only comprehensive, frequently updated local blog devoted exclusively to pop music of all genres. When we say "pop," we mean everything but classical and jazz, pretty much. Go here for encyclopedic show listings, reviews and photography, and ticket giveaways.
Steev Rullman has promoted shows in the greater South Florida area, particularly in Broward and Palm Beach counties, for years. Also for years, this site was the most authoritative place to check for upcoming indie rock, punk, and related shows in those counties. In recent years, besides launching a monthly print zine under the same brand, Rullman's expanded his site into a proper blog. This is a great place to go for scads of exclusive downloads from the best local bands.
This site fashions itself as a literary and photographic journal, which is unsurprising, since founder Melanie Gapany mans the lens behind Smile for Camera. Posts have covered everything from underground electronic music to urban planning, and the frequency of new content is about to seriously ramp up, Gapany tells us.
With no blogs in the area focused largely on film, independent journalist Hans Morgenstern came to the rescue. He contributes to local publications like New Times, but also posts thoughtful film (and music) reviews and news here on his own site.
This is the personal blog of Lauren "Lolo" Reskin, the dynamo behind Sweat Records. When she's not running the store or hosting one of its many offshoot cultural events, she blogs here. It's a conversational take on the nuts and bolts of running the whole operation, with a few personal glimpses, too.