MIAMIâ€™S INDIE CULTURE STAPLE LIVES ON AFTER TEN SPIRITED AND FRUITFUL YEARS
POPLIFE Celebrates a Decade of Indie Music and Nightlife
On Saturday, June 6, POPLIFE will commemorate 10 years of showcasing indie music and providing a compelling, alternative cultural hub for nightlife revelers. The 10-year anniversary celebration will feature a live performance by Atlanta indie rockers Snowden, along with very special surprise guests yet to be announced, DJ sets by Aramis, Induce and Mike Deuce, lots of giveaways (music, T-shirts, etc), and the unveiling of a new logo, all at White Room, 1306 North Miami Ave., Downtown Miami.
Every major city has its share of alternative platforms and weekly indie parties on the nightlife circuit. Yet Miami has seen very few live venues and nightlife-driven events that hone in on a colorful diversity of indie music. Back in 1999, POPLIFE emerged as an antidote to the homogenized sheen of South Beach nightlife. Founding partners Aramis Lorie and Barbara Basti (later joined by Jake Jefferson) envisioned a weekly event focused on music and the arts â€“ a social gathering for individuals seeking an alternative to Miami nightlife, and a place to dance and mingle with like-minded individuals.
Throughout the years, POPLIFE has become instrumental in developing Miami as a viable market for non-mainstream acts and talent. In addition to offering a platform to local acts, the organization has produced and promoted numerous events and concerts, including Le Tigre, Peaches, MIA, Of Montreal, Interpol, The Magnetic Fields, Jose Gonzalez, Chicks on Speed, The Faint, Yelle, Ladytron, Ratatat, Prefuse 73, Lansing-Dreiden, Jamie Lidell, Spank Rock, The Walkmen, Mum, Santogold, Green Velvet, Junior Boys, Mylo, Calvin Harris, Chairlift, Cat Power, Modest Mouse, Animal Collective, and many, many more.
Good music is king in the realm of POPLIFE, and its longstanding mission has prevailed as an alternative music outlet, encompassing non-mainstream artists and genres. The POPLIFE nightcrawlers dig into everything from indie rock and electronica to grime, traversing all aural, subterranean spaces in between. The key is to listen and dance all the way through, caroused and blithe.
But POPLIFE has always been more than just a party. It is a culture, and its devotees are passionate and diehard. The founders actually pioneered areas of Miami that are now considered hip, such as the Design District in 2000 when the event was hosted at The Piccadilly Garden. Same with the 14th Street/Downtown Miami club row, when the event was moved to the newly-opened I/O in 2003. Lorie and Basti are downtown trailblazers who have owned and operated venues such as I/O Lounge, The District Restaurant and Lounge, PS14 (28 NE 14th St., 305-358-3600), and â€“ most recently â€“ the new Ecco Pizzateca and Lounge (168 SE 1st St., 305-960-1900), in Downtown Miami.
By now, POPLIFE has garnered international attention and various globetrotting characters have stopped by to join the party â€“ from Moby to Michael Stipe to Irvine Welsh. POPLIFE patrons are innovators, artists, tastemakers, hip kids, and dancing queens. Expanding its horizons, the organization continues to pursue collaborations, such as with The Rhythm Foundation, Le Baron (Paris), MAP Magazine (themapmag.com), Design Miami, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Locust Projects, O.H.W.O.W., and several more. Their official photographer, Nefariousgirl (nefariousgirl.com), has been documenting all the events since 2004.
The POPLIFE collective has also brought its distinct brand to the Beach, producing and promoting weekly parties, such as LoveLife Sundays at The Standard (since 2007, with its infamous, rollicking Bingo game), Good Clean Fun every Thursday at Rok Bar, and Dirty Hairy every Wednesday at LIV at the Fontainebleau.
Currently, the signature event is still hosted at White Room, 1306 North Miami Ave., Downtown Miami, every Saturday night starting at 10pm.
POPLIFE has come a long way from its first incarnation on June 4, 1999. Hereâ€™s to ten years, and many more fruitful ones to come.