The Go Guide Places, people and life with Ben Crandell

Weekend preview: Breaking a few eggs with Charlie Pickett

How does an artist find a great song or how do great songs find an artist? If there’s an answer, Miami singer-songwriter Jim Camacho is on a quest to find it with the help of some favorite practitioners on his new monthly web show “Adventures in Songwriting,” debuting Friday, after a launch party and concert Thursday night.

“The idea is to talk, sometimes about the craft, sometimes the inspiration, or the mystery of songwriting. Like, what’s that all about? Where do songs come from?” Camacho says. “I think it’s sort of ineffable, which is why I wanted to put together a show to reach toward that.”

Camacho comes to the challenge with a distinctive CV: He led the Goods across the South Florida rock scene in the 1990s (when they opened for Pearl Jam), became an insightful interpreter of the Beatles with the Beethose in the 2000s, experimented in musical theater with “Fools’ Paradise” and the “Nutcracker” remake “The Mouse King,” and has released a number of critically lauded solo albums, with another on the way this year.

Filmed in his home studio, the 30-minute program, which can be seen on Camacho’s YouTube channel and as an iTunes podcast, begins with South Florida legend Charlie Pickett, singer-guitarist of the ’80s rockers Charlie Pickett and the Eggs, like the Goods a local band that just missed major national fame. Future episodes will include Rob Elba (Holy Terrors, Shark Valley Sisters) and the indie duo Ex-Norwegian (Roger Houdaille and Michelle Grand). Camacho’s frequent video collaborator Juan Davila is tasked with editing these winding conversations to the 30-minute target.

Camacho says that when he decided to do the show, there was only one name on the list of songwriters he wanted to open with.

“Charlie Pickett is a guy I’ve been a huge fan of for a long time. [The Goods] learned so much from him about how to write a simple song that really connects to people,” Camacho says.

Behind the music, “Adventures in Songwriting” inevitably will veer into the personal connections and memories shared between the prolific Camacho and his guests. Camacho has no shortage of adjectives to apply to Pickett.

While dominating the early ’80s South Florida music scene, Charlie Pickett and the Eggs turned two critically lauded roots-rock recordings, “Live at the Button” and “Cowboy Junkie Au-Go-Go” (which the Village Voice’s Robert Christgau called “ace country-punk”), and relentless touring into a deal with Twin/Tone Records (Soul Asylum, the Replacements). The resulting 1986 album, “Route 33,” brought appreciative reviews but did not leave a mark. A followup album, “The Wilderness,” produced by REM’s Peter Buck, also met with moderate success. The Eggs disbanded after a final tour in 1988.

A Boynton Beach resident, Pickett continues to perform across South Florida when he’s not busy with his other gig as a trial lawyer.

“He’ll put on one of the most kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll shows you’ll ever see, and we’re lucky enough to have him in our area,” Camacho says. “We got to learn from the best. Not only the best, but also the most humble guy in the world. When we opened for Pearl Jam, he called to say he wanted to help as the guitar tech. There you go. There’s the great f---ing Charlie Pickett helping us with our guitars. There’s nobody better that I could get to kick off this series than Charlie Pickett.”

Camacho and Pickett did not want to give away too much of the show in advance, but said one song they discussed at some length was Pickett’s “All Love All Gone.”

A cut from the Eggs’ “Route 33,” “All Love All Gone” is a model of the band’s thrashing garage-rock urgency, over which Pickett rails against the elusiveness of that special human connection: “A true believer is someone who thinks that love will always come out right. / But I knew, yes, I knew, certain things like a loving home and a happy family I would never have. / All love, all faith, all hope, it’s all gone.”

“I hate it when artists say, ‘This is a song I’m really proud of,’ but I’m very proud of this song. We talked about it, its genesis,” Pickett says.

One of the recurring elements of “Adventures in Songwriting” will follow the process of Camacho and his guest writing a song during the show’s half-hour deadline, an old trick he used to spur inspiration with the Goods. In the opening show, Camacho and Pickett work on a song they call “Regret.” It is familiar, slightly romantic territory for Pickett.

“We started talking about themes and … I always go to the well of ‘look back with regret,’” Pickett says. “Looking back with regret, you’ve got some distance from the actual moment, and it’s like the scenery of one of the old westerns shot out in Monument Valley or something. It has a poignancy to it, without a deep sadness. I don’t know, to me it’s a good place to mine.”

Camacho and Pickett will perform “Regret” and other songs dissected on “Adventures in Songwriting” at the launch party Thursday (March 23) at Luna Star Café (775 NE 125th St., Miami). The all-ages gathering begins with an open-mike session from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. Admission is $5 (Luna Star is cash-only). For more information on the show and the launch party, visit AdventuresInSongwriting.net.

WEEKEND BEER

Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton celebrates its second anniversary with a party 1-5 p.m. Saturday that features special bottle releases (Bon Bon Chocolate Porter, for instance), live music, games, food trucks (Tucker Duke’s, Cheffrey Eats and Rolling Chefs) and the traditional Dunk the Monk tank. Beers will be $5, but with more than 35 beers on tap, you might consider the $45 for an all-you-can-drink ticket, or $60 for VIP all-you-can-drink access. Info: Facebook.com/BarrelOfMonks.

GET YOUR ‘80s BACK

Before N.W.A's album "Straight Outta Compton," the biggest success for the fledgling West Coast hip-hop label Ruthless Records was a group of teenage girls called J.J. Fad and their infectious 1988 single “Supersonic” (which appeared on an album co-produced by Dr. Dre). J.J. Fad will be the featured performers Friday night at the I Want My ‘80s Back party at Honey in downtown Delray Beach. DJ Johnny Quest will spin ‘80s hits from 7 to 11 p.m., with J.J. Fad performing at 10 p.m. Tickets: $10. Info: Sub-Culture.org/Honey.

WEEKEND LAUGHS

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian with serious game: His show “Thank God For Jokes” (available on Netflix as of Feb. 28) was nominated last year for a prestigious Lucille Lortel Award, which celebrates off-Broadway excellence (the award in the Outstanding Solo Show category went to Anne Hathaway in the Public Theater’s “Grounded”), an experience that will provide some of the fodder for his new show offered in four performances Friday-Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv. Tickets: $30 (two-drink minimum). Info: PalmBeachImprov.com.

HOLES IN THE STREET

It’s all about that bean bag in Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District on Saturday when the Tarpon Bend Cornhole Tournament closes down Southwest Second Street beginning at 1 p.m. with $1,000 to the winning team. Entry for each two-man team is $40, and comes with a bucket of beer (from your friends at Bud Light), which can only improve your game. Check-in begins at noon. Other prizes are $250 for the second-place team, and a $100 gift certificate to Tarpon Bend for third. Diversions for those not taking part in the tournament include a free cornhole play area and raffles for prizes such as cornhole boards, gift certificates and bar tabs. Info: Facebook.com/TarponBendLauderdale.

WEEKEND COCKTAIL

They are in the home stretch of The Shake Up cocktail fundraising competition between 20 Palm Beach County bars and restaurants, who are donating a portion of the proceeds from specialty drinks sold through March 31 to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. One of the more enticing has to be the Cucumber Basil Martini at City Cellar in West Palm Beach’s CityPlace. Along with the support for No Kid Hungry, the two venues that raise the most money will get a coveted spot to serve their drinks in the foyer at the Palm Beach Taste of the Nation at the Kravis Center on April 20. For more information and a list of other participating venues, visit NoKidHungry.org/PalmBeach.

TAKE THE KIDS

The 11th annual KID Duck Fest Derby, a fundraiser supporting the work of Kids In Distress in Broward and Palm Beach counties, will drop 30,000 rubber ducks into the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale during Saturday’s festival in Esplanade Park (400 SW Second St.) from noon to 3 p.m. Along with the games of the Kid Olympics, face painting, bounce houses, food trucks and live music, the 2 p.m. duck race has a $10,000 top prize. Other rewards include a seven-day Norwegian cruise for two, a foursome of golf at Fort Lauderdale Country Club and more. You can adopt a duck for $5 each (including an anniversary discount of 11 ducks for $50) at the festival or at DuckFestDerby.org. Hit the link for more information about Kids in Distress and the Duck Fest Derby.

WEEKEND MOVIE

On this weekend filled with pilgrims prostrating themselves at the altar of digital bombast at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, the Coral Gables Art Cinema offers a reminder of the simpler virtues of music with screenings of Wim Wenders’ “Buena Vista Social Club.” In the German filmmaker’s 1999 documentary about a forgotten generation of Cuba’s finest musicians, we are witness to sublime performances of timeless songs by such icons as singer Ibrahim Ferrer and pianist Rubén González. And in the scenes depicting their first, awe-struck arrival in New York, there is a reminder of the transcendent wonder that America can inspire in visitors. “Buena Vista Social Club” screens 10:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Tickets: $11.75, $10 for seniors, students and military. Info: GablesCinema.com.

A TWO LOU NIGHT

The monthly Classic Album Sundays series at Sweat Records in Miami will focus this weekend on “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” celebrating its 50th anniversary, pairing it with Lou Reed’s 1972 release “Transformer.” As always you can nosh on free PBR and pizza while you listen. Co-sponsored by Deja Vu Audio South, the music will be heard on a choice set-up that includes an Audio Note T1 turntable, Audio Note 1Q1 cartridge, Audio Note M2 Phono preamplifier, Audio Note Conqueror amplifier, Deja Vu Audio Custom Genoa Vintage speakers and Audio Note Lexus cables. The music begins at 5 p.m. Tickets: $10 at the door. Info: SweatRecordsMiami.com.

WEEKEND DJ

While Miami is overrun with dance-music royalty this weekend, one of the trailblazers of the South Florida DJ scene can be found in Fort Lauderdale Friday night when George Acosta does a late-night set at Stache in the Himmarshee District. Admission is free. Info: Facebook.com/StacheFTL.

FREE COFFEE

The already energetic Art After Dark series at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach will get a jolt of caffeinated youthfulness on Thursday, March 30, with a College Night theme that turns the space into a coffeehouse programmed by students from Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach Atlantic University. From 5 to 9 p.m. the evening will include performances by student poets and acoustic musicians, DIY art projects, a phone-aided scavenger hunt and the FAU jazz-rock band Solaris. The Tacos al Carbon food truck will be on hand. There also will be free popcorn and, courageously, free coffee. Admission to the museum during the weekly Art After Dark series is free. Info: Norton.org.

OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS

Octo Gato, Shakers, the Underdogs and Flower City play the Kreepy Tiki Bar and Lounge in Fort Lauderdale 8 p.m. Friday (Facebook.com/KreepyTikiBar) … 30Vice brings modern rock, pop and dance music to the Friday Night Soundwaves series at the Hub on Fort Lauderdale beach at 6 p.m. Friday (Facebook.com/30ViceBandMiami, FridayNightSoundwaves.com) … “We Are Family” is the title of a performance by the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday (GayMensChorusOfSouthFlorida.org) … The Copper Tones offer twangy blues at Bangin' Banjo Brewing Co. in Pompano Beach 8 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/TheCopperTonesMusic, Facebook.com/BanginBanjoBrewing) ... Acclaimed Miami jazz flautist Nestor Torres performs at the Boca Black Box in Boca Raton 8 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/NestorTorresMusic, BocaBlackBox.com) … Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band will do a noon-3 p.m. set during the Bayou at the Buddha Crawfish Boil at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park on Sunday (Facebook.com/BalladOfAmerica, Facebook.com/FunkyBuddhaBrewery) … Jon Secada will join the MJC Voices vocal ensemble at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach 7 p.m. Sunday (ArtsGarage.org)

bcrandell@sun-sentinel.com

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