Nashville-based singer-songwriter Emily Kopp says you can learn a lot about love through vomit. This is not a cautionary Cinco de Mayo tale, nor a country-music lyric gone wrong, but rather a lesson learned first-person during the 11 months in 2016 that she lived out of a backpack in locales including Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, Argentina and Israel.
Before she and girlfriend Robyn could adapt to some of the street food they encountered in Thailand and Bali, well, things got messy.
“The fastest way to determine whether someone is your person or not, is to really travel in a nonvacation sort of way, roughing it,” Kopp says. “The more food poisoning you get, and you see how they take care of you … You fall in love with someone more.”
Not only did her 2016 on the road give Kopp a new perspective on the balance between life and work, she and Robyn also came back engaged to be married.
“I fell deeper in love with her, and I saw the world in a whole new way,” Kopp says. “My whole value system has changed.”
Raised in Plantation, the 26-year-old graduate of David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie and the University of Central Florida has been a blur of ambition since her excellent 2013 collection of yearning indie rock titled “Serendipity Find Me.” While overseas, she continued to work on music for Midnight Riot, her licensing project (with producer Justin Beckler) which has produced songs that have found their way into ads for Fitbit, Honey Bunches of Oats, JetBlue, and Michelob Ultra.
Kopp is one of several South Florida acts on the bill this weekend at SunFest in West Palm Beach, where she expects to share a some new music, including an upbeat rocker titled “Never Coming Down,” which appeared in a Honey Bunches of Oats ad campaign.
Going on at 1 p.m. Sunday, Kopp’s performance leads into a 2:30 set by Rachel Platten (“Fight Song”), one of Kopp’s favorite acts in the SunFest lineup. Another Kopp favorite will follow Platten at 5 p.m. when Fort Lauderdale singer-songwriter Alex Di Leo will offer music from his recent EP, “So We Go.” Kopp and Di Leo (who share a keyboard player, Kevin Maddox) also will form a double bill at Stache in downtown Fort Lauderdale on June 17.
Kopp last saw Platten when she was an intern at a music venue in Orlando.
“There weren’t really a lot of people there. It was before ‘Fight Song’ had been picked up. It’s going to be amazing to see where she is now and to think that, back then, I literally brought water to her dressing room and watched her play in a roomful of 20 people,” Kopp says. “I’m really excited to see her. She’s the real deal.”
Led by Marky Ramone, the drummer who played on some of the best-known songs by the trailblazing punk band the Ramones, the daylong Passenger Festival fills Mana Wynwood inside and out on Saturday. Ramone, who took over for original drummer Tommy Ramone in time to play on the band’s 1978 album “Road to Ruin” (which included the classic “I Wanna Be Sedated”), will perform with his band Blitzkrieg. Also on the bill are popular South Florida noisemakers Jacuzzi Boys, Milk Spot and Shark Valley Sisters. The festival includes vintage rock-clothing vendors, a bookstore, a vinyl record market, beer garden and daytime live sets. Admission is free noon-7 p.m., with a $15 cover for main concerts running 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets/info: Facebook.com/ThePassengerFestival.
The newish Fort Lauderdale location of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza on North U.S. 1 (1580 N. Federal Highway) just started serving the excellently named IPA1A from 26 Degrees Brewing in Pompano Beach. Good move, Tony (ACFP.com) … Bangin' Banjo Brewing Co. in Pompano Beach will release its vanilla bean-fortified Thanks-A-Latte Coffee Porter during brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday with Tucker Duke's Food Truck and Blooming Bean Coffee Co. serving (Facebook.com/BanginBanjoBrewing) … Heads up: Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach will celebrate its fifth anniversary May 12-13 with all the beer pouring you might imagine. All I know is DoDough’s Doughnuts will be there (Facebook.com/DueSouthBrewing).
Sure, you could go anyplace to root for Patch, the Kentucky Derby’s lovable one-eyed entry. But why not do it where they are trying to set a Guinness World Record for the world's largest Champagne toast? Michael Mina’s swank Bourbon Steak at Turnberry Isle in Aventura will host a party to watch the Run for the Roses 4-7 p.m. Saturday, an event that includes music from the Bad Apples Brass Band, Southern-inspired canapés and the toast hosted by G.H. Mumm. If you are so inclined, there will be an award for best hat. Tickets: $14.30. Info: TurnberryIsleMiami.com/Bourbon-Steak.
CINCO DE MOROCCO
Everyone is doing something on Cinco de Mayo. Everyone. But the Town of Surfside will kick off its free first-Friday beach parties with a Moroccan-themed gathering on the sand at the Oceanfront Community Center (9301 Harding Ave.), where you’ll find Middle Eastern music, fashion, belly dancers and an array of healthful food and drink (for purchase) under a group of ornately designed, oversize tents. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Bring your own picnic and beach gear. Info: Facebook.com/FridayBeaching.
CINCO DE ROCCO
So, yes, pretty much every bar, restaurant, brewery and café will have have a new-fangled margarita, a mariachi band and staff in lucha libre masks. Your local Rocco’s Tacos will be crowded for sure, but, for once, that’s the point. Cinco de Mayo is best enjoyed with the masses. Owner Rocco Mangel, our favorite Cinco luchador and an all-around mensch, recently revealed he’s been diagnosed with MS and, of course, he immediately threw himself into raising money for research. Does MS stand a chance? Info: RoccosTacos.com/ms, Facebook.com/TheRoccoMangel.
“Saturday Night Fever” is one of my favorite films of all time, not so much for the soundtrack (even more awesome with age) or the dance scenes (ditto), but for its portrayal of middle-class aspirations of Tony Manero (John Travolta) and the cultural divide represented by the Brooklyn Bridge. Thanks to the nostalgia peddlers at Fathom Events, the film will return to the big screen in a director’s cut, with added scenes and an updated surround-sound mix, in theaters all over South Florida 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday. For information and a list of theaters, visit FathomEvents.com.
Rapper Wrekonize of the Miami-based crew Mayday! will join old friend Tech N9ne on the bill at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, the same day Wrekonize will put his new album, “Into the Future,” in stores. It also happens to be his birthday, so who knows what fun may break out? Tickets: $30. Info: Facebook.com/WrekonizeMusic.
Veteran South Florida rocker Jim Camacho will celebrate Episode 2 of his web series “Adventures in Songwriting” with Miami Beach indie-rock band Ex Norwegian 7-11 p.m. Saturday at Luna Star Café in North Miami. Cover for the all-ages show is $10 (Luna Star is cash only). Ex Norwegian is set to release the album “Tekset” on May 26. Info: Facebook.com/JimCamachoMusic, Facebook.com/ExNorwegian.
What I know about Tony Rock is he’s Chris Rock’s little brother (and, apparently, the host of “The Game of Dating” on TV One). Is that enough to make me roll the dice in looking for a night of laughs? Yes, it is. Rock is at the Palm Beach Improv in West Palm Beach through Sunday. Tickets: $20. Info: PalmBeachImprov.com.
OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
Emily Estefan shares music from her album “Take Whatever You Want” in a free show 5 p.m. Friday at Palm Court in Miami’s Design District (Facebook.com/EmilyEstefanMusic) … Miami Beach garage rockers Deaf Poets will play a listening party for the album “Lost in Magic City” 9 p.m. Friday at Las Rosas in Miami (Facebook.com/DeafPoets) … The Shane Duncan Band brings country comfort to Fort Lauderdale beach on Air & Sea Show Weekend edition of the free Friday Night Soundwaves series 6-9 p.m. (FridayNightSoundwaves.com) … Remix will offer classic rock and R&B during a free show on Old School Square in Delray Beach 7:30-10 p.m. Friday (OldSchoolSquare.org) … Miami’s Tairon Aguilera and Latin Beat play Latin Night on the Plaza at CityPlace in West Palm Beach 7-11 p.m. Friday (CityPlace.com) … Dirt Poor Millionaire riles up Fort Lauderdale’s LauderAle brewery 8-11:45 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/LauderAle) … Six bands are booked at the intimate Two& in Fort Lauderdale Saturday night, including RAFF, Narvee, the Takers and Leavers, the Anchor Collective, Goalkeeper and Recurren (Facebook.com/TwoAndWhatever) … Local favorite Gary King’s smooth vocals can be found at Calder Casino in Miami Gardens 9 p.m. Saturday (CalderCasino.com) … Big Harvest drops some reggae on QBar Burgers & Blues in Fort Lauderdale 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday (Facebook.com/BigHarvestBand) … J Street Revival plays Bark & Brew 2, a fundraiser hosted by Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue, at Biergarten Boca Raton 1:30 p.m. Sunday (Facebook.com/JustinBartlettAnimalRescue) … Popular Fort Lauderdale rockers Sosos perform 6 p.m. Thursday (March 11) at the Delray Marketplace (Facebook.com/SososMusic).