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Weekend preview: The lively sounds of silence

29 things to do in South Florida this weekend and beyond.

The Flagler Village Artwalk on Saturday will bring its monthly dose of hustle, bustle, hurly and burly to FAT Village, the MASS District and other chunky, funky blocks of downtown Fort Lauderdale. But many attendees will be oblivious to the hubbub.

They will be there, for sure, but also somewhere else — wherever DJ TONX takes them while spinning Silent Disco at C&I Studios.

Exactly as it sounds, but still somehow unexpectedly strange to witness, Silent Disco is a gathering of dancers moving to music only they can hear through the headsets covering their ears. The effect of watching the swarm bump and twirl in silence is disorienting to those not taking part, but that seems to be where the fun is.

Inside the headphones, each dancer is alone, but also part of a tribe. Not unlike Pokemon Go, in which the individual quest, with the phone screen seemingly blocking all other sensory stimuli, is made more engaging when pursued as part of a group. Alone, but together.

The challenge for the Silent Disco DJ is in finding the right sound to bind the community under the headphones.  

“It's funny that you mention Pokemon Go, because I'm currently working on a remix for Silent Disco,” says TONX, a former Deerfield Beach resident now living in Fort Lauderdale, where he is a studio coordinator for C&I Studios, a youthful multimedia production firm. He says his first Silent Disco last year was “a total eye-opener.”

“During the first 10 minutes of it, I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, due to the lack of sound. … 20 minutes later, people were dancing harder than I've ever seen,” he says. “Your inhibitions go out the window completely, and you are just free to be yourself. It's quite a thrill.”

If you went to Silent Disco last year, you know that so many people jumped in that they ran out of headphones. This year they've gone from 75 to about 125 sets, TONX says, and they are going charge $5 for them this time. You can wear them as long as you want.  

TONX will be one of three DJs spinning Silent Disco in C&I's darkened Studio A on Saturday night, with dancers switching among the three channels on their headphones. An active channel is indicated by a red, blue or green light on the headphone, so dancers can find others with the same taste by looking for the lights. TONX will be heard on the red channel.

“It's really a competition against the other DJs. It's vital that you can read the crowd, also because you can physically see what DJs they're listening to,” TONX says.

His go-to sounds are ’90s indie-house and 2000s hip-hop, and he predicts some Prince will be heard — but TONX won’t be afraid to pull out his secret weapon, his evolving Pokemon mash-up.

“It’s a mix of the theme song from the original and the songs from Pokemon Go,” he says. “I figured it would be fun, because C&I is also a Poke stop. [Pokemon Go] pretty much became a phenomenon overnight, so I’ve been trying to do something with that, to hit the steel while it’s hot, you know?”  

The blending of music and a nostalgic game is a natural for TONX, who recently started a comedic podcast called Retro Pizza Party, which debates the virtues of local pizza makers and retro video games.

“Pokemon has been a phenomenon since it started 20 years ago, and it's just as strong as it was now. I'm gonna prove that right when I get people dancing to it,” he says.

The Flagler Village Artwalk and related events in the nearby MASS District run from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Information can be found at FATVillage.com and MASSDistrict.com. For more information on Silent Disco, visit Facebook.com/CIStudios and Facebook.com/TONX954.

WEEKEND LAUGHS

“What are you, Diplo?” It’s a question actor-comedian Chris D’Elia gets quite often. “It seems people confuse me for him when I get to my green rooms or hotel rooms,” he explained to one Reddit interrogator. This is a joke. Maybe. Another Reddit fan asked D’Elia if he could press a button that wipes out all human life, would he use it. He answered: “Yeah, except for Diplo.” He doesn’t want to save “Chris D’Elia,” he wants to save Diplo. If D’Elia and Diplo are, in fact, the same man, the truth will come out this weekend when D’Elia is performing at the Fort Lauderdale Improv at the same time Diplo is scheduled to be onstage at the Mad Decent block party at Revolution Live on Saturday night. D’Elia is at the Improv Thursday-Sunday. Tickets: $30 (plus two drinks). Info: FTL.Improv.com.

EXPLORING NICK CAVE

Tickets are on sale now (and won’t last) for the only South Florida screening of “Nick Cave: Once More Time With Feeling,” a one-night-only event on Sept. 8 in more than 650 theaters around the world, including O Cinema in Wynwood. The multilayered performance film traces the writing and recording of “Skeleton Tree,” the 16th studio album by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, set against the backdrop of the July, 2015 death of Cave’s 15-year-old son. “Skeleton Tree” will be released Sept. 9. Tickets: $12. Info: O-Cinema.org.

CLEMATIS ALLEY CATS

Subculture Coffee in downtown West Palm Beach has asked the city commission for an OK to build a 50-foot climbing wall on the side of the adjacent parking garage (we approve). On Friday, they host a gathering that is decidedly more down-to-earth. Tacos & Hip-Hop brings a cool crowd and DJ Selecta Steve’s inventive sounds to the alley at 7 p.m. Info: Facebook.com/SubcultureCoffee.

WEEKEND BEER

Still one of the best-kept beer secrets in South Florida, LauderAle (yes, as in Fort Lauderdale) turns 2 on Saturday with an anniversary party highlighted by sale of their coconutty C.Porter and the Heisenberg Hefeweizen in cans. The gathering begins at noon with the arrival of the food trucks: Nacho Bizness, Frankie Dogs and Empanada Top. Live music begins at 4 p.m. with G Sparticus, followed by Hot Whiskey at 6:30 p.m. and Dirt Poor Millionaire at 9 p.m. This is gonna be yuuuge. Info: Facebook.com/LauderAle.

SEE YA, DAVE

The Dave Matthews Band plays two shows this weekend at Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, and as fans know the Friday-Saturday concerts are among the DMB’s final shows before taking a hiatus from the road during 2017. The time off is expected to yield a new album, and Matthews has been introducing new music on the tour, including the songs “Bismarck” and “Samurai Cop,” which sound like they may one day rank up there with his best.  Only lawn tickets ($31.50) remain for either show at Ticketmaster.com.  Info: DaveMatthewsBand.com

BIG EASY ODYSSEY

If you want to hear how the boundaries of jazz are being stretched in New Orleans these days, check out Khris Royal and Dark Matter at the Arts Garage in Delray Beach at 8 p.m. Friday. Their performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest last year left a Times-Picayune reviewer mightily impressed: “Royal and company clearly came of age in the digital era and aren’t shy about incorporating technology into the act. Instead of sheet music, the players consult laptops and though most of the instruments are traditional, much of the sound is somehow altered or augmented by the time it reached the audience's ears. At least once, a sampled spoken-monologue was part of the soundscape. … Royal plays the majority of his rolling, roiling riffs on an old-school saxophone, but he also employs an odd, rectangular reed instrument that distorts his vocals into ‘Space Odyssey’ electronic abstraction. The effect is fascinating. It's tempting to call it futuristic, but, of course it is just current.” Tickets are $30, $40 and $45, and you can get them two-for-one by using the code SUMMER at ArtsGarage.org.

BOYS IN THE HOODS

Interesting in-store show at Fort Lauderdale’s Radio-Active Records on Friday with King Complex joined by Pompano Beach psych-pop trio Peyote Coyote, beginning at 6 p.m. King Complex recently released the single “Made in America,” a blistering salvo of electro-rock noise and poetry aimed at the nation’s non-response to gun violence, delivered with their heads shrouded in black hoods. (Watch the video directed by "Blair Witch Project" producer Robin Cowie here.) Under the hoods, apparently, are Bracher Brown (of Orlando) and Cody Doss (Jupiter), who once made more traditional singer-songwriter music. King Complex is an impressive step in a new direction. The duo also will perform Aug. 3 at Churchill’s Pub in Miami. Info: Facebook.com/RadioActiveRecords, Facebook.com/KingComplexMusic, Facebook.com/ThePeyoteCoyoteBand.

BLACK MILK SPILT

Sweat Records in Miami will take part in the worldwide Classic Album Sundays celebration, which pays respect to a seminal album with listening parties utilizing audiophile-quality equipment. This edition, 5-8 p.m. Sunday, will celebrate Massive Attack’s trippy classic "Mezzanine," with free PBR and pizza. Tickets: $5 advance, $8 at door. Info: SweatRecordsMiami.com.

CANS OF SUNSHINE

Thursday, Aug. 4, is National IPA Day, as you well know, and you could go just about any place that serves craft beer and find a special. One recommendation: Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach, where you’ll find their sunny Grapefruit Category 5 IPA on draft and in a limited line of cans, while they last. Info: Facebook.com/DueSouthBrewing.

AN ERIC ANDRE SHOW

Boca Raton-born comic,  TV host and equal-opportunity offender Eric Andre, fresh from his incisive turn at the Republican National Convention and emboldened by the fact that Season 4 of “The Eric Andre Show” (with Hannibal Buress) will return to Adult Swim on Aug. 5, may not be able to contain his giddiness on Thursday (Aug. 4) at Gramps in Miami. Andre has two shows scheduled, 9 and 11 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Info: Gramps.com.

TAKE THE KIDS

If you are a hoops fan or have hoops fans of a certain age in your house, then you may be familiar with the work of professional dunkers Guy Dupuy,  Chris Staples, Porter Maberry and Jonathan Clark, who can regularly be found on televised contests in which they dunk over people, motorcycles and Lamborghinis. All four will be in west Miami this weekend for The Rise Challenge, a dunking exhibition presented by Kmart at its store at 12350 SW Eighth St. Maberry, all of 5 feet, 5 inches tall, is especially fun to watch. The four dunkers will do an in-store meet-and-greet 6-8 p.m. Friday, with the competition 12:20-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Info: Kmart.com.

FUTURE WEEKEND LAUGHS

Reminder: Comedian, actor and Emmy-winning writer Sarah Silverman will perform Oct. 15 at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, with tickets on sale 10 a.m. Friday at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.  Prices are $40, $50 and $70. A fan presale will begin 10 a.m. Thursday (July 28), via the Hard Rock’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The password is ASHBY. More information can be found at MyHRL.com.

EATING DELRAY

Not that you’re forgotten, but Aug. 1 is opening day for the inaugural Dine Out Downtown Delray Restaurant Week, offering special bargains at many of the city’s most popular restaurants. Deals include three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20 and less, three-course prix-fixe dinners for $20-$40, and special Dine Out Deals for $10 and less. There’s also a menu of classes, tastings and other events. For a list of participating restaurants and what they’re offering, go to DowntownDelrayBeach.com/RestaurantWeek.

SUENALO HOLIDAY

The free, Friday-night Starlight Musicals concert series in Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park is a reliable source of mainstream picnic music, be it bluesy, brassy or Buffett-y. This Friday offers a welcome surprise in Suenalo, the energetic eight-piece Latin-funk band from Miami guaranteed to put you on your feet. Yes, even you. Info: FortLauderdale.gov/Starlight, SuenaloMusic.com.

WEEKEND MOVIE

Miami Beach Cinematheque and the Wolfsonian join forces for a screening of Julian Schnabel’s “Before Night Falls,” Javier Bardem’s star-making turn as Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas, from his persecution by the Castro regime (for his writing and for being gay), his flight to the U.S. in the Mariel boat lift and his life in New York during the AIDS crisis. Johnny Depp co-stars. The film screens at 6 p.m. Sunday, and the ticket ($11, seniors/students $9) includes a 5 p.m. tour of “Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction” at the Wolfsonian, just down the street. Info: MBCinema.com.

TAKE THE KIDS II

Miami City Ballet will celebrate National Dance Day on Saturday with a dance party in Collins Park (2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach) with DJ Hottpants, an open house at MCB Studios across the street with building tours led by company dancers, samples dance classes (open to all ages and all levels) and a meet-and-greet with Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. There also will be refreshments by Vita Coco and Azucar Ice Cream Co. Info: MiamiCityBallet.org.

THE ’80s AGAIN

Fort Lauderdale’s iconic Shooters Waterfront  reprises its Rock the Dock concert on Saturday afternoon with an ’80s-rock theme, food and drink specials. The musical flashback will come courtesy of Stereotomy (3-6 p.m.) and the Journey tribute band Highway Run (7-10 p.m.). Info: ShootersWaterfront.com.

OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS 

Rose Max and Ramatis play the free Jazz at MOCA series at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami 8 p.m. Friday (MoCANoMi.org) … Ruffhouse offers a tribute to Bob Marley at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton 7:30 p.m. Friday (MiznerAmp.com ) … Singer-guitarist Mike Garulli of the Heavy Pets plays solo shows at Copper Blues in West Palm Beach 5 p.m. Friday and the Grand Tavern in Delray Beach 2 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/Mike.Garulli) … Norwegian DJ and producer Lindstrom brings spacey disco to Bardot in Miami 10 p.m. Saturday (BardotMiami.com) … Hot 105 DJ Big Man Kelly and singer-songwriter CriStyle Renae perform 9:30 p.m. Saturday during the Ali After Hours series at the Ali Cultural Arts Center in  Pompano Beach (AliArts.org) …  Pop-rap star Pitbull (joined by Prince Royce and Farruko) has two shows 7 p.m. Sunday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise (TheBBTCenter.com) and 8 p.m. Monday at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood (MyHRL.com) … The Go-Go’s bring their farewell tour (sniff) to the Broward Center 8 p.m. Wednesday (BrowardCenter.org) … Nashville-based Americana singer, songwriter and banjo picker Mean Mary (MeanMary.com) brings music from a new album, “Sweet,” to Rudy’s Stand Up Saloon in Lake Worth 8 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 4) and 8  p.m. Friday (Aug. 5) at Luna Star Café in North Miami Beach (LunaStarCafe.com) …

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at SouthFlorida.com, on Twitter at @BenCrandell and Instagram /BenCrandell. Email: bcrandell@southflorida.com.

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