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Magic City Soundtrack Pt. 2

When you get to call a city like Miami “home”, it’s easy to forget just how great a place this is. Sure, we may complain about the traffic, lack of public transportation, and shallow trends that die as quickly as they arise, but the truth is: we’re incredibly lucky. Lucky that our city is supportive of art and culture, constantly thirsty for more. Something that other cities in this country dream about on a daily basis but never get to experience.

While most cities have a singular neighborhood dedicated to creative growth or a specific foreign culture, ours is tattooed with the colors of the world and all the art and music that comes with them. Because the city’s history is a patchwork of ethnicities, a quilt of re-written history, neighborhoods are sewn together by picturesque drives, welcoming parks, and the distinct architecture of long ago, intermingled with arising modernity.

It’s time to take a tour around the city to places you may not notice as you zoom by on your way to and from work, or even places yet to be discovered. And with this trip, we’ve put together the second installment of our Magic City Soundtrack series that features some of the best tunes by local acts only:

1. Drive down Coral Way (from Red Road to Le Jeune) – “Solo Tu Amor” by Elastic Bond

Not many people know that this is a piece of Miami’s history, connecting the metropolitan area to the city of Coral Gables established by its founder, George E. Merrick. On a sunny day, the dappled light through the tunnel of oak trees makes this specific stretch of the 16 mile road picturesque to say the least. As you pass the historic Merrick House and other coral and limestone houses, you’ll need something light to pair with your inner happiness; something like this lovely ballad by the beloved Elastic Bond.

2. The 12th Ave. Bridge & Miami River – “Photoshoot Mix” by Pirate Stereo

With the intertwined highways on Miami’s coastline, we sometimes forget that the city has its own river, with some great views to boot. If you’re looking for the more industrial side side of things, constrasted by some pretty impressive high-rises, take your bike down 12th Ave. and cross the river for a panorama of Downtown and Miami’s seafaring docks. We joined this stop with a bouncy mix by Pirate Stereo, a local DJ who flows from genre to genre, just like a river.

3. David T. Kennedy Park, Coconut Grove – “Tonight” by Magazine Society

One of the city’s largest parks, the rolling greens and rows of coastal mangroves at Kennedy have witnessed many a childhood over the years. The park is brimming with life: from barks of the happy creatures at the dog park, to the cheers of beach volleyball games won. Home to the famous, A.C’s Icees, there’s also an outdoor vita course, a bay-view boardwalk, and tons of picnic benches. For such well-rounded greenery, we gave this spot a track by Magazine Society, a local band who understand Alternative entertainment better than most.

4. Matheson Hammock – “Labrats” by Electric Kif

We can’t stress the impeccable funkiness of Electric Kif enough. Something so natural, caught somewhere between tamed and set free, just had to be paired with Matheson Hammock. A park that seconds as a beach lagoon and thirds as a marina, this Old Cutler Road stop also borders on the edge of untouched yet still cared for by loyal weekend visitors and fishermen alike. With towering Banyans, Royal Palms, and even a BBQ-equipped castle, take a secret bike trail through the mangroves until you reach the bay. Only Electric Kif’s horn lines and bass riffs can live up to that.

5. De Soto Plaza Fountain (and Venetian Pool) – “oh Jolie Blonde” by The French Horn

It’s funny how the Gables can boast catalogue mansions that are juxtaposed with the European influenced architecture of yesteryear. Granada Blvd is a perfect example of such a cultural phenomenon. At the De Soto Circle, where Granada meets Venetian Pool, you’ll find yourself driving round and round as you take in the Plaza Fountain whose presence carries you overseas to romantic places. There’s no room for English in this pairing, so we brought in the irresistible Gypsy stylings of The French Horn to take you away.

6. Hobie Island Beach (Key Biscayne) – “Crescencio” by PALO!

Grammy and Latin Grammy nominated, PALO! is an Afro-Cuban Funk Band with a non-stop party as a member of the band. Recently renovated, the Hobie Island Beach of Key Biscayne is now a perfect place for one such shindig. With unobstructed views of the city, this beach stretches far and wide so you never feel cramped. You can windsurf, lay out on the white-sand beaches, or just float on the clear shallow water. But do us a favor, make sure you turn this tune up and get down while you’re at it.

7. The Rathskeller at UM – “Boreductivity” All Vinyl Mix by Mr. Brown

Also recently renovated (more like torn down and recreated), The University of Miami’s on-campus bar, The Rathskeller is a pretty sweet place to enjoy a happy hour pitcher or watch a game. As tradition, the public hangout spot hugs Lake Osceola with its grassy steps and is packed with glider chairs and spirited students. The food is great and so is the brew, but put this mix on by the masterful Mr. Brown and you’ll have yourself a true O.G. party with good company at arm’s length.

8. Drive down Julia Tuttle Causeway – “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac (Afrobeta Remix)

In a city made for cars, it’s pretty hard to find a straight shot road or highway. One of many causeways connecting the mainland to its more popular beach-y sister, Julia Tuttle has some of the nicest views of Biscayne Blvd, the bay, and North Beach with an arrow shot look at the sunset. Named after Miami’s female founder, this drive had to be matched with some other powerful ladies. We brought in an infectious remix of Fleetwood Mac by one of the city’s greatest (and recently married!) personalities: Afrobeta. Take it away, Amador!

Like what you experienced? Check out our first Magic City Soundtrack.