The other night I found myself giving multiple listens to the infectious video of Asher Roth's I Love College, a joyful hip-hop celebration of partying till 3, sleeping till 10, beer bongs and thongs. Especially in the live version from MTV's Spring Break festivities this year, it's amazing to watch the dweebily unaffected Roth, far right, command the stage and the thousands singing along, doing his wordy rappinghood thing in shorts and T-shirt, plastic cup in hand, looking like he'd just rolled out of bed into the mid-afternoon heat. Good times.
I say "listens" to the video because it became a background soundtrack to the grim but somehow equally infectious videos of fights by Miami backyard brawler Rene "Level" Martinez, who has translated YouTube legend into organized MMA prize-fighting cha-ching.
Roth's casual, suburban joie de vivre played in stark contrast with Level's tattooed menace and stylish swagger. One video, shot in Blair Witch style with commentary from MMA heavyweight Kimbo Slice, shows Level, ringed by encouraging onlookers, staring down a martial arts fighter in what looks like a Miami condo parking lot. One punch later, Level's opponent is on his knees, one hand cupped against what appear to be serious facial fractures.
A lot of mean going around these days. But also a lot of people who refuse to buy into the bad news and bad blood. Good times. As Roth sings in the refrain from I Love College: "That party last night was awfully crazy, I wished we'd taped it!"
No kidding, the Blink 182/Fallout Boy/All-American Rejects/Asher Roth show at the Cruzan on Saturday is a sell-out. Another sign of something happening with the economy? Or not. If you don't have tickets, you can catch wise-guy wordslinger Roth on Friday night when he does a DJ set at Liv nightclub at the Fontainebleau (4441 Collins, Miami Beach). Admission: $30 for guys, $20 for women. On Saturday night, Fallout's Pete Wentz, left, is in the DJ booth at Liv. Info: livnightclub.com.
Rumble at the Rock, the Action Fight League's night of MMA battles at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Friday, is memorable for a couple of reasons. One is the big-money debut of Miami tough guy Level Martinez. The other is the big money: Tickets are $100, $45 and $25. Info: ticketmaster.com, actionfightleague.com.
But you want to talk about crazy money? Kanye West and Lady Gaga are on their way to the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Dec. 9. Tickets are $129.50, $99.50 and $69.50. They go on sale 10 a.m. Oct. 3 at LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster and at 877-598-8698.
One reason to get to the Juliette Lewis show early: The Ettes, right, who bring out a new album, Do You Want Power, on Tuesday and can be found on the kick-tail soundtrack for the Drew Barrymore-directed coming-of-age roller derby romp, Whip It. Also to be heard in the movie, which hits theaters Oct. 2: The Ramones (Sheena is a Punk Rocker), the Breeders (Bang On), Peaches (Boys Wanna Be Her), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Blue Turning Grey) and, for grins, .38 Special (Caught Up in You). The Ettes open for Lewis on Sunday at the Culture Room. Doors open at 7:30. Admission: $15. Info: cultureroom.net.
Not your average Joe
The Queers perform a special old-school pop-punk set Saturday night at Respectable Street (518 Clematis) in West Palm Beach. The bill for the all-ages show includes the Leftovers, the ClockOuts and TA80. Tickets: $12. Info: respectablestreet.com, 561-832-9999.
Painting the town
The Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale gets creative on Friday with a late-night art party at Gryphon nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The event celebrates the artists and collectors featured in the museum's exhibition "With You I Want to Live," images from which will be projected throughout the nightclub. Along with the typical night of club music (DJ Roland), costumed dancers and a party vibe, you'll get free admission from 10 to midnight, along with two free drink tickets. Admission after midnight is $20. info: moaflnsu.org, 954-262-0236.
Kids can hear a very special version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar when author Eric Carle reads the book at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Books & Books in Coral Gables (265 Aragon) and 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the shop's Bal Harbour location (9700 Collins). There will be crafts supplies so the young ones can make their own caterpillars, leaves and butterflies. Info: booksandbooks.com, 305-373-5437.
If you want to get your dog some exercise and see some new faces (while he sniffs some new rears) try Dog Day at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. You'll find wide open spaces, dog-oriented vendors and organic, gourmet dog treats at the Doggie Bag Cafe. The Fairchild is at 10901 Old Cutler Road. Info: fairchildgarden.org, 305-663-8091.
A new crowd
Upper Room, Miami City Ballet's hipster vanguard of twenty- and thirtysomethings, will celebrate the new MCB season with a launch party Saturday night at 8 at Shiso (1428 20th St., Miami Beach). There's a $15 cover for nonmembers, but it's free if you sign up at the party. Info: miamicityballet.org/mcbupperroom , 305-929-7000, ext. 1446.
Dozens of guitars decorated by acclaimed local artists, some autographed by stars like Katy Perry, right, Thalia, Gloria Estefan and the Allman Brothers Band, will be up for grabs at the Gibson Guitars Miami Guitartown charity auction Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. A celebrity reception begins at 7 p.m., and the live and online auction runs from 8:30 to 10 p.m. The proceeds benefit the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Miami Music & Art Fund and the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation. Info: Miamiguitartown.com.
Sean (Beautiful Girls) Kingston performs cuts from his new album Tomorrow with DJ Irie at Mansion's We Rock Hip-Hop party Friday night. Mansion is at 1235 Washington. Info: mansionmiami.com.