Nerd Nite, Grateful Dead, Goonies & Goin' Phishin'

Your vow to spend 2015 feeding your head instead of stuffing your face starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8 at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St. at Nerd Nite Miami, a cerebral confab of sorts where being there and being square are mandatory. Mix with other Mensa types and enjoy cocktails and lectures ranging from all sorts of eclectic, often erudite subjects including Tiny Houses by William Vissel, Technology in Filmmaking by Dean Lyons and the one you’ve all been waiting for — The History of Elephants in Miami by Nathaniel Sandler. For more information on this and future Nerd Nites, go to

Alive and Dead
Stepping off our glitterball of a soap box on which we love to sing the praises of disco, we must pay homage to another lasting lyrical legacy — that of the Grateful Dead, whose fans have kept the band alive through thick, thin and tie dye. Being that the unofficial sonic spawn of the Dead has taken over Miami this weekend, it’s no surprise that Jerry Garcia and Co. would be honored with at least one big celebration like the one at Railroad Blues, 30 NE 14th St., which will fete 50 fantastic years of Grateful Dead at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 2. There, the Heavy Pets side project known as Lather Up! will offer “their interpretation of the Grateful Dead.” For those who want to put their money where their love is, tickets are $12 and special guests are expected to “come down and blow up Miami.” In a peaceful, loving and groovy sort of way, of course.

No Interviews
Inspired by the big hype–and ultimate letdown–surrounding The Interview, Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In (3500 Main Highway and 4020 Virginia Beach Dr.) have decided to take on “free speech and Korean-themed cinema” with a mini fest starting Saturday and continuing through the month with screenings of Shiri, a thriller about tensions between North and South Korea in the 1990s, the 2012 remake of Red Dawn, about a North Korean invasion of Spokane, Washington, and Pineapple Express -– “a stoner flick that has nothing to do with North Korea, but everything to do with James Franco and Seth Rogen,” says Blue Starlite. Thrown in for good measure and absolutely nothing to do with free speech or North Korea is the classic that should never be forgotten and should be used in an attempt to broker world peace – The Goonies. They’re also showing Pulp Fiction and Sing Along Grease among other flicks. Tickets range from $5 to $55 and are available at http://bluestarlitemiami.vbotickets/com/events.

Some Things Phishy
It may be a new year, but that makes no difference to the legions of Phish phans phlocking around Miami in a state of aural bliss. Capitalizing on the good vibes is the AURA Music & Arts Festival, which is throwing two big events Friday and Saturday beginning with funk virtuosos The New Mastersounds and prog-rock masters Dopapod performing from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. both Friday and Saturday nights at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and available at Performing at 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3 at Railroad Blues, 28 NE 14th St., are funk phenomenons The Motet and Kung Fu. Tickets are also $20 in advance and $25 at the door and available at Jam: it’s not just for bread anymore.