South J Street in downtown Lake Worth Beach is well known by locals as a go-to spot for great music of diverse genres, but it might be one of the most underrated and underappreciated music scenes in South Florida. That perception is changing, thanks to a new music festival that will showcase some of the best new indie music at two venues that are teaming up for the first time.
Postcards from Paradise, a bride to West Palm Beach’s popular Bumblefest (both presented by PureHoney), will feature 18 bands at Propaganda and Rudy’s Pub April 14-15, two South J Street live-music clubs with traditionally different clientele but complimentary vibes and a short walk apart.
Brooklyn-based synth pop musician Frankie Rose and glam rocker Scott Yoder of Seattle are the headliners at Propaganda on a diverse bill that includes Donzii, Haute Tension, Rude Television, Room Thirteen, Liquid Pennies among others.
“I’m so excited I got asked to play the festival,’’ Rose, who last visited South Florida some 15+ years ago with the punk band Vivian Girls, said. “We teamed up with a great post-punk band named Donzii from Miami. They’re making really interesting music.’’
Rose, formerly with Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, will be promoting her latest album, “Love As Projection,” released March 10. The songs were written three years ago but the album was delayed because of plant pressing logjam brought on by the pandemic.
“It’s definitely a synth pop record for sure. It’s got more synths, less guitars,’’ she said. “It’s a direction I’ve been wanting to go in more and more.’’
At Postcards from Paradise, she said, she expects to play songs from across her musical catalog — including at least one of The Cure songs she recorded for her 2021 full-album cover of their 1980 album, “Seventeen Seconds.”
Yoder (ex-Pharmacy) is no stranger to South Florida, but Postcards will mark his first visit to Propaganda, where, unlike his previous West Palm Beach show in 2019, he will not be accompanied by other musicians.
“I feel like playing alone is relatively new to me,’’ Yoder told PureHoney. “When I first got a guitar, I didn’t know how to play it. I started figuring it out with someone. It’s kind of in my concept of music to always play with someone else. So, it’s more of an interesting challenge to kind of divert that and go against what’s comfortable.’’
The Propaganda show won’t include just songs from his latest album, “Wither on Hollywood & Vine,” described by his label, Cruisin Records, as a “glittery, grunge-pop project” that “interrogates the origins of his ‘fool’ persona through the lens of Old Hollywood.’’
“I think you can expect something that will be dynamic and changing and shifting. Something that’ll go from electric guitar to more intimate songs to more theatrical songs,’’ said Yoder, known as a charming glitter-folk balladeer with mascara and bell-bottoms.
“I’m trying to cover as much range as I can with this tour. It’s only going to be me on stage. I want to make it more of a show and cover as many things as I can. There will be some backing tracks but it’ll basically be me physically on stage. Everything else will be a machine or ghost.’’
At Rudy’s, the headliners will be Gold Dust Lounge on Friday the 14th and Man Made Weather on Saturday the 15th, part of a lineup more conducive to the mellow vibe of a bar whose motto is “No Grouchy People Allowed.’’
“My crowd skews a little older at this point. Everybody has had families and or is having families and so it’ll be a good fit for us,’’ Russell Mofsky, the Miami Beach-raised leader of the instrumental band Gold Dust Lounge, told PureHoney.
“The music I play is sort of like what you might hear in a Pulp Fiction soundtrack or a David Lynch film,” Mofsky said, adding, “I grew up with punk rock and got into jazz and now my music is neither one of those but influenced by both. It might be influenced as much by old Godzilla and western films as much as anything else.’’
Friday will also feature the Honey Creepers and Nervous Monks. Saturday will feature the reggae band Spred the Dub outside on the rear patio (but a separate $5 ticket is required for that show).
Kicking off Rudy’s half of the festival on Friday will be Thorns, featuring one of the sons of the late musician Chris Wood, who passed away last year after a battle with cancer. Some proceeds from Postcards will go toward pressing four Wood songs to vinyl.
While the festival’s overall vibe might at first glance seem more suited to a roomy rock club like Propaganda, Rudy’s was only too happy to offer its intimate inside stage, which over the years has hosted an eclectic range of musicians from blues guitarist JP Soars and Allman Brothers tribute group Marshall Brothers Band to blues rock trio Shaw Davis & The Black Ties and The People Upstairs.
“I think it’s going to be a blast,’’ Rudy’s owner MaryBeth Sisoian told PureHoney. “The most attractive thing to me is I’ve always wanted to work with Propaganda. I love bringing South J Street together in any way possible.’’
Mofsky agreed, saying he’s excited to be part of something that will help two popular South J Street venues —and their respective regulars — get to know each other a little better.
“Community is lacking in our current day and age,’’ he said. “I think anything that can bring people together, especially through music, which is something that has the potential to be a great uniter, is wonderful. Without a community, none of us have any place to play.”
This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.