Broward's first with the worst in music

By Charles E. Hecker - Herald Staff Writer

Its members don't take lessons. They don't rehearse. They don't even tune their instruments.That hard work has been rewarded accordingly. The Scraping Teeth, a South Florida band, -- to use the term loosely -- has been named the Worst Band in America by Spin magazine. The prize: $500 and a short feature story in the magazine.

James Rite of Pembroke Pines, who plays the drums and screams, was, he supposes, pleased. "You're either the best in America or the worst band," said Rite, 31. "Anything in between is mediocre, and I wouldn't want to be mediocre."

Scraping Teeth was, until recently, a trio. Guitar player Frank Falestra lives in Miami Beach, but bass player Isaac Ersoff moved to Oregon. To become a lawyer. Spin senior editor Mark Blackwell said this was a contest that he was not eager to repeat. He and two other judges lost count of the entries after filling seven large trash bags with demo tapes and sample videos.Choosing the worst band in the land was hard on the ears and the spirit. "They stood out from the general pack by kind of being well-rounded bad," Blackwell said. Some bands were vulgar. Other bands were ersatz punk. Still more were bad jokes. "Scraping Teeth had a little bit of all of that," Blackwell said.

The name Scraping Teeth is meant to evoke he screech of nails on chalk, and you will hear it in such tunes as Death by Refrigerator, Torture and Stuff and Purple and Black Sequins. The band plays local clubs, when it can. There is a certain amount of celebrity in being the absolute worst, and it's not all that bad.

"It seems we're going to get a spot on MTV," Rite said. "There is talk about the David Letterman show."