06/13/2012 05:03 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2012

Raffa And Rainer Talk Sweat Records, Queso Frito, Jerk Drivers, And Backyard Paradise (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

In one version of Miami, blinged-out social climbers cruise down Ocean Drive in their convertible Audis, blasting Flo Rida.

In the other Miami, book nerds swat away mosquitoes on screened-in porches while sipping on lemonade. Here the local soundtrack should be indie folk duo Raffa and Rainer.

The two describe their sound as "bitter lullabies"; you could catalog their albums next to other indie singer-songwriters Rachel Goodrich and Jesse Jackson.

On the national front, they fit in with fellow chirppers Joanna Newsom and Jollie Holland as Raffa Jo's playful, jazzy vocals trip and turn over Rainer's acoustic melodies. Stream two of their albums in the slideshow below.

Their music represents an often overlooked laid-back, bemused side of Miami, so we asked the musicians all about their secret life in the 305.

Who are you:
Raffa Jo Harris and Rainer Davies

Years in Miami:
58 if you add em' all up.

If native, favorite childhood memory in Miami?
Raffa: Wax flamingos and riding the metro rail with my grandma who would point out places like the Biltmore, the Freedom Tower, Central Baptist Church, the Centrust building... Miami's castles.

Rainer: Field trips to Earth N' Us farm.

Current neighborhood:

Current gig:
Playing music in and around town.

Favorite 'Only in Miami' moment?
Last year's Borscht Film Festival. If you don't know, its all Miami-made and themed movies. The Borscht filled us with 305 pride, particularly when the 'Wernor Herzog Defends Dade' short came on.

What's your idea of a perfect day in Miami?
Watching Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" video on mute.

Prefer 395 or 195?
195, less chance of a zombie attack.

Where do you take out-of-towners?
Can we all have a moment of silence for Jimbo's here?

How did you two start playing together?
It started back in 2005, playing a weekly gig at The Tree of Zion vegan cafe on NE 2nd and 24th. We were basically playing for our mothers and whoever would stumble in from Sweat Records, which used to be right next door. We've been playing together ever since.

How would you describe your sound? How does your music fit into the Miami local music scene at large?
It's mostly bitter lullabies. It fits in here cause this is home. Miami is such a cultural mash-up that it's open and hungry for music of any kind.

Which other local bands do you like to play shows with?
Oh man, there are too many bands in town that we absolutely love playing and partying with to name them all. But we share actual band members with Rachel Goodrich, Jesse Jackson, Jelly, El Portal and a few other local acts.

What's the biggest misconception about Miami bands?
That there is no live music scene or no talent.

How could Miami keep more good artists?
Residents just have to make it appoint to get out to shows and support the music. Shop local at Sweat Records. Get on their mailing list because they help local bands promote shows. Also, perhaps improving public transportation, making venues more accessible to people all over the city, would help.

When you tour, are audiences ever surprised you're from Miami?
Once in a while people seemed surprised. A lot of folks out there assume Miami equals South Beach.

Last big project you did:
We just got off of a month long tour in trio with bassist Dion Kerr, where we went as far as Portland.

Upcoming projects you're working on:
A smaller, mostly east coast tour in July and getting together some big shows for next year.

Why do you hate Miami?
If you took drivers ed in a Miami-Dade public high school, learning to drive like a jerk is basically weaved into the curriculum.

Why do you love Miami?
Road rage aside, we've met some of the best people in our lives in this city- natives and transplants alike. Also, we live ten minutes from the ocean. Paradise in the backyard.

What are three local meals you can't live without?
Queso frito at Yambo and Steve's Pizza for the late night post-show munchies. Limoni salads and smoothies for more respectable daytime grub.

In a word or two or three, Miami is...
Hot, sweaty, magic.

Click below to listen to albums 'No Mercy' and 'Stolen Coal' as you browse images and videos of Raffa and Rainer:



Raffa and Rainer