Thursday, October 30, 2014

Concert review: New Wave / No Synths at Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg

A look back at Sunday's synthesizer-free tribute to the '80s

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 3:58 PM

“So what is 'New Wave,' really?” Gina Vivinetto asked the crowd at the Palladium Side Door this past Sun., Oct. 26. Answers like “The Cure!” and “The Psychedelic Furs!” were inevitably spouted, but the definition itself was difficult to put a collective finger on. At New Wave/No Synths, hosted by Vivinetto, a handful of six local bands were asked to reinterpret the grooves of the experimental and indefinable New Wave movement using, well, no synthesizers.

First to the mic was Y Los Dos Pistoles, a four-piece indie garage group and our very own 2011 “Best Band to Drink Whiskey To,” and they opened the show with The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” Their own spin did justice to the pop-rock hit, served with less pop and heavier doses of grunge rock. They covered other '80s big-bills such as Blondie and ‘Til Tuesday. After playing The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” they playfully admitted, “We tried playing a cover song once a few years ago. We almost broke up.” But I was pretty grateful they stuck with it after hearing their rugged, metallic guitars and Shae Krispinsky’s sultry vocals tweak all the original pop bits.

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Seven obscure records that will scare the living crap out of you this Halloween

Some bone-chilling Halloween jams from left of center.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Sure, some of you will throw on Joy Division at your upbeat Halloween dance party and call it a day. (May I also recommend screening The Crow in the background? Classic.) But if you’re interested in exploring the actual dark side of All Hallow’s Eve, try some of these unexpected, underground, and completely drawer-soiling audio nightmares.

Swans, Holy Money (1986) You could pick almost any Swans album from the early period when bandleader Michael Gira still seemed to genuinely hate his audience. The dark, plodding slowness of a track like “Coward” is undeniably horrific, but so is the unrestrained bile that Gira so effortlessly summons.

Ornette Coleman, Naked Lunch (Score - 1992) For the most part, Ornette’s free jazz innovation gave musicians the chance to express torrents of unrestrained joy. Here (alongside Howard Shore and the London Philharmonic Orchestra), it sounds like a recording of spiders crawling underneath your skin.

Hector Berlioz, “March to the Scaffold” (1830) I’m not much of a classical buff, but my friend Francis Drake cued me to this. Written 35 years after the end of France’s Reign of Terror, this short section of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique has a romantic revolutionary fervor battling with a mounting sense of dread and menace, before the bottom finally drops out with the suddenness of a trapdoor.

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Tonight in live music: Miles Davis Tribute, Pre-Fest 2, Day 2 & more

Concerts this Thurs., Oct. 30

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 5:11 AM

Get your music on tonight — day two of Pre-Fest shennanys, metal, jazz and local art rock included. More info below.

James Suggs
  • James Suggs

Tribute to Miles Davis: James Suggs Quintet A trumpeter who spurred several major movements in jazz music – bebop, hard bop, and jazz fusion among them – Miles Davis left behind an astounding legacy that continues to inform the genre more than two decades after his death. Trumpet player James Suggs has been paying tribute to the legend – first in Buenos Aires where he spent the last eight years and currently here in the states – in programs that have included late ‘50s and early ‘60s-era cuts like “Blue in Green,” “So What” and “Seven Steps to Heaven.” For his Side Door presentation, he’s joined by drummer Mark Feinman, bassist John Lamb, keysman John O’Leary and saxophonist Jeremy Carter. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

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Album review/Show preview: Sunbears!, Future Sounds

The New Granada-repped psych rockerers present a stunning sophomore outing this Saturday at New World

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 4:00 AM

  • Lauren Atkins
  • Sunbears!

Sunbears! are habitually compared to Flaming Lips. I’ve been guilty of making the association myself since few other modern acts are capable of crafting such thoughtful, blissful, lushly orchestrated psychedelia with experimental rock spaciness and deep pop-melodic sensibility. The Jacksonville outfit even took part in the forthcoming Lips-curated tribute to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (they appear on “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” alongside Maynard James Keenan). But where the Lips seem to be at a creative standstill, stuck in a rut of aimless experimentation and complacent ego-driven album covering, Sunbears! are on the upswing, still full of enough youthful vigor and inspiration to maintain a sense of heartfelt wonder and exuberance in the music they make while managing to grow their sound (and lineup) between 2011 debut You Will Live Forever and this year’s sophomore follow-up.

And even if the lyrical content on Future Sounds (New Granada Records) is somewhat bleaker than that its predecessor, the tender appeal remains, as do instrumental arrangements that are as sumptuous, expansive and transcendent as ever.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CL On Seventh Avenue: Tweets and 'grams from Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor

Pray for our livers.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 7:24 PM


Pre-Fest is going to wreck us over the next 48 hours, watch us crash and burn live as it happens.

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An Earful: First Aid Kit's new video, Blood Orange on Kimmel, and Prince takes over SNL

Because watching music videos beats the cubicle

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Not Prince.
  • Not Prince.

New music Tuesday was a doozy, and this writer is ashamedly still playing the new Taylor Swift LP (and the super-weird Swift/Aphex Twin mashup), but alas, the internets have rescued us all from ourselves by releasing more fruits that our beloved musicians labor over night in and night out. Here are a few of the most noteworthy tidbits, with video included:

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WUSF presents Jazz Night in America

A new collab between WUSF, NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Blue Note 75 concert
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith at the Blue Note 75 concert

This week, WUSF Public Media launches a new public jazz radio show and concert videocast series, Jazz Night in America. The weekly one-hour radio program is hosted by bassist Christian McBride and airs Saturdays from 8 to 9 p.m. on WUSF-89.7 FM. The videocast is a collaboration between NPR Music, Jazz at Lincoln Center and WBGO that spotlights noteworthy concerts and offers background and history about how these concerts came about. 

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Album review: The Melvins, Hold it In

The Melvins' latest keeps up their tradition of crushing bones with a wink and a nudge.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM


“It would be more impressive if it flowed the other way,” Oscar Wilde once commented while observing Niagara Falls. In other words, watching water fall isn’t so amazing when you take gravity into account.

It’s hard to avoid similar thoughts when stacking up Melvins against the hundreds of stoner and doom-metal bands inspired by them. Built on a foundation of Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath (and alongside contemporaries like Earth, Sleep and Kyuss), the Melvins’ bong-crunching riffs, lurching pace, and Cookie Monster roaring on ‘90s-era albums like Houdini and Stoner Witch became blueprints for bands ranging from Electric Wizard to Eyehategod, Boris, Black Tusk and Bongripper.

But The Melvins were always a more complicated and weird band than most of the dope druids that followed as the Washington foursome demonstrates once again on 24th studio full-length Hold it In (Ipecac Recordings). You can bet Electric Wizard would never transition from Hold It In’s pummeling opener “Bride of Crankenstein” to the sunny sing-along of “You Can Make Me Wait,” its ‘70s MOR vibe making you think you’ve stumbled into an Electric Light Orchestra album.

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Tonight in live music: Pre-Fest 2, Watsky

Concerts this Wed., Oct. 29

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Today's most noteworthy shows include the launch of the second Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor and alt hip-hop star Watsky. More info below...

  • Watsky

Watsky with Kyle, Anderson Park In “Whoa Whoa Whoa,” San Francisco slam poet/rapper (George) Watsky flexes his verbal muscles as he spouts verses mixing literary vocabulary, quirky-nasty humor and sharp pop culture and social commentary while showing off his quicksilver flow and knack for piecing rhymes together with seeming effortlessness: “I'm a phenomenon, and I gotta bring pain in The Octagon / When I wanna spit game at a soccer mom / I get it quicker than the left lane in the Autobahn, fast / Like Ramadan, and I battle young padawans all the damn day.” Watsky originally rose to fame via a viral YouTube video (“Pale Kid Raps Fast”) and to date, his YouTube channel has upwards of 60 million views. This date supports third studio album All You Can Do. 7 p.m., State Theatre, St. Petersburg, $15.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Music Tuesday! (October 28): The Flaming Lips, Rancid, Yusuf, Run the Jewels & more

Releases out this week; audio & video included.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The very last batch of new music releases for October. Info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, plus some other ones you may not have heard of (but should know) – with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to see releases from the past several weeks…

Dan Bodan, Soft (DFA)

Chris WebbyChemically Imbalanced (Homegrown Music/eOne)
The long-anticipated debut full-length album from the rising Connecticut rapper features guest spots by Tech N9ne, B-Real, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton and Jon Connor. 

Creepers, Lush (All Black Recording Company)
The San Francisco side project of Deafheaven members Dan Tracy and Shiv Mehra, released on Deafheaven frontman George Clarke's boutique label.

Dillon Francis, Money Sucks, Friends Rule (Columbia)

Ex Cops, Daggers (Downtown)

The Flaming Lips, With A Little Help From My Fwends (Warner Bros.)
Surprise! It's another album re-imagined by the Lips — this one Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — as joined by an all-star cast of guests, including My Morning Jacket, J. Mascis, Miley Cyrus, Dr. Dog, Morgan Delt, Chuck Inglish, Phantogram, Sunbears!, Tegan and Sara, and Foxygen. Even though I have a certain distaste for the state of the current Lips, the guest list intrigues me, I'll admit. "Fixing a Hole" below isn't terrible. At least it makes me want to hear more.

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