Friday, February 5, 2016

Gasparilla Music Festival adds Lucero, The New Deal, Stephen Marley to the 2016 lineup

Some fine new additions have been made to the March music fest.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 12:41 PM

The New Deal
  • The New Deal

A few weeks back, organizers of Gasparilla Music Festival revealed the first round of performers for the fifth annual downtown music festival, with R&B grooving, jazz-hawking and hip hop bumpin' songstress Erykah Badu leading the pack with back-up from Greensky Bluegrass, MS MR, Charles Bradley, Talib Kweli, Antibalas, Blitzen Trapper, Kermit Ruffins and Houndmouth among others. 

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Tonight in live music: Yonder Mountain String Band, Wild Child, On the Edge Anniversary Party + more

A breakdown of shows happening Fri., Feb. 5, as well as a peek at the weekend ahead.

Posted By and on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 6:00 AM

It's time to do your Thank Whatever God There May or May Not Be, It's Friday dance. Breakdown for Fri., Feb. 5 below, plus a peek at the weekend ahead.
Yonder Mountain String Band
  • Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band with Keller and the Keels Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band are generally ranked at the top of the jamgrass circuit with progressive sounds and a wide breadth of material reaching back to 1999 debut, Elevation. Though founding member Jeff Austin left in 2014, fiddler Allie Kral and mandolin player Jake Joliff were welcomed to the fold in 2015 to help produce latest release, Black Sheep. Joining the quintet on the road for some dates including this one are Keller and The Keels, the bluegrass project of Keller Williams and Larry and Jenny Keel. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg) –Leilani Polk

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Get lost in the Poly-Graph

An online data miner tracks the history of hip hip hits, from 1995 to 2015, among other

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 2:56 PM

polygraph.jpg
Looking for a way to misuse a few hours of your day, check out Poly-Graph.co/hiphop/, which uses Billboard's weekly sales-based Hot Rap Songs chart as the basis for tracking the history of hip hop hits from 1995 through 2015.

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Tonight in live music: Black Tusk, Barry Manilow, Michal Menert and the Pretty Fantastics + more

A look at some concerts happening this Thurs., Feb. 4.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 6:00 AM

This Thursday is jamming out! And by that, I mean, there's a boatload of concerts happening on either side of Tampa Bay. Check out the full breakdown for February 4 below.
Black Tusk - ANGELA BOATWRIGHT
  • Angela Boatwright
  • Black Tusk

Black Tusk with Royal Thunder, Bask, Beer Wolf In 2014, a tragic motorcycle accident took the life of Black Tusk founding member Jonathan Athon. The Savannah, Ga. metal makers had recorded a fifth LP of fast, hard, punk-fueled rage with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind, however, and Pillars of Ash finally dropped on January 29 via Relapse. Joining Black Tusk on their current tour is Altanta outfit Royal Thunder, freshly signed to Spinefarm Records and bearing their own metallic dramatic sounds culling from doom, glam and stoner terrains with light blues and prog flourishes. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

2Cellos
Classically-trained Luka Šulic and Stjepan Hauser are the Croatian duo otherwise known as 2Cellos, their repertoire encompassing three albums of material that re-imagine pop and rock hits – Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails among them – into spirited instrumentals that are unexpectedly fresh, and avant garde yet accessible. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

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Sunshine City Songwriters Festival launches in St. Petersburg with Kinky Friedman, Patty Griffin and others

The inaugural fest hits multiple downtown area venues Feb. 9-14.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 4:00 AM

Kinky Friedman
  • Kinky Friedman

Jeff Schorr has hosted singer-songwriters and acoustic artists of all varieties in his Craftsman House Gallery since opening the art space and café nearly 11 years ago in the heart of St. Pete’s Grand Central District. A mere 50 people can squeeze into the quaint Arts and Crafts-style bungalow once Schorr & co. remove the contents from its two main showrooms to make way for the staging area and seats to accommodate guests.

The size of these concerts is part of the appeal, however, each an intimate experience where the atmosphere of collective musical appreciation and camaraderie is further spurred by the warm and cozy living-room vibe. For songwriters, it’s a chance to play for active listeners and make meaningful connections with fans; for concertgoers, it’s an opportunity to get up close and personal with favored artists and enjoy every note, lyric and story they deliver, minus distractions.

The Sunshine City Songwriters Festival seemed like a natural progression. “We just wanted to try something different to spread that vibe throughout the whole community and involve the other venues in town, some of them still small, but larger compared to Craftsman House,” Schorr explained. Artists whose emphasis is on lyrics, wordsmithery and narratives fit better in smaller venues, anyway. “The songwriting and the words and the storytelling lends itself to that environment. Also the stories between the songs are usually really interesting, and lots of times entertaining and comical.”

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Charmed by The Shat... William Shatner, that is.

The iconic star turns on the charm while discussing the one-man show that brings him to Mahaffey Theater on Feb. 3.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

William Shatner brings his one-man show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, to the Mahaffey on Feb. 3.
  • William Shatner brings his one-man show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, to the Mahaffey on Feb. 3.

At 84, William Shatner is still as sharp and charismatic as ever. I found this out when I chatted with the iconic star in advance of his one-man show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, which hits the Mahaffey Theater next week. He laid on the charm thick and quick, like someone who’s been doing phoners for more than six decades.

And he has. Star Trek is one of the earliest shows I remember watching with my dad, but by the time I was introduced to Shatner’s magic via reruns of the series in the mid-‘80s, he’d been an actor for 36 years and was on his second career revival in TV police drama T.J. Hooker. Since then, Shatner has secured his grip on the collective subconscious and maintained a foothold in pop culture with a diverse portfolio of work: host of reality crime show Rescue 911; spokesman for name-your-price travel site Priceline.com; Emmy-and-Golden Globe-winning actor in Boston Legal; author of more than 35 titles (both fiction and nonfiction); recording artist with four LPs to his credit; and, with Shatner’s World (which premiered on Broadway in 2012), an acclaimed monologuist.

Amidst the banter, we touched on his book about late friend Leonard Nimoy (Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man comes out February 16), his upcoming sci-fi novel with Jeff Rovin (“You’ll be the first person I’m telling this to,” he claimed, and even though it wasn’t true, he made me feel special nonetheless), his music, and the dynamic one-man show that brings him to town.

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Tonight in live music: Black Violin, Cradle of Filth, Radio Birds + more

A look at some concerts happening on this Wed., Feb. 3

Posted By and on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 7:00 AM

A nice serving of live music coming to you on this Wed., Feb. 3. Find out what's happening on Hump Day below.
Black Violin
  • Black Violin

Black Violin Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste (viola) and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester (violin) are Black Violin, a South Florida duo who fuse classical music chops with hip hop influences, pitting their virtuosic string-play against groove-and-beat-driven production, and bringing another dimension of drama to compositions touching on pop and R&B, too. Major label debut Stereotypes dropped last year, was produced by Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, The Roots & Elvis Costello), and features notable guest spots by legendary emcees Black Thought (The Roots) and Pharoahe Monche, esteemed pianist Robert Glasper, and R&B songstresses Melanie Fiona and Kandice Springs. (Ferguson Hall at Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa)–Leilani Polk

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly Tune-Up: Tunes for your week by Bloc Party, HAERTS, Nevermen & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the week. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 1:15 PM

The first month of 2016 is in the books and musically, I couldn't be more thrilled. February and March are looking to me strong release months as well with some huge albums looming on the horizon. Let's get February started off with a bang and a fresh edition of Weekly Tune-Up!
Bloc Party
  • Bloc Party

Bloc Party is back, again, minus original members Matt Tong and Gordon Moakes, who left before the making of the UK rock band's fifth studio LP, Hymns, which dropped this past Friday, January 29. Gone are the robust post-punk howls from lead singer Kele, who's channeling his softer, calmer side. Though the production qualities have been tweaked, it still feels like Bloc Party, especially the tune tapped for this week's WTU, "My True Name."

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Tonight in live music: Jukebox the Ghost, Pre-International Noise Fest Showcase

A few concerts happening this Mon., Feb. 1.

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 7:00 AM

A couple of interesting shows are happening in Tampa on this Monday tonight. Take a look at the breakdown for this first day in February below.
Jukebox the Ghost
  • Jukebox the Ghost

Jukebox the Ghost with Row Jomah, Goodnight Neverland No strangers to touring, Jukebox the Ghost has apparently played more than 1,000 shows in their 10-year history. The DC area indie pop trio will be tacking another 36 onto that number when their current North American tour stops in town. Their unflinching, piano-fueled optimism touches on everything life throws their way – from self-doubt to love lost to futures unknown – and in a live setting, they’ve been known to lead full-scale dance parties. This should be a great show to kick-off the week. (Crowbar, Ybor City) –Leanne Castro

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Concert review: John Prine stages a memorable performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater

The legendary folk/country singer-songwriter played to a near-capacity crowd

Posted By on Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 7:07 PM

FILE PHOTO
  • FILE PHOTO
Call him an American treasure. Call him a great storyteller. Call him a fantastic singer-songwriter. Ah hell, call him all of the above. The dedicated throng who descended upon Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday night to listen to the legendary John Prine sure think of him in those terms. And judging from the outstanding performance he treated them to, he certainly deserves every single one of those accolades.

An absolutely memorable night began with a brief, engaging set from alt-country singer-violinist Amanda Shires. Dressed in a sparkly gold mini-dress and short boots, the petite Shires won the audience over quickly with her endearing banter and her angelic vocals. Accompanied only by her spouse, renowned singer-songwriter Jason Isbell (a headliner in his own right), Shires and Isbell forged impeccable harmonies together while delivering some of Amanda's fine material from her own recorded catalog. Isbell's completely unexpected presence was certainly a welcomed and unexpected treat. Utilizing only Isbell's acoustic guitar and Shires's fiddle, the pair showed off their individual talents and were well received enough to command a standing ovation and an encore. "I've played a lot of shows where people wanted to hear one last song," Shires joked before picking up her instrument again. A frenzied response came when Shires name-checked local venue Skipper's Smokehouse and community radio station WMNF. The woman knows how to work a room.

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