Monday, July 27, 2015

Jose Gonzalez, Thee Oh Sees, Death Grips, Purity Ring & more scheduled to land in Tampa Bay

A peek at some noteworthy concerts on the near (and far) horizon.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 6:11 PM

José González
  • José González

After what felt like the slowest summer in music, ever, tour schedules are finally picking back up, and now that aestheticized presents has confirmed the arrival of Swedish indie folk favorite José González — who kicks off the next leg of his tour in St. Petersburg (September 29, State Theatre, on sale 7/31) — I felt it was time to offer a brief peek at some noteworthy shows that are scheduled to land in Tampa Bay in the coming months ... in the coming weeks, even. Bust out your calendars and start plotting out your fall music must-sees now.

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Tonight in live music: Harry & the Potters; Victor Alvarez, Michael Frazier & The Dogwood Tales

A few in-stores happening this Mon., July 27.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 7:30 AM

Live in-store performances are happening at both of Tampa's most reputable indie record shops on this Mon., July 27. More info below...

Harry & The Potters with Empire Cinema, DieAlps! If you’ve been pining for JK Rowling’s bespectacled young hero, never fear – the brothers-led band that uses the Harry Potter books as the basis for all of its material and spurred a whole new genre of music (wizard rock) is still active even though the series is done. Harry and the Potters lead this free in-store, joined by local alt rockers Empire Cinema and Mojo favorite baroque pop-waltzers, DieAlps!. The USF Quidditch team presides, the coffee bar serves butterbeer lattes, and admission is cheap as hell ($5 general, $3 ages 18 and younger). 8 p.m., Mojo Books & Records, Tampa.

Victor Alvarez, Michael Frazier, The Dogwood Tales, The Florida Rooms Two Virginia-area acts – folk-punk singer-songwriter Michael Frazier and banjo-guitar Appalachian roots duo The Dogwood Tales – join Victor Alvarez (of Awkward Age) for another Monday night in-store, this one at Microgroove. Entry is free but donations for the touring artists are appreciated. 7 p.m., Microgroove, Tampa.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Listen: YG, “Twist My Fingaz”

Catch the Compton rapper at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater on Aug. 16

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 5:00 PM


Compton, Calif. is neck deep into a rap renaissance unlike any other city in recent memory. What was once a near-mythic city, violently detailed by guys who now hawk headphones and family comedy, Compton’s caught a second wind thanks to the rise of native MCs like YG and Kendrick Lamar.

While they both share a willingness to shed light their young lives here, their approaches are generally opposed; Kendrick eying the past with ambivalence, using it largely as fuel to enlighten his future; YG cherishing it, mining it and serving it up on the same foundation of car-bouncing beats and ferocious lyricism that put the CPT on the map in the first place.

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This Sunday in live music: Slightly Stoopid with Dirty Heads, Sealion with Pleasures & more

A look at some shows happening this Sun., July 26

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 2:37 PM

A quick look at some live music happening this Sun., July 26.
Slightly Stoopid
  • Slightly Stoopid

Slightly Stoopid with Dirty Heads, Stick Figure California-spawned reggae rock outfit Slightly Stoopid lands in St. Pete with the “Everything Is Awesome Tour,” their trademark sound infused with extra doses of percussive funk, dub grooviness and ska-dancehall bounce in just-released eighth studio album, Meanwhile...Back at the Lab. Two other fellow Cali-area acts provide warm-up: melodic beat-hawking Dirty Heads (purveyors of sticky Alt Rock charter, “My Sweet Summer”), and Stick Figure, the reggae-dub project of Scott Woodruff. No telling if this will get rained out, considering the weather this past week, but hopefully if there is a wetting, it will only be temporary and the show will go on as usual... (Vinoy Waterfront Park, St. Petersburg)

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

This Saturday in live music: The Revivalists, Kacey Musgraves, The Bricks & SPoT Ybor 5 Year Anniversary Party & more

Shows happening this Sat., July 25

Posted By on Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Check out what's happening in live music this Sat., July 25.
The Revivalists - TRAVIS SHINN
  • Travis Shinn
  • The Revivalists

The Revivalists with Bobby Lee Rodgers Hot on the heels of releasing a brand new studio outing, Men Amongst Mountains, comes New Orleans roots music septet The Revivalists, which have been earning no small amount of buzz from the likes of Paste Magazine, PopMatters and Relix for the LP. Recorded over two weeks onto tape to capture their warm live vitality, Mountains is a mix of soulful sax-fused grooves and spirited swamp-coated folk rock. “Thematically, we focused on the gentle giving way to the heavy, the acoustic to the orchestral,” vocalist David Shaw has commented. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Band & the Beat with The Good Graces Raleigh, N.C. singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd diverges from her usual acoustic guitar-driven slowcore sounds and sets her dulcet intones against dreamy, down-tempo synthesizer grooves in Band & The Beat, her new project with musician husband James Tritten. They hit town for an in-store with Atlanta’s female-fronted indie folk-pop outfit The Good Graces, which features former local John McNicholas (Spiller) on guitar. Microgroove presents the performances in collaboration with Fort Lowell Records, and offers free beer, a free 7-inch single to all attendees while supplies last and free admission, too – but donations to the artists (and some pocket change for vinyl) are encouraged. All ages; 7 p.m. (Microgroove, Tampa)

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Friday, July 24, 2015

The Hip Hop ABCs: Winner of the Letter T; vote on Letter U

The latest round of alphabetical rap battles feature a winner that is sure to spark controversy

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Tupac Shakur is regular staple on many people’s top 5 emcee lists. He even made it to the Championship round in another public quest to find the greatest emcee of all time. His battle with the Notorious B.I.G. split a nation almost as badly as a presidential election season and is still the hip hop standard bearer for rap beefs.
 Tupac gave us raw syncopated emotion whether that was rage, thoughtful reflection, or love.

But as great as he was, he’s just one guy and his brilliance was no match for an entire tribe.

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Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by The Chemical Brothers, Wilco, Foals & more

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

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 2:57 PM

August is fast approaching and we've got the last weekend of July ahead. It was a solid month for new music, despite the awkward shift of new releases from Tuesdays to Fridays. Let's finish the month strong with 15 news tunes, which I always get excited to share with you.

The Chemical Brothers have returned with their first studio album in five years, Born In The Echoes. Welcome back, fellas! I threw another Tame Impala track into the mix this week, and for good reason — I really dig the new album. I've heard some negative responses to it, but that's the beauty of music — each album sounds different to each individual. Kevin is definitely more moody and down this time around, which doesn't take away from the cohesive, well-produced album. Ah, Pure Bathing Culture are back with a new single, "Pray For Rain," and the mid-tempo groove finds the Portland duo exploring different sonic territories. Wilco dropped ninth LP Star Wars last week, and it didn't cost you a dollar. That's right, the album was free. I'm still soaking it up, but so far, I'm pleased; I usually am with Wilco.

This week's sleeper tune comes from an downtempo electro group called Bronze Whale. Whowhatzit? you ask? A new group from Austin that just dropped a debut EP called, War Of Art, that's definitely worth a spin. I've tapped "Love To Feel" for the WTU, and it certainly doesn't have a Texas feel; warm basslines, swirling synths and falsetto vocals lace a track best served after hours. It's wet out, guys; stay inside and listen to some new music. 

The Chemical Bros.
  • The Chemical Bros.
Pure Bathing Culture
  • Pure Bathing Culture

1. The Chemical Brothers, "Wide Open"
2. Tame Impala, "Reality In Motion"
3. Outfit, "On The Water, On The Way"
4. Rationale, "Fuel To The Fire"
5. Pure Bathing Culture, "Pray For Rain"
6. Foals, "Mountain At My Gates"

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Tonight in live music: Have Gun Will Travel Album Release Party, Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson + more

Concerts happening this Fri., July 25, plus a peek at what's to come this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 6:00 AM

It's Friday — you made it through the week alive. Celebrate properly with some live music. A breakdown of what's happening this Fri., July 24, below, along with a peek at what's to come this weekend...

Have Gun, Will Travel
  • Have Gun, Will Travel
Have Gun, Will Travel Album Release Party Bradenton’s Have Gun, Will Travel has been drumming up a mighty buzz with fifth and latest studio full-length Science from an Easy Chair, a conceptual work inspired entirely on the endurance-testing Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) by British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, and recorded with Tampa’s own Shawn Kyle at his Warm Alive studio space right outside downtown Tampa. premiered a new music video for the urgent stomping “True Believers,” which is a salute to the perseverance of Shakleton’s crew, but according to Burke in his interview with the indie music site, “the song itself is very personal and relevant to the band.” This night marks the album’s official launch party, with support from NYC roots rock outfit Hollis Brown and Garret Klahn, formerly of Texas is the Reason, currently doing the solo singer-songwriter folk-groove rock thing. (Crowbar, Ybor City) 

The Babys with Nova Rex Two of The Babys’ 1970s-era singles, "Isn't It Time" and "Every Time I Think of You" made it onto the Billboard Top 40, but you don’t hear either song getting much airplay these days. Still, the British power pop outfit spawned John Waite (who was a member of the group through their most fruitful rein) and still have some holdover fans in the U.S. Currently, drummer Tony Brock and guitarist Wally Stocker remain, joined by vocalist/bassist John Bisaha and guitarist Joey Sykes, they released the first new Babys record in three decades, I'll Have Some of That!, last year. (Largo Cultural Center, Largo)

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Cuba Issue: Afro-Cuban music maker Freddy Montes keeps the son alive in Tampa Bay

A vet musician from a family considered Cuban music royalty practices his craft in Tampa Bay

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Freddy Montes
  • Freddy Montes
Tampa-based Freddy Montes has been practicing Afro-Cuban music most of his life, leading his spirited group — "su son" — on guitar and vocals since the late 1990s, though the earliest gig he can recall was in North Carolina for Y2K – “the whole band, we got stuck in the elevator in the Marriott hotel downtown. It was in the newspaper! ” he laughs.

Montes keeps mum about his age, but his background and the chain of events that brought him to the U.S. from Cuba 30 years ago puts him somewhere in his 60s, with a neatly-trimmed pencil mustache and casually debonair fashion that, on this day, includes a white summer fedora he picked up during a recent trip to Panama.
He’s made a name for himself in the community as both a respected local player and a music instructor, but he’s had to endure his fair share of struggles and heartache to get where he is today.

His parents immigrated from Cuba to New York City in August of 1958, intending to find work and fly up the rest of the family once settled. But by January of the following year, Fidel Castro had take over the island country, and the stringent travel restrictions that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis effectively separated Montes from his parents for decades, though his sister was able to slip into the U.S. in 1965.

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Tonight in live music: Purple Rain at Reel Deal Thursday, Majors and Minors of Jazz II

The film-and-live music series kick-off, plus jazz vets paired with emerging stars on this Thurs., July 23, in live music

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Orlando-based musician Gerald Perez (center, trenchcoat) leads Purple Rain-inspired Not Prince & the Revolution.
  • Orlando-based musician Gerald Perez (center, trenchcoat) leads Purple Rain-inspired Not Prince & the Revolution.

Reel Deal Thursday: Purple Rain & Not Prince + The Revolution
Anyone who knows Brokenmold Entertainment's Sean O'Brien is aware that in addition to being a music freak, he's also a movie geek. His latest collab with Pabst Blue Ribbon puts the two together into a once-monthly screening series that launches at Crowbar on this night: Reel Deal Thursday. A far cry from your tired movie night, each Reel Deal event kicks off with a movie screening in the Crowbar patio, replete with an impromptu concession stand, followed by a second screening (a double feature!), or a set of music from the film (or inspired by it) as delivered by an area-brewed musical act. On this night, the film is Purple Rain, and the after-show concert is staged by Orlando's Gerald Perez (Maximino, Thee Wilt Chamberlain, Levek), who put together a group, Not Prince & the Revolution, to play the Purple Rain soundtrack. According to the release, "Costumes will not be required, but they will be rewarded." As a bonus, local poster artists create their trademark versions of the movie's poster (see Perez, pictured right), with a limited number screen-printed and sold on a first come, first serve basis. Doors at 7 p.m., screening at 7:15 p.m. (music starts 15 minutes after the film), Crowbar, Ybor City, $10.

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