Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tonight in live music: Gregory Porter, Puddles Pity Party & more

Concerts this Thurs., Dec. 18

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 4:02 AM

A diverse smattering of concerts on this Thurs., Dec. 18... breakdown below.

Gregory Porter - SHAWN PETERS
  • Shawn Peters
  • Gregory Porter

Gregory Porter In the hand-clapping title track of Liquid Spirit – the 2013 third full-length and Blue Note Records debut from Gregory Porter – the California jazz singer with the rich, resonant, velvet-brushed intones belts and blues-and-soul-infused sound belts about music that hydrates the soul over bumpin’ upbeat grooves and much hand-clapping: “The people are thirsty / ‘Cause of man’s unnatural hand / Watch what happens when the people catch wind when the water hit the banks of that hard dry land ...” Liquid Spirit won the 2014 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Porter hits town behind it backed by his full band – a two-sax (alto and tenor) horn section, piano, drums and acoustic bass. (Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa)

Nate Najar’s Jazz Holiday St. Pete’s esteemed finger-style jazz guitarist stages his annual holiday show and in addition to a few of the usual suspects – drummer Mark Feinman and upright bass stroker John Lamb – Najar is joined by trumpeter James Suggs (who’s been gigging around town since his sold-out Miles Davis tribute in November), vocalist Theo Valentin and New York sax playing extraordinaire, Harry Allen. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

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The Books Issue: Sonic journeys in nonfiction

Six noteworthy music-related books out in 2014

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 4:00 AM

A profusion of music-related bios, memoirs and oral histories hit the shelves in 2014 along with the odd unexpected gems. In addition to the suggestions offered forth by William McKeen's Book Blog, we've put together a list of several that should pique the interest of any self-respecting music enthusiast, whether they prefer folk, hip-hop or rock ‘n’ roll.

Dancing with Myself by Billy Idol The sneering, bleached-blond punk-rockin’ Brit offers a raw, brash-as-you’d-expect chronicle of his life — from his early days in Generation X through the height of his ’80s-era fame to the motorcycle accident that nearly cost him his leg — and details the sex, drugs and decadence that littered his twisted road to fame.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs
 by Greil Marcus 
After his editor requested he write a history of rock ‘n’ roll, vet musicologist Marcus came up with a far less hackneyed concept: ignore all the iconic names, moments and turning points of rock, and instead focus on 10 songs (recorded between 1956 and 2008) that embody the genre, using each one as a jumping-off point to examine the era, context, people and culture they came from and defined.

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Tampa punk vet Bob Suren's new book Crate Digger to be published in June

A local punk-scene stalwart recounts his life to the tune of his favorite records.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 1:01 AM

It’s virtually impossible to have been involved in Tampa punk during the ’90s and ’00s and not know the name Bob Suren. A musician, zine publisher, mail-order music distributor, show promoter, bootlegger, merchandiser and proprietor of Brandon’s late, great record store Sound Idea, Suren lived, breathed and spread the gospels of punk rock from his days as a misfit teen on Florida’s east coast up through the Brandon scene’s glory days, to the eventual shuttering of Sound Idea in 2008.

In the wake of a life-altering breakup and the demise of a T-shirt printing business — both in 2013 — the now-Austin-based Suren has written it all down for Crate Digger: An Obsession with Punk Records, a music-driven memoir due from Portland, Or.’s Microcosm this summer.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Concert review: The Black Keys with St. Vincent at Amalie Arena, Tampa

A look back at the Tue., Dec. 16 show, with photos & setlists included

Posted By and on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

The Black Keys at Amalie Arena Tues., Dec. 16, 2014 - TRACY MAY
  • Tracy May
  • The Black Keys at Amalie Arena Tues., Dec. 16, 2014

There was a slightly awkward, nearly 10-minute lull between the end of The Black Keys’ set and their encore on Tuesday night, and while lighters burned and phone flashlights illuminated the stage, a good portion of the healthy crowd began to stream out of the Amalie Arena. Pity on those who actually made it out the doors, though, because as some of those phone batteries gave out and smokers’ thumbs began heating up, Keys primaries Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney led the rest of the band back onstage and rattled off the best 15 minutes of their nearly two-hour set. [Words by Ray, photos by Tracy.]

With a cotton candy swirl twirling behind the stage, Auerbach, 35, unleashed a slow burning, sizzling lead on “Weight Of Love,” the future-western album opener from brand-new effort Turn Blue. On record, the seven-minute tune carries a few timid moments for Auerbach, but the cut is a monster live, finding him ferociously wailing away on his guitar while putting together an honest fusion of the blues he obviously loves so much and the accessible rock 'n' roll appeal his band has been exploring for the last few years.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New music releases out through the rest of December: Charli XCX, Teen Idols Future Classic comp & more

With audio & full album streams included.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The music release schedule winds down as the year comes to a close, so I've put together info and links for the scattering of releases coming out over the next few weeks – with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to see releases from the past several weeks…

Charli XCX, Sucker (Neon Gold/Atlantic)
She's one of the performer's at this year's 93.3 FLZ Jingle Ball and has a hit single on the Top 40 pop station: "Boom Clap."

Chief Keef, Nobody (self-release)
Even though Chicago rapper Chief Keef was dropped by Interscope a lil less than two months back, he's still moving forward with the release of his album; the title track features Kanye West, who'd originally collabed with Keef on his own cut, "Hold My Liquor." It's kinda weird, Keef all syrupy-slurry and Auto-Tuned, sampling Willie Hutch’s 1973 soul classic “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out.” I guess that Kanye on support vocals? Take a listen below...

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Tonight in live music: The Black Keys with St. Vincent

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Black Keys - DANNY CLINCH
  • Danny Clinch
  • The Black Keys

I remember seeing the Back Keys back at a half-full Skipper’s Smokehouse in 2005. It was raw, unhinged, blues-licked rock n’ roll by two on-the-rise instrumentalists who were on the verge of combusting; Dan Auerbach raged guitar and howled grit-smeared sweaty soulful odes of love, pain and heartbreak while drummer Patrick Carney thrashed his kit with flailing-armed vigor. I’ve seen them a few times since, the venues and audiences growing in size each time as their style palette has grown broader and more radio-friendly while a few aux players have been added to give the instrumentals a fuller and more finely-textured sound to accommodate. This go-round, the Keys are officially holding their own in arenas, backing Danger Mouse-produced eight LP and No. 1 charter Turn Blue. Avant rock songstress St. Vincent warms the stage. 8 p.m., Amalie Arena, Tampa, $35-$75.

Media after the jump...

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Monday, December 15, 2014

D’Angelo finally releases follow-up to Voodoo, stream the whole thing now

Black Messiah, 14 years in the making, launches the soul-crooner/hermit back into the spotlight.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 12:05 PM


If you need proof that relevancy doesn't depend on an album release schedule, then look at the curious case of Michael Eugene Archer, better known as D’Angelo.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Five Best-Selling Vinyl Records of 2014

Posted By on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 7:39 PM


Physical media may or may not be facing its imminent demise, but vinyl managed to have another record year with nearly eight million records sold over the last 12 months — a 49 percent increase over 2013 according to the Wall Street Journal.

Surprisingly, this only accounts for a mere two percent of music sales in the country.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

This weekend in live music: Usher, Hallucination Before Christmas, Trampled by Turtles, The Greyhounds & more

Concerts this Sat.-Sun., Dec. 13-14

Posted By on Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 4:02 AM

Lots on tap this Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 13-14. Breakdown below.

Hallucination Before Christmas The annual holiday shenanny thrown by underground electronic music label Hallucination Recordings is a much-anticipated collision of Christmas and Halloween, the freaky seasonal mayhem spread over three themed rooms and encompassing upwards of 20 electro artists. The big room is Halloween Town (aka Jack’s Christmas Graveyard and Pumpkin Patch); the sounds touch on electro, nu disco, bass music and breaks, and Tommie Sunshine leads the fray, which also includes Bunny (Rabbit in the Moon) and Monk, among others. Oogie Boogie’s Lair falls into dubstep, trap, moombahton and DnB realms as headlined by AK1200, while Christmas Town pulses with acid, deep and minimal house sounds, and finds DJ Three assuming the top billing slot. A range of eye-popping visuals (video projections, 3D animations, laser light shows), aerialists, go-go dancers, performance artists and roaming holiday freaks round out the night’s diversions. Fetish-inspired fashions and character-driven costumes encouraged. Show up after 11 p.m. or without a donation for the food drive to benefit Feeding America Tampa Bay (three cans minimum), and pay a higher cover. More info at (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Future Vintage with Leisure Chief A pairing of two funk-bumping outfits tears up the standing room stage at Yeoman’s: locally spawned electro-groove and acid jazz instrumental trio Future Vintage, and Orlando-based fusion five-piece Leisure Chief, their own saxophone-splashed sounds marked by breathy-soulful vocals and a mix of hip-hop shaking and lounge-slinking rhythms. (Yeoman’s Road Pub, Tampa)

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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Hip Hop ABCs: Letter X

The alphabetical rap battles are nearing an end with the latest X-named rapper

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh.

This letter featured a different kind of landslide. Most voters struggled to even name another artist or group to represent the Letter X in the Hip Hop ABCs. Terminator X and X Clan were the only others mentioned aside from the winner, but this wa, by no means, a win by default.

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