Get your music on tonight — day two of Pre-Fest shennanys, metal, jazz and local art rock included. More info below.
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)
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 park 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.
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:
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.
“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.
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 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.
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…
Chris Webby, Chemically 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.
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.
For a rather long time, Mike Doughty loathed the music he produced with his former post-jazz/alt hip hop rock band Soul Coughing. Then, in what I imagine was an attempt to shed some of that self-hate while reclaiming the songs he helped write, he re-recorded several Soul Coughing tracks as he initially imagined them and used PledgeMusic to fund its release. He must have remembered what he liked about that hip hop-infused sound, because he returned to it in his new crowd-funded album, Stellar Motel, which was produced by DJ Good Goose and features guests spots by rappers MC Frontalot, Big Dipper and Jay Boogie among others. Doughty hits the road in support with longtime collaborator Andrew "Scrap" Livingston on cello and presents his favored “Question Jar Show,” wherein, between songs, the duo answers questions from the audience placed in a jar onstage before the show. 7 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $18.
Video for "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future" (off Stellar Motel) below.
The UK band formerly called This Town Needs Guns, and known by its shorter acronym since the release of 2013 sophomore album 184.108.40.206.0, plies math rock influenced by the likes of Owls and The Mars Volta. The intricate, propulsive instrumental passages are imbued with more melody than the former, and less ball-busting heaviness and experimentation than the latter, with vocals that retain that ‘90s emo quality. TTNG is joined by two Sargent House labelmates on this tour: ethereal folk songstress Emma Ruth Rundle and Mylets, the rock-looping solo project of Henry Kohen. 7 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $13.
Media by TTNG along with openers Emma Ruth Rundle and Mylets below...