Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poet's Notebook: Write to the beat

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 1:46 PM

  • Jeanne Meinke
“Sir, what is poetry?”
“Why Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is.”
—Samuel Johnson, from Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)

Although Dr. Johnson’s right — poetry’s slippery to define — we can say it’s the form of writing closest to music: what’s most important in poetry isn’t plot, character, or setting, but sound and voice. As soon as that’s said, you can think of poems that don’t sound musical at all. (You can even think of some music that doesn’t seem musical.) And in both cases, readers and listeners won’t agree on their specific examples: John Cage; hip-hop? De gustibus non est disputandum, the Latin to my ears more musical than “There is no disputing about taste.”

All poets love music, lean on it and learn from it, whether it’s Bach or the Beatles or Jacques Brel. I used to play the piano (not well, but often, at the cocktail hour), and recently submitted, successfully, to an operation on my right hand so I could play again. My fingers had curled up from an inherited condition called Dupuytren’s Contracture. I like the name, pronounced “dePWEEtrens conTRACture” — a double amphibrach. Every vocation has its own language, and in poetry an amphibrach is a three-syllable “foot,” or metrical unit, with the middle syllable accented, as in limericks: “TheLEGend ofLARry the LIZard / isCHAMpionSUper andWIZard” are the opening lines of a charming unknown work about a musical band of lizards, all much more talented than I am on the piano, told in a sequence of 40 limericks (“clean limericks”: these days almost an oxymoron).

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Life as we blow it: Gone but not forgotten

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 1:42 PM

The author onstage at Club More circa '00. - STACY MATHIS
  • Stacy Mathis
  • The author onstage at Club More circa '00.

Where you see live music often informs the experience every bit as much as what you’re seeing and hearing. Different environments have different vibes, and let’s face it — a concert doesn’t exist in a vacuum; no matter how much you love to bitch about the loudmouths at the bar, live music is a social experience.

But, just like everything else, venues come and go, often leaving fans with pleasant memories of a certain club with no hope of experiencing it again. It’s as true for the folks who play live music as it is for the ones in the crowd. One of the best things about forging relationships with musicians from around the country and the world is the opportunity to share stories about the long-gone joints of someone else’s hometown, and find the common ground that almost always crops up during such conversations.

In that spirit, here are five late Tampa Bay venues I won’t ever forget, because each of them contributed to some of my favorite — or at least most memorable — music-scene moments.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nevada punk band mistaken for Pride-bombing terrorists

The responding officers looked “confused” when she told them she wasn’t harboring terrorists, just musicians.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

The Vampirates

  • The Vampirates

Tens of thousands descended on St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District Sunday afternoon for the city’s annual LGBT Pride street festival. Despite the celebratory vibe, St. Pete police had something more nefarious on their radar: Pride-bombin’, hate-mongerin’, bushy beard-growin’ Middle Eastern terrorists.

Or so they thought.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lust List 2014 Readers' Pick: Ken Spivey

Frontman/founder of the Time Lord rock group The Ken Spivey Band, 32, single.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 4:00 AM

What was it like for you to win this contest?
So surreal! I was the chubbiest kid in middle school, and despite a few years where I tried to be one of the “cool kids” in college, I was never considered truly “sexy.” In 2007, I decided to take my destiny into my own hand. I stopped going out and getting trashed every night. I took pride in myself and my appearance; hired my old friend, Dave Roche, a personal trainer, and became a follower of the low carb lifestyle. So, not unlike the relaunch of Doctor Who around the same time, I too relaunched my own life.
“Yes, I have a glorified degree in dating!” - TODD BATES
  • Todd Bates
  • “Yes, I have a glorified degree in dating!”

Most of your votes were from within the subculture of Dr. Who fans, right?
I suppose so. There are thousands of us. Nerds outnumber the followers of any other scene. We’re talking about the people who sat alone in the lunch room. They're the ones who got “Hope you have a great summer!” written in their yearbooks. Now, they’re doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, and accountants. These are the ones who tend to go to science fiction conventions, relate to the characters of The Big Bang Theory, and listen to my band. The underdogs have inherited the Earth, so to speak, and apparently they watch Doctor Who.

Who got you into the British show?
My father and I used to watch it together when I was just barely able to talk. It was how we bonded; music and Doctor Who. Now, he and I perform together in our Time Lord Rock group, "The Ken Spivey Band." He is a killer musician. actually said we were one of the best Time Lord Rock bands in the world.
During his rebellious youth, dad played with such artists as Neil Diamond, and opened for acts such as The Beach Boys and Golden Earring. So, it is a real treat to perform with my musical and nerd hero.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of the Day: Live music on New Year's Eve

The best options for your revelry.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 6:00 AM

A very interesting live music schedule this New Year's Eve schedule closes 2013 and ushers in 2014. Here's the highlights:

Man or Astroman? at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa. The quirky surf-space rockers apparently blew it out at Orbit 19 Lounge earlier this year, backing 2013 full-length Defcon 5...4...3...2...1. If you missed that date because you thought Holiday was too far to drive, Man or Astroman? returns for a NYE trowndown down at Ella’s. The Apes open; spins by Wax Wednesday DJs. 7 p.m. doors, $60 (includes dinner buffet, champagne toast and drink specials), 5119 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-234-1000.

All Good New Year's Eve 2013: Florida Night Heat & Samurai Shotgun with DJs Qeys, Mes, Silence & Soft Rock Renegades, at Crowbar. The usual All Good Tuesday night jams are boosted by live music and guest DJs during this spirited celebration of the New Year, with Florida Night Heat serving the usual drone, stoned n’ psychedelic-oozy rock n’ roll while Samurai Shotgun rips through an onslaught of their urgent funking hip hop. 9 p.m., free admission, 1812 N. 17th St., Ybor City, 813-241-8600.

More after the jump...

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Best of the Day: Hallicination Before Christmas & Brokenmold Holiday Party

Posted By on Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Two big seasonal throwdowns take place just blocks from each other in Ybor City on this night.

Hallucination Before Christmas is the ridiculously big seasonal soiree and canned food drive thrown by locally-based electro music-repping Hallucination Recordings has been described as a collision of Christmas and Halloween; flamboyant attire — club kid, cosplay, goth, fetish — is encouraged and a freaky-festive atmosphere rules the night. Guest DJs preside in each of The Ritz’s three rooms and among this year’s performers are old hands, including electro house DJ/producer/remixer Tommie Sunshine and Hallucination founder/Rabbit in the Moon leader Monk, and newer acts like Proper Villains, who jumps off dubstep into electro, house, DnB, hip-hop, and UK garage territories. Organizers ask for a minimum of three nonperishable food donations (the most in-demand items are peanut butter, breakfast cereal, and canned tuna, veggies and fruits); everything goes to Feeding America Tampa Bay. Tickets are $20 with a donation; more without. More info on the event Facebook page. 9 p.m.-3 a.m., Czar at The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City.

The much beloved bird-flipping Santa tee-shirts are representative of the atmosphere we’ve come to expect from the Brokenmold Holiday Party — festive merriment with fuck-you rock n’ roll attitude. At least in spirit, anyway; in reality, everyone’s usually full of good cheer at these things since the music is consistently excellent. The seventh annual installment is proof positive, headed up by SWIMM, an LA-by-way-of-Melbourne, Fla. duo pushing psychedelic garage rock in a new self-released Feel EP; additional players flesh out the lineup in a live setting. Also of note: Deaf Poets, a Miami-spawned guitar-drums combo that switches between grimy garage blues to slower-paced shoegaze odes to dreamier melodic washes of sound. Sarasota chamber folk/pop sisters Good Graff also perform, as do new CL hip hop favorites, The Real Clash, just added to the bill this week. 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $8.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Well-Played List, Best of 2013, Part 4: Grand Finale

The final wrap-up of the year's best music releases.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Music tastemakers who participate in the ongoing listening series (myself and various other CL Staffers along with local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two) have been weighing in on favorite albums of the year — the Best of 2013. Because we're off on consecutive Wednesdays for Christmas and New Year's, and make up such a large group with varying tastes, I've broken up our lists into four parts. The Well-Played List closes in 2013 with Part 4, the final Best of 2013 breakdown, which includes my own list expanded from the one in next week's paper.

Click here to check out Part 1. Part 2 right here. And Part 3 here. Hopefully, all four of these will give you something to fill your ears while you enjoy your holiday breaks... and as always, Spotify Playlists with picks is featured at the end of each post, for your listening pleasure. And on that note, what were your favorite albums of 2013? Tell us in the comments…

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Mitch Perry's Top Ten films, books and music events of the year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 8:16 AM

'Tis the season for Top Ten lists, and since taking over as CL's News & Politics editor back in the fall of 2009, I've taken advantage of my platform to post my favorites of the year in movies, music and books, the stuff that keeps me going. The stuff that matters.

Beginning with the caveat that some of the most lauded films of the year have yet to open in Tampa Bay (American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis), here goes, beginning with my favorite movies:

1) All is Lost director by J.C. Chandor
2) MUD directed by Jeff Nichols
3) 12 Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen
4) Fruitvale Station directed by Ryan Coogler
5) Disconnected by Henry-Alex Rubin
6) In a world...directed by Lake Bell
7) Kill Your Darlings directed by John Krokidas
8) Gravity directed by Alfonso Cuaron
9) Blue is the Warmest Color directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
10) Prisoners directed by Denis Villeneuve
10) What Maisie Knew directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Well-Played List: Best of 2013 Edition, Part 3

The year-end wrap-up continues; Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The Well-Played List is winding down in 2013, with the music tastemakers who participate in the ongoing listening series (myself and various other CL Staffers along with local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two) reflecting on our favorite albums of the year — the Best of 2013. Because we're off on consecutive Wednesdays for Christmas and New Year's, and make up such a large group with varying tastes, I've broken up our lists into four parts; two ran last week — Part 1 on Wednesday, Part 2 on Friday), and the last two parts go up today and Friday. Hopefully, all four will give you something to fill your ears while you enjoy your holiday breaks... and as always, a Spotify Playlist will be included at the end of each post, for your listening pleasure.

Check out past editions of The Well-Played List here. And on that note, what are your favorite albums of 2013? Tell us in the comments…


Dean Blunt, The Redeemer

My Bloody Valentine, m b v

Inter Arma, Sky Burial

Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt

Alex G/R.L. Kelly, Split

Chance The Rapper, Acid Rap

Drake, Nothing Was The Same

Wolf Eyes, No Answer : Lower Floors

Julia Brown, To Be Close To You

Daniel Bachman, Jesus I’m A Sinner

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Music Tuesday! (December 17): B.o.B., Talib Kweli, Hieroglyphics & more

Video included.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

The third and final week of releases for December (the last two weeks are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, respectively) is pretty hip hop heavy. Info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to check out releases that dropped over the past few months.

B.o.B., Underground Luxury (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
The Atlanta emcee otherwise known as Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. is one of the few in the game with balls enough to issue his third and latest studio LP directly before the holidays. Likely it's because he currently has a track off the album that's still rising on Billboard, the bumpin', super catchy whistle-fueled "Headband" featuring 2 Chainz; it's currently resting at No. 13 on the Rap Songs charts and No. 64 on the Hot 100. I'm definitely a fan — or at least, I will be until the radio stations start overplaying it. Check it out after the jump along with the rest of releases on this light week ...

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