For the fifth year in a row, members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participated in Movember, a global movement which raises money and awareness for men’s health issues during the month of November.
Ron Howard and his hyper-creative gang have teamed up with Canon to give a deductive twist to storytelling. Ninety-one winning photographs have been chosen to boost your imagination, chosen after a wave of photographic submissions themed after the 10 tenets of storytelling: Mood, Goal, Backstory, Character, Obstacle, Relationship, Setting and The Unknown.
The participants choose 10 of the photos that will inspire their short film submissions, no more than 10 minutes in length. Films will be judged based on creative use of the 10 photos, originality, technical quality and overall impression.
The Friday night Florida Night Heat show at New World opened up with performances by Sun Signs, Alias Punch and AJ Vincent, though we managed to miss the first two and arrived at the start of AJ’s set, joining the healthy 100-plus crowd that had come out to enjoy some brews and local(ish) tunes.
You likely remember sandy-haired keysman AJ best from his tenure playing with Austin-bred The Bright Light Social Hour; he hit the falsetto notes, brought dynamic stage presence, and busted out a keytar for the occasional high-powered jam. Solo, he shows strong promise and already has a full repertoire of songs ranging from more straightforward electro-rock dance numbers to synth-trippy instrumental soundscapes, all of it blasted at frequencies so loud I had to bust out the ‘plugs. AJ still has the ability to enthrall with his good looks, great keyboard stylings and impressive vocal range, but he’d benefit from the support of a band, or at least a drummer; there’s a certain sonic vibrancy a live kit adds to the mix that a drum track just can’t replicate.
Florida Night Heat strolled to their spots at around 12:20 a.m., and after a brief scuffle that actually tumbled into the stage area from the patio and interrupted their set relatively early on (stop drinking if you can’t handle your alcohol, people!), the musicians got into the building and crushing part of the night, bassist Andre Jones, guitarist Jensen Kistler and drummer Chris Wood joined by unofficial member Matt E. Lee (Poetry n’ Lotion, Brahm Bones); Lee actually appeared on 2011’s #Immortality and has been contributing to recent live performances on keyboards and guitar, adding a fresh dimension of hazy texture and sci-fi psychedelia to their grimy post-rock n’ hard groove sound.
On the whole, the foursome's playing was tight, focused and plenty vigorous in a setlist that included older tracks (“Bobby,” “BK Outro”), a cover (Nirvana’s “About a Girl”), and all four cuts off their newly-pressed Omegas EP, unveiled for the first time on this night and available on 180g vinyl; copies were hawked along with limited edition Simpsons-inspired tee-shirts made specially for the occasion. The band even changed things up a for a song that found Dre and Jensen trading instruments, Dre’s brow furrowed in concentration over the axe while Jensen looked extra angular wielding Dre’s bass. FNH returned for an encore with guest trumpeter Kenny Pullin and closed the night with the dramatic spaghetti western march and crash of “The Last Bandito.”
Saturday night was drenched in rain and a few events seemed to suffer, though the shows went on as scheduled, if slightly altered. The St. Pete Bike Co-Op Grand Opening was moved into the small confines of the shop, a building adjacent to the Shufflboard Courts, and I arrived to find it surrounded by giant puddles; Early Forms was setting up, the rain was still coming down and I managed to immerse my feet (flip flops a bad idea in hindsight) and soak through the bottom of jeans feet before even getting to the door. Since I’d seen Early Forms the weekend before at Fubar, I decided to return home to change into drier clothes before venturing back out to catch George Clinton and P-Funk at A Slice of the Burg. (More info about the Co-Op opening in Meghan's report.)
A few stops later, I was at The Bends drinking with friends in the nighclub-like laser-lighted backroom and bobbing to some hip hop when word finally arrived that The Mothership had landed. We started the process of closing multiple tabs, and made a hasty retreat as the music took a dance-unz turn. Next stop: Ferg's.
The fundraiser to help preserve the historic YMCA had endured a wetting all day, and as the day grew late, was finally moved from its downtown St. Pete street stage to the sports bar near Tropicana Field. Pay-what-you-can tickets turned into a free-for-all walk-up by the time we strutted and sauntered into Ferg’s (because that’s what you do when you hear P-Funk playing) to what sounded like the tail end of “Cosmic Slop” based on the guitar soloing. The closer I got, the better I could make out Clinton’s head bobbing in the distance. The only thing visible above the surging crowd of bodies was his white fedora and that was my view of him for the rest of his set, as pushing through the too-thick crowd surrounding the stage was more trouble than it was worth for a view that didn’t change much despite me being closer. But I didn’t mind; the atmosphere was a festive and high-spirited one, the crowd getting down and totally enthused as Clinton and the band cycled through various Afro-futuristic P-Funk hits — “One Nation (Under a Groove),” “Make My Funk P-Funk” and the like. Even the clusters of cops standing with crossed arms on the sidewalk to the left of the stage (which opened out onto the street) seemed to be in a mellow mood, ignoring or ignorant to the occasional scent of greenery wafting on the late night air.
A short video of the night below...
Photographers and filmmakers, today's your last chance to enter Creative Loafing's annual photo & video contest, CL Visions. Win $300, a show at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts or a screening at the Gasparilla International Film Festival. The deadline to enter is today, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at cltampa.com/visions.
In keeping with CL's 25th birthday festivities, both contests invite you to do what we’ve been doing for 25 years: Go local.
Focus on the faces and places, the telling details or the big pictures in the Tampa Bay area. Local colors, flavors, heroes, legends. Local artists, shops, scandals, headlines. Local lights, lingo, flora, fauna.
Or none of the above: Just take a picture or make a video that says what “local” means to you.
But do it soon: You've only got a few hours left to win money, prestige and the official recognition that you are the Bay area's Cartier-Bresson — or the Tampa Bay Tarantino.
And this is also your last day to vote for your favorite photos or videos. Voting opened on Feb. 20 and continues through the end of the day today, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. Both the judges' and the readers' winners receive cash prizes and recognition from CL, as well as being part of either the museum exhibition or the film festival. Vote at cltampa.com/visions — just look for the "Vote" tab just above the CL Visions logo on the Photo Contest page and the Video Contest page.
I'm constantly on YouTube seeking new artists because I feel like the talent you find on there is so much more diverse and interesting than what you hear on the radio. And you can usually find someone covering your favorite song, whatever that song may be on any given week. This is how I discovered 20-year-old Tori Kelly, who I came upon performing her own acoustic beat-boxed rendition of Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You" . I fell in love with her angelic voice and after hitting her YouTube page, I found more covers as well as some of her original songs. [Video and more after the jump]...
Now, we present Florida Night Heat. The three-piece instrumental outfit (guitarist Jensen Kistler, bassist Andre Jones and drummer Chris Wood) has grown by leaps and bounds in the three years since they first got together and started jamming their loose, groove-oriented Southern grimy stoner rock. As newbie musicians Jones and Wood learned better command of their respective instruments, Kistler expanded on his fret maneuvers and pedal technique, the trio has gotten progressively tighter, incorporating more measured arrangements and drawing on electro, funk, psychedelic and spaghetti western sonic flavors.
The trio are currently putting the finishing touches on their four-song Omegas EP; check out them performing "Ice Station Larc" after the jump.
The band began as the solo project of singer-songwriter Mark Etherington (who also drums in instrumental post rock outfit set and setting), and eventually evolved into a band with musician couple Jaqueline Titus (keys, vocals) and Doug Gialluca (bass), and drummer Todd C. Smith. They exhibit some pastoral qualities reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, CSNY and My Morning Jacket, their brand of alt folk rock balancing pretty subdued melodies with reverb and raw intensity, Etherington's ethereal vocal calls complemented by Titus' dulcet-haunting harmonies and keyboard arrangements. Read more about the band in Andrew Silverstein's story presented as part of the festival-themed Music Issue, out July 26. For now, check out the RedFeather Antiwarpt III Must-See Video after the jump.
The series kicked off last week with Jensen Serf Co.. The next band to get the CL Antiwarpt Must-See Video Spotlight is Permanent Makeup, their sound a churning a mix of dark-tinged late'70s/early '80s-styled post-punk and churning, dissonant avant rock. For their Ryan Zarra-produced Antiwarpt video spotlight, Julie G. interviewed the band right here in the CL Space [still above], where they also performed a few tracks. Check out the vid after the jump.
In the weeks leading up to Antiwarpt III, Creative Loafing has teamed up with fest organizers and St. Pete Beat to produce a series of videos spotlighting our favorite must-see acts playing the third edition of the downtown St. Petersburg alternative-to-Warped Tour-festival. This year's edition brings more than 99 indie performers to town, with a strong focus on super high-quality local and regional talent.
Ray Roa interviewed the first band to get the CL Antiwarpt Must-See Video Spotlight: St. Pete-based Jensen Serf Company [video still above right], an echoey retro-surf garage trio in the vein of Surfer Blood, but with a more raucous lo-fi sound. Formerly known as Michael Christmas (which was never supposed to be a permanent name anyway), Jensen issued a five-song split cassette with Saylor in March via up-and-coming Nashville-based imprint Sturdy Girls (listen here), and has been earning a hard buzz ever since. Check out the Ryan Zarra-produced Antiwarpt video after the jump.
You see, there is a bit of a caste system to the wristbands that provided access to this year's completely sold-out festival. The vast majority of Bonnaroovians have GA wristbands. They stay in tents, rarely shower (if ever), buy food from vendors (often eaten while walking), and spend hours baking in the hot sun to get a glimpse of bands amid thousands of others in a grassy field. Of course, that's if they aren't passed out in one of the plentiful spots of shade, simply too exhausted to carry on to the next show. The next level is VIP, which offers better access to the stages, private campgrounds with showers, or RV rentals. The highest level of wristband is Roll Like a Rockstar, a special package that provides accommodations on a fully stocked tour bus, chauffeured golf carts whisking around on hidden back roads, private viewing areas and restrooms, and hospitality lounges spread throughout the farm.
Our group wasn't just rolling like rockstars, we were rolling as rockstars. We wore the coveted yellow ‘Artist’ wristband, with full access to nearly every area at Bonnaroo one could ever wish to see, and plenty of perks that no paying attendee can experience. I didn't realize before the trip but this is much more access than even press receives, as my experience seems to have been much different from Andrew's. We didn't have a tour bus or golf carts, but none of that nonsense mattered because we had the most superior access to music out of anyone in attendance.
Sometimes, the good things in life are just about knowing the right wonderful people.
We were instantly sucked in by heavy bass filling the grassy area in front of This Tent, walking right into the private viewing area at the foot of the stage to catch the beginning of Danny Brown's set. His biting delivery and filthy lyrics were nearly overcome by the bass, which up this close twitched the hairs on my arms to the beat. This was the first of several fantastic hip-hop sets we wandered into, and my introduction the the unbelievably enthusiastic Bonnaroo crowds. I've never seen anything like how ballistic the packed tent became when Brown shouted out, "Bonnaroo, y'all some freaky motherfuckers! You gonna be getting dirty up in those titties later?" Brown played a bit of Blondie's "Rapture," dancing around onstage to recapture the crowd's attention before launching directly into the aggressive "Die Like a Rockstar."Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. Their indie-rock seems deceptively simpler live than recorded, as I'd never realized their perfectly harmonized songs are fleshed out by recorded electronic elements. Not only did the band bring a killer cover of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," they also brought a little something special for the crowd. Josh Epstein explained that they were so grossed out by the porta-johns when the band played their last festival that they decided to buy a bottle of Dom Perignon and leave it in one of the 7,500 facilities spread across the Manchester farm. Though Epstein encouraged "whoever finds it, goddamnit, have a good time," I'm pretty sure anything I found in one of those things would be staying there for the next person to enjoy.
From the back of the field we caught the last two songs from Orgone. Their funky R&B had Soul Train written all over it, like a fantastic 70's blaxsploitation soundtrack. Vocalist Niki Crawford encouraged the crowd to get into her vibe, saying "Orgone has been making sweet, sweet love to you for the last hour. Did you feel it? How you gonna make love back to us?" before the crowd enthusiastically responded with a sing-along to "Love Maker" as we started our walk back to This Tent. Stopping briefly by one of the smaller side stages, the Great Taste Lounge Brewed by Miller Lite (one of the thankfully rare visible sponsorships), we enjoyed some psychedelic basement rock from Monstro before continuing on to catch Yelawolf. [MORE photos, video and wraps after the jump.]