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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Local “new punk” Jasmine Deja juggles multiple instruments and projects

A profile on the artist behind Soapbox Soliloquy, and plays in Selectric and Veiny Hands, among other collabs.

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 4:00 AM

JILL OF ALL TRADES: Compelling singwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jasmine Deja. - ARIELLE STEVENSON
  • Arielle Stevenson
  • JILL OF ALL TRADES: Compelling singwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jasmine Deja.

It’s Saturday, the last night of Tropical Heatwave, and just a mile away from the WMNF festivities, dozens of polished crust-punks and hip-trip liaisons gather at the Frolic Exchange, an eclectic clothing boutique and occasional performance space in Seminole Heights, where Soapbox Soliloquy, aka Jasmine Deja, plays on a platform stage decorated with dripping Christmas lights and glittering scarves. It’s intimate and intricate; like a punk-rock tea party.

Strumming sweetly on her ’60s-era semi-hollowbody Vox, the diminutive 20-year-old with long dark hair cautions her seated disciples, “Just because you think someone is cute, doesn’t mean you have to fuck them.” She gets soft, then loud, then noise-loud, before luring them back in with layers of dreamy percussion and subdued guitar.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Big Guava Music Festival returns to the Florida State Fairgrounds with all types of alternative sounds

CL presents a shortlist of must-sees performing at the second annual event

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Pixies are among the headliners at the second annual Big Guava Music Festival - JAY BLAKESBERG
  • Jay Blakesberg
  • Pixies are among the headliners at the second annual Big Guava Music Festival

You could pretty much lock every Big Guava act inside a heart-shaped “alternative” box and call it a day. But that’d be oversimplifying the fest’s broad scope, which is reflective of what’s happening in music today: a cross-pollination of genres prompted as much by the way we’re introduced to and consume music as by technological advances in music-making and the breaking of creative boundaries that once held so many artists back. Consequently, the Big Guava lineup is a mixed bag of acts you’ve heard on 97X, read about at Pitchfork.com, and likely know and remember with bittersweet nostalgia from your younger, fresher years.

This second edition of the fest has been scaled back to two days and 34 acts, but the atmosphere is the same, as is the layout: stages situated at the fairgrounds’ four corners, anchored by the amphitheater and connected by a midway studded with thrill rides; beer gardens pouring craft brews; food trucks serving everything from organic coffee to barbecue; and booths featuring vendors and organizations hawking goods and information.

But it’s really all about the music, and I’m here to help you navigate through the confusingly blurred genre lines, offering suggestions about the acts you should be peeping beyond the Pixies and Strokes.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Denny Tedesco presents the sounds of The Wrecking Crew

A music doc about the uncredited session players behind some of the biggest albums of the '60s and '70s premieres in St. Pete on Friday.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The working habits of creative genius/songwriter Brian Wilson during his original tenure with The Beach Boys are the stuff of legend. He’d often compose all the material alone, and when his musical scope grew à la 1966’s Pet Sounds, he stopped touring to focus exclusively on producing the recordings without any help or input from his bandmates. Phil Spector had a similarly relentless attitude in the studio. A musical mastermind, he dipped his fingers into every part of the recording process, developing the trademark “Wall of Sound” production techniques that revolutionized the industry.

Not so well-known are the session musicians who helped both men execute their visions, and also backed other big-name singers and groups on thousands of other recordings that came out of LA from the mid-1950s through the early ’70s: The Wrecking Crew.

Though generally not credited with any of the work they did, a few — Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John — went on to have successful solo careers after their Wrecking Crew days. Others you’ve probably never heard of, like prolific beat-keeper Hal Blaine, mistress of low-end frequencies Carol Kaye, and late jazz-trained axeman Tommy Tedesco, father of the filmmaker behind The Wrecking Crew documentary, which took nearly two decades to produce and sees its premiere in Tampa Bay on Friday.

A truly great doc enlightens with new information, entertains with great stories and memorable interviews from both known and unknown subjects, reveals just the right amount of never-before-seen archival footage and photos, and evokes a sense of poignancy and nostalgia. Denny Tedesco’s thoughtfully rendered homage to the legacy of his late father and the Wrecking Crew manages all of these things.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Agnostic Front headlines Tampa Pro party at Orpheum

The godfathers of hardcore unite fans new and old in a Tampa SPoT tradition.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 4:15 AM


Let’s go ahead and acknowledge the fact that the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT) throws legendary parties for its annual Tampa Pro tournament, a four-day celebration of skateboarding that combines world-class athletes competing for a $75,000 prize purse with the best of Bay area nightlife. In fact, everything about SPoT is fabled, from the countless skaters who’ve launched careers there (Felipe Gustavo, Ishod Wair, Nyjah Houston) to the folklore surrounding the unassuming warehouse at 4215 E. Columbus Dr. in east Tampa.

Another important element of the narrative — and one that skaters and non-skaters alike can recount no matter how many they throw back at SPoT’s debauched Tampa Pro open bars — is the concerts.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Parquet Courts finds new fans in Tampa Bay

The NYC-spawned outfit hits town with Merchandise on Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 4:00 AM

“The true experience of seeing Parquet Courts is in a small room with alcohol,” Andrew Savage wrote in a recent email to CL. “It’s about who the band is at its core, really. I don’t want to deny that to anybody.”

Parquet Courts - CHRIS NEWMEYER
  • Chris Newmeyer
  • Parquet Courts
The band’s first trip to Sunshine State is part of their “Genteel Southerners” tour, a 14-date, two-week trek that lands in Tampa on Saturday for a set at the unlikeliest of venues: the Main Hall at American Legion Post 111 in
Seminole Heights.

Savage, 28, explained that his New York-by-way-of-Texas outfit likes to deliver three smaller shows for every Webster Hall gig they play. “We’ve never been to Florida, which is a shame,” he commented, “because I know there are fans there.”

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Big Noise Institute prepares to launch in St. Petersburg

Two men with decades of music-industry experience open a new school catering to music industry careers

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Two men with a combined eight decades of music-industry experience have conceived of a new educational venture that complements St. Pete College’s Music Industry/Recording Arts program while serving those who prefer to forego the trappings of academia altogether in favor of traditional vocational training: Big Noise Institute.

Big Noise Institute founders Mark Matthews and Robin Sibucao
  • Big Noise Institute founders Mark Matthews and Robin Sibucao
Next weekend at the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show, Mark Matthews — the former director of MIRA — and businesss partner Robin Sibucao (a one-time MIRA chair and vet industry professional) will announce BNI's official launch.

“We weren’t expecting it to progress as quickly as it did,” Sibucao said in a recent interview with CL.

The idea for an institution that expanded upon and continued what MIRA offered — a unique real-world approach to technology training — was conceived at last year’s NAMM show, fueled as much by the overarching enthusiasm everyone at NAMM seemed to have for the MIRA program as by the men’s experience as active musicians who ended up channeling their talents into behind-the-scenes industry jobs.

“I’m a perfect example of what Big Noise is about,” Sibucao explained. “I thought I’d be a guitar player my entire life, I ended up running the Bose Corporation sales department up in Framingham [Mass.], then I opened a company out in Seattle that did all of Starbucks’ music and sound systems.”

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dark & Sinful: Primus instinct

The concert on that hazed-up night proved to be one of those times when I didn’t feel like the odd woman out.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 2:00 AM

WONKA WONKA: Les Claypool of Primus at Ruth Eckerd Hall. - TRACY MAY
  • Tracy May
  • WONKA WONKA: Les Claypool of Primus at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

A couple weeks ago, I went to see Primus at Ruth Eckerd Hall with my boys David and Dan. Yes. Me: the woman who regularly shouts out Wu-tang! Wu-tang! apropos of nothing. I knew nothing about the Primus: nothing about its members or even how many there were, not even what kind of music they played. But I love my boys and their white-guy guitar jam sessions (mostly Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive”), even their occasional need for death metal. And David told me Primus was going to do some kind of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory thing in the middle of the show.


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Gulfport Neighborhood Guide: O’Maddy’s, oh, man

A few nights of adventure at Gulfport’s storied karaoke destination

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 4:02 AM

O'Maddy's Bar & Grille, located across the street from the Bert and Walter Williams Pier on Shore Boulevard - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • O'Maddy's Bar & Grille, located across the street from the Bert and Walter Williams Pier on Shore Boulevard

I have a new friend in Baby Jesus and he’s about to perform an Eminem track, “Without Me.”

He insists he’s either going to jump-start the party or trigger the crickets on this Wednesday night edition of O’Maddys’ karaoke night, which is scattered with middle-aged regulars, some 20-somethings getting Hump Day soused, and a gnarly beardy dude who selects shuffling blues-rock numbers and plays harmonica instead of singing (harmoni-oke?). Right now, a couple’s on stage wailing through Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” as if it were a duet and clutching each other in a slow-swaying embrace during the instrumental breaks.

Baby Jesus, aka David, is the first person I meet at the Gulfport waterside bar and grill renowned for its nightly karaoke shennanys. O’Maddys is ripe with people-gawking opportunities, and those single-serving friends you make when you’re both enjoying (or enduring) the same experience. There’s an overall beach-vacation vibe amidst the blue-painted walls and bright patio furniture, though the karaoke crowd throws it all into a tailspin of human miscellany.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The CL Intern Issue: The vibrant viral voices of Florida’s collegiate a cappella groups

Florida’s collegiate a cappella groups are a web sensation

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Whether you’d dare to admit it or not, you had a blast watching Pitch Perfect. Yes, I’m even looking at you, middle-aged man in the Joy Division T-shirt and fully tatted sleeves. Betwixt the jazz hands, beat-boxing and bombastic singing, what’s not to love about a cappella groups?

No Southern Accent
  • No Southern Accent
In summary, a cappella is a group of people who strip down and rearrange music to be performed without any instruments, often reinventing familiar or popular tunes. They sometimes even use their voices to emulate the instruments themselves, while the more traditional groups focus solely on harmonizing. The a cappella scene is blossoming, and it’s been sweeping across the collegiate stratosphere.

One group of performers particularly talented at making music with their mouths is No Southern Accent, from the University of Florida. It’s a completely student-run award-winning coed a capella group originally established in 2001. No Southern Accent annually attends SoJam, a convention held in North Carolina, and ICAA, the International Championship of Collegiate Acapella (which was the exact competition featured in Pitch Perfect).

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The CL Intern Issue: Hometown heroes - Florida artists making it big

From Benjamin Booker to Hundred Waters, we've put together a list of some noteworthy talent coming out of the Sunshine State

Posted By on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 11:04 AM

While Florida may not boast as many national artists as NYC or LA, we’ve still got a few great ones repping our weird state. Tom Petty, KC and the Sun-shine Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rick Ross, Against Me!, and Less Than Jake got their starts in Florida and paved the way for four rising acts currently making waves. Representing Tampa, Orlando, and Gainesville, they may just carry the torch (or in Florida’s case the orange) into the national spotlight.

Benjamin Booker - MAX NORTON
  • Max Norton
  • Benjamin Booker
Benjamin Booker Let’s kick off this list with someone who quite literally embodies the “hometown hero.” Benjamin Booker grew up in Tampa, graduated from Hillsborough High School and moved to New Orleans after playing solo shows in the Tampa Bay area. Drummer Max Norton accompanies the rocker and their debut album drops August 19 on ATO Records (joining labelmates like the Alabama Shakes and Band of Horses). ATO Records head Jon Salter flew down to catch Booker’s set at New World Brewery for WMNF and offered him a deal shortly after. Booker crafts pure rock ‘n’ roll flavored with a side of gritty grunge, blues and soul, armed to the teeth with a raspy croon, rollickin’ guitar jams, and speedy drumming. Who can argue the success of a musician who's performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, opens for former White Stripes frontman Jack White this summer, and joins the lineups of festivals like Lollapalooza and Newport Folk Fest? Booker returns to Tampa on October 25 for the Coral Skies Festival and a welcome-home set.

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