FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Whole Wheat Bread From the fast thrashing instrumental drive and howling falsetto hallelujahs of “New Age Southern Baptist N*gga From Da Hood,” to the Celtic stomp and charge of “Old Man Sampson” and reggae vibing flavor of the catchy grinding “Girlfriend Like This,” Whole Wheat Bread has established a distinctive sound beyond the “dirty south punk rock” label they assumed after bursting onto the Jacksonville scene in 2003. The threesome — rapper/singer/guitarist Aaron Abraham, bassist Will Frazier and drummer Joseph “Mr. Whitefolks” Largen — has played, collaborated and toured with a range of artists, among them, Murs, Rancid, Bad Brains and Lil Jon. WWB is working on a follow-up to 2009 sophomore album Hearts of Hoodlums, and while a recent Kickstarter.com campaign to fund its recording proved unsuccessful, Abraham told EU Jacksonville, “We will still make the record regardless. That’s just punk rock.” (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)
French Montana You know those hip-hop club bangers that aren’t much more than an oversized beat and a few emcees spouting repetitive verses like “Whatchoo twerk with?” I’m specifically referencing “Pop That,” the hit single from yet another drug slinger-turned-rhyme flinger French Montana with co-hort Rick Ross; the latter teamed up with P.Diddy in a joint venture to produce and release the Moroccan-American rapper’s debut full-length via their respective Maybach and Bad Boy imprints. Though the drop date for Excuse My French has been delayed indefinitely, it appears the hype tour is still on… (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)
The Lee Boys w/Ted Lukas & the Misled The sacred steel tradition as practiced by The Lee Boys is rooted in gospel music, carried on bluesy rhythms, and infused with elements of R&B, folk, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop and country music. The African-American family band is led by the Lee brothers — guitarist Alvin and vocalists Derrick and Keith — and rounded out by nephews Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (seven-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). All six members learned to play music as children in South Florida’s House of God church, where their father/grandfather, Rev. Robert E. Lee, was the pastor and a steel player himself. The joyous spiritual music that accompanied the congregation’s worship services was originally dubbed “sacred steel” by folklorist Robert Stone, who discovered the Lee Boys after attending services and ultimately convinced them to record. Third full-length album Testify was issued via Warren Haynes’ Evil Teen label in October. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
Taylor Dane Golden-haired throaty soulful singer Taylor Dane hit the airwaves in the late 1980s with a string of AC pop hits (“Tell It to My Heart,” “I’ll Always Love You,” “Don’t Rush Me,” “Love Will Lead You Back”) and two double-platinum albums. Most recently, she released a single, “Floor on Fire,” that hit No. 8 on the Billboard Dance/Club charts. (The Club at Treasure Island, Treasure Island)
Black Friday Record Store Day Party w/Feral Babies/Jensen Serf Co./Direct Effect/Von Dagger If you must go out on Black Friday, at least make it worth your while — by doing your holiday shopping at independently-owned retailers, specifically, the places taking part in Record Store Day’s Black Friday sale. A bunch of limited (indie-store-only) releases have been issued for the occasion by artists ranging from the Shins to White Stripes to the Rolling Stones. Mojo will be carrying limited RSD releases, offering specials throughout the day, and hosting a lineup of local punk-and-garage leaning acts that hit the standing room stage at 8 p.m. (Mojo Books & Music, Tampa)
Death Fest w/Blunt Trauma/Agerasia/City Of Seba/Reveal Renew/Valor/The Home Front/Creatues Of Habit/As Crusaders Depart This holiday weekend live music rage-a-thon features a bill of local hardcore and death metal bands, among them, Blunt Trauma, a seven-piece that pummels while striving to “inform the world of the corrupt evil known as the American government.” (Neptune Lounge, Tarpon Springs)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
2 Chainz He started out as one-half of hip-hop duo Playaz Circle, formerly called himself Tity Boi, but only started earning fame for his syrupy Southern rhymes after he went solo and changed his name to 2 Chainz. He’s since issued a well-regarded mixtape, 2011’s T.R.U. REALigon, and was signed to Def Jam to release his 2012 full-length debut, Based On A T.R.U. Story, which jetted to the top of the Billboard 200, R&B/Hip-Hop and Rap charts, and features an all-star cast of guests, like Kanye West (“Birthday Song”), Drake (“No Lie”) and Nicki Minaj (“I Luv Dem Strippers”). (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)
My Wild Heaven w/Artificial Heart Beat My Wild Heaven mixes aggressive punk riffage, sci-fi prog storylines (likened to Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man) and quirky nerdy rah-rah/sing-song vocals as delivered by guitarist and mellotron player Bill Bechtel (also of Bride of Chaotica), with back-up from bassist Robert “Red” Redmond and drummer Mirko Soko. Artificial Heartbeat purveys loose and grungy garage/punk marked by the abrasive barks of vocalist Brian Berowski. Both are from the Tampa Bay area. (La La’s Brew House, Largo)
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.