Fowler's Bluff: Southern Sunshine State spirit, with a side of beer

Fowler's Bluff, pictured at Pair O'Dice Brewing in Clearwater, which is producing a Fowler's Bluff Session IPA in conjunction with the band.

Luis Santana

Fowler's Bluff, pictured at Pair O'Dice Brewing in Clearwater, which is producing a Fowler's Bluff Session IPA in conjunction with the band.

(Welcome to tbt*’s Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Swampy, psychedelic Southern rockers Fowler's Bluff.)

Fowler’s Bluff is as Florida as Jimmy Buffett, without all the seaside connotations of scantily clad women and overflowing bottles of Corona.

Not that the boys don’t know how to have fun; their performances never fail to get the audience on their feet and movin’. Whether it’s one of their up-beat numbers (Wom3n), or something slower and hypnotic (Ambivalent); they always have a psychical effect on the crowd.

Lyrically, they present an esoteric side of Florida’s beauteous offerings. Their music is as expansive and atmospheric as our open waters, and as thick and mysterious as our mangrove swamps. …

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Review: The Sounds rev up for a feisty, energetic set at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

The Sounds perform at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 15, 2014.

Brian Mahar

The Sounds perform at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on April 15, 2014.

The Sounds can’t say they never got their shot.

They broke into America from Sweden more than a decade ago, around the time blog buzz made it possible for any band, anywhere, to get big in a hurry. Their post-punk-meets-New Wave singles were played on TV and in commercials. They toured with Foo Fighters, No Doubt and the Strokes. They were strident, swaggering, and they played like they meant it, with a fierce lead singer who can dominate the stage at the drop of a hat.

They were on their way to big things. It was in their grasp. And then ... it never really came to pass, did it? The noise surrounding the Sounds died down.

It’s tough to say why — especially after Tuesday, when the Sounds returned to Tampa Bay for the first time in five years, delivering a feisty, devil-may-care performance at St. Petersburg’s State Theatre that managed to win over a modest crowd whose energy level didn’t always match that of the band. Even after fans had trouble getting it up for an encore, the Sounds came back with more fire than ever, reminding us all why they got their shot in the first place.Full Story

Big Guava Festival schedule, set times: When Outkast, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People and more will play in Tampa

Tampa's inaugural Big Guava Music Festival finally announced its set times and schedule on Tuesday, so if you were wondering when headliners Outkast, Vampire Weekend and Foster the People would perform, wait no longer.

Of course, with every festival schedule comes conflict, as you rush from stage to stage trying to catch as much of the actino as possible. After scanning this year's 2014 Big Guava Festival schedule, here are a few of the performance time slots most likely to cause headaches.

Of note: There are four stages, dubbed "Big Guava" (the main stage of the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre), "Nectar" (secondary), "Grove" and "Orchard," though as far as we know, the festival hasn't announced a map yet, so it's hard to say how long it'll take to get from stage to stage. …

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Permanent Makeup: Post-punk noise that might just make you dance

From left: James Bess, Susan Dickson-Nadeau and Chris Nadeau of Permanent Makeup, photographed at the Nadeaus' home in St. Petersburg.

Luis Santana

From left: James Bess, Susan Dickson-Nadeau and Chris Nadeau of Permanent Makeup, photographed at the Nadeaus' home in St. Petersburg.

(Welcome to tbt*’s Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Genre-pushing post-punk trio Permanent Makeup.)

Perhaps the ever-increasing presence of Pinellas post-punkers Permanent Makeup can be best summed up by one week in January.

Over the span of eight days, they played with San Francisco hardcore group No Statik, Washington D.C. punks Priests and twice with the buzzed-about Syracuse, New York band Perfect Pussy.

“That was a crazy week,” vocalist-bassist Chris Nadeau said in an interview at the St. Petersburg home he shares with his wife and drummer Susan Dickson-Nadeau.

They’re not always that busy, the band admits. But it does show the fingerprints Permanent Makeup is leaving on Tampa Bay’s music scene through their live shows and last year’s strong debut The Void … It Creeps.

Permanent Makeup started in 2010, with the members in various local bands (Chris was playing in Blast and the Detergents, vocalist-guitarist James Bess in Dumbwaiters and Insect Joy.) …

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Sonic Graffiti: Raucous rock that's off the wall

Sonic Graffiti

Luis Santana

Sonic Graffiti

(Welcome to tbt*’s 2014 Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Electric garage blues-punk trio Sonic Graffiti.)

Sonic Graffiti was born from necessity.

Singer-guitarist Drew Giordano’s previous band, the Black Roses, had a gig booked at Crowbar in Ybor City in January 2013, but the band fell apart between then and showtime. He quickly recruited his twin brother Dane on bass, and friend Trevor Mustoe on drums.

“The show was two weeks away,” Drew said. “I called up Trevor, ’cause I had played with him before; he’s my favorite drummer, and Dane is my favorite bass player. I was like, 'Can we just practice and do this show in two weeks?’ We had two practices, and we played and it was great.”
After one gig, they all decided to keep playing together. “It just got better every gig,” Mustoe said. “We started developing, practicing…”

“It was very therapeutic to keep going out and playing music so we don’t freak out in an ice cream shop,” Dane continued. “We can play shows, record and play music instead.” …

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Archaic Interest: Bringing vintage influences to life in St. Pete

Archaic Interest

Luis Santana

Archaic Interest

(Welcome to tbt*’s 2014 Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Vintage psych-rock revivalists Archaic Interest.)

They’re free-spirited old souls in even older clothes. And yet, the members of St. Pete’s vintage rock act Archaic Interest have managed to light a fire under the feet of lively young followers across Tampa Bay this year.

Just don’t mistake these twenty-somethings’ hippie aesthetic and careless exuberance for stereotypical slacker-isms. When Archaic Interest plays, they travel back in time more than a half-century, honing in and delivering something altogether incendiary.

So, what’s behind the band name, exactly?

“Archaic Interest just means we are into old stuff,” lead vocalist and guitarist Jeff Williams says matter-of-factly.

“Or that we’re all just living in a different era,” jokes his girlfriend Emelle Lee, backing vocalist and tambourine player.

Check out live performances of Oceans of Opportunity or Sopwith Camel, off the band’s Long Gone But Not Gone Long EP, and the comments from Williams and Lee start to make sense. …

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Review: The Dead Milkmen merge goofy sensibility, legendary melodies at the Brass Mug in Tampa

The Dead Milkmen perform at the Brass Mug on April 12 in Tampa.

Jimmy Geurts

The Dead Milkmen perform at the Brass Mug on April 12 in Tampa.

It’s not every day you can see The Dead Milkmen at a small club located in a strip mall, but fortuitous circumstances brought them to Tampa that way on April 12.

The Philadelphia punk legends were set to play Orlando at a new venue called Fabbio’s Live, but it wasn’t able to open in time. It was then moved to Tampa, and the Brass Mug at that — a venue synonymous with metal shows and inescapable cigarette smoke.

So it was a smoky, sweaty and sold-out crowd that greeted the group on Saturday night, and they obliged with an extensive, roughly 90-minute set. Full Story

Mark Etherington: One man, three bands, boundless creativity

Mark Etherington

Luis Santana

Mark Etherington

(Welcome to tbt*’s 2014 Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Singer-songwriter Mark Etherington of RedFeather, Set and Setting and Mountain Holler.)

By his own admission, Mark Etherington is no bluesman. So it’s surprising to hear how influential he considers Jack White.

“From Jack White, really, I learned how to play chords, and the beauty of the blues,” he said. “I’m not a blues guitar player, but I love Delta blues.”

The two singer-songwriters have something else in common. Like the former White Stripe, Raconteur and Dead Weatherman, Etherington has carved out a unique identity in the local music scene, balancing roles in not one, not two but three popular acts.

He is one of two drummers in Set and Setting, a complex, instrumental post-metal group that’s received national notice. He sings and plays guitar in his own harmonic indie-folk-rock band, RedFeather. And when all his other bandmates are busy, he performs solo under the moniker Mountain Holler. …

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Florida Night Heat: The soundtrack to hot nights in Tampa

From left: Florida Night Heat's Jensen Kistler, Andre Jones and Chris Wood, photographed in their Tampa practice space.

Luis Santana

From left: Florida Night Heat's Jensen Kistler, Andre Jones and Chris Wood, photographed in their Tampa practice space.

(Welcome to tbt*’s 2014 Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Atmospheric indie rock trio Florida Night Heat.)

Most bands wouldn’t pride themselves on making “background” music. But then again, Florida Night Heat isn’t (by any stretch) most bands.

When they weren’t talking about Transformers, Spuds MacKenzie or former Sleepy Vikings drummer and friend Ryann Slauson, the silly, self-deprecating fellas (with some adult ADHD tendencies) of instrumental act Florida Night Heat described a simple, but noble mission.

“If people are having a great time at a bar while we’re playing, that’s it for us,” said bassist Andre Jones. “It’s like we’re the background music to their good time, and that’s awesome.”

Guitarist and band ringleader Jensen Kistler is quick to agree.

“Absolutely — highest honors right there,” says Kistler. “If we’re hanging out with our best friends and they’re hanging out with their best friends, and we’re all having fun collectively, that’s like the mission statement for Florida Night Heat.” …

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Inside Cloak+Daggar and Smoke+Mirrors, two of Tampa Bay's most unique party nights

Elias Theroux spins at Smoke+Mirrors, one of his two stylish parties in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Luis Santana

Elias Theroux spins at Smoke+Mirrors, one of his two stylish parties in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

A long, dark room, filled with dense fog, illuminated only by sparse red lights. Angular, bass-heavy dance music emanating from a hallway leading to the back. Sharply dressed 20- and 30-somethings wearing all black, sipping Champagne and exotic cocktails with mysterious names: "The Cloak" and "The Dagger."

It's a scene you might expect in an über-hip underground club in Paris, New York or Berlin. In reality, it's a local monthly event called Cloak+Dagger, the brainchild of DJ, designer and promoter Elias Théroux. The party — held on the first Tuesday of each month — takes place at the Bends, a downtown St. Pete hotspot that's virtually unrecognizable once Théroux and company take over. A sister party called Smoke+Mirrors has branched off from the original, taking place every Thursday night at Anise Global Gastrobar in downtown Tampa.

"I'm trying to facilitate a new kind of partying experience for people in the Tampa Bay area," Théroux said.

The music matches the aesthetic. It's forward-thinking, slick and maybe a little dark. Chopped-up, indecipherable vocal samples stab between piano chords and a thumping bass drum. Crisp high-hats form a syncopated pattern over a shoegaze-esque wave of sound. It's sexy, challenging, and futuristic. No one is playing top-40 crowd-pleasers. And somehow, it works.

For more on Smoke+Mirrors and Cloak+Daggar -- which celebrates its first anniversary with a party on Saturday at the Bends -- click here for Justin Grant's story.Full Story

Hip hop meets holistic healing in Tampa yoga studio

Robbyn Mitchell

As the class breathed deeply, eyes closed meditatively, and rolled forward into downward-facing dog, DJ Menscha mixed seamlessly into Candyman’s Knockin’ Boots, changing the air in the room.

The mellow rap hit from 1990 doesn’t seem like it would lend itself well to a yoga class, but Michele Smith thinks differently.

“I love hip-hop and I used to teach it, so I wanted to match the two,” said Smith, 36, a yoga instructor. “Hip-hop is aggressive … but I think it pairs well with yoga and helps bring it into modern terms.”

The idea came to Smith after the death of her brother, also a hip-hop lover, to help her  heal.

On a Saturday night, Menscha  — 39-year-old real estate agent Darius DeBurh — loosened the nerves by opening with a mellow, downbeat remix of Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which increased the energy in the room immediately.

“Do you guys like my music?” he asked and got a round of applause.

For more on Tampa's hip-hop yoga class, click here for Robbyn Mitchell's story.

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The Bellamy Brothers talk about returning to their alma mater, Pasco High School, and more

The Bellamy Brothers, a Pasco County country duo known for hits such as Let Your Love Flow, Redneck Girl and Old Hippie are blazing a global trail, celebrating 40 years of performing with an international tour that includes stops in France, Germany, India, Australia and Switzerland along with more than 150 appearances throughout the United States.

But on Friday the Bellamys are carving out time to meet with hometown friends and give a boost to young athletes with a benefit concert at Pasco High School, their alma mater.

Proceeds from the concert, held in conjunction with Pasco High's annual Reunion of the Decades, will help fund the school's athletic programs.

"We have actually done this three or four times now," Howard Bellamy said. "Many schools are having trouble these days with staying on top of everything and keeping all the (athletic) programs going. We like to see the kids stay busy. Athletics helps keep their minds occupied, their bodies occupied. It makes for a healthier lifestyle and gives them something to do. And it keeps them out of trouble."

The show is at 6 p.m. Friday at the W.F. Edwards Stadium at Pasco High, 36850 State Road 52, Dade City. Concert tickets are $15 general admission/$25 reserved seating and can be purchased at Pasco High School and Dade City Animal Clinic. For information or VIP table reservations, call Becky Taylor or Cathlee Tomkow at (352) 524-5508.

Click here for Michele Miller's full interview with the Bellamy Brothers.

Meanwhile -- what's this? A second set of Bellamy Brothers are making the rounds in Tampa Bay?

Yes, Jesse and Noah Bellamy will perform Friday from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave NE in Ruskin. The brothers are the fourth music-playing generation in the Bellamy family (their father and uncle are the better-known Bellamy Brothers). For more on Jesse and Noah Bellamy and their eclectic mix of roots rock, power pop, country and Americana, click here.Full Story

This week in Tampa: Karmin, Matt and Kim, Stephen Marley, Tampa Bay Blues Fest and more

It's a good weekend to be a college student. Actually, come to think of it, EVERY weekend is a good weekend to be a college student. But this one is particularly great, thanks to a pair of free student concert festivals. Karmin, Panic! At The Disco and The Neighbourhood will headline USF's Bullstock 2014, while Matt and Kim, above, will play for University of Tampa students in Plant Park.

After the jump, Ray Roa walks you through the details on another busy concert week in Tampa Bay, including shows by Stephen Marley, the Dead Milkmen, Todd Rundgren, Tech N9ne, Freddie Gibbs, Manchester Orchestra, Cherub, Local Natives, Judie Collins, Arturo Sandoval, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Bob Schneider, the Sounds, BT, the Zombies, Noah Gunderson, the Bellamy Brothers and two big festivals: Tampa Bay Blues Fest, with Buddy Guy, Michael McDonald, Blind Boys of Alabama, Irma Thomas and James Hunter; and Bradenton's Rhythm and Rib Fest, with T-Pain, Musiq Soulchild, Tracy Lawrence, Lyfe Jennigns and Doug E. Fresh...

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Celebrating 50 years of 'It's a Small World (After All),' Disney's kiddie anthem from hell

Just reading the headline of this blog post should be enough: The song will now be lodged in your head all day long: chirping, looping, NEVER EVER STOPPING.

That’s the gift and the curse of Disney earworm It’s a Small World (After All), which on Thursday celebrates 50 years of driving a significant swath of our world absolutely bonkers.

To commemorate today’s milestone, Disney parks everywhere will host a global singalong. At 8:30 a.m., in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, cast members from Epcot’s countries will belt that sucker, one of the most performed and translated tunes of all time.

For more on the never-ending life of It's a Small World, click here for Sean Daly's story.

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Recap: Kevin Bacon visits USF, talks fundraising, acting, the Kevin Bacon Game and more

Nearly 900 people headed to USF's Marshall Student Center Tuesday night to hear Kevin Bacon speak about his philanthropic efforts, acting experiences and how he came to embrace the game named for him.

Though he's best known for his movie roles, including Animal House, A Few Good Men and Footloose, in the '90s he became known for the party game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, where players must connect any actor to Bacon within six steps.

"I was horrified by it," Bacon told the audience. "I had worked so hard to try to have a career that was taken seriously . . . here I was, all of a sudden, a party game."

Once Bacon realized the game was not going away, he decided to embrace it. He helped create sixdegrees.org, which connects local causes with celebrities.

"We are all connected," Bacon said. "The things we do effect people on the other side of the world and the other side of the block."

For more on Kevin Bacon's visit to Tampa, including a surprise drop-in on a fundraising training seminar, click here and here for Shelley Rossetter's reports.

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