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Mike Tyson talks acting, 'Mike Tyson Mysteries,' baring his soul on stage and more

Local fans waiting patiently for Monday's premiere of Adult Swim's new comedy-toon Mike Tyson Mysteries don't have to wait that long to get a dose of the man himself.

The former heavyweight boxing champ will bring his one-man show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Saturday night.

"Dynamic collections of stories that they know about but me giving them another perspective," Tyson said in a recent phone interview, describing his one-man stage show. "It has a whole life of its own. It's still on HBO, actually, and I saw it the night before last and thought, 'Wow. It's going to be exciting.'"

Tyson brings his one-man show to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at 6 p.m. Saturday (a second show at 9 p.m. is closed to the public). The show is sold out, but if nothing else, you can watch the premiere of Mike Tyson Mysteries at 10:30 p.m. Monday on Adult Swim.

For more of Robbyn Mitchell's interview with Mike Tyson, click here.

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Tampa band Set It Off's new album 'Duality' charts on Billboard 200

It's been a banner year for Tampa-connected acts making headlines around the country, from Merchandise to Set and Setting to Selwyn Birchwood.

But headlines are one thing; actual album sales are another. And anytime a local artist pegs an album on the Billboard 200 chart, it's cause for celebration.

Theatrical Tampa pop-punk act Set It Off made just such an impression this week, when their new Equal Vision Records album Duality landed at No. 86. It's quite a step up from their last album, 2012's Cinematics, which debuted at No. 174.

It's the fourth album with strong local ties to score a Billboard 200 chart debut since this summer. Former Tampa resident Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut landed at No. 46 in August. Death metal icons Cannibal Corpse scored their highest-ever chart debut (No. 32) with September's A Skeletal Domain. That same week, Broken Compass, the debut full-length from ex-Underoath project Sleepwave, landed at No. 194.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Before Benjamin Booker plays Tampa's Coral Skies Music Festival, catch him on 'Jools Holland'

It's been a whirlwind year for Benjamin Booker, who this time last year was simply one of the Tampa music scene's brightest stars. Since moving to New Orleans, he's signed with ATO Records, played Conan and Letterman, toured with Jack White, played festivals like the ACL Music Fest and Newport Folk Fest.

If you're somehow STILL unfamiliar with Booker -- whose self-titled debut album landed at No. 46 on Billboard's Top 200 -- you finally have a chance to fix that when he performs at Saturday's Coral Skies Music Fest in Tampa. Booker will take the stage at 1:15 p.m., prior to heavyweights like Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas and Bleachers.

For a preview of the show, check out tonight's episode of Later...With Jools Holland, which airs at 10 p.m. on Palladia. Playing the long-running British show is a mark of musical honor; Booker's fellow guests tonight include Manic Street Preachers, Jessie Ware, Robert Randolph and Ben Howard. Click here for details on the show.

And if that's still not enough, check out Jimmy Geurts' recent profile of Booker, in which he discusses the ways Tampa shaped his musical past and present.

Get the rest of the schedule and set times for the Coral Skies Music Festival after the jump.Full Story

Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor: Tips for survival, must-see bands and more

Gainesville’s annual punk festival known only as Fest had so much fun during a side trip to Ybor City last year, they’re coming back for round two.

Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor, next Wednesday and Thursday, will feature more than 70 local, national and international punk bands at stages including Crowbar, Orpheum, New World Brewery and Tequilas. Among the countless highlights: Bands performing unique Pre-Fest sets (such as Less Than Jake performing 1996’s Losing Streak in its entirety, or A Wilhelm Scream doing an all-Twitter request set); a stand-up comedy showcase at the Market on 7th; a performance by “live monster wrestling” ensemble Kaiju Big Battel at the Orpheum; and a free stage outside Tequilas with live sets by Franz Nicolay, PJ Bond, Matt Woods and others.

For Jimmy Geurts' full Pre-Fest preview -- along with a half-dozen must-see bands, including Screaming Females, above -- click here.Full Story

This week in Tampa: Coral Skies Music Festival, Skrillex, Brand New, Pre-Fest and more

It's another festival-filled week in Tampa Bay, as the Coral Skies Music Festival (with Cage the Elephant, Julian Casablancas and Bleachers) takes over the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre and Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor (with more than 70 bands including Less Than Jake and Screaming Females) returns to the clubs of Ybor City. And if that all sounds too loud, there's Folkfest St. Pete.

Other big shows on this week's calendar include Skrillex (above), Brand New, American Authors, Smash Mouth, Trina, Brendan James, Mike Doughty, Mary Lambert, Yellowcard and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...Full Story

SoundBytes: Corey Smith, Ryan Beatty, Yoni Wolf, Astronautalis and more

-- Indie-alternative rappers Yoni Wolf of Why? (above) and Astronautalis are coming to the Orpheum in Ybor City on Dec. 20. Tickets are $13-$15. Click here.

-- There are two big park concerts in Tampa you might want to put on your radar. Coming Nov. 8, is the Tampa Pig Jig, a barbecue contest and concert featuring Corey Smith, Edwin McCain, Hootie and the Blowfish's Mark Bryan and more in Curtis Hixon Park. General admission tickets start at $15. Click here. The following week is the River Rock Craft Beer and Music Festival, Nov. 15 at Tampa's new Water Works Park, with headliner Sister Hazel. Tickets start at $20. Click here.

-- The House of Blues in Orlando is getting into the year-end radio concert game with Mix 105.1's All I Want For Christmas Show, featuring Daughtry, O.A.R. and Ingrid Michaelson on Dec. 15. Tickets are $49.50. Click here.

-- Teenage pop singer Ryan Beatty is coming to the Local 662 in St. Pete on Nov. 16. Tickets are $20. Click here.

-- Jamgrass outfit Greensky Bluegrass is coming to the State Theatre on Jan. 20; tickets are $15. Two days later, alt-country outfit Shovels & Rope will be at the State; tickets are $20. Both shows go on sale Friday. Click here. …

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Ticket Window: Alan Jackson, Ben Howard, Shovels & Rope and more

We're already looking forward to one of our most anticipated concerts of early 2015: Ben Howard at Jannus Live. The acclaimed British singer-songwriter has a cult following thanks to his earthy and soulful voice and lyrics -- think Ed Sheeran meets Ben Gibbard meets Gomez -- and he doesn't tour often in these parts, so don't sleep out.

Other Tampa Bay concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week: S.P.O.R.E. (Nov. 28, Local 662), Crowbar (Dec. 1, State Theatre), Classic Albums Live: Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (Jan. 8, Capitol Theatre), Alan Jackson (Jan. 9, USF Sun Dome), Ben Howard (Jan. 20, Jannus Live), Shovels and Rope (Jan. 22, State Theatre), Greensky Bluegrass (Jan. 20, State Theatre) and Air Supply (May 16, Capitol Theatre).

Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.

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Bill Maher talks about the Florida governor's race, medical marijuana and more

Coming to a state like Florida must be irresistible for a political comic like Bill Maher. The state practically overflows with punchlines that write themselves -- and never more so than in an election year.

So when the Real Time host comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday, you can expect he'll have a lot to say about Rick Scott and Charlie Crist.

"I will definitely be getting into that when I'm there," he said in a recent phone interview. "First of all, it's a very important race for the country. Obviously we see the party that controls Florida can sometimes control the election, and sometimes the national election is controlled by Florida. So, it's more than a little important who wins.

Maher performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets are $50.75-$150. Click here for details.

For more of Steve Persall's interview with Bill Maher, click here.

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Michael Francis talks about leading the Florida Orchestra, moving from England to Tampa and more

Cherie Diez

This weekend, fans of the Florida Orchestra will get a sneak peek at their next leader, as incoming music director Michael Francis leads a program that includes Ives' Centarl Park in the Dark, Barber's Violin Concerto and Elgar's Symphony No. 1.

What can Orchestra aficionadoes expect? Well, Francis, 38, doesn't believe in dumbing down music, he said. He believes in giving context.

"The art of listening in some ways is naturally dwindling because we have other forms of entertainment," he said in an interview with the Times at Bay News 9 studios Monday. "People 100 years ago would have such an understanding of the intricacies of music. They knew if a composer was doing something, he was setting up an expectation. So if he went the other way, they would get the joke. … Now, we just think it's all very elegant."

For more details about this weekend's performances, click here. And for more of Stephanie Hayes' interview with Michael Francis, click here.

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Bombay Bicycle Club's Ed Nash talks about the Mercury Prize, traveling in America, painting on tour and more

Bombay Bicycle Club

Jamie Stoker

Bombay Bicycle Club

It’s safe to say Ed Nash has never had a gig like the one he booked on Sept. 19.

That was the day after the failed Scottish referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. By sheer coincidence, the Bombay Bicycle Club bassist had been booked for a DJ gig in Glasgow.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be here,” Nash said by phone, shortly after arriving at his hotel. “I imagine people will be celebrating wildly or drinking their sorrows away. It could be quite a night.”

Such is life as a member of Bombay Bicycle Club, an increasingly in-demand band for whom wild nights are swiftly becoming the norm. Case in point: On Oct. 29, four days after they perform at Tampa’s Coral Skies Music Festival, the London alt-pop group will find out if their latest album So Long, See You Tomorrow won Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize, an honor previously bestowed upon Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, James Blake and PJ Harvey. …

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Alan Jackson coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

If this weekend's Jason Aldean/Florida Georgia Line concert in Tampa left you with a bit of a bro-country hangover, here's a show that might serve as a remedy.

Country legend Alan Jackson has announced dates for a long-anticipated 25th anniversary tour, and they include a stop at the USF Sun Dome on Jan. 9. Tickets are $25 and up, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.

As if to reinforce the notion that the thoughtful Jackson is far from today's beer-swillin', spring-breakin' country scene, he's chosen as his openers on this tour Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandy Clark (whom we caught opening for Jennifer Nettles at Ruth Eckerd Hall back in February) and Jon Pardi, two of the country world's brightest young throwback artists. …

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Review: Funk Fest Tampa brings a sharp Jill Scott (but no Bobby Brown) to Raymond James Stadium

Jill Scott performs at Funk Fest Tampa 2014 at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 18, 2014.

Luis Santana

Jill Scott performs at Funk Fest Tampa 2014 at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 18, 2014.

“Those off you that have true love, I hope you make that good love tonight,” Jill Scott laughed as she wound up her 90-minute set at Funk Fest Tampa just outside Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.

“Think of me once – maybe twice,” the Philadelphia soul singer encouraged the crowd of more than 10,000 as she prepared to sing her big hit, He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat).

Saturday night’s set, the finale to a day full of performances, was heavy on selections from her debut album Words and Sounds Vol. 1. Jams like It’s Love, The Way and Getting’ in The Way got huge audience responses, inspiring sing-alongs and whoops.Full Story

Review / photos: Don't Stop St. Pete brings the 'Burg's music, collaborative spirit to Central Avenue

Set and Setting performs at the State Theatre as part of the Don't Stop St. Pete festival on Oct. 18, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Set and Setting performs at the State Theatre as part of the Don't Stop St. Pete festival on Oct. 18, 2014.

They don’t call it Don’t Stop St. Pete for nothing.

On a Saturday when the Florida Orchestra performed in Vinoy Park, a marine science festival took over USF St. Petersburg, a Day of the Dead party took over Grand Central and Macy Gray lit up Jannus Live, the center of Central Avenue was busy rocking out to nearly 50 bands at the second Don’t Stop St. Pete festival, an evolution of the ‘Burg’s bygone Antiwarpt Festival.

In its second year, Don’t Stop St. Pete chose evolved by devolving, cutting down on the number of venues and opting not to shut down Central. The effect was a looser, more laid-back fest – still loaded with top talent from Tampa Bay and beyond, but not as overwhelming. It was a show that worked in concert with the hip rhythms of a tireless city, rather than attempting total ‘Burg domination. And given the spirit of artist cooperation that permeates St. Pete these days, that’s a good thing.Full Story

Review / photos: Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line rock an explosive, sold-out MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Jason Aldean performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Oct. 17, 2014.

Photo by Luis Santana

Jason Aldean performs at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Oct. 17, 2014.

It's tough to say what's going on beneath Jason Aldean's low-brimmed Resistol. Is he happy? Is he angry? The shadows on his face don’t yield an easy answer – and Aldean’s not the type to let you get a closer look.

But the stocky, stoic superstar still wields a rare power over Nashville Nation. On a perfect Friday night in Tampa, Aldean’s sold-out concert with Florida Georgia Line filled the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre like few shows in recent memory – and with his new LP Old Boots, New Dirt landing this week as the No. 1 album in America, he was pumped to celebrate with an arsenal of pyro and an army of guitars.

Aldean decided to go full arena-rock on this tour, and he wasn’t kidding around. The stage was built around a giant A-shaped LED ramp that spewed geysers of fireworks and flame – in the case of buzzsaw blast Crazy Town, right in time with the music. The stage, and the intensity of what Aldean called “the most kickass band on the planet," fit the crunchy, grungy swagger of Hicktown, My Kinda Party and She’s Country like a cowhide Carhartt glove.Full Story

Beach Fossils drop out of Saturday's Don't Stop St. Pete festival due to illness

Some bummer news for anyone planning to hit up Saturday's Don't Stop St. Pete festival in downtown St. Pete: Brooklyn indie rockers Beach Fossils, who were slated to headline the main State Theatre stage, have dropped out at the last minute due to illness.

Festival organizers said on Facebook that the group is "devastated" and "looks forward to returning to Florida as soon as possible." Ex-Cult will now headline the main stage.

Considering we're less than 24 hours from the fest, organizers are out of time to find a replacement. The good news is, they're slashing day-of ticket prices from $20 to $15. So that's good, right?

You can get the complete schedule and set times for Don't Stop St. Pete here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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