Record Store Day 2014: Best parties, must-have releases and more

Melissa Lyttle

Conceived as a way to give indie record stores a little walking-around money in today's big, bad world, Record Store Day has become one of the best dates on the calendar for any fan of any style of music. Artists from Bruce Springsteen to Katy Perry to the Pixies are releasing exclusive RSD items this Saturday, and record stores all over Tampa Bay are getting in on the action with concerts, giveaways and more.

For a full Record Store Day preview -- including a few of Sean Daly's must-have items -- click here. For our guide to the best Record Store Day events around Tampa Bay, keep reading...

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Good Graeff: Twin sisters find indie-pop success around the world

Days removed from a monthlong tour, Brooke and Brittany Graeff of Good Graeff relax in -- where else? -- their tour van.

Luis Santana

Days removed from a monthlong tour, Brooke and Brittany Graeff of Good Graeff relax in -- where else? -- their tour van.

(Welcome to tbt*’s Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: The sisters of Sarasota indie-folk-pop outfit Good Graeff.)

To find success in their hometown, Brooke and Brittany Graeff had to go halfway around the world.

The twin sisters had played together in high school in Sarasota, nothing too serious, before parting ways after graduation. Brooke went to Canada to work in foley arts and video game sound design; Brittany traveled to Europe and India before settling in Vietnam. “I heard it was a good place to work,” she said.

The sisters reconnected in Hanoi, where a loyal fan base of American expats urged them to pick up their instruments, return to America and give their indie folk pop project a serious shot.

Since then, Good Graeff has hit the ground running in Sarasota, Florida and beyond. Through support from their friends in America and Asia, they’ve booked slots at huge festivals, toured the country and enlivened the region’s music scene with their unique, bright, energetic cello-driven sound. …

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Jamie Lynn Spears to play free postgame concert for Clearwater Threshers

It seems the Tampa Bay Rays don't have a monopoly on postgame concerts.

Aspiring country singer Jamie Lynn Spears -- perhaps better known as the star of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101 or, if you read the tabloids, the teen-mom sister of Britney Spears -- will perform a free concert this Friday (4/18) at Clearwater’s Bright House Field following the Clearwater Threshers and Lakeland Flying Tigers. Her discography isn't very extensive -- she's currently pushing debut single How Could I Want More -- so this is your chance to get in on the ground floor, Spears-wise.

Also worth noting, the first 1,000 fans on Friday will receive a free Jimmy Rollins bobblehead to commemorate his offseason induction into the Florida State League Hall of Fame. Then on Saturday, it’s Star Wars Night at Bright House Field, with a free postgame fireworks display. Both games start at 6:30 p.m. at the stadium, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Tickets are $5-$9.50. Click here for all the details on the games and Jamie Lynn Spears' postgame concert.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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'American Idol' Live tour coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Last week The Voice announced plans for a massive summer theater concert tour, featuring past and present singers from the show, and it'll hit Tampa's Straz Center on June 25.

Today it appears to be American Idol's turn.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota has announced that the American Idol Live 2014 tour will arrive there on July 17, featuring Season 13 finalists C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and, most relevantly to local viewers, Bradenton's own Sam Woolf, above.

According to the Van Wezel's announcement, American Idol Live is also coming to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on July 18. No other details are available about that show just yet, but we do know that tickets to the Sarasota show will be $55-$105 and go on sale to the public May 9. We'll keep you posted on any news involving the Clearwater show.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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3 Doors Down bringing acoustic tour to the Hard Rock Cafe in Tampa

Kryptonite rockers 3 Doors Down aren't everyone's cup of Mississippi mud pie, but they seem like nice enough fellows. When we chatted with singer Brad Arnold during the Republican National Convention a couple of years ago, he seemed like a pretty cool dude. And yes, bassist Todd Harrell recently picked up a DUI -- but he was suspended from the band because of it. Seems fair, right?

And musically, at least they're trying some new things. The band has announced plans for a summer acoustic tour which will find them unplugging on old hits and long-buried favorites. And their "Songs from the Basement" tour will hit Tampa's Hard Rock Cafe inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Sept. 5.

It sounds like 3 Doors Down have some tricks up their sleeve for this trek. including limited on-stage seating and some pretty deep cuts -- not just massive radio rock smashes like Here Without You, Loser and When I'm Gone.

Tickets to the show are general admission and start at $53. Click here to get them.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Paul McCartney coming to Jacksonville

Yeah, it's Jacksonville. But also, yeah, it's PAUL MCCARTNEY. If ever one man merited a 3-1/2 hour interstate road trip to another corner of Florida, it's him.

McCartney announced another round of dates for his seemingly endless "Out There" tour, including one June 22 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville -- his first Florida tour stop since a visit to Orlando's Amway Center last spring. He'll also be in Atlanta June 21 and Nashville June 25, if you want to make a week of it.

Why Jacksonville, you ask? Actually, McCartney has a pretty long history with the city. The only public concert the Beatles ever played in Florida was at the Gator Bowl in 1964. Then McCartney returned in 2005 as the halftime headliner of Super Bowl XXXIX.

McCartney's concerts these days are legendary affairs, featuring up to three hours of his best Beatles, Wings and solo classics along with new material. Even if you're not a Beatles superfan, you owe it to yourself to see at least one of these concerts at least once in your life. …

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The Real Clash: The freshest, funkiest faces in Tampa Bay hip hop

The Real Clash, photographed at Jannus Live.

Luis Santana

The Real Clash, photographed at Jannus Live.

(Welcome to tbt*’s Ultimate Local Music Guide! All week we’re spotlighting 10 of our favorite local artists of the past year. Today: Funky hip-hop collective the Real Clash.)

“Clash” is sort of a misnomer when considering St. Petersburg’s eight-member funk/hip hop ensemble The Real Clash. If anything, it’s a harmonious gathering of local music prodigies creating a groove-heavy yet still insightful listening experience.

Eight members sound cumbersome until you realize they’re a live band with two emcees and a vocalist who can jam about anything — even monkey dung.

“I’ll never forget that song,” said Travis “Big T” Young, 23, the band’s drummer, as he started to nod his head to an imagined beat and emcee Rashad “Shadcore” Harrell, 38, hummed the rhythm they’d improvised at a show where they’d taken suggestions for topics from the crowd.

“I don’t want it / I don’t need it / If it ain’t funky like monkey dung,” sang vocalist Eliana “Voxx” Blanchard, 22, the only lady in the group, as her bandmates joined in to reenact the jam. …

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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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