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Culture Club's Roy Hay talks about their vigorous reunion, the 'confusing entity' that is Boy George and more

There's probably never been a better time for a Culture Club revival. All over the top of the pop charts, you'll find examples of hit songs with vague Caribbean and tropical vibes — Justin Bieber's Sorry, Drake's One Dance, Rihanna's Work, Ellie Goulding's On My Mind.

Whether any of these artists were fans of Culture Club is beside the point — the point is the band was bringing sunny, equatorial influences to pop music decades ago, back when many of their peers weren't.

"We came out of the '80s, but I don't think we necessarily had an '80s sound," guitarist Roy Hay said in a recent phone interview. "We weren't necessarily synthesizer-dominated, or we didn't even necessarily have the same hairstyles as other bands. We kind of did our own thing. And the songs? If you put Do You Really Want to Hurt Me out today with a contemporary artist, I think they'd have a hit. And a lot of our songs are like that. I don't know if the same can be said for a lot of other '80s bands."

Culture Club performs July 6 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $69.50 and up. Click here for details.

For more of our interview with Roy Hay, click here.

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SoundBytes: Flux Pavilion, Torres, LANY, Chrome Sparks and more

Flux Pavilion

Flux Pavilion

-- British DJ and producer Flux Pavilion, of I Can't Stop fame, is coming to the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 9. Tickets are $20. Click here.

-- Singer-songwriter Torres, who released a killer album last year called Sprinter, will open for Tegan and Sara on Nov. 15 at the Ritz Ybor. Click here.

-- It's not exactly a Porcupine Tree show, but frontman Steven Wilson is coming to the State Theatre on Nov. 19, where he'll be joined by guitarist John Wesley, a Tampa Bay resident. Tickets are $31-$35. Click here.

-- LANY is coming to the State Theatre on Oct. 15. Tickets are $15-$18. Click here.

-- Chrome Sparks is coming to Crowbar on Oct. 8 with Roland Tings. Tickets are $12-$15. Click here.

-- Helstar is coming to the State Theatre on Aug. 6 with Avenging Benji, Teer and Arakara. Tickets are $15-$18. Click here.

-- Epica is coming to the State Theatre with Fleshgod Apocalypse, Arkona and the Agonist. Tickets are $25-$28. Click here. …

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Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman talks about the festival's growth, future and more

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, left, and 3OH!3's Nathaniel Motte appeared at the 2016 Vans Warped Tour's lineup announcement party on March 22, 2016 at Full Sail University in Winter Park.

Jay Cridlin

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman, left, and 3OH!3's Nathaniel Motte appeared at the 2016 Vans Warped Tour's lineup announcement party on March 22, 2016 at Full Sail University in Winter Park.

Like clockwork, the Vans Warped Tour returns to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on Friday with a lineup that includes pop-punk heroes like New Found Glory, Sum 41 and Reel Big Fish with Florida favorites like Yellowcard, We the Kings, Sleeping With Sirens, Less Than Jake and Set It Off.

For Warped founder Kevin Lyman, now in his 21st year helming the event, you have to wonder how much longer he wants to keep doing it -- or how it could possibly continue in his absence.

"I think it probably could pop around for maybe a couple of years," he said. "But 90 percent of the things we do with Warped Tour are not financially driven. I just don't know if anyone would put that time and effort into it."

Click here for details on the Warped Tour in St. Petersburg. And for more of our interview with Kevin Lyman, click here.

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Ribfest 2016 lineup: Huey Lewis and the News, the Doobie Brothers, Chris Young and more

Smell that? The Northeast Exchange Club is cooking up plans for Ribfest 2016 -- and the first few bands on the lineup have just been announced.

Huey Lewis and the News will headline Friday's opening night of Ribfest, Nov. 11-13 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Saturday brings a slate of classic Southern rock with the Doobie Brothers, Blackberry Smoke and Whiskey Myers. And Sunday's country day will be headlined by chart-topping star Chris Young. More acts will be added in the coming months.

Tickets won't actually go on sale for Ribfest unil Sept. 1 online and Oct. 5 at Circle K outlets. They'll cost $25-$30 on Friday and $28-$35 on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for all the details on Ribfest 2016.

-- Jay Cridlin

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St. Pete Pride's opening concert: Low turnout, but lots of spirit

Jennifer Real performed at St. Pete Pride's kickoff concert on June 24, 2016.

Luis Santana

Jennifer Real performed at St. Pete Pride's kickoff concert on June 24, 2016.

The St. Pete Pride kickoff concert with Deborah Cox on Friday night drew significantly fewer people than organizers expected.

The Pride festival comes two weeks after a gunman walked into the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people and wounded scores more in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

But many of those who did show were sure of their reasons why.

"I come out every Pride," said Pamela Lleva, 48, of St. Petersburg. "This year is more special, though, because we have to show we aren't afraid."

For more on St. Pete Pride's opening concert, click here for Megan Reeves' story.

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Amy Schumer coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Over the years, not many comics have been able to headline Amalie Arena -- only major acts like Kevin Hart and Dane Cook. It's a safe bet absolutely none of them have been women.

That'll change this fall with Amy Schumer.

The Emmy-winning, thought-provoking comic, writer and star of the Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer will headline Amalie Arena on Oct. 16. It's yet another barrier-breaking milestone for the most talked-about comic in the land, who just became the first solo female comic to sell out Madison Square Garden.

Tickets to the show are $35.25 and up, and they go on sale June 28. Click here for details.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Awolnation playing free concert at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Alt-rock outfit Awolnation just announced they'll be opening for the rap-rock supergroup Prophets of Rage on a tour that comes to Tampa on Oct. 1.

If you can't wait that long, how about a free concert to tide you over?

The Sail rockers is teaming up with local alt-rock station 97X for another free "Shindig" show at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on July 24. New Beat Fund will open the show.

The show is open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis, but you do need a ticket to get in. The station will be handing them out between now and the concert, with the first announced drop coming July 1.

Click here for all the details on the show.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Dr. Ralph Stanley, bluegrass pioneer from 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack, dies at 89

Dr. Ralph Stanley

Dr. Ralph Stanley

The roots of country music run deep in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.

There was the Carter Family from Maces Spring, A.P. and Sara and Maybelle and eventually young June, who would marry a strapping man in black named Johnny Cash. There was Ralph Peer and his famed 1927 “Bristol Sessions,” considered the Big Bang of country music, the first time the roots and gospel traditions of the mountains were laid to tape for the masses.

Farther up the road in McClure you had Ralph Stanley, the bluegrass pioneer whose crusty tenor could only have come from Depression-era coal and tobacco country.

Stanley died Thursday at age 89 after battling skin cancer, his grandson and musical collaborator Nathan Stanley confirmed to fans on Facebook.

“He was my world, and he was my everything,” Nathan wrote. “He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you. If he was singing and on stage, he was happy.” …

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This week in Tampa: Steely Dan, Dashboard Confessional, Rebelution and more

Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confessional

While there will be plenty of music happening in conjunction with St. Pete Pride -- including performances by Deborah Cox, Elliott Yamin and Blake Lewis -- there are also concerts everywhere else in Tampa Bay this week.

Here to walk you through them all -- including Steely Dan, Steve Winwood, Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Rebelution, Saosin, Nahko and Medicine for the People, B.o.B., Jesus Culture, Anthony Raneri, Adventure Club, Borgeous, Buckcherry, Adelitas Way, David Brighton, the Early November and more -- are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...

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Tampa Bay Rays add Kidz Bop Kids to postgame concert series lineup

Thus far in 2016, the Tampa Bay Rays have dialed their annual postgame concert series way back from years past. But they've just added one more show that should make your kids pretty happy.

The Kidz Bop Kids, the live embodiment of the squeaky-clean Kidz Bop album series, are returning to the Trop for a postgame concert on Aug. 21, following the Rays and Texas Rangers. It'll be the fourth Rays concert this year following a June 18 gig with the Fray and upcoming shows by Bret Michaels (July 16) and Hunter Hayes (July 30).

All concerts are free with admission, though you can buy wristbands to watch the concert from the field. Click here for details.

And in case you missed it, check out Sharon Kennedy Wynne's recent interview with Kidz Bop star Matt Martinez.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Review: Orlando's 'Country Strong' benefit concert brings country stars, raw emotions to CFE Arena

Tears welling in his eyes, Canaan Smith thanked Orlando's sold-out CFE Arena for singing with him Tuesday night in what "probably will be the most memorable show of my life."

"I feel at home in this city," Smith, whose family lives in Orlando, told the crowd of more than 7,000. "We're all Orlando Strong, and love conquers all."

That was the idea of Country Strong, a benefit concert for the OneOrlando Fund, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars victims of the June 12 Pulse nightclub shooting and their families.

Organized by Orlando country station K92.3-FM, this was the first star-stuffed benefit since the shooting (though more are coming, starting with a show by Imagine Dragons and Nate Ruess at Hard Rock Live on Wednesday). It sold out in just 34 hours, thanks in no small part to the talent on stage -- nine big Nashville names, including Cole Swindell, Billy Currington and Tyler Farr, assembled with the haste and efficiency you'd expect from an ACM Award-winning country station.

"This is truly freakin' awesome and amazing right here," Farr said. "And this is what separates country music from any other genre in the whole damn world."Full Story

SoundBytes: Elle King, Awolnation, Twin Peaks and more

-- Grammy-nominated Ex's and Oh's singer Elle King is coming to Jannus Live on Nov. 12. She should pack the joint, considering she sold out the State Theatre in April. Tickets are $24. Click here.

-- Awolnation will open the upcoming fall tour by the Prophets of Rage, an agit-rock supergroup that includes members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real. The tour stops at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Oct. 1. Click here.

-- Twin Peaks are coming to Crowbar on Sept. 14 alongside White Reaper. Tickets are $12-$15. Click here.

-- Dance-rock duo Hank and Cupcakes are returning to Crowbar in Tampa on Aug. 26. Click here.

-- Green Jelly are headlining a "Halloween Puppet Show Extravaganza" on Oct. 29 at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg with Last Caress, Mosquito Teeth and Switchblade Villain. Tickets are $8-$10. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin

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Ticketmaster offering free tickets to Tampa concerts as part of lawsuit settlement

Times files (2013)

Did you buy tickets through Ticketmaster.com between 1999 and 2013? Congratulations: You could become the proud owner of some free concert tickets.

As part of a 2015 settlement in the class-action lawsuit Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster, in which the ticket retailer was alleged to have tacked on "deceptive and misleading" purchase fees, anyone who purchased tickets through the company's website is eligible for discounts and vouchers for hundreds of events around the country.

On Tuesday, Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation unveiled the initial roster of 450 concerts eligible for voucher claims, including 16 at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. By midday Tuesday, several of these shows had already sold out of their allotment of voucher-eligible tickets:

June 25: Taste of Chaos Tour with Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday

June 30: Steely Dan and Steve Winwood

July 2: Slipknot and Marilyn Manson

July 3: Sublime With Rome

July 16: Dierks Bentley

July 17: G-Eazy and Logic

July 21: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa

July 23: Counting Crows and Rob Thomas

July 26: Gwen Stefani

Aug. 11: Outcry Tour

Aug. 12: Brad Paisley

Aug. 15: Def Leppard

Aug. 27: Brantley Gilbert …

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SoundBytes: Super Freestyle Explosion, Pennywise, A-Trak, Wolfgang Gartner and more

-- The Super Freestyle Explosion is coming back to Tampa with another gigantic lineup of hit pop artists from the '80s. Among them: Stevie B (above, Because I Love You (The Postman Song)), Lisa Lisa (Head To Toe), Expose (Point of No Return), Shannon (Let the Music Play), Sweet Sensation's Betty Dee (Hooked On You), Noel (Silent Morning), Trinere (All Night), Connie (Funky Little Beat), the Jets (You Got It All) and Stacey Q (Two of Hearts). Tickets are $34.50 and up. Click here.

-- Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor is returning to Ybor City on Oct. 26-27, with bands like Propagandhi and Less Than Jake on the bill. And now a big, unrelated punk show is happening at the Ritz Ybor on the second night of the event: Pennywise with Strung Out, Unwritten Law and Runaway Kids on Oct. 27. Tickets are $21.50 and up. Click here.

-- Wolfgang Gartner will headline half of Shephard's Beach Resort's Fourth of July Weekend festivities in Clearwater Beach. After Vanilla Ice rocks the mic like a vandal on July 2, DJs Gartner, Cheat Codes, Joe Maz and more will perform on July 3. Click here. …

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2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup: Daryl Hall, Kool and the Gang, the Lone Bellow and more

Daryl Hall will headline Saturday night at the 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

Daryl Hall will headline Saturday night at the 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

Expect funk, soul, Americana and collaborations galore when the 37th Clearwater Jazz Holiday hits Coachman Park this Oct. 13.

Organizers announced the festival’s initial 2016 lineup Monday, and it includes a host of acts on each day that they hope might share a stage: Kool and the Gang and the Commodores on Thursday, Oct. 13; Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Friday; Daryl Hall and the Mavericks on Saturday; and the Lone Bellow and Houndmouth on Sunday.

A Sunday night headliner has yet to be unveiled, but a festival spokesman said an announcement could come any day.

“From year to year, we aim to really program a lineup that appeals to a very broad, diverse audience, and we believe this year’s lineup is another fantastic lineup,” said Clearwater Jazz Holiday CEO Steve Weinberger.

Tickets to the 2016 Jazz Holiday went on pre-sale Monday and will go on sale to the general public at noon Thursday. Tickets are $16 per day, $45 for reserved seating and $170 for VIP. Four-day packages start at $52. …

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