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SoundBytes: Trampled By Turtles, Trina, Kaya Jones, Fozzy and more

-- Former Pussycat Doll Kaya Jones, above, will perform a DJ set at the Hard Rock Cafe for the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's "Monster's Ball" on Oct. 31. There will be a $1,000 costume contest and more sexy-scary Halloween delights. Click here for details.

-- You might want to go to the Kaya Jones show if you had tickets to see Baauer and Boys Noize at Orlando's House of Blues on Halloween night, because that show has been canceled. Click here.

-- Genre-pushing Minnesota jam-bluegrass collective Trampled By Turtles are finally making a long-awaited tour stop in St. Petersburg. Look for them performing on Dec. 12, with Nikki Lane opening. Tickets are $19. Click here and here.

-- Rich Homie Quan was just at Onyx Premium Night Club in St. Petersburg, and now the club has another high-profile show in the works: Trina on Oct. 26. Click here for a flyer, or call (727) 678-8632 for details. …

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John Waters talks about provoking the film world, hitchhiking, whether he's made his last movie and more

The guest of honor at this year's Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival? None other than director John Waters, who for half a century has made quirky, shocking and culture-defying films his bread and butter.

But has he actually made his last movie? It's been a decade since his last film, A Dirty Shame, and these days he's better known as an author or live performer. He'll bring his one-man spoken-word show to the Tampa Theatre on Saturday.

"You know what? I might have made my last movie," he said in a recent phone interview from San Francisco. "My last two books were best sellers; my movie wasn't."

For more with John Waters, click here for Steve Persall's interview. And for Steve's full preview of the 25th edition of TIGLFF, click here.Full Story

Review: David Gray (and his band) shine in euphoric show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

David Gray performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Sept. 29, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

David Gray performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Sept. 29, 2014.

Crossing the Atlantic with a seven-piece backing band to tour the far reaches of America -- when you're 46, no less, and your biggest hit is 15 years in the rearview -- "it makes no sense financially or otherwise," David Gray said in a recent interview. "But it's what we've done, and it's a glorious thing to be a part of."

It certainly was if you happened, on Monday, to be at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall, which the English singer and his band filled to and over the brim with robust, richly textured alt-pop music and evangelical energy. Twenty-two years into a career of ups and downs, it's possible Gray has never sounded so alive -- even though, as he admitted, his soulful pipes were a little on the fritz.

"I've got a bit of an Axl Rose vocal thing going on tonight," he smirked in a gritty rasp. No matter: The band was there to back him. And what a band it was, with seven members, most of them multi-instrumentalists, deepening and enriching the songs from Gray's latest LP, Mutineers, a crisp and lyrically optimistic collection that's been hailed as a rebirth for the Babylon bard.Full Story

Train, Matt Nathanson to headline Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

By all accounts, last year’s inaugural Mix 100.7 Acoustic Christmas was a success, bringing adult-alternative hitmakers like the Goo Goo Dolls, the Fray, Colbie Caillat and more to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.

There’s just one thing it wasn’t: Acoustic.

For the most part, each artist played a regular, plugged-in show -- a pretty amazing experience in such a relatively intimate setting, but still, it wasn't really in line with the name.

This year, Mix is bringing back the concert with an all-new name -- the Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show -- and two of its headliners were just announced on-air this morning: Hey Soul Sister hitmakers Train and singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson. The station plans to announce at least one more “secret” act to the bill in late October, but we wouldn't be shocked if they actually end up adding two. And one more time, just to clarify: This isn't an acoustic show. It's a full-on concert. …

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Photos: Zulu Wave rock through 'Jagorilla' at Attic Records in St. Petersburg

Zulu Wave celebrated the release of their new album Jagorilla at Attic Records in St. Petersburg on Sept. 27, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Zulu Wave celebrated the release of their new album Jagorilla at Attic Records in St. Petersburg on Sept. 27, 2014.

Zulu Wave -- one of Tampa Bay's best bands, and don't just take out word for it -- celebrated the release of their new LP Jagorilla Saturday night beneath the electric honeycomb of Attic Records in St. Petersburg. The ferocious outfit performed the entirety of the record in the arty, minimalist space, giving fans an up-close glimpse of the polymelodic sonic capital they've built up over the last few years of memorable live shows. As if that weren't enough, St. Pete's instantly recognizable (and not easily forgettable) Wolf-Face opened the show. Click the headline of this post for some photos.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Review: Despite rain, Reggae Rise Up Festival draws thousands to Raymond James Stadium for Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz and more

Rebelution performs at the Reggae Rise Up Festival at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sept. 27, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Rebelution performs at the Reggae Rise Up Festival at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sept. 27, 2014.

Say this for lovers of the new American reggae movement: They're definitely not fair-weather fans.

A week after the Chillin' Music Fest packed Curtis Hixon Park, a different crowd -- or maybe they were just the same tri-colored, Jah-loving, reggae-rocking masses, relocated five miles east -- hit the mud-soaked north lot of Raymond James Stadium for Tampa's inaugural Reggae Rise Up Festival. And while thunderstorms and lightning tempered organizers' hoped-for crowd of 6,000, forcing an hourlong rain delay and an evacuation into RayJay, the fact that thousands remained by the end spoke to the ever-growing muscle of the genre.

Or should we say genres? That's the thing about this American reggae-rock movement: We're well past Sublime territory at this point. Reggae Rise Up's lineup reflected this evolution, with bands ranging from enlightening headliners Rebelution to punk-influenced Maryland outfit Ballyhoo! to Cali rap crew Zion I. "Hip hop is a direct descendant of reggae culture," said Zion I's Baba Zumbi.

Like May's Sunset Music Festival, also held at RayJay, Reggae Rise Up suffered from a mouthful of Florida's unpredictably waterlogged weather. But as was the case back then, the moment officials announced a lightning-mandated evacuation of the festival grounds, fans filed calmly into the stadium without incident. And after a delay of about an hour, everyone, upon re-entry, was singing along as a DJ spun Bob Marley's Three Little Birds: Every little thing ... gonna be alright...Full Story

Wiz Khalifa coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

This isn't a great week to be Wiz Khalifa. The Grammy-nominated rapper just got hit with divorce papers from his wife Amber Rose (reportedly because she may have cheated on him, a rumor she has since vehemently denied).

Still, that's not stopping the Pittsburgh sensation from announcing new tour dates -- including one in Tampa.

Khalifa will return to the USF Sun Dome on Nov. 1, the venue announced Friday. He'll be joined by a slew of rappers and DJs both national and local: Curren$y, DJ Drama, Austin Lunden, BizzyCrook, Case Arnold, Caskey, Royce Rizzy, DJ Beni Boom, Famous Kid Brick, Cristol and DJ Black Haze. Tickets to the show are $32.75, $42.75 and 52.75, and they go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. Click here for details.

While this may not be the best week for Khalifa, it's a great one for hip hop fans on USF's campus. It was just announced that T.I. will headline a free campus concert as part of the school's homecoming festivities on Oct. 10. Click here for details on that one.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*


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Review / photos: Luke Bryan shakes, swivels and struts his stuff at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Luke Bryan performs at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 25, 2014.

Jay Cridlin

Luke Bryan performs at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Sept. 25, 2014.

Does Luke Bryan go home each night and study film of Magic Mike?

Seriously. For all the shade Bryan and his bro-country ilk take for singing about cutoff-clad honeys dancing on a tailgate, we must remember that no one in country music gets objectified -- and seems to enjoy it -- quite like Thomas Luther Bryan, Nashville’s hottest man-piece by a solid country mile.

Bryan spent most of his sold-out concert Thursday in Tampa -- the first of a two-night stand at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre -- wiggling and gyrating and swiveling his tightly denimed hips like Tom Jones on the Strip. All night long, fans couldn’t get enough. They could sell tickets to stand next to a dancing Luke Bryan for exactly one minute, and the line would be a thousand women long.

Tight jeans and a devilish grin can go a long way toward disguising one’s deficiencies, and Bryan does have them. His voice is a B-plus on a good day, and his singles – well, let’s just say they tend to stick to a theme. Around half the songs in Thursday’s set mentioned dancing girls, drinking beer, pickup trucks or -- the holy triumvirate -- dancing girls drinking beer in pickup trucks. It’s Nashville-by-numbers songwriting, and Bryan is the king of it.

But hey! Look at him shaking up there, wagging his kit at the pit! What a dreamboat!Full Story

This week in Tampa: Luke Bryan, Reggae Rise Up Festival, David Gray, Chicago and more

This week's biggest concert event is a two-night stand at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre by country king Luke Bryan. It kicks off tonight, and we'll have a review here on Soundcheck by the time you wake up tomorrow, if you're going to the Friday night show instead.

But there are plenty of other big shows in town this week, including the Reggae Rise Up Festival with Rebelution (above), Steel Pulse, Collie Buddz and more. And then there's David Gray, Chicago, Quiet Riot, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Luke Temple, Rich Homie Quan, The Pharcyde, KRS-One, Black Sheep, You Me At Six, a huge local tribute to Bruce Springsteen and more. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...Full Story

Bob Seger announces Tampa concert

Considering he's the lonesome voice behind the ultimate rocker-on-the-road anthem, Turn The Page, Bob Seger has been rather reluctant to tour in recent years. So anytime he announces a tour, it's newsworthy.

The real story, though? The blue-collar rock icon says he's coming to Tampa.

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band will come to Tampa on Feb. 5 as part of their 23-date Ride Out Tour, the singer announced Thursday. It would be his first concert anywhere near these parts since a headlining gig at the 2011 Orlando Calling festival.

Unfortunately, that's all we know at this point -- the venue and ticket details (including an on-sale date) are still listed as "TBA." Seger does appear to be playing arenas this fall, though, so Amalie Arena isn't a bad guess.

Then again, haven't we heard all this before? In 2011, Rolling Stone reported that Seger was plotting a fall tour that would bring him to Tampa, among other cities. That show never materialized. This one looks a bit more official, but we'll still believe it when we see it.

We will, of course, keep you posted on any developments.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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T.I. to headline free USF homecoming concert, Oct. 10 in Tampa

Another year, another big booking for the University of South Florida's annual homecoming concert.

Rapper T.I. will headline the free concert on Oct. 10 in the parking lot of the USF Sun Dome, student officials announced Thursday. DJ duo TWRK will open the show. It's the high point of a week of festivities that also includes a free-for-students comedy show by Jo Koy (Chelsea Lately) on Oct. 7. Well, unless you count USF's Oct. 11 game against East Carolina, but the way things have been going for the Bulls this season, you might be better off sticking with T.I.

USF's "Superbull" Homecoming week always features plenty of pep rallies, carnivals, a parade and various sporting events, though the concert is usually the most crowded affair. As a bonus, these shows tend to be free and open to the public, so this is a good chance to see the King of the South for absolutely nothin'.

Click here for the full schedule and agenda for USF Homecoming Week 2014.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*


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Diana Krall cancels tour, including Dec. 14 concert at Capitol Theatre, due to illness

It was poised to be one of December's most memorable jazz affairs: Smoky chanteuse Diana Krall, performing at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre.

Now the show has been canceled -- or at least postponed until 2015 -- as Krall's career is on hold following a struggle with pneumonia.

Krall announced Thursday that she is postponing her new album Wallflower and fall tour until spring 2015, which means her Capitol Theatre show is on ice. (Coincidentally, it's the second time in three years Krall has postponed a Clearwater show.)

"Performing is both a privilege and a joy for me," Krall said in a statement, according to Billboard. "When I go out on stage I want to be able to give it everything. Taking this time to rest and recuperate will allow me to do that."

The venue says a rescheduled date will be announced soon, but in the meantime, if you have questions about your ticket, call the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office at (727) 791-7400.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Photos: The Chainsmokers throw down a '#Selfie' party at Hogan's Beach in Tampa

The Chainsmokers performed at Hogan's Beach in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2014.

Photo by Luis Santana.

The Chainsmokers performed at Hogan's Beach in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2014.

New York City DJ duo the Chainsmokers returned to Tampa on Sunday for the first time since the Sunset Music Festival, blasting a heavily down-to-party crowd with bass, synths and pop hits, including their own obnoxiously inescapable club jam #Selfie. When the crowd wasn't busy taking pictures of themselves, tbt*'s own Luis Santana was happy to do the job for him. Click the headline of this post for a slideshow of photos from the Chainsmokers at Hogan's Beach in Tampa.

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Ticket Window: Jane Lynch, Melissa Etheridge, Gasparilla Music Festival, Sunshine Music and Blues Festival and more

Grace Potter.

Photo by Williams Hirakawa

Grace Potter.

A couple of big-time festivals lead this week's edition of Ticket Window. The first is the Sunshine Music and Blues Festival, which returns to St. Pete's Vinoy Park on Jan. 17 with its biggest lineup yet: Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dickey Betts, Grace Potter (above), Los Lobos, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Both (with Aimee Mann and Ted Leo) and more.

The other is the Gasparilla Music Festival, which has quickly become one of the region's shining musical events. Early-bird tickets go on sale via the festival's website next Wednesday, Oct. 1; two-day tickets are $40 ($115 VIP), and will be on sale until they run out.

Other Tampa Bay concerts and events with tickets going on sale this week: Melissa Etheridge (Nov. 22, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Sunshine Music and Blues Festival (Jan. 17, Vinoy Park), Galactic (Jan. 31, State Theatre), Merle Haggard (Jan. 27, Mahaffey Theater), Jonny Lang (Feb. 7, Palladium), Jim Breuer (March 7, Straz Center), Gasparilla Music Festival (March 7-8, Curtis Hixon Park), Bronx Wanderers (March 22, Capitol Theatre), Jane Lynch (March 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall) and Michael Bolton (April 8, Capitol Theatre).

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

Cassette Store Day comes to Tampa Bay; plus this year's essential releases

A selection of used cassettes that recently arrived in stock at the Pinellas Park Sound Exchange.

Jay Cridlin.

A selection of used cassettes that recently arrived in stock at the Pinellas Park Sound Exchange.

Ron Stoy stands behind the counter at the Sound Exchange in Pinellas Park, watching Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory unspool on a reel-to-reel tape. Before him are a stack of reel-to-reels, each one decades old. The Beatles. Carole King. Sly and the Family Stone. Sinatra.

“You’ve got to realize that every record, back in the day, was mastered for tape,” Stoy says. Indeed, as Up Around the Bend booms through the store, it’s hard to argue it doesn’t sound fantastic.

Music on tape may not be a technological game-changer — you’re not going to wake up and suddenly find Cosmo’s Factory sitting in your iCloud — but it still has a powerful appeal. Cassettes, one of the dominant music mediums of the ’80s and early ’90s, are a hot commodity among a growing subset of music fans, for reasons that go well beyond sound.

This Saturday marks the second annual Cassette Store Day, a spin on April’s increasingly popular Record Store Day, in which a growing number of independent artists — not to mention big names like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O and the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas — issue special releases that are exclusive to audiotape.

Don’t have a Walkman? Get one — that is, if you can find one. Erin Stoy, Ron’s daughter and marketing director, says the last Walkman the Sound Exchange received flew off the shelf at its Brandon store. “This kid came in, he was so excited and he bought it right away,” she says.Full Story