Artist of the day: Robert Wegmann
Robert Wegmann is a name familiar to anyone who’s been part of the Tampa Bay art and music scene for the past 30 years.
An accomplished painter, Wegmann has displayed his work at galleries and exhibits around town for years. That’s him above, with a painting inspired by Lost In Translation, which was auctioned off in 2008 to benefit the Gasparilla Film Festival.
But many know Wegmann for his music. He’s been a member of New Wave and rock bands like the Triple XXX Girls and 360, and has released a handful of solo albums, too. He’s also recorded with and produced albums by other local artists.
His latest effort, Keeper of the Bees, comprises 14 songs of catcy, driving alt-leaning New Wave pop in the vein of his idols, XTC and The Beatles. Interestingly, the album combines his love of art and music in a unique way: In addition to designing the cover and packaging, Wegmann created a comic book that accompanies the disc.
“I was once a comic illustrator (for about a year),” he wrote in an e-mail. “Love the art form. I think it is better than film in some ways. This comic was created to give the disc a purpose, to give the listener more theater for the mind to add to their listening experience.”
He’s working on a new collection of songs for an iTunes release that’s designed to supplement Keeper of the Bees — “a kinda thing that didn’t make it to the disc but is still good enough to release,” he writes. “The 'dregs and droppings’ if you will.”
These days, he performs sporadically with his longtime musical cohort Tim Mullally as the acoustic rock act The Disappeared. If you missed them at the recent John Lennon 70th birthday tribute at Skipper’s Smokehouse, you’ve got another chance to see them cover a Beatle this weekend, as they perform George Harrison songs at WMNF’s tribute concert, “All Things Must Pass,” at the Largo Cultural Center. They'll perform Something, Here Comes The Sun, For You Blue and It's What You Value. Tickets are $19-$23; click here for details.
After that, The Disappeared will perform as XTC at WMNF’s annual New Year’s Eve show at Skipper’s Smokehouse.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Daniel Wallace, tbt*