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It's tbt*'s 2011 Ultimate Local Music Guide: The top 10 artists, plus concerts, contests and more




I remember helping create tbt*’s first-ever Ultimate Local Music Guide, back in 2007. Then-colleague Julie Garisto and I spent weeks combing through concert listings, wading through MySpace profiles and interviewing bands to come up with a list of nearly 100 artists that we thought best represented the Tampa Bay music scene.

How long ago was this? Well, the website that we built for that issue featured a music player shaped like an iPod — a chunky, white, old-school, click-wheel iPod. The kind you might now use to prop open a windowpane.

Five years later, you can flip through today’s issue of tbt* on your iPad. And for the past two years, we've had this very blog devoted to local music and concerts in Tampa Bay.

So for our fifth annual Ultimate Local Music Guide, we built a whole new website. Click here to check it out. Sample and download tracks by all 10 of this year’s ultimate local artists -- and coming soon on the site, find out more about a few contests and giveaways we’re offering local music fans.

Let's recap the top 10 bands for 2011:

10th Concession: For sibling songwriting duo Ian and Evan Koteles, life in a band keeps getting better.

Alexander and the Grapes: Alexander Charos and company are winning fans with lush folk and warm country ballads.

Cope: Tampa Bay’s most in-demand jam band reflects on their long, strange trip toward stardom.

Dynasty: Straight outta Queens, Tampa’s young Dreampusher is one of Florida’s hottest young MCs.

Friends of Giants: For this Pinellas quintet, crafting shimmering alt-rock anthems is all good, clean fun.

Jeremy Gloff: Eccentric, prolific and always outspoken, this pop singer-songwriter loves to keep critics guessing.

Lil Kee: With a big hit under his belt, rapper-producer Keith Norates keeps grinding toward a hip-hop empire.

Marksmen: Blending blazing indie rock with a spark of Southern soul, this combustible combo has success in their sights.

Mighty Mongo: Silly ska, rockin’ reggae and a whole lotta keytars: The recipe for Mighty Mongo’s unbeatable pop party.

Not Tonight Josephine: With monster chords and massive ambition, Hillsborough rockers aim to break big outside Florida.

To read about all 180 or so artists profiled in this year's Ultimate Local Music Guide, pick up a copy of tbt* this weekend. Click here to find a distribution point near you.

Finally, for the past four years, we’ve turned our Ultimate Local Music Guide into a live concert event, first at Crowbar, then at Skipper’s Smokehouse. This year we’re going a step further: We’re hosting two concerts.

Tbt* is partnering with the popular Rock the Park concert series, held the first Thursday of each month in downtown Tampa, for a pair of shows starring some of this year’s ultimate local artists. On May 5, look for Marksmen, Alexander and the Grapes and Dynasty to take the stage at Curtis Hixon Park. On June 2, look for Cope, 10th Concession, Friends of Giants and Jeremy Gloff. The shows are free starting at 6:30 p.m. both days, with food and beverages available for purchase.

Thanks to the many people who helped make this year's Ultimate Local Music Guide, including all of the photo/videographers who filmed profiles of our top 10 artists.

And, of course, thanks to this year's Ultimate Local Artists for making such cool music. Seriously, if you haven't checked them out, please do so -- they're producing some of the most interesting sounds in town, and they're seeing some national love because of it. Get to know 'em before they leave Tampa for good.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 6:56pm]


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