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Tropical Heatwave 2011: Cracker, the Whigs, Carolina Chocolate Drops lead lineup




Aside from noting the announcement of a headliner (Cracker), we here at SoundcheckCorp. have been relatively silent on the Tropical Heatwave front.

To be honest, this is because of the slightly annoying way this year's lineup has been revealed -- one band at a time, trickling through on WMNF's Facebook page. (The Vans Warped Tour is doing the same thing, for some reason.) We decided that those who were dying to know the lineup could just check out that page, and for the rest of the world, we'd wait until the lineup was mostly fleshed out, so we could bring you everything at once.

This week, organizers said that with 47 bands, "the lineup is just about complete." We're glad we waited, because now that we have a fuller list in hand, we can safely say this year's Heatwave, on May 14 in Ybor City, looks pretty amazing.

Just a few highlights worth noting:

-- Athens, Ga., rockers The Whigs, above, who opened for Kings of Leon and the Black Keys at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre last fall. "Imagine a punkier Oasis raised on a diet of Southern rock instead of the Beatles, and filling their sets with shimmying, stage-diving and scissor-kicking," we wrote then. They'll be headlining the Crowbar stage, and you know it'll be jam-packed.

-- The Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig just won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

-- Vaudevillian folk duo Two Man Gentlemen Band, one of our favorite acts from Tropical Heatwave 2010.

-- Rockabilly group Those Darlins, who recently opened for the Old 97's at Skipper's Smokehouse.

-- Wildly odd gypsy-jazz collective Caravan of Thieves, and Baltic Rockers HuDost, another 2010 band, whom we likened to "Arcade Fire covering U2's Zooropa."

And really, it just keeps going: Flat Earth Society, Two Cow Garage, Rocket 88, the Bright Light Social Hour, Peelander-Z, Hymn For Her, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and many more. And let's not gloss over what looks like a phenomenal lineup of locals: Have Gun Will Travel, Marksmen, Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets, Damon Fowler Group, Sons of Hippies, Talk to Mark, Swamp Logic, Stolen Idols and ... look, there are 47 bands so far. We can't list them all.

WMNF has been through a lot in recent years, but this really is one of the best Heatwave lineups they've put together in some time. Do what you can to get out there. Tickets are $30 advance, $40 at the door. Click here to get 'em.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 7:22pm]


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