Chris Trew, at right, founded the Air Sex World Championships and tours the country as emcee.
Quick: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in public?
If your answer isn’t “Pretend to make love to an imaginary person,” now is your chance to add something special to your list of things you will never tell your future children.
The Air Sex World Championships, hosted by comedian Chris Trew, rolls into the Local 662 in St. Petersburg on June 6 (click here for details), offering a stage for all comers who like to display their sexy-time techniques.
Trew talked to tbt* about how Air Sex came to be and his bid to get it into the Olympics.
When did you first hear about Air Sex?
We started the show in 2007 as one time parody of Air Guitar — a one time joke — and it went really well . So we kept doing it and then in 2009 we thought we should take this beyond Austin (Texas) and went on our first nationwide tour. We is just me and the show. I’m pretty much a one man crew. I book the shows and host the shows. I’m the tour manager. It’s a minimal tour. There are no props.
How did your friends and family react to your involvement with the show? …Full Story
Everclear performs at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on May 30, 2013.
It’s been said that the ’90s were the last great time to be in a rock band. Before Napster, iTunes and Spotify, modern rock albums regularly topped the charts and sold millions of copies, even those that had only one or two good songs. All it took was one smash radio single and you were in big, big business.
It’s kind of surprising, then, how few rock bands from that era made it to 2013 intact. Think about it — how many big '90s groups have kept their classic lineup together without breaking up or going on hiatus? Radiohead ... Pearl Jam ... Goo Goo Dolls ... it’'s a much shorter list than you'd think.
So Art Alexakis might be onto something with his Summerland Tour. His band, Everclear, certainly enjoyed its moment in the mid-’90s spotlight, as did tour cohorts Live, Filter and Sponge (all bands that obviously formed before the advent of search engine optimization).
Should it matter that none of those bands have the same lineup they did 15 years ago? Should it matter that Everclear, Filter and Sponge are, in fact, down only to their original lead singers, and Live doesn’t even have that?
It clearly didn’t matter to the 1,483 fans who came to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Thursday. They were there to relive some of the ’90s’ biggest rock hits, and by and large, that’s what they got — four hours and more than two dozen memorable alt-rock songs packed into a tight and breezy three hours.Full Story
Friday's concert at the Orpheum will be the only full-band show on Andrew W.K.'s otherwise solo tour. The singer said that's because his backing band, which formed 13 years ago, mostly lives in Tampa Bay.
Among those who played in that initial group was Donald Tardy, drummer of Tampa death metal act Obituary. Tardy agreed to play in his band and on his breakthrough 2002 album I Get Wet. But beyond that, W.K. said he helped build his entire touring group, from the other members to the sound man.
"I'm more indebted to him for more reasons than most other people in my life," he said. "He changed everything and made it possible for me to probably even be talking to you about anything."
Andrew W.K. performs Friday at the Orpheum; tickets are $20. Click here for details.
For more with Andrew W.K., click here for Jimmy Geurts' interview.Full Story
We're still winding down from a wild Memorial Day weekend of music in Tampa Bay, but we're about to head into a busy summer concert season. Among the acts in town this week: Indigo Girls (above), LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Peter Frampton, Taj Mahal, Andrew W.K., Flux Pavilion, ZZ Ward, Cody Simpson, Face to Face, The Fixx, Robert Cray, Clinton Sparks and more. Here to walk you through it all is Suburban Apologist's Ray Roa... …Full Story
It's still May, but we're already looking ahead to November, when Canadian crooner Michael Buble returns to the Tampa Bay Times Forum. He tops this week's Ticket Window, but other events with tickets on sale this week include the Brew-Ha-Ha with Ralphie May (July 4, Mahaffey Theater), Straight Line Stitch (Aug. 18, State Theatre), Toni Braxton (Aug. 28, Mahaffey Theater), Billy Cobham (Sept. 20, Palladium), Gary Wright (Oct. 4, Largo Cultural Center) and Michael Buble (Nov. 1, Tampa Bay Times Forum).
Click here for this week's edition of Ticket Window.Full Story
Melissa Ferrick — musician, songwriter, singer and, now, college professor — will perform the first concert to be included in New Port Richey Library's Reel Pride LGBT Film Series, which kicks off this weekend.
The 42-year-old singer, who has released 16 albums and toured with Morrissey, said in an email interview that she doesn't feel the need to be outspoken about her sexuality, but she says it's important to be honest about who she is and who she loves.
"It doesn't ever feel like an act of 'work' to me, it just feels natural," she said. "I have been publicly 'out' for a long time — with my family and friends since I was 16 — so my sexual orientation is not something I think about at all on a daily basis. ... I do think being out is helpful to young queers, to lay some ground for them to feel like they are not walking alone."
Ferrick performs June 8 at the library, 5939 Main St., New Port Richey. For info, call (727) 853-1279.
For more of Samantha Fuchs' interview with Melissa Ferrick, click here.Full Story
Last fall, local concert promoter Tom Nestor announced a plan to purchase downtown St. Petersburg’s historic YMCA building for $1.4 million and turn it into a concert venue, museum, event facility, arts education center and more.
Those renovations are a long way off — Nestor is still raising money to close on the property at 116 Fifth St. S — but they should get a boost on Saturday thanks to A Slice of the ’Burg, a new arts, food and music festival headlined by funk legends George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic.
The event is free (though donations will be accepted), but tickets are required to get in. Ticket drop locations will be announced this week, or you can purchase tickets at prices ranging from $5 to $125 at Ticketfly.com. A limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets will be available at the gate. …Full Story
Chances are, the only name you remember from Bill Haley and His Comets is Bill Haley.
That is natural, but incomplete. Haley formed the group and pioneered a sound that took bits of jazz and rhythm and blues that was daring for its time.
He also taught an 18-year-old Marshall Lytle, who played the guitar, how to play the bass fiddle. Mr. Lytle would drive the percussive "slap beat" of a $275 late-1940s model B5 Epiphone into rock 'n' roll history. He anchored hits including Rock Around the Clock; Shake, Rattle and Roll; Crazy, Man, Crazy; and See You Later, Alligator while taking chances onstage.
Mr. Lytle, who won gold records for his work but not riches, died Saturday at his home in New Port Richey, of lung cancer. He was 79.
For more on Marshall Lytle, click here for Andrew Meacham's story.Full Story
At this point, Stone Temple Pilots are looking like a band that'll never reunite.
The glam-grunge group and singer Scott Weiland had a long and tortured history well before 2013, with two decades of breakups, rehab stints, side projects and other public controversies (to say nothing of the critical drubbing they often took in the press). But this year, things have completely fallen apart at the seams.
In February, Weiland was fired from STP after his bandmates decided his chronically erratic behavior was dragging them down. They tried to move on, recruting Linkin Park's Chester Bennington for a one-off live performance and new single, Out of Time. And just last week, the group sued Weiland over, among other things, the rights to using the band's name and catalog.
Weiland, as you'd expect, isn't having any of it. "I don't give a f--- what they call themselves," he wrote on his website, "but it's not Stone Temple Pilots."
So you can see how things might be tense. …Full Story
Dean Felber, the bassist of Hootie and the Blowfish, is a co-owner of Blowfish Bar and Grill in Seminole, near Tyrone Square Mall.
A couple of weeks ago, we got word that country star Darius Rucker was playing a secret show at a brand new bar and grill in Pinellas County, as a favor to a friend.
That friend, as it turns out, is Dean Felber, the bassist in Rucker's former band Hootie and the Blowfish, who happens to own the appropriately named Blowfish Bar and Grill in Seminole, not far from Tyrone Square Mall in St. Pete.
It's a vaguely '90s-themed music venue and restaurant featuring cocktails with names like Better Man, Wonderwall, Come As You Are and Self Esteem, while the food is barroom fare with a distinctly Southern flavor.
"The first thing that struck me about dining out here is the lack of Southern food on menus," Felber said in an interview. "I always thought of Florida as a Southern state. So we're doing shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes at lunch, and a couple of places in Charleston do these homemade chips with a blue cheese drizzle with some scallions and we're doing those."
Tbt* restaurant critic Laura Reiley writes that the food isn't spectacular, but it's not that bad, either (hey, kind of like Hootie and the Blowfish themselves!): …Full Story
Little Steven Van Zandt, center, was the man who convinced the Rascals to put aside decades of in-fighting and reunite for a concert and stage show, "Once Upon A Dream."
The Rascals' Once Upon a Dream tour isn't just a rock and roll reunion concert; it's the resurrection of a legacy long considered dead and buried.
For five rollicking years in the late 1960s the Rascals, were America's most prolific, successful rock band. Seven albums yielded nine certified Billboard hits, with Good Lovin', Groovin' and People Got to Be Free reaching No. 1 and defining the decade.
And then they were gone. For four decades, the Rascals were no more.
"There's really no explanation for what transpired in those years," said Felix Cavaliere, 70, whose Hammond B3 organ was integral to the Rascals sound. "Sometimes when people get involved in legal issues, you'd like to think that in the majority of times there's a really good reason … but this was just total nonsense."
Still, the band's legacy was already secure. Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven Van Zandt were among their many acolytes, and Van Zandt was the man who finally convinced them to get back together after 40 years. …Full Story
-- The June 12 show by The Neighbourhood, above, and The 1975 has been moved from the Local 662 to the State Theater -- a sign that this could be a hot alt-rock affair. Click here.
-- Ralphie May has a long history with the Tampa Bay area in general and Cowhead in particular, so it should come as no surprise that he'll headline 102.5 The Bone's The Cowhead Show's 4th of July Brew-Ha-Ha on (you guessed it) July 4 at the Mahaffey Theater. There'll be a 6 p.m. barbecue, a 7:30 p.m. comedy show, fireworks and an outdoor concert with Cowhead's band, Pitbull Toddler. TIckets are $20. Click here.
-- Acclaimed jazz drummer Billy Cobham will perform at the Palladium on Sept. 20. Tickets are $30-$50, and they'll go onsale Friday at noon. Click here.
-- Good news/bad news time for Orlando-area R&B fans: The-Dream and Kelly Rowland have canceled most of the dates on their planned upcoming tour, including a June 6 date at the House of Blues, due to Rowland's new gig as a judge on The X Factor. But on the plus side, '90s R&B throwbacks Dru Hill, K-CI & JoJo and Silk will perform at Orlando's Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on June 22. Tickets are $45-$55. Click here. …Full Story
Jason Derulo performs at Shephard's Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach on May 26, 2013.
A day after the Sunset Music Festival drew a huge mass of EDM fans to Tampa, pop station 93.3-FLZ brought a few pop powerhouses to Shephard's Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach, including Katy Tiz, Nikki Williams, DJ Skribble and headliner Jason Derulo, who brought with him girlfriend Jordin Sparks.
Derulo spent the night showcasing his dynamic dancefloor moves during hits like Whatcha Say and It Girl. Tbt* photographer Luis Santana said Derulo and Sparks spent a while backstage talking with fans and VIPs, but "once on the stage he was all business, performing his hits and dancing until the sweat pouring from his body forced him to tear his shirt off and throw it into the crowd of screaming ladies," Luis says. "I was an unintentional victim of a drop of Jason Derulo sweat that was flung onto my forehead during one of his spin moves on stage. Job hazards of concert photography!" …Full Story
About 22,000 party people turned out for the second annual Sunset Music Festival, May 25 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
On Saturday at Raymond James Stadium, Neverland came to life.
There in the stadium’s north parking lot, untold thousands of heedless Lost Boys and Girls escaped parental supervision for the day and -- wearing outfits ranging from skimpy Spring Breakers bikinis to otherworldly fever-dream mutations of neon, spandex, feathers and fur -- danced like pirates and fairies in the shadow of a land-locked ship.
Organizers said an estimated 22,000 electronic music fans attended the second annual Sunset Music Festival, making it one of the biggest concert events Tampa will see all year -- and certainly the most colorful and unabashed -- and indisputably the biggest rave in the city’s history.
New music festivals seem to pop up every few months in Tampa Bay, but none do a better job than Sunset of capturing (for better and worse) the surreal spectacle and anything-goes hedonism of, say, Coachella or Bonnaroo. To call it merely a concert misses the point entirely -- it is the only day of the year when Ybor City’s club kids can come out in the daylight, to peacock proudly in various degrees of undress, mindlessly dancing with finger guns blazing in the sky. …Full Story