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Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz lead 95.7 The Beat's Birthday Bash at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

For some 15 years, Wild 94.1 has had a lock on Tampa Bay's best big-name hip-hop festivals, including Wild Splash in the spring and Last Damn Show in the fall.

But with no Last Damn Show 2013 lineup out yet, 95.7 The Beat is swooping in with a pretty impressive fest of its own.

Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz will headline the inaugural 95.7 The Beat Birthday Bash, celebrating 10 years of the station, on Oct. 11 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. Also on the bill: Rich Homie Quan, Sevyn Streeter, RaVaughn and Shanell. Tickets start at $25 and will go on sale Sept. 6. Click here and here for details.

Lamar is one of the most buzzed-about hip-hop acts since Drake, thanks to hit single Swimming Pools (Drank) and his acclaimed album good kid, m.A.A.d city; while 2 Chainz (Mercy, No Lie) and Rich Homie Quan (Type of Way) are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Plus, they're two of the few rappers Lamar didn't call out on his recent Control verse, so there shouldn't be too much backstage awkwardness. …

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This week in Tampa: Blake Shelton, Eddie Money, Beres Hammond, Riff Raff and more

One of country music's new kings comes to Tampa this weekend for the second time this year. Blake Shelton performed a sold-out show at the Florida Strawberry Festival in March, and if you didn't see him then, now's your chance. Other acts in Tampa Bay this week: Beres Hammond, Eddie Money, Travi$ Scott, Wintersun, Robby Krieger, Riff Raff, Rev. Run, Ying Yang Twins, Big Country, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Feed Me and more. Here to cover it all is Ray Roa...

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Artist of the day: Macrame Owls

Nicole C. Kibert / elawgrrl.com

Macramé Owls are a quintet of Tampa 30-somethings that delivers Up-tempo driving epics. Picture a modern Modern English, with electronically-affected decorative piano flourishes, and melodies that cry out for a sing-along.

The group is comprised of Brian Steele, vocals and keyboards; Andy King, keyboards and background vocals; Michael Raimondi, Bass; Jeff Langmaid, guitar; and Rich Lesniak, drums.

The group will perform with the Wholetones and MRENC at Rock the Park, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa. Click here for details.

Steele and King let us in on the motives behind the songs, band, recording process and more.

How did Macramé Owls come to be?

Steele: Basically, this started out as a project that Andy and I did about two and a half years ago. We were sitting at a bar, and we’re like, “We’re just gonna record an EP.” Over the next month we recorded all these demos on GarageBand and rented some studio time out in Lakeland at a place called the Vanguard Room, and we recorded an EP there. After we did that, (we) found some band members that we knew and formed a band. …

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Review: Bruno Mars mines decades of influence for fun, freaky show at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa

Bruno Mars didn't allow photos at his show on Wednesday in Tampa. This shot is from a while back.

Bruno Mars didn't allow photos at his show on Wednesday in Tampa. This shot is from a while back.

Bruno Mars doesn't need a ton of special effects to tizzy the modern masses. At a sold-out Tampa Bay Times Forum on Wednesday, the dude instead relied on sensible shoes, a rambunctious horn section and a sparkly stage wide enough to hold all of his time-travel instruments.

Although his 90-minute set for an all-ages, all-faces crowd of 14,172 was a bit slight, it was packed with an organic, holy-moly sexy energy. In case you didn't know, Mars sings about girls — all of them, on hits like Grenade, Just The Way You Are, Locked Out of Heaven, Treasure, Billionaire, Nothin' on You, Gorilla and more.

For Sean Daly's full Bruno Mars review, click here.


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SoundBytes: Joey Bada$$, Travie McCoy, Os Mutantes, Robert Randolph and more

-- A bunch of hot younger rappers are coming to Tampa Bay this fall. There's J.Cole on Sept. 13, Chief Keef on Sept. 23, French Montana on Oct. 26 and Drake on Nov. 6 ... and now you can add Joey Bada$$ to the mix. The acclaimed Brooklyn rapper will hit Jannus Live on Nov. 23 as part of the Smoker's Club Tour, featuring Ab-Soul, the Underachievers and Chevy Woods. Tickets are . Click here.

-- She has the No. 2 album in the country, Rebellious Soul, and now Love & Hip Hop's K. Michelle is coming to Sarasota. The singer will be at Club Throb on Friday. Click here for info.

-- Also performing south of the Skyway: Gucci Mane at the Hall in Palmetto on Sept. 13. Click here.

-- The great Brazilian psych-rock ensemble Os Mutantes will return to Skipper's Smokehouse on Nov. 16. Tickets are $20-$25.

-- Gym Class Hero Travie McCoy will perform at an unlikely venue, the EDM paradise Amphitheatre, on Sept. 19. Tickets are $20. Click here.

-- A more appropriate Amphitheatre headliner: Le Castle Vania, who will return there on Nov. 15. Ticket details are still to come. …

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Goodie Mob cancel Sept. 7 concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Bad news if you were hoping to see Cee-Lo Green in a tiny St. Pete club. His hip-hop group, Goodie Mob, has abruptly canceled its reunion tour, including their Sept. 7 concert at the State Theatre.

No reason was given for the cancellation, but Tony Rifugiato of St. Pete concert promoters No Clubs said refunds will be available at point of purchase. For details, call Daddy Kool Records at (727) 822-5665.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Ticket Window: Cheap Trick, Cristian Castro, Neil Sedaka, more

This week's Ticket Window leads off with a concert announcement: Cheap Trick is playing Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 4. It'll be a homecoming show of sorts, considering Robin Zander lives in Safety Harbor.

Other Tampa Bay concerts with tickets going on sale this week: Ill Nino (Oct. 6, State Theatre), Cheap Trick (Oct. 4, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Kill Devil Hill (Oct. 8, State Theatre), Mushroomhead (Oct. 18, State Theatre), Cristian Castro (Oct. 23, Mahaffey Theater), Papadosio (Dec. 12, State Theatre), Jon Oliva's Pain (Dec. 14, State Theatre), Neil Sedaka (Jan. 5, Ruth Eckerd Hall), Boney James (March 13, Capitol Theatre) and various shows at the Largo Cultural Center, including Colin Hay, Gary Wright, Ambrosia, Roger McGuinn, Victor Wooten and more.

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

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Barry Manilow coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa

If you're excited for the impressive slate of mom-rock coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum this fall -- Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Il Volo, Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Donny and Marie -- then you're gonna love this: Barry Manilow is coming back to Tampa in 2014.

The man who writes the songs that the whole world sings will perform at the Forum on Jan. 31, according to his website. Pre-sale tickets were scheduled to go on sale at 10 a.m. today, starting as low as $9.99 (no, that's not a misprint), but the link doesn't appear to be live just yet. Keep checking back here for updates.

As was the case with yesterday's Lady Antebellum announcement, there's no official word from the Forum on ticket prices and availability for the general public, but we expect an announcement in the coming weeks.

Until then, we have plenty of time to practice our karaoke versions of Mandy, Copacabana and Looks Like We Made It.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Lady Antebellum coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa

It's been something of a quiet year for Lady Antebellum, the Grammy-winning group that has grown to be one of the biggest acts in country music on the strength of hits like Need You Now and Just a Kiss. Of course, that'll happen when one of your singers, Hillary Scott, takes time off to have a baby.

But this fall, Lady A will roar back into action with their Take Me Downtown Tour. A new set of dates was just announced for the trek, and it includes Tampa. According to their website, Lady Antebellum will play the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Feb. 7, one of only two dates scheduled in Florida. There's no word on ticket prices, but according to their website, they'll go on sale Oct. 18.

Joining Lady A on this leg are Kip Moore and Kacey Musgraves, the acclaimed young singer who's gotten Grammy buzz for her single Merry Go 'Round. This probably means Moore and Musgraves won't be playing next year's Florida Strawberry Festival, considering this tour stretches through mid-March, but you never know.

We'll pass along ticket details when we have them.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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SoundBytes: Chief Keef, Vince Gill, Frank Caliendo and more

-- There’s big buzz about rapper Chief Keef, who was supposed to play the State Theatre in January before canceling at the last minute. Now he’s on his way back to Tampa Bay with a show at the Ritz Ybor on Sept. 23. Ticekts are $30 and up. Click here.

-- Another notable rapper, Yo Gotti, is coming to Jannus Live on Sept. 20 with YG and Ca$h Out. Click here.

-- Some stand-up comedy news from the Mahaffey Theater: Cedric the Entertainer has moved his show there from Oct. 5 to Nov. 8. Tickets are now scheduled to go on sale Tuesday. And impressionist Frank Caliendo will appear at the Mahaffey on Nov. 7. Tickets start at $39.50 and go on sale Sept. 6 at noon.

-- Meanwhile, fans of improv comedy will want to line up for this one: Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of Whose Line Is It Anyway? will perform live at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Pete on March 9. Tickets start at $29.50, and they’ll go on sale Sept. 6.

-- Masked metal outfit Mushroomhead are coming to the State Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18. Tickets are $16-$18. Click here. …

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Toni Braxton talks lupus, her comeback, duetting with divas and more

It’s been five years since a lupus diagnosis sidelined R&B singer Toni Braxton’s career.

“Lupus is like the worst flu you’ve ever had in you life,” the 45-year-old said in recent conference call with reporters. “It completely drains you.”

Just before the diagnosis, she was performing nightly at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino to crowds of adoring fans. She said doctors told her illness meant she may never be able to do that again.

So she left the stage behind to seek treatment and raise her two son, Denim and Diezel. Since then, she became a part of a hit reality series about her family of singing sisters, We TV’s Braxton Family Values; finalized her divorce from Mint Condition’s Keri Lewis; and began recording a new album of duets with songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

All that was left was a return to the stage.

Beginning in July, Braxton started her tour which lands at St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater on Wednesday. Click here for details on the show.

And click here for more of Robbyn Mitchell's chat with Toni Braxton.

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This week in Tampa: Bruno Mars, Backstreet Boys, Toni Braxton and more

Pop wins the week ahead in Tampa Bay, with some of the biggest pop stars of the past 20 years -- Bruno Mars, Backstreet Boys and Toni Braxton -- leading the way. But don't sleep on Chick Corea, Bela Fleck, Fitz and the Tantrums, Jars of Clay, Aaron Carter, Mickey Avalon, Chico Mann, Rich Homie Quan, MC Chris, Don Walrus, Jesse McCartney, DJ Pauly D, Adventure Club and more.

Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...Full Story

Danzig (with Doyle) coming to the Cuban Club in Tampa

Don't laugh, but when your humble Soundcheck editor went to Bonnaroo in 2012, one of the best sets he saw all weekend came from Danzig Legacy.

One of metal's foremost prima donnas, Glenn Danzig, played a super-sized, career-spanning set featuring material from his three bands, Danzig, Samhain and, most intriguingly, horror-punk icons the Misfits, featuring hulking guitarist Doyle.

Did Danzig pitch a fit at some photographers just offstage? Of course. Did he also bring the thunder like no man his age should? Absolutely, especially when the band launched into its Misfits material, with Doyle and Danzig marauding around the stage like madmen.

Danzig has said his "Danzig Legacy" days are behind him, which is a shame for Misfits fans, many of whom would kill to see any form of that group out on the road. But now it seems Danzig might be giving them a second chance.

Danzig is hitting the road in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Danzig's debut album. But he's bringing Doyle along for this tour, which means you're probably going to hear a few Misfits tunes when the tour comes to the Cuban Club in Ybor City on Oct. 9. …

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SoundBytes: French Montana, All-4-One, Cristian Castro, The Chariot and more

-- Rapper French Montana is coming to Jannus Live on Oct. 26. Tickets are $25-$40. Click here.

-- Mexican pop star Cristian Castro is coming to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Peersburg on Oct. 23. Click here for details.

-- I Swear balladeers All-4-One are returning to the Club at Treasure Island on Oct. 18. Tickets are $50. Click here.

-- Staind singer Aaron Lewis highlights the next wave of concerts at the Dallas Bull in Tampa. He'll perform there on Oct. 18; tickets are $15-$20. Other acts include David Nail (9/13), Chase Rice (9/21) and Tyler Farr (9/27). Click here.

-- The Chariot are breaking up, but not before they embark on a farewell tour, which will hit teh Orpheum on Nov. 15. Glass Cloud, Birds In Row, To The Wind and Rebuker are also on the bill. Tickets are $12-$14. Click here.

-- John Kay and Steppenwolf have been added to this year's Ribfest lineup, which already includes REO Speedwagon, Gin Blossoms, Sister Hazel, Josh Thompson, Randy Houser and Justin Moore. Tickets go on sale to the public on Sept. 1, starting at $16. Click here.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

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Ticket Window: Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno, 'Book of Mormon,' O.A.R., Cedric the Entertainer and more

Talk about a blockbuster week for Tampa Bay concert and event tickets going on sale. You have both the outgoing Tonight Show host (Jay Leno), the incoming Tonight Show host (Jimmy Fallon), the biggest Broadway musical in years (The Book of Mormon) and dozens of concerts and events at Clearwater’s renovated Capitol Theatre. …

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