This week in Tampa: John Sebastian, Emily Hearn, the Appleseed Collective and more
We must be stuck in a New Year's hangover, because the Tampa Bay live music scene is pretty quiet this week. But there are some good shows around if you know where to look, including the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian, Emily Hearn, the Appleseed Collective, Nelson, Saliva, Nile, Rob Ickes, Dirt Nasty, Marco Benevento and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...
SUNDAY 2 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $24.50 and up. (727) 587-6793. largoarts.com.
The name John Sebastian may not ring many bells to music fans in 2016, but his songs sure do. From his hits with the Lovin’ Spoonful (Do You Believe In Magic?, Summer In the City) to his solo hit Welcome Back (the theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter), Sebastian’s catalog is large and beloved enough that he and the Lovin’ Spoonful were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The Woodstock veteran brings five decades of rock, folk and roots music to the Largo Cultural Center Sunday.
MONDAY 7:30 p.m. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
Kicking off 2016 in the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts’ Club Jaeb concert series is Georgia singer-songwriter Emily Hearn, whose bright 'n’ shiny pop songcraft will leave you smiling at the end of the night. Her 2015 album Hourglass is full of songs both peppy (Can’t Help Myself, Save Me) and wrenching (Please, Don’t Take My Love; Worth Fighting For), all steeped in enough of a rootsy sensibility to feel right at home in Club Jaeb’s Americana-leaning lineup.
Ricky Nelson Remembered with Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
THROUGH SATURDAY 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Busch Gardens, Tampa. Free with park admission. buschgardens.com.
Busch Gardens won’t bring out its biggest musical game until March, when its second Food and Wine Festival hits Gwazi Park. Last year’s headliners included Kenny Rogers, Pentatonix, Fifth Harmony and Aloe Blacc. In the meantime, you can hop into the wayback machine for the park’s long-running Real Music Series, featuring pop, doo-wop, soul and rock from a bygone era. Concerts are 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. several days a week in the Stanleyville Theatre. This year, for the first time, those shows take place on Saturday, too. It kicked off this week with “Ricky Nelson Remembered,” a show by twin rockers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson honoring their late father with hits like Poor Little Fool and Travelin’ Man. All shows are free with park attendance. Upcoming acts include Jay and the Americans (Monday through Jan. 16), Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone (Jan. 18-23), the Drifters (Jan. 25-30), Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals (Feb. 1-6), the Diamonds (Feb. 8-13), Strawberry Fields (Feb. 8-13), Glenn Miller Orchestra (Feb. 22-27) and Chubby Checker (Feb. 29-March 5).
Toy Piano Festival
FRIDAY-SUNDAY Various times, venues. Admission ranges from free to $10. For a full schedule and ticket info, see TheNewMusicConflagration.org.
Toy pianos can be charming or connivingly twee, childlike or avant garde, innocent or nightmarishly creepy. They’ve been used by everyone from Radiohead and the Beach Boys to experimental composers John Cage and Steve Reich. To celebrate the toy piano’s diversity, the nonprofit New Music Conflagration is hosting the first-ever Florida International Toy Piano Festival, with nearly a dozen concerts and lectures across Tampa Bay this weekend. Highlights include a concert by electronic piano duo Toyeurism (8 p.m. Friday at the Space at 2106 Main (2106 West Main St., Tampa); “Deconstructed Disney,” a performance of experimental Disney interpretations by Toyeurism and Jamison Williams (8 p.m. Saturday at the Space at 2106 Main); a recital by multi-instrumentalist and half of Toyeurism Robert Fleitz (2 p.m. Sunday, St. Petersburg Main Library, 3745 Ninth Ave. N); and a festival-closing multimedia collaboration between performers and visual artists (8 p.m. Sunday, MF Arts Ybor, 1616 E Second Ave., Ybor City). Some events are free; some require a ticket or donation of $10 or less.
With Midriffs, Deadborns
FRIDAY 10 p.m. The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 202-8931.
It’s apropos that the Bends — a tiny downtown St. Pete luxe hole in the wall known for a devotion to their patrons’ debauched night moves — would kick off their 2016 live music campaign with bands like Black Beach and Midriffs, both from Boston. It’s exactly where the bar left off last year, and Black Beach’s ridiculously dark garage rock (Rats from 2014’s Play Loud, Die Vol. I) is rightfully met with equal fervor by Midriffs cuts like Death Beach in which surf-noir meets punk in some random, syringe-y back alley. Deadborns, a new band supported by new local blog/label Blind Not Deaf open this free show.
With Curtis Cooper, the Other Ryan Willis, Poultry
SUNDAY 7 p.m. The Venture Compound, 2621 Fairfield Ave. S, St. Petersburg $7. (901) 619-1519.
St. Petersburg carries its reputation as a safe place for all the arts into the new year on Sunday at this alternative arts warehouse that’s kind of like the cool, I-haven’t-given-in-to-the-man-yet kid in this seedy/not-seedy part of town. Abi Reimold is blowing in from Philly for this show, and the lady is a beast who can make you rethink your life with A-plus, headbanging indie-rock (Morning) or turn up the choir on a song like hematidrosis before flipping all of it on its ass with a cover of Elliott Smith’s Everything Means Nothing to Me. There’s a very good reason Reimold has shared stages with Jessica Lea Mayfield and Saintseneca, but you’ll have to venture over to one of the ’Burg’s most important, less-celebrated spots to find out why.
The Real Clash LP Release
With Flat Land, Rahim Samad, Dynasty
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10. (813) 241-8600.
Hip-hop fans have a whole lot of choices this week. Dirt Nasty and Mickey Avalon are going to do their thing at the Orpheum in Ybor on Wednesday, and dreaded rhyme slinger Dangeruss — famous for big-screen cameos in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers — is playing Fubar’s Second Saturday show in St. Pete. If you’re looking for something a little more wholesome, though, head over to Crowbar where beloved locals the Real Clash celebrate a long-in-the-works debut LP, Clash Wednesday. The collective’s sound is more or less rooted in the tenets of the old school, and that sonic notion will be supported by Dynasty, an emcee Tampa is lucky to still have around, plus Rahim Samad, one of the area’s best all-around lyricist-turntable wizards, and most devoted to the community.
Bernie Sanders Fundraiser
With the John Clark Band, Trapfone, American Song Box, Purr Purr Purr, the Kind of Joy, DJ Scott Imrich
SUNDAY 3 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Donations suggested. (813) 248-4969.
Bernie Sanders doesn’t need any help standing out from the crowd. The 74-year-old is already the only presidential hopeful to pretty much say “nuh-uh” to hair products, common luxuries or corporate donors of any stripe, and his devotees are equally left-of-left in their loyalty to the senator from Vermont. It’ll all get even weirder at this early fundraiser, thanks to a succotash-esque blend of some of Tampa Bay’s standout art-makers. Emo-punks The Kind of Joy are on the bill, and so are proggy folk dudes the John Clark Band and Florida-by-way-of-Pennsylvania trio American Song Box. It’s all bookended by Purr Purr Purr, the feline-inspired rap project from Tampa bookworm/songwriter Shae Krispinsky, and one of the area’s longest running, tastemaking radio DJs, Scott Imrich, who helms the Saturday Asylum program on WMNF-FM 88.5.
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
With The Walker Brothers
SUNDAY 6 p.m. First United Methodist Church of Brandon, 121 N Knights Ave., Brandon. Donations accepted. (813) 689-4161.
Like bluegrass? Then you’ve likely heard of Rob Ickes. The 49-year-old was the young guy on The Great Dobro Sessions, which earned a Grammy for best bluegrass album when it was released in 1994. He’s back in the running for the same golden gramophone this year thanks to Compass, a Grammy-nominated LP released last year with song-crafting partner in crime, guitarist Trey Hensley. He brings the effort to a special show out in the ’burbs on Sunday, and though Ickes does, in fact, give Seffner folks a chance to see him play at a Beef 'O’ Brady’s the day before, we’d rather see the guys do the records in church on the Sabbath.
With Tombs, Full of Hell, more
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$18. (813) 248-9500.
Greenville, S.C., death-metal precisionists are playing Ybor City’s thrash and heavy music stronghold, the Orpheum, on Friday, but who cares? Norway is lending the States one of its own for a spell this winter, and though members of 1349 are holdovers from other outfits (Alvheim, Satyricon), they still bring an international approach to musical mayhem on songs like actual Mayhem cover Buried by Time and Dust as well as technical metal manifestos like I Am Abomination and Sculptor of Flesh. Purists might complain about 1349’s move away from their traditional black metal sound, but it’s all fast and headbang-worthy enough to make us happy.
The Appleseed Collective
SUNDAY 6 p.m. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 238-5618.
Don’t shed a tear if you can’t see the Appleseed Collective play in Seminole Heights on Sunday. The Ann Arbor Americana-makers are playing down the street at Ella’s a little less than a week later and then St. Pete, plus Holy Trinity Lutheran on Tampa’s El Prado Boulevard a few days after that. It’s a fun example of northern bands taking refuge in Florida winters, but we’ll take in the snowbirds for sure. Especially in this case, since the Collective have in tow a new-ish LP, 2014’s Young Love, in which they pick on banjos, buzz into kazoos, then pluck and run horse hair over fiddle strings to great effect. Frontman Andrew Brown is a romantic on songs like Tiny Red Nails and Novelty Item from the effort, but he’s a total killer on the sultry slow-burner The Inability To Feel. Don’t get too tipsy at any of the pub shows — you might shed a tear.
Brian Smalley, Fri. With JJ Pattishall. 6 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
Nile, Fri. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$20. (813) 248-9500.
The Dunnemans, Fri. 7 p.m. The 1 Way Cafe, 5735 69th St. E., Palmetto. Donations accepted. (941) 723-9593.
Lost Axis, Fri. With Rancid Pole Cats, Pretty Voices. 9 p.m. The Amsterdam, 1049 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 623-4950.
Dangeruss, Sat. With Macabison, White Roux, Mickey Spixx, DJ Yeti. 9 p.m. Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 424-1809.
Ben Prestage, Fri. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.
Beebs and Her Money Makers, Sat. With Control This!, Levon White. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Ooge Wawa, Sat. 10 p.m. Dcoy Ducks, 5410 Marina Drive, Anna Maria Island. Free. (941) 778-5888.
Dirt Nasty, Wed. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$75. (813) 248-9500.
Marco Benevento, Wed. With Displace. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $15. (813) 241-8600.
Saliva, Thur. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
The Everymen, Thur. With the Tattered Saints, Dru Cutler. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Woody Pines, Thurs. 8:30 p.m. The Ale and the Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
-- Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa