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Tropical Heatwave preview: Cody ChesnuTT, Beach Day, Stooges Brass band and other can't-miss acts

Now in its 32nd year, WMNF-88.5’s annual extravaganza of the eclectic, Tropical Heatwave, will bring nearly 60 bands to 10 stages in and around Ybor City’s Cuban Club on Saturday. And for the first time in years, the 2013 edition is a two-night affair, with more artists performing on two stages at the Cuban Club on Friday night.

This year’s fest features some faces who will be familiar to attendees of Heatwaves past — singer-songwriter Paul Thorn, blues chanteuse Sarah Borges and rockabilly acolytes Rocket 88, to name a few. But there are a few new and notable names worth spotlighting. Here are a few can’t-miss acts:

Cody ChesnuTT: What’s this? A Heatwave performer with actual Top 40 cred? Yes, The Roots and Cody ChesnuTT scored a hit in 2005 with The Seed (2.0), a reworking of a track from the neo-soul singer-songwriter’s acclaimed 2002 album The Headphone Masterpiece. But that hit aside, ChesnuTT has spent the better part of the last decade in self-imposed exile. IT took 10 years to record his second LP, 2012’s Landing On A Hundred. It’s an unexpected booking for Heatwave, but one that should create a great party vibe. (10:25 p.m. at the Ritz Ybor)

Stooges Brass Band: This New Orleans brass ensemble has won numerous accolades, and performed at huge festivals like Bonnaroo, thanks to a rambunctious style that incorporates elements of funk, hip-hop and R&B. If youlove Trombone Shorty, you won’t want to miss this one. (5:20 p.m., El Pasaje Plaza)

The Heligoats: Heligoats singer-songwriter Chris Otepka specializes in eccentric, literate and hummable folk-rock, a la the Decemberists, Mountain Goats or Clem Snide. And though he hails from Bellingham, Wash. — the home of Death Cab for Cutie — he’s got love for the Sunshine State, as evidenced by his bouncy song Florida Panther: “They say you’re never quite the same / After you’ve seen a Florida panther,” he sings. (8:10 p.m., Cuban Club Cantina)

Ana Popovic: We have absolutely no doubt that a guitarist born and raised in war-torn Serbia would have just as much reason to sing the blues as anyone raised in Memphis, Tenn. Perhaps that’s why the global blues community has been so quick to embrace the award-winning singer and guitarist, who recently performed at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. (8:45 p.m., Ritz Ybor)

Wolf-Face: There’s no better way to close out an eclectic day of music than watching a group of punks in Teen Wolf costumes shred away on the New World Brewery patio. You’ll come for the werewolf garb and sheer spectacle, but you’ll stay for the tight tunes and irrepressible performance. (1 a.m., New World Brewery)

Jess Klein: For a folk singer, Jess Klein can sure veer from genre to genre on a dime. Spinning through her catalog, you’ll find dub reggae (Soda Water), Americana blues (Shootout at the Candy Shop) to gentle Top-40ish pop (Corona and Lime), with hints of jazz, country and poetry sprinkled throughout. In other words, she’s a perfectly eclectic Heatwaver. (10:15 p.m., Cuban Club Theater)

Beach Day (above): Fans of Best Coast, Tennis, the Dum Dum Girls and any other sunny, girl-group garage-rock outfit would do well to check out Beach Day, who hail from Hollywood — the Florida one, not the California one, although that could change if their debut album, Trip Trap Attack, due June 18, is a hit. (8:15 p.m., Crowbar)

Southern Hospitality: Damon Fowler is a regular on the Tampa Bay blues scene and beyond. And his newish blues supergroup is getting pretty well known, too. Southern Hospitality, featuring blues guitarists Fowler and J.P. Soars, plus pianist Victor Wainwright, peddle their brand of bluesy boogie-woogie on a new CD, Easy Livin’. This is their first show back after a European tour. (10:50 p.m., Cuban Club Bandshell on the Patio)

Nikki Hill: North Carolina rockabilly blues singer Nikki Hill is a pure rockabilly-blues throwback, and her rollicking I Got a Man is irresistable. This summer she’ll play Seattle’s Bumbershoot, among other festivals. “She’s about to break out really big,” said WMNF station manager Randy Wynne. (7:10 p.m., Ritz Ybor)


The 32nd annual music fest starts at 6 p.m. Friday and 4:30 p.m. Saturday (events at the Roosevelt 2.0 begin at 2 p.m.) at venues in and around the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica De Cuba, Ybor City. Friday tickets are $20 advance, $30 at the gate; Saturday is $30/$40; weekend passes are $40/$50. Youth tickets (ages 12-20) are $12 per day, $18 for the weekend. For details, call (813) 238-8001 or see A rundown of the schedule:


Cuban Club Bandshell on the Patio: Paul Thorn (acoustic), Keith Secola and Band of Wild Indians, Selwyn Birchwood Band, Mercy Brothers

Cuban Club Cantina: Daria and the Hip Drops, American Aquarium, Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets, The Applebutter Express, Ray Bonneville


Cuban Club Ballroom: Gerry Williams Band, Elastic Bond, Rocket 88, Funky Seeds, Gulfport Swamp Opera

Cuban Club Bandshell on the Patio: Nervous Turkey, Southern Hospitality, Ryan Montbleau Band, Los Hacheros, Sarah Borges, Uproot Hootenany

Cuban Club Cantina: DelExilio, The Whiskey Gentry, Askultura, the Heligoats, Krissy Krisy, the Wholetones, Sarasota Slim

Cuban Club Theater: Lightnin’ Malcolm Band, Jess Klein, Bungled and Botched, the Deadfields, Passerine, Mountain Holler

El Pasaje Plaza: Dubtronic Kru, Paul Thorn Band, Jason D. Williams, Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, Stooges Brass Band

New World Brewery: Wolf-Face, Permanent Makeup, Saskatchewan, Dirty Bourbon River Show, Swimm, Day Joy, The Happiness Machine, Benjamin Booker and Max Norton, Will Quinlan and the Holy Slow Train

CL Space: Awkward Age, The Gita, Infinite Skillz, Pretty Voices, Cats in the Basement, Tattered Saints, DieAlps!

Crowbar: Set and Setting, Ponderosa, Ketchy Shuby, Beach Day, Florida Night Heat, Simplified

Ritz Ybor: Cope, Cody ChesnuTT, Ana Popovic, Nikki Hill, Suenalo

Roosevelt 2.0: poetry and music all day

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 3:39pm]


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