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Meet ... Soft Rock Renegades

He’s 2Critical, left, and he’s Archaea. Requests? Sure, except for Celine Dion.

Brandon Dunlap/Special to tbt*

He’s 2Critical, left, and he’s Archaea. Requests? Sure, except for Celine Dion.

The gig is up; the news is out: Soft Rock Renegades are Jack Spatafora, a.k.a. 2Critical, and Cameron Correa, a.k.a. Archaea (ark-AY-uh).

Who are they? Spatafora, 38, is a well-known promoter in the local music scene. He runs Aestheticized Presents, which brings in high-profile acts like My Morning Jacket, Interpol and Bright Eyes. Before that, in the '90s, Spatafora had a guitar stint in the band AmeriCar Underworld. Correa, 32, performed in Dumbwaiters and Bemsha. He moved back to Tampa in March after living in Chicago for the past five years. He and his wife, Lisa Smith, have a 11⁄2-year-old daughter, Violet.

Their set: Rock, soul and hip-hop, and the vague categories in between — electronic, reggae, dub, U.K. grime and ghetto-tech. A Soft Rock Renegades night might include indie dance pop or crunk tidbits that get the booty shaking. There's a good chance you'll hear at least one '80s one-hit wonder (by bands like Level 42) and hard-rock anthems ideal for drunken sing-alongs.

Their mission: To have fun, not show off skills. No mashups, scratching or sniffing, but they do play remixes by famous recording artists.

What about those names: Correa came across "archaea" — the term for bacteria-like organisms that live in extreme environments — while working at a medical documentation job. Spatafora says he got his moniker from pal Crispen Breslin, who chided him for being "too critical."

What about soft rock? It's from a side project by Guided by Voices' Robert Pollard. "We do like to play soft rock, like Hall and Oates and stuff like that," says Spatafora. "We'll accommodate just about every request."

They have their limits: The only time they turned down a request was a plea for Celine Dion. "I had to say no to that one," Spatafora says.

Varies by location: Hear them at Crowbar's "All Good Tuesdays" nights at 10 p.m., and at 9 p.m. Thursdays at Fly Bar in downtown Tampa. "The crowd on Tuesdays is younger, more knowledgeable about music," Spatafora says. "They can be anywhere from 21 to late 30s. The crowd at Fly Bar is more like 20s to 50s, really. Tons broader. We'll play more dub and electronic music ... (like) Paper Planes by M.I.A."

Recession-proof partying: Since Correa and Spatafora hang with musicians and other under-employed types, it's crucial for them to make their nights affordable. "Our night at Fly Bar has a $3 drink special tied to it now, so we can bring in more of our crowd," Correa says. "At All Good, it's not like a you get $5 liter of Pabst. It's like Guinness, Stella or Dogfish — really good beers."

Are they for hire? Yes. See

Hear them: At 10 p.m. Tuesday at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 241-8600.

Meet ... Soft Rock Renegades 11/27/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:22am]
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