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Sean Daly's Top 5 May concerts

While sobbing uncontrollably at The Blind Side the other night, I came to the realization that Tim McGraw is a far better actor than he is a singer. I'm not saying he's Laurence flippin' Olivier. But he's much more palatable in a ferrety hairpiece on the silver screen than he is spewing pseudo-country in a cowboy hat. Of course, there's a slight chance my wayward disdain stems from the time McGraw's manager tried to bounce me from a tour I was covering for the Washington Post. Not that I'm small-minded or bitter. It's just that when it comes to May shows in Tampa Bay, I can't in good conscience recommend McGraw's May 7 gig with Lady Antebellum at Ford Amphitheatre. But hey, have you seen Tim in Flicka? Netflix, baby!

Sean Daly's Top 5 May concerts

1. The Flaming Lips (Jannus Live, May 12) Sure, the gloriously rehabbed St. Pete venue had its grand opening back in March. But no rock joint is truly christened until the Flaming Lips' Willy Wonkian leader Wayne Coyne steps into his giant hamster ball and rolls all over the place. Huzzah! This should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can also expect people in furry costumes, odd but uplifting space-pop and scads of pasty young fans who are convinced the Great Gazoo lives in their dreadlocks. ( EDITOR'S NOTE: This concert has now been postponed.

2. Ryan Bingham (Ford Amphitheatre, May 14) Here's your performer of the month, boys and girls. Bingham is one of the scruffs behind the awesome outlaw tunes in Crazy Heart, the Jeff Bridges flick about a beaten-down tumbleweed troubadour. The 29-year-old Bingham co-wrote and warbled the Oscar-winning end-credit weeper The Weary Kind. He'll be here with the Country Throwdown Tour, which also includes Jamey Johnson and Montgomery Gentry. (

3. OK Go (Crowbar, May 14) If you can't name an OK Go song, you can definitely recall one of the Chicago band's vids, puckishly inventive shorts that have revived the ancient MTV art form. For instance, OK Go was the band that rocked that "synchronized treadmills" routine — yes, the one you watched over and over on YouTube (song: Here It Goes Again). The band's newest bit of art-rock whimsy is visualized by a fantastic Rube Goldberg contraption (song: This Too Shall Pass). Expect the unexpected at this live gig. And bring extra duct tape, if you know what I mean. (

4. WMNF Tropical Heatwave (Ybor Square, May 15) The Lone Star State will be well-represented at this year's Tropical Heatwave, as blues-folk wonder Ruthie Foster and roots-rock prince Alejandro Escovedo headline the Texas-flavored fiesta of music and mayhem. You can try and gobble as many of the 46 bands (on eight stages!) — or you can stand in one spot, hoist a frosty beverage and enjoy one of Tampa Bay's coolest events of the year. Me? I'm a stander. I'm also a flopsweater. You've been warned, Pretty Lady in the Suede Skirt. (

5. Backstreet Boys (Ruth Eckerd Hall, May 31) For the record, I don't like the Backstreet Boys. Okay, okay, fine: There was that one time in a strange van when I unironically belted I Want It That Way at the top of my lungs. But I'm mainly including this '90s throwback show to suck up to all the female readers who are still cranky about my Tim McGraw exclusion. We've been having a rough time of it lately, haven't we? The Bon Jovi dustup. The Adam Lambert brouhaha. Let's end on a nice note, okay? Group hug! (

Sean Daly can be reached at or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life column runs every Sunday in Floridian.

Putting Tim fans to the test

Tim McGraw, with or without hairpiece (nice jab, Sean — we love your helmet hair, too), is a household name these days, even to those who don't fancy his brand of country music. Mr. Faith Hill — oh, we know he hates that — turned 43 on Saturday and has been making records since 1993, but these days he's winning equal acclaim for his forays into film. Still, we bet you'll have tough time with this quiz. Can you match McGraw's last five movies to his character's names?

Steve Spears, Times staff writer


1. Dallas

2. Rob McLaughlin

3. Sean Tuohy

4. Charles Billingsley

5. Aaron Jackson


a. The Blind Side

b. Four Christmases

c. The Kingdom

d. Flicka

e. Friday Night Lights


1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. e; 5. c

Top 5 weekend movies

A Nightmare on Elm Street, $32.2 million

How to Train Your Dragon, $10.8 million

Date Night, $7.6 million

The Back-up Plan, $7.2 million

Furry Vengeance, $6.5 million


Top 5 prime-time TV shows

Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

American Idol — Tuesday (Fox)

American Idol — Wednesday (Fox)

The Mentalist (CBS)

Dancing With the Stars Results (ABC)

Source: Nielsen Co., for week ending April 25

Top 5 Yahoo search terms in Tampa Bay

 Bret Michaels

 Sandra Bullock

 Mother's Day

 Oil spill

 Weather


Top 5 albums on iTunes

B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (Deluxe), B.o.B

Fever, Bullet for my Valentine

Glee: The Music, the Power of Madonna, Glee Cast

Punk Goes Classic Rock, Various Artists

Fearless Love (Bonus Track Version), Melissa Etheridge

Source: iTunes Music Store

By Sean Daly, Times Pop Music Critic

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Sean Daly's Top 5 May concerts 05/02/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 11:38am]
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