My editor Mike has a funny way of giving a compliment. The other day, he sauntered up to my desk and said, "You know, Sean, most critics are worried about sounding cool, current, hip. But you don't care how dorky you sound!" Uhhh, thanks, boss? I was going to rebut and remind Mike how Beach House and Broken Bells and the Dead Weather all made my best albums of 2010. But alas, during his visit, the following column was being written. And even though January isn't exactly bursting with concerts, that doesn't excuse me from knowing the words to at least six Christopher Cross songs.
Top 5 January shows in Tampa Bay
1. ROSCOE DASH (Jannus Live, Jan. 17)
I know very little about Atlanta MC Roscoe Dash, although his cameo on current booty-pop anthem No Hands by Waka Flocka Flame is pretty dang hot. Basically, I'm just thankful for Roscoe's arrival on our shores because the rest of January's shows are so incredibly … adult contemporary. So before we carry on, allow Dash to add: "Your booty got me lost like Nemo." (jannuslive.com)
2. ROCK OF AGES (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Jan. 18 through Jan. 23)
The Broadway phenomenon comes to Clearwater with Constantine Maroulis — the Idol castoff turned Tony nominee — leading the '80s-metal mania. If you ever doubted that the '90s grunge movement killed the spirit of America, check out this hairy homage to the Whitesnake Era, when hair was high and music was f-u-n. (rutheckerdhall.com)
3. BARRY MANILOW (St. Pete Times Forum, Jan. 21)
I once drove Barry Manilow around in a hotel courtesy van. Unfortunately, I don't have room here to tell that rollicking bellhop yarn. So in its stead, here are the five Barry weepers that have the best shot at making you sob uncontrollably. 5. Ready to Take a Chance Again 4. Can't Smile Without You 3. Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again 2. Looks Like We Made It 1. Weekend in New England (sptimesforum.com)
4. CHRISTOPHER CROSS & KENNY LOGGINS
(Ruth Eckerd Hall, Jan. 25)
"And I'llllll never be the same without you here! I'll live alone and hide myself behind my tears!" Never Be the Same, Christopher Cross, so good. If you ever doubted that the '80s were the most democratic musical decade, behold CC, a bald, chubby dude who made George Costanza look like George Clooney. But man, Chris Cross could write a mushy hook, couldn't he? And now he's touring with Kenny Loggins! I'm going to rock the [bleep] out of this show. (rutheckerdhall.com)
5. GEORGE STRAIT & REBA MCENTIRE
(St. Pete Times Forum, Jan. 29)
King George and the Queen of Country will no doubt sell out the St. Pete Times Forum with ease — despite possessing all the panache and charisma of the American Gothic couple. But therein lies the touring duo's comfort-food appeal: They are rich in voice, hits and humility. And although I love tweaking Nashville, this much is also true: George and Reba will no doubt put on a heck of a satisfying local show. (sptimesforum.com)
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life column runs every Sunday in Floridian.