Monday, June 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Music Planner: Billy Gibbons, Mac Miller, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox, Don't Stop St. Pete

You'd think after nearly 50 years slinging buzz-cut blues in ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons would stick to more of the same on his new debut solo LP. Instead, Perfectamundo veers into hazy, funky Afro-Cuban territory, diving all-in on syncopated rhythms and click-clacking percussion; collaborating with rappers; even adopting weird auto-tuning and electro-boogie beats on songs like You're What's Happenin', Baby; Pickin' Up Chicks on Dowling Street; and Baby Please Don't Go. Shades of Santana, War, even a little Beck — is this who's been hiding beneath that beard all these years? Gibbons recently postponed two weeks' worth of concerts at the beginning of his first-ever solo tour with his new band the BFG's, which makes St. Pete's Mahaffey Theater only its third stop. As such, we don't yet know whether he'll be busting out ZZ Top classics like La Grange, Legs and Gimme All Your Lovin'. Even if he doesn't, just know that Perfectamundo alone is more than worth your time. The show is at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $42.50 and up. (727) 892-5767. themahaffey.com.

RETURN OF THE MAC: Mac Miller

Mac Miller has been through the whole rock 'n' roll wringer — worldwide tours, arena-sized concerts, mountains of cash, fast friends, disillusionment, addictions, relapses, recoveries — all before turning 23. Hear all about it on the Pittsburgh rapper's major label debut GO:OD AM. "I done seen some spooky things through these Gucci shades," he raps on Two Matches. And that has consequences, as he raps on Ascension: "My sanity go down when my cash go up." GO:OD AM mixes bawdy braggadocio and confessional honesty — the highs and the lows, as it were, of Miller's life — atop easy-flowing instrumental samples, a formula that has yielded critical and commercial acclaim of late for fellow indie-minded rappers J. Cole and Earl Sweatshirt. If Mac really is back for good, his fall tour, which hits the Ritz Ybor on Tuesday, may be your last chance for a while to catch him in such a small venue. Soon, he could be back in arenas, this time with his head screwed on straight. EarthGang, Michael Christmas and Remember Music open the show at 8 p.m. at the Ritz, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $32 and up. (813) 390-0397. theritzybor.com.

LOCAL MOTION: Don't Stop St. Pete

Last year's Don't Stop St. Pete festival took place on a truly glorious day in the 'Burg: An indie market at Green Bench Brewing, a Florida Orchestra pops concert in Vinoy Park, a Day of the Dead festival up and down Central Avenue. This year, organizers are once again placing their festival in the context of a greater day of local celebration, staging it on Small Business Saturday — the day we're all supposed to eschew the over-commercialization of Black Friday and support our local economy. You can definitely do that at Don't Stop St. Pete — more than half of the 40 acts on the bill are from Pinellas County, including garage-power-popsters Luxury Mane, frenetic psych-punks Sonic Graffiti, post-punk noisemakers Permanent Makeup and melodic alt-pop group Goodnight Neverland. The coolest part of this year's event might be how it's bringing live music to a part of town that rarely sees it. Venues include three stages in and around Sly Bar, 2061 Central Ave., and one at the Loft, 2036 Central Ave. It kicks off at 3:15 p.m.; get a full schedule and tickets ($10 advance, $12 day-of) at dontstopstpete.com. Or, in keeping with the all-things-local spirit, get 'em at iClinic, 1241 First Ave. N.

CLEVER COVERS: Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox

Part of the thrill of being one of the 1.6 million subscribers to the YouTube channel of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox is never knowing what's going to show up in your queue. Taylor Swift's Bad Blood in the kicky swing style of Ella Fitzgerald? A big-band swing through Fall Out Boy's Sugar, We're Going Down? A delicate, new-age soul version of Where Are U Now? by Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Diplo? Yes, yes and yes — and that's all just in the past three months. Bradlee, 34, has become a Web sensation for his jazzed-up covers of modern pop songs. Yes, there's a lot of that on YouTube, but Postmodern Jukebox stands out thanks to Bradlee's era-perfect arrangements, guest stars (sax star Dave Koz stopped by for a smooth-jazz take on the Game of Thrones theme) and overall retro-cool aesthetic. How can you possibly resist a klezmer rendition on Jason Derulo's Talk Dirty, complete with 2 Chainz's rap verse in Yiddish? By the time you read this, Bradlee's concert at 8 p.m. Friday in Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center (1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa), might be sold out, but limited tickets may be available for $60 and up at (813) 229-7827 or strazcenter.org.

 
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