Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

SoundCheck: Toad the Wet Sprocket among top live music picks

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$28. (727) 895-3045.

Toad the Wet Sprocket wasn't immediately able to fulfill promises to early supporters of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, but you'll have to forgive the Santa Barbara, Calif., alt-rock darlings for not completely understanding how the crowdfunding website works. Their last LP of original material (1997's Coil) was released before MySpace was even an idea, and they haven't been anything near a full-time band since 2006. Toad apostles have looked past that rust, however, and latched on to the idea of an all-new full length (New Constellations, due Sept. 17), powered by an upbeat, driving title track that will ensure that old stuff like Walk On The Ocean and All I Want won't be all fans actually want when the boys come back to town.

The Psychedelic Furs

With Spacehog

Details: Sunday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$28. (727) 895-3045.

A night after Toad the Wet Sprocket, the State Theatre turns the clock back even further by welcoming New Wave OGs the Psychedelic Furs, who, judging by accounts of recent shows, are well intact and more than ready for the road. Wedding Song, Love My Way and Soap Commercial have reportedly been more upbeat in the Furs' live outings, and Richard Butler's delivery of classics like Pretty In Pink have apparently aged in grand fashion. Fans will surely get there early, but '90s rockers Spacehog will play an opening set to make sure everything sounds good In The Meantime.

Kisses

With Tako Tomago, Saskatchewan

Details: Saturday 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. Cost unavailable. (813) 248-4969.

In a polluted Internet age where bands obsess over image and online presence, it's refreshing to find an outfit whose polished aesthetic is actually trumped by the quality of music. The cover art for any of Kisses' releases features pristine swimming pools, intergalactic star clusters or '80s-era living spaces all bathed in the kind of light an Instagram developer would steal source code for. The Los Angeles outfit's songs up the ante by effortlessly creating sexed-up pop that sounds like sensual sonic intercourse between '80s sequencer thuds, first-high-school-dance-worthy guitar riffs and gleefully delivered lyrics that address darker topics like hard love failing and believing in one another.

Biz Markie

Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Club Detroit, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 637-2949.

There's a 2010 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon segment where Jeff Goldblum sits at a grand piano rapping his way through a few bars of Just A Friend before Biz Markie himself joins in to power through the first chorus and subsequent verses. Fallon is as giddy as a preteen girl at a One Direction concert, the audience is floored and the clip is one of pop culture's finest moments. Such is the charm of the 49-year-old rapper affectionately known as "The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop." His career has seen him put out five LPs of endearing, old-school raps, with his biggest hit coming way back in 1989, but his goofy smile and positivity still shine brightly two decades later.

Cannibal Ox

With Rich Medina, Akir, Irealz, Kenyattah Black, Prop Anon, DJ Lokash

Details: Sunday 6:30 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 241-8600.

Not too many acts get to make an album that keeps their name in high regard during 12 years of inactivity, but not many acts make an album like Cannibal Ox's The Cold Vein, either. Featuring an interplay of styles, The Cold Vein was the debut release on a fledgling (but now taste-making) Definitive Jux imprint that has since brought the world of underground hip-hop to fans looking for a little substance from their emcees. Ox has a new single — Gotham (Ox City) — that should tide over fans patiently waiting on a long-overdue sophomore LP.

Times Correspondent Ray Roa can be reached at SuburbanApologist.com.

     
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