Make us your home page

Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since.

Phone: (727) 893-8336


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. SoundBytes: The Chieftains, Panic! At The Disco, Taryn Manning and more


    -- Celtic music legends the Chieftains, above, are coming to Florida for a rare concert at the Lakeland Center on March 15, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Click here for details.

    -- Another legend coming to the Lakeland Center: Johnny Mathis on Jan. 14. Click here....

  2. Kristian Nairn, a.k.a. Hodor from 'Game of Thrones,' coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa


    Hold the door, everyone -- a huge Game of Thrones star is coming to Tampa.

    Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor on the Emmy-winning HBO drama, is coming to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa for a DJ set on Nov. 12. 

    Yes, Hodor is ap pretty successful DJ, which should come as no surprise to knowledgable Thrones fans -- or even Tampa dance-music fans, since Nairn also performed in Tampa last year. We're still holding out hope he'll swing by the Game of Thrones orchestral concert spectacular on March 12 at Amalie Arena, but that seems unlikely....

    'Game of Thrones' star Kristian Nairn performed at District 3 in Tampa in 2015.
  3. Music Planner: 10 concerts at 10 venues, including Prophets of Rage, Peter Frampton and Rae Sremmurd

    Music & Concerts




    This is one of those weeks that makes a music critic shudder, with interesting and unusual concerts all over town — so many, in fact, that it's hard to know where to start picking highlights. My solution? Pick 10 venues and highlight one great show at each.





    Parker Millsap and Sarah Jarosz, Skipper's Smokehouse


    Sarah Jarosz performs at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa on 9/29/16. Courtesy of Scott Simontacchi
  4. Gnash cancels concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    One of November's most anticipated club concerts is kaput.

    Singer-songwriter-producer Gnash, who scored an unlikely pop hit with i hate u, i love you, has canceled his Nov. 3 concert at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg due to scheduling conflicts. Refunds are available at point of purchase, but according to Gnash, the show may be rescheduled at some point.

    "unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts we had to cancel Des Moines & FL :): check ur emails, I'll be back soon, & thanks for ur support!!" Gnash tweeted....

  5. Toby Keith to headline concert at 2017 Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor


    For the third straight year, a huge country star is coming to Tampa Bay for a concert at the PGA’s Valspar Championship.

    Toby Keith will follow in the footsteps of the Band Perry and Rascal Flatts as the headliner of a post-round concert on Saturday, March 11 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor.

    Admission to the show is free to tournament passholders on that day, and they start at just $39 for anyone who just wants to see a big country show. The concert will start at the conclusion of play on Saturday, approximately 6:30 p.m....

  6. Review: Merchandise showcases lush new music, hometown love at Crowbar in Tampa


    The unthinkable has happened: Merchandise has grown up.

    Two years ago, the Tampa indie rockers dropped their album After the End with a messy, rebellious, chaotic performance at the Hub in downtown Tampa. It’s surprising we got even that. Until they signed with British label 4AD, they were all too happy to operate in the shadows of the Tampa punk scene, playing house parties and storage unit shows and shunning the local spotlight, even as tastemaking sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum came calling....

    Merchandise performed at Crowbar in Ybor City on Sept. 23, 2016.
  7. Photos: The Purple Xperience brings Prince to life at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg


    Dearly beloved,hundreds of fans gathered in Tampa Bay today to get through this thing called life -- and they had a little help from a member of Prince's band the Revolution.

    The Purple Xperience, a band led by the Revolution's keyboardist Matt "Doctor" Fink, hit the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Friday for the second night of a swing through Tampa Bay, following a gig at the Tampa Theatre on Thursday....

    The Purple Xperience, a Prince tribute band led by the Revolution's keyboardist Matt "Doctor" Fink, played the Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Sept. 23, 2016.
  8. 'Comedy Get Down': Cedric the Entertainer, George Lopez, more coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    Sitcom stars, talk show hosts, superstar stand-ups and one Undercover Brother.

    That's who's coming to Tampa as part of the second "Comedy Get Down" at Amalie Arena.

    Comics George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy are teaming up for a blockbuster package tour that hits Tampa on Jan 20, the venue announced Friday.

    It's a ressurection of the tour formerly known as the "Black and Brown Comedy Get Down," which featured all five comics along with Mike Epps at the arena in January 2015....

  9. Scarlett Johansson, St. Petersburg singer Kendra Morris release charity cover of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle'


    Did you know Scarlett Johansson had a pop band? You probably did. She’s an accomplished singer who’s released several albums, including 2009’s pretty great Break Up with Pete Yorn.

    But did you also know one of her bandmates has, for a while now, been St. Petersburg native Kendra Morris?...

    Scarlett Johansson
  10. Merchandise talk about 'A Corpse Wired For Sound,' coming home to Tampa and more


    On Friday, Tampa indie rockers Merchandise will release A Corpse Wired For Sound, their second album on esteemed British label 4AD. That night, the band will play a show in Ybor City (click here for details) before embarking on a three-month tour of North America and Europe.

    It's a huge week for a group that occupies a spotlight rarely bestowed on artists from Tampa Bay. Over the past eight years, Merchandise has been anointed a Very Cool Band by outlets like the New York Times, Spin, Billboard, Pitchfork and NME. They're not pop-famous, but they've enjoyed real critical acclaim, and have played huge gigs around the world, representing the city of Tampa in ways few musicians ever have....

    Merchandise, with guitarist David Vassalotti (left) and singer Carson Cox, performed at Mojo Books and Records on Sept. 20, 2016.
  11. For hot indie band Merchandise, coming home to Tampa is complicated

    Music & Concerts

    ORLANDO — The gear is loaded in, the instruments set and tuned. The band is lingering near the back of Park Ave CDs, watching fans trickle in from the rain. Carson Cox nods to a small group hovering near the makeshift stage.

    "You get a sense of our Florida fan base," the singer says. "I think we got more at our in-store in Berlin."

    Berlin, this isn't. This is Orlando, where Cox and his band, Merchandise, are about to play the first stop on a weeklong promotional tour of their home state. The Tampa indie rockers are gearing up for Friday's release of A Corpse Wired For Sound, their second album. That night, the band will play a show in Ybor City before embarking on a three-month tour of North America and Europe....

    Tampa rock band Merchandise singer Carson Cox thanks the crowd of about 90 at Mojo Books and Records in Tampa. The band's new album, "A Corpse Wired for Sound," will release on Sept. 23. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  12. USF Homecoming: 2 Chainz, Dreezy coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    No lie: 2 Chainz is coming to Tampa.

    The blockbuster rapper (No Lie, Feds Watching, Mercy, Birthday Song) will headline the University of South Florida's annual Homecoming concert on Oct. 6 at the USF Sun Dome. He'll be joined by up-and-coming Chicago rapper Dreezy, who scored a hit this year with Body.

    The concert, always one of USF's premiere Homecoming week events, will be free to USF students who register starting Sept. 27, and they can purchase one guest ticket for $10. USF faculty, staff and alumni can register for tickets starting at $15. Tickets will go on sale to the general public for $25 and up starting Sept. 30....

  13. Barbra Streisand coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    A Barbra Streisand concert in your back yard is an unbelievably rare thing. The Hollywood icon is a famously reticent performer, and on the few occasions she does schedule a live concert, they tend to sell out pretty quickly.

    So brace yourselves for this news: Streisand has just announced her first-ever concert in Tampa.

    The legendary singer/actor/director/icon will perform at Amalie Arena on Nov. 30, the venue has announced. She'll also perform at Fort Lauderdale's BB&T Center on Dec. 3 and Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena on Dec. 5....

  14. Music Planner: Toby Keith, Purple Xperience, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick, Gojira, Matt Hires

    Music & Concerts


    Like Brad Paisley and Dave Matthews, Toby Keith is a fixture at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, playing the shed at least 10 times since it opened in 2004. Friday makes it 11. The man who once sang he should've been a cowboy recently dropped a new single, A Few More Cowboys, that finds him back in political territory, albeit without the hawkish rage of Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American). The song's an even-handed call for civility, with Keith even touching on medical marijuana ("If they'd let us smoke what we want, we'd have a lot less cancer") and the environment ("If we did it with a handshake, we'd save a lot of paper / that'd save a lot of trees we're shipping overseas …"). Like the chorus says, the world might in fact be a better place with a few more cowboys like Keith. Eric Paslay and Waterloo Revival open at 7 p.m. 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $20 and up. (813) 740-2446.

    Getty Images
  15. The Purple Xperience's Marshall Charloff talks about playing Prince, touring with the Revolution's Matt 'Doctor' Fink and more


    When he first met Prince, Marshall Charloff was just a teenager who happened to be in a band with the Purple One's cousin.

    More than 30 years later, he performs as Prince in the Purple Xperience, a tribute act led by Matt "Doctor" Fink, Prince's scrubs-wearing keyboardist in the Revolution. The group hits Tampa Bay for concerts Thursday at the Tampa Theatre and Friday at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. (A third concert originally slated for Lakeland on Saturday has been canceled.) Click here for details....