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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

Email: cridlin@tampabay.com

Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

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  1. Orlando's Crayola Experience a fascinating wonderland of color, technology and nostalgia

    Florida

    ORLANDO

    Fred Rogers' sweater is a hue Crayola might call Forest Green, or maybe Aquamarine, or maybe Illuminating Emerald. He sketches a simple rainbow on an easel in his modest TV living room, the one decorated like childhood, and turns to the camera.

    "Did you ever wonder," Mr. Rogers asks, "how crayons were made?"

    What follows is a video tour of the Crayola headquarters in Easton, Pa., documenting in fluid, mesmerizing motion the birth of a wave of yellow crayons. Nearly 35 years after it first aired on PBS' Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the clip has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube and countless more on pbs .org. ...

    Crayola CEO Mike Perry, left, and 22-year crayon maker Salvador Flores, 72, show a photo of Flores in the Easton, Pa., factory. Flores, now retired, attended the Crayola Experience opening.
  2. SoundBytes: DJ Snake, Damon Dash, Circa Survive and more

    Blog

    -- Looking for a party tonight? This one slipped by us, but DJ Snake is rocking Venue 578 in Orlando tonight at 10 p.m. TURN DOWN FOR WHAT. Limited tickets are available. Click here for details.

    -- Jonny Craig, the troubled but talented singer from Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa, is playing a super-tiny show very soon: Epic Problem at the Skatepark of Tampa. He'll be there on Sept. 17; tickets are $15 and they go on sale Monday. Click here....

  3. Gary Clark Jr. coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    Here’s a show blues and indie rock fans have been waiting on for quite some time.

    Dynamic Texas singer, songwriter and guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is set to make his long-awaited Tampa Bay debut next spring, he announced today.

    Clark – who this summer alone has played with the Rolling Stones and toured with the Foo Fighters – is set to play Jannus Live in St. Petersburg on Feb. 18, his first scheduled date of 2016. (He’ll also be at the House of Blues in Orlando on Feb. 20, for those of you in East Hillsborough.)...

  4. This week in Tampa: Toby Keith, Counting Crows, Perpetual Groove, Kygo and more

    Blog

    As the calendar eases into August, it's time to hit a show. Lots of choices this week, including Toby Keith, Counting Crows, Kygo, Perpetual Groove, Floetry, Pato Banton, Breathe Carolina, Citizen Cope, Hey Sleeper, Colt Ford, UZ, the Appleseed Cast, 10 Years, Nonpoint and more. Here to walk you through it all are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa...

    Toby Keith
    With Colt Ford and Chris Janson
    SATURDAY 7 p.m. MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $33.50 and up. livenation.com. (813) 740-2446.
    Let’s skip the tired debate over Toby Keith’s place in politics and culture, the red-versus-blue antagonism that in Dubya’s America positioned him as something of an inverse Dixie Chick — reviled and beloved with equal devotion, and a symbol of all that was right/wrong with musicians who dare speak their mind. Let us instead focus on Keith’s underrated skills as a songwriter. Yes, Keith actually writes most of his own hits, which makes him a rarity in modern Nashville. This summer, the man with 20 No. 1 country hits was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his more than two decades of story-songs about earnest, blue-collar jocks, lunks, roughnecks and soldiers trying to say and do what’s right in hard times. For example, My List, about ditching daily chores to make time for the what’s really important: “Raise a little hell, laugh till it hurts / Put an extra five in the plate at church / Call up my folks just to chat / It’s time that I make time for that.” Yeah, okay, Keith can get a little preachy sometimes. And yes, Red Solo Cup actually contains the line, “You, sir, do not have a pair of testicles if you prefer drinking from glass.” But he means every word he says, and fans love him for it. Keith was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame by none other than Stephen Colbert, who said, “Once you listen to what he has to say and sing, everybody has a good time.”...

  5. Music Planner: Toby Keith speaks out; Fifth Harmony and Kygo ready to pop

    Music & Concerts

     

    IN HIS OWN WORDS: Toby Keith

     

    Let's skip the tired debate over Toby Keith's place in politics and culture, the red-versus-blue antagonism that in Dubya's America positioned him as something of an inverse Dixie Chick — reviled and beloved with equal devotion, and a symbol of all that was right/wrong with musicians who dare speak their mind.

    Let us instead focus on Keith's underrated skills as a songwriter. Yes, Keith actually writes most of his own hits, which makes him a rarity in modern Nashville. This summer, the man with 20 No. 1 country hits was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his more than two decades of story-songs about earnest, blue-collar jocks, lunks, roughnecks and soldiers trying to say and do what's right in hard times....

    Toby Keith.
  6. Coming soon, it's 'Bey Day' for Beyonce fans at Tampa's Ritz Ybor

    Blog

    Every February, the Ritz Ybor in Ybor City celebrates "Dre Day," a party with a West Coast Dr. Dre theme -- Dre beats, Dre costumes, Dre photo booths, etc.

    This September, the party is getting a lot more fierce. Sasha Fierce, that is.

    The first-ever "Bey Day," celebrating all things Beyonce, is coming to the Ritz on Sept. 3, the day before Queen Bey's 34th birthday. Expect live tribute acts; classic Beyonce, Destiny's Child and Jay Z videos all night courtesy of VJ Nick James; specialty cocktails like the "Drunk In Love" and "Bootylicious"; prizes for "single ladies," a Tampa Bay Fashion Week dress contest; Beyonce birthday cake and more...

     Beyonce attends the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
  7. Chance the Rapper coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    It's shaping up to be an amazing autumn for hip-hop fans in Tampa Bay.

    On the large side, you've got acts like J. Cole, Big Sean, Chris Brown, YG and Kid Ink coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. On the smaller side, you've got Earl Sweatshirt and Vince Staples at the Orpheum and Cannibal Ox at the Local 662.

    And today we get news of the show that might trump them all: Chance the Rapper on Nov. 5 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg....

  8. Martin Lawrence, Eric Paslay, Sutton Foster, more coming to Tampa's Straz Center

    Blog

    In case the calendar has been sneaking up on you, July 31 is right around the corner -- it's Friday, in fact.

    Friday is the day that most single tickets to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts' 2015-16 season go on sale to the general public. That includes a slew of Broadway shows; speakers like Cary Elwes and David Sedaris; concerts by the likes of Matisyahu, Patti LaBelle, Itzhak Perlman and Will Hoge; and the Straz's annual Club Jaeb Americana series....

  9. SoundBytes: Jose Gonzalez, Slow Magic, Thee Oh Sees and more

    Blog

    -- A few years ago, Swedish indie-folk singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez brought his band, Junip, to Ybor City -- a rare treat for fans of the band and even Gonzalez himself, but still, it wasn't really a proper solo set, was it? So here's an awesome concert to announce: A show by Gonzalez on Sept. 29 at the State Theatre. Tickets are $22-$25 and they go on sale Friday. Click here....

  10. 'Legends of the Old School' Salt-N-Pepa, Vanilla Ice, Naughty By Nature, more coming to Tampa's USF Sun Dome

    Blog

    Let the battle of the old school throwdowns begin!

    Coming first, on Aug. 22, we have Funk Fest Tampa Bay, with '90s R&B and hip hop stars Jodeci, SWV, Dru Hill and 2 Live Crew, among others, coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

    Then on Sept. 19 it's the Super Freestyle Explosion, with a host of freestyle pop icons -- Stevie B, Taylor Dayne, Lisa Lisa, the Original Cover Girls and more -- coming to Amalie Arena....

  11. Fifth Harmony's Lauren Jauregui talks fan armies, social media, her song of the summer and more

    Blog

    Most of us will never know the work that goes into leading a fan army.

    “We’re always engaging them on social media, letting them know that they’re important and reminding them as often as possible that they are so important to us,” said Lauren Jauregui of the wildly popular girl group Fifth Harmony. “It goes beyond that whole celebrity-fan relationship. In person, they’ll ask us for advice on things. We have major moments with them. We make them feel so special and let them know that as people, they’re important, not just as our fans.”...

  12. Funk Fest Tampa lineup: Jodeci, 2 Live Crew, Dru Hill, more coming to Raymond James Stadium

    Blog

    We've said this before, but it bears repeating: Funk Fest, the annual traveling tribute to old-school hip hop and R&B, hasn't had an easy road in Tampa Bay.

    It's been held in three homes (Vinoy Park, Curtis Hixon Park and Raymond James Stadium) over the past five years. Some headliners have arrived late; others haven't shown at all. And there have been many complaints about amenities....

  13. Kacey Musgraves' band celebrates 'Happy Bibthday' at Tampa Bay Rays game

    Blog

    Despite losing 5-1 to the Baltimore Orioles, there was much for the Tampa Bay Rays to celebrate on Saturday. An announced crowd of 24,327 -- their largest home crowd since Opening Day -- was in the stands, many of whom came for a free postgame concert by country star Kacey Musgraves....

  14. This week in Tampa: Dave Matthews Band, Kacey Musgraves, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Idina Menzel and more

    Blog

    We've got just a jam-packed week of music this week, with tons of '90s alternative rock (Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Dave Matthews Band, Slipknot, Tonic, Everlast), reggae-rock (Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, Original Wailers) and country (Kacey Musgraves, Bellamy Brothers) leading the way.

    One of the bigger shows is Broadway and Let It Go sensation Idina Menzel, who plays Ruth Eckerd Hall on July 28; click here to read Andrew Meacham's interview with her. Here to walk you through the rest of a busy week, including Fifth Harmony, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Harry and the Potters, Authority Zero, Rocky Votolato, Bro Safari and more, are Jay Cridlin and Ray Roa......

  15. Review: Florence and the Machine's 'How Big,' Muse's 'Drones'

    Music & Concerts

    America may be the home of the Whopper, but if you're in the market for big, blinding rock 'n' roll bravura, start your search across the pond.

    Larger-than-life rock goddery is a grand British tradition, from Freddie Mercury's heaven-sent tenor to Jimmy Page's Jurassic power chords to Elton John's Donald Duck duds.

    "We may be a small country," as Hugh Grant put it in Love, Actually, "but we're a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter."...

    On new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine shows off those dreamy vocals fans have come to expect.