Jay Cridlin, tbt* Staff Writer

Jay Cridlin

Jay Cridlin is the entertainment and features editor for 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

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  1. Reviews: Benjamin Booker, 'Benjamin Booker;' Merchandise, 'After the End;' Set and Setting, 'A Vivid Memory'

    Blog

    These are supremely heady days for the Tampa Bay music scene. Three of the area’s highest-profile acts in recent years are releasing albums on back-to-back-to-back weeks, all on national or international labels, all accompanied by the sort of cool-kid buzz that rarely makes its way to Florida.

    On Tuesday, blues-rock whiz kid Benjamin Booker released his self-titled debut on ATO Records, home to My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes and Drive-By Truckers. Next week, underground New Wavers Merchandise will release After the End on 4AD, home to Bon Iver, The National and Iron and Wine. And on Sept. 2, St. Petersburg post-metal quintet Set and Setting will drop A Vivid Memory via L.A.’s Prosthetic Records, which has released albums by Lamb of God, Gojira and Testament....

    Benjamin Booker.
  2. FXX 'Simpsons' marathon: The 10 episodes I'm taping

    Play

    For years, I've had a season pass to syndicated reruns of The Simpsons programmed into my DVR. My thinking: If there's nothing else good on TV, hey, at least I'll have five or so Simpsons at my disposal.

    But as any Simpsons diehard knows, the episodes that currently air in syndication hail from its later seasons, all drastically inferior to those from the show's mid-'90s heyday. Which is why FXX's "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon, kicking off at 10 a.m. Thursday and running through midnight on Labor Day, is such a gigantic deal....

    THE SIMPSONS: Phil Hartman and Leonard Nimoy in the "Marge Vs. The Monorail" episode of THE SIMPSONS on FOX.  THE SIMPSONS a and ©1993TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  3. FXX 'Simpsons' marathon: The 10 episodes you must record

    The Feed

    For years, I've had a season pass to syndicated reruns of The Simpsons programmed into my DVR. My thinking: If there's nothing else good on TV, hey, at least I'll have five or so Simpsons at my disposal.

    But as any Simpsons diehard knows, the episodes that currently air in syndication hail from its later seasons, all drastically inferior to those from the show's mid-'90s heyday. Which is why FXX's "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon, kicking off at 10 a.m. Thursday and running through midnight on Labor Day, is such a gigantic deal....

    Phil Hartman and Leonard Nimoy in “Marge Vs. The Monorail.” 
The Simpsons ©1993
  4. Photos: The Wilson Van, Patrick Wilson rock for a cause at 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    How do you know you've made it as a band? You have your own beer.

    At St. Petersburg's 3 Daughters Brewing on Saturday, "The Wilson Van Ale'n" was flowing freely as The Wilson Van -- a St. Petersburg supergroup comprised of siblings Patrick, Mark and Paul Wilson -- played one of their rare hometown gigs in a concert benefitting Academy Prep in St. Pete....

    Paul Wilson of The Wilson Van performsat 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg on Aug. 16, 2014.
  5. Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor unveils schedule; here's when to see Less Than Jake, Screaming Females and more

    Blog

    For the second straight year, Gainesville's punk bacchanal known as Fest will kick off with a two-day mini-festival in Tampa, Big Pre-Fest in Little Ybor on Oct. 29-30.

    The lineup has been mostly set for a while, but not the schedule. Today, we found out when many of the biggest names will be performing, and also got a few more interesting details worth passing on. Among them:

    -- You can find the entire two-day scheudle of some 75 bands here, but some of the highlights and headliners that Wednesday and Thursday include Less Than Jake (12:40 a.m. Thursday, Orpheum), Screaming Females (12:30 a.m. Thursday, Crowbar), the Menzingers (11:40 p.m. Thursday, Orpheum), Cheap Girls (11:30 p.m. Thursday, Crowbar), Tim Barry (10:30 p.m. Thursday, Crowbar), Strike Anywhere  (12:20 a.m. Wednesday, Orpheum) and A Wilhelm Scream (11:20 p.m. Wednesday, Orpheum)....

    Less Than Jake
  6. Heard of the Stein & Vine? It's the top bar for tbt* readers

    Bars & Spirits

    How far would you go for a really good bar?

    Would you drive 10 miles out of your way? Twenty? Thirty-five?

    That's the approximate distance from my home to the Stein & Vine on the east side of Brandon — easily an hour on a normal day of traffic. And yet I've probably been there a half-dozen times in the less than two years it's been open — mostly just for work, but also kinda-sorta not just for work, if you know what I mean....

    The Stein & Vine. [Luis Santana | Times]
  7. Ultimate Bar Guide: 12 Tampa Bay bars perfect for when you're feeling down and out

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Sometimes, of course, you go to bars when you're not feeling your best. Here are 12 local watering holes that'll cheer you up when you're feeling down, depressed or like you just want to get away from it all.

    We have a hangover: O'Maddy's Bar and Grill

    Hear us out: Sometimes to recover after a night of devilish drinking, you require the hair of the dog that bit you — and a big, hearty breakfast (or lunch) to go along with it. Plenty of bars that cause hangovers at night also serve remedies in the morning. (What a business model!) Take O'Maddy's Bar and Grille in Gulfport, which serves "Dr. Randy Shuck's Hangover Burger" for $10.95. An 8-ounce patty topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onions, it's named for Dr. Randy A. Shuck, a professor of medicine at St. Petersburg General Hospital and friend of O'Maddy's owners. Shuck is also Bay News 9's resident medical-heath expert, and after doing a story on hangover cures, he suggested O'Maddy's add a hangover burger to its menu. The result is an 8-ounce patty topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onions — "hamburger for the fats and the protein, bacon for the vitamins in it, eggs for the cysteine and then the carbs," Shuck said. Sure, but does it really do the trick? Shuck believes so. "I'm blessed not getting hangovers," he said. "My wife is not blessed, and she says it works well." 5405 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport; (727) 323-8643, omaddys.com....

    The Hub.
  8. Ultimate Bar Guide: 14 Tampa Bay bars that feel like communities (and a few where you might fall in love)

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. One big reason? A sense of community. Here are 14 bars that make us feel like we're embracing the community around us, bars that make us feel at home .. and a few bars where you might just fall in love.

    We're loyal customers: Nolan's Pub

    Lots of bars like to claim that they're like the bar from Cheers. Nolan's Pub does this by placing a physical copy of Cheers' Season 1 DVD on display behind the bar. The thing is, Nolan's is a place where everyone might actually know your name. It's a friendly little pub in downtown Safety Harbor, and if you pop in on any given day, there's a good chance that you'll find owner Craig Davide working behind the bar. This is the kind of place that efficiently turns locals into regulars, but such loyalty pays both ways. The bar's loyalty card — the "McGillicuddy Wheel" — rewards patrons with a Nolan's T-shirt after the first completion, a name on the wall for the second, and an engraved plaque on the bar for the 10th. There are quite a few plaques on the bar, if that tells you anything. 230 Main St., Safety Harbor. (727) 400-6998, nolanspub.com....

    The Between the Sheets martini at the Sapphire Room inside the Floridan Palace Hotel in Tampa. [Jay Cridlin  |  Times]
  9. Ultimate Bar Guide: 8 Tampa Bay bars to indulge your hedonistic desires

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are eight bars, clubs and even a winery where you can cut loose on the weekends and indulge your wildest party instincts.

    The DJ is sick, bro: The Amphitheatre

    Just about every Friday and Saturday night, the Amphitheatre is jammed with college-aged kids in LED gloves, pony beads and GoPro cameras packing the dance floor and hugging the speakers to wring as much bass as possible out of their weekend revelry. It's like a scaled-down version of Tampa's Sunset Music Festival, which is co-organized by the Amphitheatre's owners, and which drew nearly 50,000 people to Raymond James Stadium over Memorial Day weekend. And when the Amp brings in big-name DJs like Armin Van Buuren, Krewella or Porter Robinson, the party doesn't stop until last call. Ybor City ain't Miami, but the Amphitheatre is Tampa's best EDM club, period, and Ground Zero for the city's emergence on the national EDM scene. 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 873-8368, amptampa.com....

    DJ Zomboy performs at the Amphitheatre.
  10. Ultimate Bar Guide: 9 Tampa Bay bars with unusual drinks you've gotta try

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are nine bars serving unusual, sometimes totally unique spirits you can't get anywhere else.

    This frozen daiquiri: Wet Willie's

    Why do I love Wet Willie's notoriously over-the-top Call a Cab so much? It's a syrupy frozen drink that I think we can all agree tastes like cough syrup. Perhaps it's the sheer audacity of basing your signature cocktail on grain alcohol and cherry flavoring, or maybe it's the fact that the humorously illustrated souvenir cup grows a thick layer of actual frost as you drink it (this stuff is literally colder than ice). It makes your tongue numb, and your body, too, if you drink enough of them. Worried about your health, but not willing to reduce your grain-alcohol consumption? There's even a sugar-free version. Whatever the reason, I absolutely love this drink, and I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion that its name bears. 615 Channelside Drive, #116, Tampa. (813) 221-5650, wetwillies.com. — Justin Grant...

    The Old Fashioned made with Bulleit rye at Grille One Sixteen in Tampa. [Jay Cridlin  |  Times]


  11. Ultimate Bar Guide: 6 bars serving a taste of Tampa Bay's music culture

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are six bars where you can experience Tampa Bay's vibrant musical culture firsthand.

    We love live, local music (especially when it's free): The Ale and the Witch

    The fact that the Ale and the Witch hosted 435 performances last year — not a typo — is surprising enough. But when you take into account the fact that none of these shows included a cover, it's downright amazing. Since opening in January 2011, the Witch has hosted more than 1,400 live performances, making it nearly as well known for its music as it is for its constantly rotating selection of American craft beers. When the weather is hot, there are fewer shows, but for most of the year, there are shows seven days a week, with two shows on Saturday and during special events. In addition to weekly appearances and regular sets by local favorites such as Jun Bustamante and Geri X, the Witch brings a surprisingly diverse range of genres to the courtyard — one week this month featured a swing band, a bluegrass band, a Grateful Dead tribute band, a folk singer/songwriter, and a Southern rock band. 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-2533, thealeandthewitch.com....

    The Pelican Pub.
  12. Ultimate Bar Guide: 6 Tampa Bay bars with great nights, specials

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are six bars with deals and specials that make us want to get out and drink.

    Happy Hour: Bernini

    They say it's Tampa's best Happy Hour, and it's hard to disagree. "Home of the $2 Finlandia Martini" may as well be Bernini's motto, given how popular the restaurant's bar is from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. — especially from 4 to 7, when select pastas and entrees are also half off. If martinis aren't your thing, get a vodka cranberry or vodka and soda — same price. Bernini is suitable for a nice date night, but even the $2 drinks are pretty stiff. One for the night might do you, in which case your wallet will barely feel a thing. 1702 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-0099, italiancuisinetampa.com. ...

    Luis Santana  |   Times (8/19/2013, Tampa, FL)   Photo for the 2013 tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide featuring the $9.99 whole Maine lobster at the James Joyce Irish Pub in Ybor City. In this photograph the lobster is paired with a Guinness priced at $6.50. [Luis Santana | Times]
  13. Ultimate Bar Guide: 14 sports bars for cheering, bar games and (maybe) meeting athletes

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are 14 of our favorite Tampa Bay sports bars, from places to cheer on local pro and college teams to bars where you can play a few games yourself.

    Soccer is religion: MacDinton's Irish Pub

    All Tampa English Premier League fans respect the truism that most good soccer happens far away. Important games begin anywhere from early morning to 3 p.m., which can put hooligans at the real disadvantage of having to eat breakfast, drink and cheer all at the same time. MacDinton's Irish Pub understands that you need a beer with your game and has adjusted its schedule accordingly, to accommodate even this Saturday's Manchester United versus Swansea match at 7:45 a.m. MacDinton's always has a beer special or two to accompany a particular match, and the bar's big screen is such a great way to witness the beautiful game that almost every EPL supporters' club can be counted on to bring a few bodies in during the season. You don't even have to travel across the bridge since there are two locations: 242 First Ave. N, St. Pete; and 405 S Howard Ave., Tampa. macdintons.com....

    Ferg's Sports Bar.
  14. Ultimate Bar Guide: 17 Tampa Bay breweries and beer bars worth a toast

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Craft beer is everywhere here, and plenty of bars and breweries serve it up right. Here are 17 of our favorite places to grab a cool local brew.

    We like our beer barrel-aged: 7venth Sun Brewery

    Aging beer in barrels is a technique ripe for experimentation. The reactions that occur when beer spends extended time in used spirit and wine barrels can add flavor due to residual liquids and wood character, mellow heavy beers out via oxidation and even cause beers to become sour if the barrel has been inoculated with beer-souring bacteria and other microflora. Dunedin's 7venth Sun Brewery is one of the more prolific local barrel-agers, to the point where it used to host Barrel-Aged Wednesdays, featuring a different barrel-aged beer on tap each week. These days, the selection of these complex brews is dictated by availability, although there's some form of barrel-aged beer on tap around 40 percent of the time. Previous releases have featured sour blond ales aged in wine barrels, imperial porters aged in rum barrels and, recently, a gin barrel-aged IPA fermented with brettanomyces wild yeast. 1012 Broadway, Dunedin. (727) 733-3013, 7venthsun.com....

     The award-winning Saison de Banc Vert at Green Bench Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg.
  15. Ultimate Bar Guide: 8 Tampa Bay beach bars worth their shaker of salt

    Bars & Spirits

    For this year's tbt* Ultimate Bar Guide, we tallied up more than 100 reasons we love going to bars in Tampa Bay. Here are eight beach bars on both sides of the bay that are more than worth their shaker of salt.

    Three-day weekend!: Hogan's Beach

    It's only been open a year and a half, but Hogan's Beach has already muscled its way to the top of Tampa Bay's party-bar scene. Thanks to some smart partnerships with in-the-know promoters, Hulk Hogan's waterfront bar and grill has become a mecca for bikini-clad revelers on the Hillsborough side of the bay. In particular, it's carving out a niche as a holiday-weekend hangout, scheduling multiple nights of parties around Memorial Day (when they brought in Lil Jon), the Fourth of July (DJ Carnage and the country band Love and Theft) and Labor Day (with DJ Laidback Luke). The fact that it's connected to the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel doesn't hurt — you can drink as much as you want and not worry about driving back. We'll see you there soon, brother. 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 281-8900, hogansbeachtampa.com....

    This is a file photo of partners Wasim Nabulsi, from left, Jeff Brown and Jay Thomas, owners of the Brown Boxer Pub and Grill when it opened.