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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


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

  1. 2015 Gasparilla Music Festival lineup: Gogol Bordello, Trampled By Turtles, the Gaslight Anthem and more


    How do you top a glittery alien invasion in downtown Tampa? Book a band of electric gypsies.

    Dynamic global folk-rock collective Gogol Bordello are among the initial headliners announced for the fourth annual Gasparilla Music Festival, March 7-8 in Curtis Hixon Park. Joining them are Springsteen-inspired New Jersey punks the Gaslight Anthem and Minnesota bluegrassers Trampled By Turtles....

    Gogol Bordello
  2. Review: The Black Keys go big, St. Vincent gets weird at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    There’s a moment or two in every Black Keys concert when singer Dan Auerbach ambles to the riser of his bandmate, drummer Patrick Carney, and for a split second they’ll catch each other’s eyes.

    In that moment, I’d give a crisp fiver to know what each one sees. Recognition? Inspiration? A hint of something grounding, something that takes them back to their sweaty garages in middle-class Akron, Ohio?...

    The Black Keys performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Dec. 16, 2014.
  3. Pharrell has worn many hats in his career, from pop singer to hip-hop producer

    Music & Concerts

    What's the perfect Christmas gift for the man who has it all? If that man is Pharrell Williams, how about a new hat? • Nothing against his trademark Vivienne Westwood Buffalo lid, of course — Pharrell rocks the freshest Mountie look this side of Saskatoon — but one hat is nowhere near enough to cover the prodigious performer's vast career. • Pharrell, 41, is a man who dons many hats — singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, TV star — and over the past 22 years, he has worn them all with inimitable panache. From co-writing Wreckx-N-Effect's classic 1992 booty jam Rumpshaker to topping the charts with his 2013 triptych Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Happy, Pharrell has given more to the world of music than almost any other artist — and this Christmas, as he comes to Tampa's Amalie Arena for the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball, we think it's time we give back. • On your way to Monday's Jingle Ball, stop by your local haberdashery and pick up a little something for pop music's favorite cat in the hat. Let his one-of-a-kind career be your shopping guide....

    Shawn Mendes
  4. Review: Brantley Gilbert revs up rowdy 'Throwdown' at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Here’s a fact that’ll astound guests at your next holiday party: The most-played song on TouchTunes jukeboxes in 2014 was Brantley Gilbert’s Bottoms Up. It beat out Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, Pharrell WilliamsHappy and Lorde’s Royals, among others....

    Brantley Gilbert headlined the U.S. 103.5 Throwdown by the Bay at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Dec. 12, 2014.
  5. TV news roundup: Letterman's last day, 'Fargo' season 2 casting, Gooding is O.J.


    Letterman sets goodbye date
    As you prepare to spend the next week weeping over the departures of Stephen Colbert (Dec. 18) and Craig Ferguson (Dec. 19), don’t forget about the big one looming on the horizon. That would be David Letterman, who will hand his Late Show over to Colbert sometime in 2015. On Wednesday, CBS announced Letterman’s final show will air May 20. No word yet on a final guest, but maybe we can hold out hope it’ll be Jay Leno. Leno, after all, will be Ferguson’s final guest next week. Maybe the icy tundra between the two hosts is thawing.

    Gooding is O.J. in FX series
    Today in news from the ’90s: Cuba Gooding Jr. is O.J. Simpson. The Jerry Maguire Oscar winner will play the accused murderer in FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, the network has announced. Produced by Ryan Murphy, American Crime Story is meant to be sort of a true-crime version of American Horror Story, but let’s be honest, nothing that has ever happened on American Horror Story has ever been crazier than everything that went down in the O.J. Simpson trial. AHS veteran Sarah Paulson will play prosecutor Marcia Clark, which should be a big role, as E! News reports this initial series will focus on the lawyers’ perspective of the trial. The series could premiere as early as January 2016. No other cast members have been announced, but you just know Kato Kaelin is on his phone right now, screaming at his agent, “Come on, man, it’s the part I was born to play!”

    Dunst, Plemons move to 'Fargo’
    Now that we’ve all moved on from dream-casting the new season of True Detective, we can start dream-casting the new season of Fargo. And we have two names to jump start your dreaming: Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons. Dunst will star as Peggy Blomquist, a bored beautician in 1979 in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Plemons will play her husband, Ed. The story will revolve around a younger Lou Solverson, played by Keith Carradine in the first season, though that role has yet to be cast. Dunst has done a bit of TV over the years, but Plemons may be the real draw here, considering he’s starred in every one of your favorite TV shows and miniseries over the past few years — Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, HBO’s Olive Kitteridge. Fargo is just another day’s work....

  6. Free Bleachers show coming to Jannus


    Alternative station 97X is in a giving mood, putting on a free concert by Bleachers, on Dec. 29 at Jannus Live with MisterWives opening the show. Bleachers is the new project from Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, the boyfriend of Lena Dunham, a collaborator with Taylor Swift and Sara Bareilles and a burgeoning alternative teen idol thanks in part to the infectious and rousing single I Wanna Get Better. And here's a nice bonus: Anyone who brings a new unwrapped toy to a ticket drop will receive a free copy of 97X's Green Room Vol. X album, featuring acoustic performances by Arctic Monkeys, Young the Giant and more. As with all free 97X shows, tickets will be available only at certain locations between now and the day of the show. Go to for a list of ticket drops and more details on the show. — Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer...

  7. For Demetri Martin, comedy's great puzzle is finding the art within


    Few and far between are the puzzles that Demetri Martin cannot solve. This is a man who has composed a 500-word palindrome, who writes jokes at a treadmill desk, who taught himself ambidexterity just for the heck of it.

    But then there's the matter of making a movie in Hollywood — the ultimate puzzle, in many ways, for a noggin as nimble as Martin's.

    "I figured it would be hard, but we didn't have enough pre-production time, so it was a little extra hard," says Martin, calling during a challenging editing session on his debut feature film, Dean, which he wrote, directed, produced and — because that evidently wasn't enough of a challenge — stars in. "I'm hoping I'll get a good movie out of it. It's a small movie, but logistically very difficult." ...

    Demetri Martin says he likes a variety of outlets for his comedic creativity.
  8. Neutral Milk Hotel coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    That headline is not lying. Jeff Mangum and his beloved, eccentric, erratic band of infrequently touring indie rock icons, Neutral Milk Hotel, are coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on May 4.

    We could go ahead and call this the must-see indie rock show of 2015 and that might be an understatement. Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over the Sea is considered a modern classic, and the band influenced artists like Arcade Fire, Bon Iver and the Decemberists, yet the reclusive Mangum barely performed live from 1998 to 2010. He stepped back out with some solo shows, including one at the Beacham in Orlando in early 2012, and has since brought the full-on Neutral Milk Hotel moniker back for festivals like Coachella. ...

  9. Black Keys' rise to superstardom is complex, messy

    Music & Concerts

    One guy sings and slings an ax, the other pounds away on a drum kit. Those are the bones of rock 'n' roll, the essence of the genre in its purest, rawest form.

    For the Black Keys, it's a little more complicated than that. A lot, actually.

    Behind Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's two-man garage rock revolution — one that has yielded massive airplay and endless critical hosannas — is a maze of musical complexity. The duo's Turn Blue world tour, which hits Tampa's Amalie Arena on Tuesday, is the biggest road show they've ever produced, with a sprawling stage swarmed by glowing, Transformer-like screens....

    Patrick Carney, in back, and Dan Auerbach will perform Tuesday at Amalie Arena in the Black Keys’ first local gig in four years.
  10. Review / photos: 97X Next Big Thing brings Fall Out Boy, Alt-J, New Politics, more to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg


    It should have been problematic that most of the bands at this year's 97X Next Big Thing festival were on their second, even third spins through Tampa Bay in the last calendar year. Next Big Thing?, one might chortle. Don't you mean LAST Big Thing?

    But sometime during an afternoon set of unfathomable energy by Danish pop-punks New Politics, I realized: Who cares if they’ve been here before? Forget next; these guys are playing like they're right the hell now....

    Alt-J performs during the 2014 97X Next Big Thing festival on Dec. 6 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.
  11. 2015 Grammy nominations: Pharrell Williams, Black Keys, Taylor Swift among top names coming to Tampa Bay


    The 2015 Grammy nominations were announced Friday, and the big winner of the day -- at least here in Tampa Bay -- was Amalie Arena.

    A handful of artists coming to Amalie in December -- Pharrell Williams, the Black Keys, Usher, Meghan Trainor, Charli XCX, St. Vincent and Jessie J -- all received major nominations, including Album of the Year for Pharrell's G I R L. The Record of the Year category alone features two songs by artists performing at the Dec. 22 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball -- Trainor's All About That Bass (which was also nominated for Song of the Year) and Fancy by Charli XCX and Iggy Azalea....

  12. Jo Dee Messina talks Kickstarter, playing rock clubs, innovation in country music and more


    (Editor's note: Hours after this interview was published, Jo Dee Messina's concert on Dec. 10 was moved from the Ritz Ybor to Feb. 22 in Ocala. Click here for details. The original interview follows as it ran.)

    The prospect of going indie at age 44, with two kids and your biggest hits in the rearview, would terrify many musicians....

  13. Taylor Dayne talks 'Colors of Christmas,' holiday music, Tig Notaro and more


    In a time when nearly every pop singer has at least one Christmas album or single, Taylor Dayne is the rare star with neither. “I’m a little Jewish girl from Long Island,” she said.

    And yet Dayne completely understands and appreciates the appeal of the holiday pop concert.

    “I don’t go up there and am like, ‘Hey, this is a Taylor Dayne concert.’ It’s not. This is very different,” said Dayne, calling from Los Angeles. “You’re selling it, and you’re performing it very differently, in the sense that this is respectful. This music’s been there, most of it, for many, many years. They’re beautiful pieces of work. There’s a classicness to it that you always want to honor.”...

  14. Hark! 'Colors of Christmas,' more holiday concerts pack Tampa Bay venues

    Music & Concerts

    In a time when nearly every pop singer has at least one Christmas album or single, Taylor Dayne is the rare star with neither. "I'm a little Jewish girl from Long Island," she said.

    And yet Dayne completely understands and appreciates the appeal of the holiday pop concert.

    "I don't go up there and am like, 'Hey, this is a Taylor Dayne concert.' It's not. This is very different," said Dayne, calling from Los Angeles. "You're selling it, and you're performing it very differently, in the sense that this is respectful. This music's been there, most of it, for many, many years. They're beautiful pieces of work. There's a classic-ness to it that you always want to honor."...

    Taylor  Dayne
  15. Next Big Thing set times, lineup info: When to see Fall Out Boy, Young the Giant, Alt-J and more


    Think of this year’s 97X Next Big Thing as a greatest hits package of 2014. Almost all of the bands on the bill have already played Tampa Bay in the 12 months since Next Big Thing 2013, in some cases more than once. So why should you bother seeing them again on Saturday in Vinoy Park? Allow us to make a case. And while we're at it, we're passing along the Next Big Thing set times, which were released Wednesday by the station....