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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


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

  1. Todd Rundgren talks teaching, Coachella, reaching a new generation of fans and more


    Todd Rundgren is a hero to a generation of rock fans who adore his decades of solo work and legendary production skills. But these days, the studio wizard is figuring out how to reach a younger audience.

    The artist, who performs at the Mahaffey Theater on Saturday (click here for details), recently delivered a commencement address at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and before that popped up at Coachella, performing with buzzy New York indie group the Lemon Twigs. And he just released White Knight, a collaborative album that features not only old pals like Daryl Hall, Donald Fagen and Joe Walsh, but unlikely younger stars like Robyn, Dam-Funk and Trent Reznor....

  2. Interview: Todd Rundgren comes to St. Petersburg looking to reach a new generation

    Music & Concerts

    They're teaching Todd Rundgren in college now.

    Not every college, of course. As far as Rundgren knows, they might only be teaching his legendary songwriting and production techniques at the universities where he's delivered guest lectures, sharing his vast musical knowledge with the children and grandchildren of his typical fans.

    "It was kind of a pleasant surprise when I did the first one, at the University of Indiana," Rundgren, 68, said in a recent phone interview. "People, when they get older, seem to think that youth is feckless — and in many ways they are — but to be able to spend time with serious, smart people who also happen to be young and part of their generation can be inspiring."...

    Todd Rundgren will perform at the Mahaffey Theater on May 27. Credit: Lynn Goldsmith
  3. This week's best Tampa Bay concerts: Sunset Music Festival, 97X BBQ, Train and more

    Music & Concerts

    RISING AGAIN: Sunset Music Festival

    More eyes than ever will be on this year's Sunset Music Festival, the annual electronic extravaganza that will draw some 60,000 fans over Saturday and Sunday to Raymond James Stadium. A lot of that has to do with safety concerns and improvements following last year's event, when two fans died of drug overdoses, prompting local officials to consider pulling the plug....

    Musicians Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper of Grouplova perform at Coachella in April. The alt-pop group will headline this year’s 97X BBQ in St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Saturday.
  4. Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Cleese, Ana Gasteyer, more coming to the Straz Center in Tampa


    Get ready to mix some science, comedy and music in with your diet of Broadway musicals in Tampa.

    The Straz Center for the Performing Arts has announced the bulk of its 2017-18 season, and it includes such figures as astrophycisist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Monty Python's John Cleese, Saturday Night Live's Ana Gasteyer and Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and A Prairie Home Companion....

  5. Who will headline the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in Tampa?


    The NFL announced Tuesday that Tampa will host Super Bowl LV in 2021, a result of stadium construction delays in Los Angeles.

    Among the leading questions on our mind: Who will headline the halftime show?

    A ridiculous question, we'll admit. The NFL hasn't even announced the halftime performers for its 2018 (Minneapolis), 2019 (Atlanta) and 2020 (Miami) Super Bowls, much less its just-shifted 2021 game in Tampa....

    Taylor Swift performed at Raymond James Stadium in 2015. Could she return for Super Bowl LV in 2021?
  6. Above and Beyond's Tony McGuinness talks festivals, acoustic shows, obsessive fandom and more


    Hanging on a wall of Tony McGuinness’ London home is a portrait of actor Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner, a film with which McGuinness admits he’s “mildly obsessed.”

    “That was kind of the first inspiration for me dying my hair blond,” McGuinness said during a recent FaceTime call, Hauer’s imposing mug hovering behind him.

    That sort of intense fandom has served McGuinness well in his long and varied career in music, first in rock bands, then as a major-label marketing executive, and, for the last decade and a half, as a member of the blockbuster English trance trio Above and Beyond....

    Tony McGuinness, left, with Above and Beyond.
  7. As summer concert season starts, Tampa Bay venues remain vigilant after Manchester attack

    Public Safety

    In the aftermath of the Monday night explosion that killed at least 22 people — including children — moments after a pop concert ended in England, local venues assured the public that security will remain tight for the Tampa Bay area's upcoming big-ticket shows.

    "First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrible tragedy at the Manchester Arena," said Raymond James Stadium officials in a statement issued Tuesday....

    Fans cross Himes Avenue in Tampa toward Raymond James Stadium before the start of Beyonce's Formation World Tour in Tampa on April 29, 2016. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  8. SoundBytes: Washed Out, Yellow Claw, Ace Frehley and more


    -- Chillwave producer Washed Out is returning to Tampa, this time at the Orpheum on July 15. Tickets are $23. Click here.

    -- The Sunset Music Festival has announced after-party info for this weekend. Tritonal and 4B will headline on Saturday; tickets are $20 and up. Yellow Claw will headline on Sunday; tickets are $25 and up. Both events take place at the Ritz Ybor. Click here for info....

    Washed Out
  9. Idina Menzel talks Taylor Swift, Joni Mitchell, balancing pop and Broadway and more


    No matter how great a show Idina Menzel puts on Thursday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, it’ll forever pale to the one she gave Tampa on Halloween in 2015.

    That’s the night Menzel dressed as Frozen’s Queen Elsa and joined Taylor Swift at Raymond James Stadium to sing Let It Go....

    Idina Menzel will perform at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.
  10. Review: Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars bring monster rock might to Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre


    In one corner was Matt Bellamy of Muse, stepping from the shadows in glowing blue shades and glowing blue sneakers, a glowing blue guitar strapped across his red satin jacket, moaning and wailing like Bono reborn.

    In the other was Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars in a sparkling gold jacket and nighttime shades, flannel cinching his beltline, striking messianic poses and twirling his arms like rotor blades to stir the crowd into hysterics....

    Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds to Mars performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on May 21, 2017.
  11. Could 2018 NHL All-Star Game bring major concert festival to Tampa?


    In case you missed the news this week, Tampa is reportedly the top choice to host the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, which would bring one of hockey's premiere events to town for the first time in nearly 20 years.

    Anytime a big-time sporting event comes to town -- the Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff's National Championship, even a PGA tournament -- that means big-time music is probably coming, too. And the NHL All-Star Game would be no different....

    If the NHL All-Star Game returns to Tampa in 2018, it might give Drake a chance to dust off the Steven Stamkos jersey he wore in concert in 2016.
  12. R.I.P. Chris Cornell: Looking back at his and Soundgarden's concerts in Tampa Bay


    I've written about Chris Cornell dozens of times over the years. Among the phrases I've used to describe his voice: "golden," "preserved in amber," "a work of art," a "jet-engine wail," "always the Seattle scene's best."

    I could keep going, but you get the picture: I truly loved Soundgarden and Cornell, probably the best singer-songwriter of the grunge generation, and one of the best in all of rock over the past 30 years. Here's my tribute to a personal musical hero, found dead early Thursday in what a medical examiner ruled suicide by hanging....

    Chris Cornell and Soundgarden performed at St. Petersburg's Bayfront Center Arena in July 1994.
  13. Cridlin: With death of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, a dynamic voice goes dark


    Chris Cornell may have been grunge's finest songwriter. He sang, in his bronzeworthy wail, of alienation and decay, of black holes and black days and the void of the superunknown. He sang, too, of love and hope, of rebirth and absolution, of pains he could never wipe away.

    He also sang — in songs now harder than ever to hear — of suicide.

    The songs that made Cornell one of the most dynamic voices in rock will take on new poignancy following his death early Thursday at 52. Police in Detroit found Cornell unresponsive in a casino hotel bathroom while on tour with his iconic Seattle grunge group Soundgarden, according to the Associated Press. A medical examiner ruled the death suicide by hanging. ...

    Chris Cornell speaks to the media as he arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Neil Diamond in Los Angeles in 2009. Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died Wednesday night in Detroit at age 52. [Associated Press]
  14. Review: Bishop Briggs lives up to next big thing hype at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg


    Bishop Briggs paced the State Theatre stage like a penned-up puma, pouncing and snarling and singing with a fire belying her 24 years.

    And then between almost every song during her sold-out concert on Wednesday, she would grin ear to ear and hunch shyly into her mic.

    “The thought of headlining our own tour was such a far-off dream,” she said with a laugh. “We’re happy to say, with you guys, we did it.”...

    Bishop Briggs performed at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on May 17, 2017.
  15. SoundBytes: Band of Horses, Grizzly Bear, Rick Ross and more


    -- Jannus Live is continuing their excellent hot streak of indie rock shows by booking Band of Horses on Oct. 6. Tickets are $29.50 and up and go on sale Friday. Click here.

    -- One indie rock show Jannus Live didn't get: Grizzly Bear. They're embarking on a huge tour, but the closest it'll come is Orlando's House of Blues on Nov. 15. Click here....