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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

Email: cridlin@tampabay.com

Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

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  1. Tampa Bay's best concerts of 2014, Part 4: Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Zac Brown Band and more

    Blog

    (Through the end of the year on Soundcheck, our contributors are looking back at the best local concerts of 2014. Today: Soundcheck and tbt* editor and writer Jay Cridlin.)

    Arctic Monkeys (Feb. 2, Jannus Live): Arctic Monkeys came to St. Petersburg at an interesting time, right as their single Do I Wanna Know? hit No. 1 on the American alternative chart, and one week before they were slated to headline Madison Square Garden. Jannus Live was really too small a venue for that band at that moment, and they played almost like they knew it, swaggering and sneering with bruising greaser muscle. They tossed out every trick in their playbook to win over the crowd, and it worked....

    Alt-J performed at 97X Next Big Thing at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on Dec. 6, 2014.
  2. The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2014, No. 6: The year of the super-sized festival

    Blog

    (Welcome to the end of the year on Soundcheck! From now through Dec. 31, we’ll be wrapping up the year’s best music, best local concerts and the biggest local music stories of the year. Stay tuned as we count 'em all down!)

    The last couple of years, festivals have figured prominently into our top local music stories of the year. We’re just living in a festival culture now, with a new fest popping up every other week, it seems....

  3. The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2014, No. 7: A new comedy boom in Tampa Bay

    Blog

    (Welcome to the end of the year on Soundcheck! From now through Dec. 31, we’ll be wrapping up the year’s best music, best local concerts and the biggest local music stories of the year. Stay tuned as we count 'em all down!)

    In August, the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival kicked off in Tampa, with major comedians like Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Chris Hardwick, Hannibal Buress and Marc Maron performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. It was a watershed show for Tampa Bay comedy fans — but it was only part of what made this a great year for comedy by the bay....

    Louis C.K. headlined the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 8, 2014.
  4. The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2014, No. 8: 'Blackfish' bites back at Busch Gardens, SeaWorld

    Blog

    (Welcome to the end of the year on Soundcheck! From now through Dec. 31, we’ll be wrapping up the year’s best music, best local concerts and the biggest local music stories of the year. Stay tuned as we count 'em all down!)

    It all started with last fall’s Blackfish, a documentary criticizing SeaWorld’s treatment of orcas like Shamu. In the wake of the film, artists like Heart, Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Joan Jett pulled out of the Orlando park’s Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series out of protest....

    Jason Derulo kicked off the 2014 Bands, Brew & BBQ concert series following a controversial stretch for the park in the wake of the documentary Blackfish.
  5. Best music of 2014: Eight albums and four singles that deserve kudos

    Music & Concerts

    You could be forgiven for thinking the year in pop music began last December with Beyonce's Beyonce and ended in October with Taylor Swift's 1989, and nothing released in between even mattered. We'll give you Drunk in Love and Blank Space, fine. But here are eight albums and four singles that also deserve kudos in the year of Queen Bey and T. Swifties. — Jay Cridlin, Times staff writer...

    NEW YORK - MAY 04:  Musician Ryan Adams attends Rolling Stone Magazine's 1000th cover celebration May 04, 2006 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
  6. Review: Jingle Ball brings Pharrell Williams, Demi Lovato, frenetic pop spectacle to Tampa's Amalie Arena (w/photos)

    Blog

    What do two Top 10 singles, a pair of Grammy nominations and the fact that it’s your 21st birthday get you at the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball?

    If you’re Meghan Trainor, it means a scant 10 minutes on stage at the very tip-top of the night. And the singer couldn’t have been more thrilled to get it.

    “Opening the show is epic,” said the singer of All About That Bass, one of 2014’s biggest pop-chart juggernauts. “It's actually my favorite, because I get to watch everyone and relax out there. I don't want it to end.”...

    Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy performs at the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball on Dec. 22, 2014 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  7. Backstage at the Jingle Ball: Jessie J, Charli XCX, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor and more

    Blog

    So much happens at each year's 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball that it's impossible to cram all into one recap. This year's Jingle Ball on Monday at Tampa's Amalie Arena is no exception. Here are a few highlights from our backstage chats with performers...

    *****

    "Tampa just feels like a holiday place," said British pop star Jessie J about the final stop of the Jingle Ball tour. The Bang Bang singer did her Christmas shopping in Tampa and her parents and best friends arrived in town Monday afternoon. "That's what so hard about being on tour. Being away from the people that make you feel like you can do this."...

    Jessie J walks the red carpet of the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball on Dec. 22, 2014 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  8. The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2014, No. 9: New Cuban Club, pristine parks bring big shows outside

    Blog

    (Welcome to the end of the year on Soundcheck! From now through Dec. 31, we'll be wrapping up the year's best music, best local concerts and the biggest local music stories of the year. Stay tuned as we count 'em all down!)

    It’s tough to anyone no one really loved the Cuban Club Bandshell, a small dish of a stage and backdrop awkwardly positioned outside Ybor City’s historic building. But its demolition this spring paved the way for what could still become a major new venue in the Tampa music scene....

    Workers rushed to tear down the Cuban Club's bandshell and make the area presentable for WMNF's Tropical Heatwave festival in May.
  9. The top 10 Tampa music stories of 2014, No. 10: Concerts return to Steinbrenner Field

    Blog

    (Welcome to the end of the year on Soundcheck! From now through Dec. 31, we'll be wrapping up the year's best music, best local concerts and the biggest local music stories of the year. Stay tuned as we count 'em all down!)

    Almost all of Derek Jeter’s career came and went between concerts at Steinbrenner Field — Sting with Natalie Merchant in 1996 and Linkin Park with Thirty Seconds to Mars in 2014....

    Fans celebrated the first concert at Steinbrenner Field in 18 years.
  10. Review: With Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac sound refreshed, revitalized at Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blog

    What does one member mean to a band?

    Depends on the band and the member, but if we’re talking Fleetwood Mac and Christine McVie, it’s worth breaking out some stats.

    A sold-out crowd of 17,620 packed Tampa’s Amalie Arena Saturday night to catch the Mac on their first tour with the songwriter, pianist and occasional lead singer since 1998. That’s up from 14,071 who came to see them last summer, up from 10,008 in 2009....

    Christine McVie returned to perform with Fleetwood Mac in 2014. Their 40th and final show of the year took place Dec. 20 at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  11. Review: Train, Matt Nathanson, Mary Lambert rock fun, freewheeling Mistletoe Show at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

    Blog

    Here’s the thing about these huge year-end radio festivals: You get so many big-name artists in the one room, and you think, “Oooh, wonder what crazy, unpredictable turn of events is gonna happen here tonight?”

    The answer, more often than not, is none. Blame these shows’ inherently corporate nature, their tightly controlled production, fragile artists’ egos, whatever. The craziness just doesn’t always happen....

    Train headlined the Mix 100.7 Mistletoe Show on Dec. 19, 2014 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
  12. From Miley Cyrus to Dick Vitale, here are Tampa Bay's best celebrity Instagrams of 2014

    Pop Culture

    Aziz Ansari

    Before his much-anticipated March 16 shows at the Mahaffey Theater, comic Aziz Ansari checked out Bananas Music, the world's largest vinyl retailer. Bananas Vinyl Warehouse in Florida. Amazing spot, wrote @azizansari. He later tweeted a pic of his vinyl haul, which included some surprisingly avant garde jazz and rock — Donald Byrd, Z.Z. Hill, the Mothers of Invention and Alexis Korner. ...

    Comedian Grant Cotter is far from a household name, but he performed alongside plenty of them (Louis C.K., Chris Hardwick) at the Oddball Comedy and Curisoity Festival on Aug. 8 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. That’s where he captured this incredible pic of Hannibal Buress doing stand-up in a lightning storm. "NOTHING STOPS HANNIBAL," wrote @grantcotter. @hannibalburess later reposted Cotter’s pic, adding, "Lightning tried to show up and ruin my set in Tampa but I powered through."

tbt*s gallery of some of the top celebrity instagrams from Tampa Bay in 2014.
  13. 2015 Gasparilla Music Festival lineup: Gogol Bordello, Trampled By Turtles, the Gaslight Anthem and more

    Blog

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

    Blog

    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?...

    St. Vincent opened for the Black Keys on at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Dec. 16, 2014.
  15. 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....

    Jake Miller