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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. Festivals and forecasts: How do events like the Sunset Music Festival prepare for weather disasters?


    John Santoro knew nasty weather might force him to pull the plug on his biggest party.

    "We're in Tampa," said the co-organizer of the annual Sunset Music Festival, a fluorescent carnival of electronic dance music that returns this Saturday and Sunday to Raymond James Stadium. "It just goes with the territory."...

    Workers build the main stage for the 2015 Sunset Music Festival outside Raymond James Stadium.
  2. SoundBytes: Madonna, DVBBS, The Temperance Movement and more


    -- If you had tickets to see Madonna at Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena on Aug. 29 and 30, bad news: The Material Girl has postponed those dates -- and others in Atlanta and San Juan, P.R. -- to January. Madonna's new Florida dates are Jan. 23 and 24. "Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized," Madonna said in a statement. "I promise you this show will be worth the wait."...

  3. After last year's Sunset Music Festival storms, safety is a top concern

    Music & Concerts

    John Santoro knew nasty weather might force him to pull the plug on his biggest party.

    "We're in Tampa," said the co-organizer of the annual Sunset Music Festival, a fluorescent carnival of electronic dance music that returns this Saturday and Sunday to Raymond James Stadium. "It just goes with the territory."

    He's right. There's a 50 percent chance of rain for this weekend's event, and the festival is expecting about 10,000 more people than in the past. It's bringing what happened last year back into focus....

    Performer Tianna Nevin Quesenberry dances on the main stage during DVBBS set at the Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in 2014. 
[Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. 97X Barbecue set times, schedule unveiled: Here's when to see Awolnation and more


    This weekend is something of a festivus maximus in Tampa Bay, with three major festivals going on throughout the region: The Sunset Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday; the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival on Saturday; and the 97X Barbecue on Saturday.

    Set times for each event have been trickling out all week -- here are Sunset's -- and today we have a look at the schedule for the 97X Barbecue at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Here's when to catch everyone on the lineup:...

  5. Porter Robinson talks 'Worlds,' his live show, writing new music and more


    North Carolina DJ and producer Porter Robinson has only released one new song since last year's acclaimed album Worlds, an icy, soulful remix of Nero's The Thrill. He frequently struggles with writer's block, and calls the high standards to which he holds himself "really, really frustrating."...

    Porter Robinson
  6. Porter Robinson talks craft pre-Sunset Music Festival

    Music & Concerts

    His North Carolina driver's license says Porter Robinson. But concert marquees worldwide include a crucial four-letter addendum: Live. • As "Porter Robinson Live" — the billing he adopts for gigantic concerts like this weekend's Sunset Music Festival in Tampa — the 22-year-old artist sings, triggers samples and plays keyboards and drum pads behind a stark, minimalist riser. These are all things most DJs don't do, and a big reason why Robinson is being hailed as one of electronic music's great young saviors. • "The 'Live' show was basically the natural progression for me, from going from a DJ-focused career to more of a song-focused career," Robinson, 22, said by phone from his home in Chapel Hill, N.C. "I think if you come expecting a crazy DJ set, the show doesn't work as well as if you come in expecting, 'This is a live representation of what I stand for musically.' "...

    INDIO, CA - APRIL 10:  DJ Porter Robinson performs onstage during day 1 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 10, 2015 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella)
  7. SoundBytes: Michelle Branch, Billy Idol, Nick Jonas and more


    -- It's been a long time since Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Michelle Branch has popped up in Tampa Bay, and if you want to see her in June, you'd better feel lucky. Her June 1 acoustic performance at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is open only to contest winners, 300 of whom will receive a pair of tickets through a Hard Rock Facebook contest. Click here for details....

    Michelle Branch
  8. K. Michelle cancels Friday's concert at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Oh, those "unforeseen circumstances." They wreak so much havoc on our weekend plans. If only we could foresee them!

    Alas, no such luck when it comes to K. Michelle's concert on Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The R&B diva has canceled that show due to -- you guessed it -- "unforeseen circumstances." The venue tweeted that full refunds will be given to ticket buyers....

  9. Sunset Music Festival schedule, set times released: When to see Skrillex, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren and more


    The Sunset Music Festival is a dizzying spectacle of stages and EDM talent, and making sense of who to see and when can be a mystery. Finally, though, the festival has announced its 2015 set times and schedule, so you can map out an agenda when you hit Raymond James Stadium this Saturday and Sunday.

    The Sunset Music Festival's schedule and set times were released over the weekend for all three stages: Sunset (the main stage), Eclipse (trance and bass) and Horizon (forward-thinking up-and-comers). If you want to know when to catch heavy hitters like Skrillex, Tiesto, Porter Robinson and Armin van Buuren (above), look no further:...

    Armin van Buuren
  10. Upon B.B. King's death, his guitar Lucille falls silent (w/video)

    Music & Concerts

    Her name was Lucille, and she was peerless in the world of the blues.

    She was always unmistakable, black and gold and gleaming, pressed to the chest of a big, beaming man in a natty patterned tux.

    Riley B. King died Friday at 89 after battles with diabetes and dehydration. The world knew him as B.B., the King of the Blues. Lucille was his queen, the one he always got dressed up for, the one he always held closest and made sing like no other. Together they rode rails and roadways across America, preaching the gospel of the blues from Beale Street to Carnegie Hall, one never far from the other....

    Legendary blues man B.B. King performs to a capacity crowd at Orlando’s House of Blues in December 2002.
  11. On retirement, WFLA's Gayle Sierens reflects on a lifetime in TV news

    The Feed

    An hour before airtime, Gayle Sierens is inside a tiny voice-over booth, recording a promo for the 6 p.m. newscast.

    "Next at 6: A man with a gun got past security at last night's Bolts game. How will that affect fans headed out to tonight's game? Plus: Upload a picture and this website tries to guess your age. But did you read the fine print? We did, and we'll share it with you. Next at 6." ...

    Channel 8 photojournalist Michael Egger films Gayle and her husband Mike as part of a segment to be aired on her retirement day. 

Gayle Sierens, longtime lead anchor at WFLA-Ch. 8, is retiring May 20 after 38 years at the station. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  12. Taylor Swift's star-filled 'Bad Blood' video: Let's guess the plot!


    If you're one of the nearly 90 million people who have INTIMATE and EXCLUSIVE access to the inner workings of Taylor Swift's mind, body and soul through the magic of Twitter and Instagram, you've been inundated this week with images promoting her forthcoming video to the single Bad Blood, which will debut during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards on May 17 on ABC....

    Ever since True Grit, we've been clamoring for exactly what this video appears to be promising: A lot more Hailee Steinfeld. She stars as "The Trinity," and perhaps this triple-duty role suggest Taylor's really into Orphan Black these days.
  13. Review: Bette Midler as vivacious (and bawdy!) as ever at Tampa's Amalie Arena


    May we all age as brassily, as bawdily, as va-va-vivaciously as Bette Midler.

    The Divine Miss M is 69, has been at this for five decades now, and yet her first major tour in a decade finds her skidding around the stage in a minidress and teeny spikes, swearing like a sailor, flashing a million-watt smile and more leg than Colonel Sanders.

    “The people’s goddess is in the house tonight, to lift your spirits like a boob job for the soul!” she chirped to the crowd of 9,282 Monday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena. And later: “I’m like vodka: Ageless, odorless and tasteless!"...

    Bette Midler performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on May 11, 2015.
  14. Zedd coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Is Tampa ready for a full-on arena rave?

    It sure seems that way, as DJs keep playing bigger and bigger venues across town. Calvin Harris played a late, incredibly energetic set at the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball in December. Just this weekend, Pretty Lights headlined Day 1 of the Big Guava Music Festival. And in less than two weeks, the Sunset Music Festival will draw some 50,000 fans to Ramond James Stadium....

  15. Paul McCartney jams with Tampa wedding band at son's college graduation party


    So, how was your weekend? Pretty good? Cool. But there's no way it was as cool as Josh Walther's.

    Walther, the singer of the Tampa wedding and event band Phase5, were booked to perform at a college graduation party at a country club in Winter Park, but until a few weeks ago, they didn't know the guest of honor, Rollins College communications major Arlen Blakeman, is the stepson of Sir Paul McCartney....

    Paul McCartney jams with singer Josh Walther, at right, and Tampa band Phase5 at a May 9 graduation party for McCartney's stepson Arlen Blakeman at Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park.