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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. SoundBytes: Sister Hazel, Beres Hammond, Breathe Carolina, GTA and more


    -- The Tampa Bay Rays have added Sister Hazel to their 2015 postgame concert series. The Gainesville rockers will perform following the Sept. 19 game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Click here for details.

    -- Several new shows coming to Jannus Live over the next few months: DJ duo GTA on Aug. 15 (tickets are $30-$40, click here), reggae legend Beres Hammond on Aug. 21 (tickets are $30-$50, click here) and country singer Corey Smith on Oct. 3 (tickets are $22-$27, click here)....

  2. Record store owners lament the move to New Music Friday

    Music & Concerts

    If you're itching to get your hands on this week's new albums by Owl City, Ghostface Killah or Veruca Salt, don't bother hitting your local record shop on Tuesday.

    Starting this week, the music industry is adopting a new timetable for releasing music in America. As part of a push to standardize record release dates around the globe, you'll have to wait a few more days to fill up your latest playlist or cradle that new CD or LP in your arms. ...

    Bananas Music in St. Petersburg.
  3. This week in Tampa: Vans Warped Tour, American Idol Live!, Shinedown, Shaggy and more


    Welcome to a slightly revamped version of This Week In Tampa! From this week forward, Times Pop Music/Culture Critic Jay Cridlin and tbt* music contributor Ray Roa will collaborate on the week's top music picks around Tampa Bay. And there are a lot of 'em!

    This week, Jay and Ray delve into American Idol Live!, Shinedown (above), Shaggy, The Fixx, mewithoutYou, Caked Up, Superheaven, Paul Oakenfold and more. We also dig into St. Pete's Vans Warped Tour and Ybor City's annual Hot Dog Party on Friday, both of which will feature lupine St. Pete punks Wolf-Face. Click here for Jay's preview of those shows....

  4. Crayons abound as Crayola Experience opens in Orlando's Florida Mall


    ORLANDO — Snipping a ribbon of uncut yellow crayon wrappers, Crayola executives on Wednesday officially opened the Crayola Experience, a wildly colorful celebration of artistic creativity at Orlando's Florida Mall.

    In the works for a year, the 70,000-square-foot attraction features an assortment of some 25 interactive art activities, ranging from simple coloring sheets and clay-modeling stations to one-of-a-kind experiences not seen anywhere else. ...

    The 70,000-square-foot attraction features about 25 interactive art activities, from simple coloring sheets to clay-modeling stations. And, of course, because this is Orlando, there’s a gift shop near the entrance, loaded with art supplies, Silly Putty and hundreds of Crayola souvenirs, including many retro-styled items designed to appeal to adults.
  5. Nick Fradiani talks about the business side of winning 'American Idol,' writing new music and more


    If you spent time at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in the late ’80s or early ’90s, you may have bumped into a future American Idol.

    “My family stayed in St. Pete every single summer of my life, from when I was I don’t know how old,” said Nick Fradiani, whose father, a professional musician, used to take summer gigs playing piano at the resort. “There are videos of me singing at the TradeWinds when I was like 4 years old.”...

  6. Uncle John's Band hits Chicago for Grateful Dead glory

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Minutes after midnight, Uncle John's Band closes another sprawling set at Skipper's Smokehouse with the Grateful Dead's U.S. Blues, drawing cheers from the tie-dyed faithful.

    Bassist Mike Edwards deflates into a stoop at stage right, wincing, rubbing his hip and his head. He fingers a cigarette as giddy fans share kudos.

    "That was a long four hours," he says, limping off stage....

    Mike Edwards, co-founder of Uncle John’s Band, rehearses a Grateful Dead tune. The Grateful Dead tribute group will play at an event connected to the Dead’s final shows in Chicago.
  7. Music Planner: American Idols, Wolf-Face and the Warped Tour

    Music & Concerts


    Life immediately after winning American Idol isn't the gravy train you might think. "The first couple of weeks have been total chaos — long, long days, a lot of travel, haven't slept much," said Nick Fradiani, who in May was crowned champion of American Idol's 14th season. Fradiani has been so busy pushing his single Beautiful Life to radio stations all over the country — "Boston, Providence, Minnesota, Arkansas, all over the place" — that it wasn't until recently he finally had time to sit down and think about, y'know, making new music. But he doesn't mind. "The more you can put yourself out there, the better," he said. "They're putting me to work, for sure."...

    American Idol winner Nick Fradiani and finalists Jax, Clark Beckham, Tyanna Jones and Rayvon Owen will hit Ruth Eckerd Hall on Tuesday.
  8. Original Wailers, Tonic, Everlast, more coming to ROC Park in Madeira Beach


    So this new waterfront park in Madeira Beach really seems to be coming into its own as a concert destination, huh?

    A couple of weeks ago, ROC Park ("ROC" stands for "Remember Our Children") hosted this year's Summerland Tour with Everclear, the Toadies, Fuel and more. And in August, it'll host one of the most anticipated outdoor festivals of the summer, with Culture Club, Howard Jones, C+C Music Factory and more....

  9. Vance Joy to play free concert at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Do you love free stuff? Do you love that song Riptide? Do you love Vance Joy, but don't feel like braving the screaming throngs at this Halloween's Taylor Swift concert to see him?

    This show is for you.

    Joy, the Australian singer-songwriter behind the smash pop hit Riptide, will headline the latest free 97X Shindig concert on July 22 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg. All you have to do is show up at one of the station's many ticket drops across Tampa Bay between now and the show, and entry is yours (although be forewarned, these shows tend to fill up fast, so get there early)....

  10. Juicy J cancels Sunday's concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa


    It's hard out there for a pimp. And for Juicy J fans in Tampa, it just got a whole lot harder.

    The Three 6 Mafia rapper has canceled Sunday's concert at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa, according to announcements from the venue and promoters Dope Entertainment. However, his show in Orlando on June 26 is still a go.

    Dope says the Tampa show was canceled "due to personal reasons beyond his control. ... We apologize, but please understand this situation was out of (our) control. Thank you for your understanding."...

  11. Tampa music scene rallying around local producer, guitarist Steve Connelly


    Steve Connelly has for decades been among the Tampa Bay music scene's most ubiquitous personalities. As a guitarist, he was signed to a national label, appeared on the Tonight Show, played a stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a producer, he's brought life to hundreds of songs at his Zen Recording in Pinellas Park by artists like Ronny Elliott, Rebekah Pulley and Have Gun, Will Travel....

  12. Music community rallies around producer Steve Connelly

    Music & Concerts

    Musicians struggle to put the Steve Connelly touch into words.

    "He records bands in this almost supernatural way," Robert Vessenmeyer said.

    "Steve," Natty Moss Bond said, "goes somewhere the rest of us don't go."

    Ask almost any local artist about Connelly, and you'll hear more of the same. Connelly, who turns 62 on Tuesday, has for decades been among the Tampa Bay music scene's most ubiquitous personalities. As a guitarist, he was signed to a national label, appeared on the Tonight Show and played a stadium with the Grateful Dead. As a producer, he's brought life to hundreds of songs at his Zen Recording in Pinellas Park, each bearing that hard-to-define Connelly touch....

    Steve Connelly, a longtime local musician and record producer, rehearses with his band Steve Connelly and the Lesser Gods. They will perform Saturday at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa at a benefit for Connelly, whose studio roof recently collapsed.
  13. Review: Alabama Shakes might be the next great American band

    Music & Concerts

    Here, this is always a fun one: Who's the greatest American rock band of all time?

    You've got your Beach Boys, your Eagles, your R.E.M.s, your Nirvanas. The Grateful Dead and the Band have their backers. Some progressive thinkers might toss out the E Street Band or the Heartbreakers.

    At the heart of the question, though, is another that requires deeper consideration: What, exactly, makes an American band a great American band?...

  14. SoundBytes: The Neighbourhood, Ani DiFranco, Purity Ring, Alvin and the Chipmunks and more


    -- Two big new rock shows coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg: Breaking Benjamin with Young Guns on Aug. 26 (click here for details); and The Neighbourhood (above) with Bad Suns and Hunny on Sept. 21 (tickets are $30 and up; click here)....

    The Neighbourhood
  15. Billy Gardell of 'Mike & Molly' on comedy, the road and battling weight


    When Mike & Molly hit its 100th episode in January, Billy Gardell wasn't gifted with a fancy Ferrari or a brand new beach house in Cabo.

    "There wasn't a lot of gifts," said the CBS sitcom's eponymous Mike. "The network sent us all really nice watches. Back in the '80s, it was cars. But, you know. Inflation."

    All kidding aside, 100 episodes still is a massive milestone. The film success of Gardell's on-screen wife, Melissa McCarthy, had a lot to do with that. But it took more than a breakout star for Mike & Molly to become a genuine hit, going beyond its one-note premise — two overweight lonelies meet cute and fall in love — to deliver a sitcom that resonates....

    Billy Gardell, whose family moved to Florida when he was a kid, spent years on the Florida standup circuit.