Review / photos: Jared Leto, Thirty Seconds to Mars lead 97X Next Big Thing at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg12/08/13 Blog
Is this how Oscar campaigns are usually conducted? With the presumptive nominee in a kilt at the lip of a festival stage, asking the crowd, “Does anybody wanna get crazy with me tonight?”
Harvey Weinstein probably wouldn’t do it this way. But then, Jared Leto has never bowed to convention.
The singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, who headlined 97X Next Big Thing on Saturday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, has entered a new era of his life as an actor-musician, thanks to rave reviews for his tender performance as an AIDS-afflicted transvestite in Dallas Buyers Club. Next week, he could be a Golden Globe nominee for his role as Rayon, the friend and business partner of Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey), and most Oscar oddsmakers think a Best Supporting Actor nod is inevitable....
2014 Grammy nominations: Robin Thicke, Queens of the Stone Age, Tony Bennett, Little Big Town among Grammy nominees coming to Tampa Bay12/06/13 Blog
The 2014 Grammy nominations were unveiled Friday night, and as always, many of the nominees -- including a couple in the top categories -- currently have concerts scheduled in Tampa Bay. Some are even coming here in the next two weeks. Let's run down the list:
-- Among the top four categories (Album, Record and Song of the Year and Best New Artist), only a couple of nominees are coming anywhere near Tampa Bay: Sara Barielles, whose The Blessed Unrest was nominated for Album of the Year, is playing the House of Blues in Orlando on Dec. 15 (click here). And Robin Thicke, above, who scored one of the biggest hits of the year in Blurred Lines, was nominated for (among other things) Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. He'll be at the 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball on Dec. 18 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Click here....
12/05/13 Music & Concerts
Huey Lewis can't wait to return to Florida for the umpty-hundredth time. Especially since he just got back from a two-date run in — yikes — Anchorage, Alaska.
"Merle Haggard once said to me, 'That's success: You're touring in the north in the summer and the south in the winter,' " said Lewis, calling recently from his home in Montana. "That's how you know you've made it."
Merle wasn't lying. But Lewis would be a certified success no matter when he rolled back down to Florida, thanks in no small part to his landmark album Sports, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and turned Huey Lewis and the News into '80s A-listers....
12/04/13 Music & Concerts
When local alt-rock station 97X launched its first year-end rock festival in 2001, it adopted the moniker Next Big Thing — the idea being that the festival would showcase not only the hottest rock acts of any given year, but also those that might be radio mainstays in the years to come. • The station doesn't always pick 'em right — hello, Stroke 9 and Flickerstick! — but more often than not, Next Big Thing's youngest bands do go on to, well, much bigger things. Scrolling through the lineups of Next Big Things past, it's striking just how many now-huge artists played early in the day — before noon, in some cases — before blowing up the following year. • With 97X Next Big Thing returning to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Saturday, we decided to look back at some of the festival's best early-day bets over the years — and predict which young acts from this year's lineup might be all the rage in 2014. Our advice: If you're going, plan to get there early. — Jay Cridlin email@example.com...
11/26/13 Music & Concerts
Does death metal have a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Alex Webster is here to make his case.
"I think if you listen to Elvis and you listen to Cannibal Corpse or Morbid Angel, it's a pretty massive distance," said the bassist and co-founder of Cannibal Corpse. "But the roots are similar. Without rock 'n' roll, metal wouldn't have happened, and without traditional heavy metal and hard rock, you wouldn't have had thrash metal and death metal and stuff like that. I think there's a place for death metal and other kinds of extreme metal in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — maybe not the official Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but figuratively speaking."...
What can you buy these days for $20? Actually, a better question this time of year might be: What can you buy someone else for $20? It’s a price point that would work for any number of gift recipients — a friend, a family member, even a co-worker you really, really like. The fact that you can pay with a single Andrew Jackson is a nice, tidy bonus. So, for this year’s tbt* Holiday Gift Guide, instead of scouring bargain-basement retailers and tiptoeing around luxury-goods boutiques, we decided to stick to a single price point. Here are more than 25 great gifts we found for around $20 apiece....
11/26/13 Food & Dining
A couple of years ago, I spent a weekend in Canada, basically surviving on a diet of nothing but pilsner and poutine. It's a miracle I made it back alive, because poutine — a traditional French Canadian dish consisting of fries, cheese curds and brown gravy — is every bit as unhealthy as it is delicious.
Problem is, it's not easy to find poutine (pronounced poo-teen, and stop snickering) here in the States — at least, not this far south. That's surprising. You would think, given the number of Canadian snowbirds who winter in Florida, that Tampa Bay would be overrun with gastropubs and greasy spoons serving this seemingly easy-to-replicate dish. ...
Macklemore ascended to the stage at the USF Sun Dome Saturday night on a hydraulic riser, in a cloud of smoke, in a military jacket laced in gold lamé, his copper top swished into a tidy little swirl. Of course he did, because really, was there any other way for 2013’s breakout rapper to make an entrance?
In the year of Jay-Z and J.T., Yeezus and Cyrus, Blurred Lines and Get Lucky, it was this independent rapper and his wunderkind producer whose arrival was the most shocking. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis went from Seattle nobodies to platinum-selling upstarts overnight – or maybe it just seemed that way – thanks to debut album The Heist, featuring chart-smashing singles Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us. Rising up from nowhere is what they do best....
When R&B icon Mary J. Blige slipped into St. Petersburg on Nov. 6 to record a concert special promoting her new holiday album, A Mary Christmas, it began to feel a lot like Christmas.
You can catch Blige's concert special, featuring songs from her holiday album, at 6 p.m. Sunday on HSN. Click here for our story on the concert and Blige's album....
The Gasparilla Music Festival is two for two in producing an affordable, musically diverse and universally acclaimeed event. In 2014, the festival is expanding to two days, March 8 and 9 -- and based on the initial lineup announced Friday, it's looking like they might go three for three.
Oklahoma freak-rockers the Flaming Lips will headline the first night of GMF 2014, and they'll be joined throughout the weekend by indie rockers Delta Spirit, singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, roots guitarist Anders Osborne and Venezuelan collective Los Amigos Invisibles....
The concert was a secret, the guest list small and exclusive.
But when Mary J. Blige opened up behind the mic, it began to feel a lot like Christmas.
The R&B icon slipped into St. Petersburg on Nov. 6 to record a concert special promoting her new holiday album, A Mary Christmas, that will air at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 on HSN.
Backed by uber-producer David Foster and a 13-piece band, including string and horn sections, Blige belted out 10 holiday classics plucked, she said, from her childhood christmas memories, including the silky, funky This Christmas and an intensely dramatic Mary Did You Know, backed by a gospel choir of local musicians....
Craig Ferguson talks stand-up comedy, traveling to Europe, 'Celebrity Name Game,' visiting the Dali Museum and more11/13/13 Blog
As the Fallons and the Kimmels and the Colberts of the world get sillier and snarkier, more viral and more visible, Craig Ferguson keeps on leaning back behind his desk on the set of The Late Late Show, smirking slyly and delivering, night in and night out, the breeziest, most easygoing late-night talk show on TV.
Yeah. We said it.
At 51 and in his ninth season following David Letterman, the charming Glaswegian has carved out a comfortable niche delivering insightful, intimate monologues on American culture and unrehearsed interviews with entertainers and world leaders. It adds up to a show that feels uniquely honest, self-assured and intelligent — this, in spite of the presence of a randy robot sidekick and a menagerie of oddball puppets....
11/08/13 Music & Concerts
Tampa light-rock station Mix 100.7 just gifted Tampa Bay music lovers with an early Christmas present. Bubbly singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat is joining the lineup for the station's Acoustic Christmas concert, scheduled for Dec. 13 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Caillat joins an already strong lineup, including the Goo Goo Dolls, the Fray, Michael Franti and ZZ Ward. Caillat will no doubt dip into her 2012 holiday album Christmas in the Sand for this one, but maybe she'll also break out summery singles like Realize, Fallin' For You and Begin Again. Tickets to the show start at $39 and are on sale now. For details, see tampabaysmix.com....
11/06/13 Music & Concerts
Michael Angelakos has acute bronchitis.
"It all started with allergies, and I have a lot of stresses in my life, so I'm starting to get sick," said the Passion Pit singer, calling last month from a tour stop in Colorado. "It happens. Touring is touring, and people get sick."
This is not good news for Passion Pit fans. As the synth-pop band continues to scale ever-greater heights — playing Saturday Night Live, selling out Madison Square Garden, headlining Saturday's Coastline Festival in Tampa — Angelakos' viability as a touring musician remains a touchy subject....
11/06/13 Music & Concerts
John Paul Pitts knows what it's like to grow up an indie rock fan in Florida.
He's driven to Atlanta for concerts. He's road-tripped to festivals like Harvest of Hope in St. Augustine and Langerado in the Everglades. He's had to explain the Florida music scene, which he describes as "mysterious to people outside of the state," countless times over the years.
So out of all the flashy young artists at the inaugural Coastline Festival, which takes place Saturday at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre and Sunday in Pitts' hometown of West Palm Beach, it is his band, Surfer Blood, that might be the most excited to play....