Sean Daly, Times Pop Music Critic

Sean Daly

Sean Daly is the pop music critic at the Tampa Bay Times. He has also alliterated for the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper and People magazine. An only child growing up outside of Boston, he spent great chunks of his youth sprawled in front of his parents' monolithic hi-fi system/coffee table. (He burned his besotted college years at Syracuse University doing pretty much the same thing.) Is he socially maladjusted? Absolutely. However, his music collection — from Otis Redding to Bob Dylan, Public Enemy to Stan Getz — is much bigger and better than yours. So there.

Phone: (727) 893-8467

Email: sdaly@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SeanDalyPopLife

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  1. Cornpone classic Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue turns 40 at Disney

    Florida

    LAKE BUENA VISTA

    When I was 8, my father inadvertently whipped me in the eyeball with a red-and-white cloth napkin. It was a stinger for sure. The physical pain, however, was outweighed by the emotional shock of where this eye-gouging happened: Walt Disney World, specifically the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-sing hootenanny chockful of cornpone in the resort's Fort Wilderness campground....

    Sept. 5, 2014 marks the official 40th birthday of one of the longest-running dinner shows in American history Ð Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at DisneyÕs Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Known for its corny jokes, endless buckets of chicken and ribs, and upbeat energy, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue presents three shows nightly, seven days a week, at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call 407-WDW-DINE or book online. DisneyÕs Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (David Roark, photographer)
  2. Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream: The living unleash a zombie apocalypse

    News

    TAMPA — There have been myriad zombie renaissances, the latest one reanimating into full flesh-eating swing in 2010 with the advent of AMC's hit show The Walking Dead. This has been a bleaker, darker Zombie Age, with less humor and more dread, gloom, guts.

    But here we go again. There's now another undead shift going on: the human comeback! The fifth season of The Walking Dead, which premieres Oct. 12, appears to take a more action-hero approach; vengeance is for the living. Same goes at one of the newest, and best, haunts at Busch Gardens' latest iteration of Howl-O-Scream, the annual event where you typically pay to be preyed upon. Now, the zombies have to fear you. Nice twist....

    photos from Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
  3. Luke Bryan in Tampa: A 'great storyteller' in tight jeans?

    Music & Concerts

    I had no clue about the potency of Luke Bryan's hunk power until I took a date to one of the country star's shows. Sitting close to the stage, my female companion was just about speechless in excitement when the ballcapped, mad-grinning singer bounded on stage in his two-sizes-too-snug Levi's. Her jaw went slack, her eyes sparkly. I can actually remember saying to her, like a complete moron, "He's not even that good-looking," as if I were going to get some rousing agreement. Um, I didn't. My girl kindly tried to fake me out, let me down easy: "He's a great storyteller." Continuing my utter cluelessness, I think I bought the storytelling bit for a while. Soon enough, though, it became painfully clear. The 38-year-old Lord of the Frat Boys grinded and hammed through Country Girl (Shake It for Me), Drunk on You, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, all that dumb-fun stuff he warbles without apology. When my date went 90 minutes without taking her eyes off Bryan's dungarees, I realized the handsome pride of Leesburg, Ga., might be sticking around the charts for a while. Yep, that Luke Bryan sure tells some great stories. He performs at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $29.50 and up. (813) 740-2446....

     Luke Bryan will perform two nights in Tampa.   (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
  4. Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream: The living unleash a zombie apocalypse

    Florida

    TAMPA — There have been myriad zombie renaissances, the latest one reanimating into full flesh-eating swing in 2010 with the advent of AMC's hit show The Walking Dead. This has been a bleaker, darker Zombie Age, with less humor and more dread, gloom, guts.

    But here we go again. There's now another undead shift going on: the human comeback! The fifth season of The Walking Dead, which premieres Oct. 12, appears to take a more action-hero approach; vengeance is for the living. Same goes at one of the newest, and best, haunts at Busch Gardens' latest iteration of Howl-O-Scream, the annual event where you typically pay to be preyed upon. Now, the zombies have to fear you. Nice twist....

    photos from Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
  5. REVIEW: High times with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Tampa

    Blog

    TAMPA — Tom Petty sure wasn't shy about sharing how relaxed he was feeling at his welcome-home gig on Sunday. "Call the babysitter," our Gainesville guy told the sold-out crowd of 13,905 at Amalie Arena (formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum). "Tell her he's looking kinda high to me, so he might be playing for awhile."

    With half-lidded peepers, a bemused grin and a loping, shambling gait that gave away his seriously good vibes, the 63-year-old ragtag rocker and his venerable Heartbreakers casually, if often quite loudly, chugged through two hours of know-'em-by-hearters and sonically adventurous newbies (including, quite tellingly, U Get Me High) from latest album Hypnotic Eye.

    If you were craving frills — wrong house, fella. Most acts who play this venue at least bring along a video-screen backdrop or even a disco ball to add some semblance of glitz to the proceedings. Petty and his mates hung what appeared to be an oversized bedsheet behind them, the visuals as blurred and color-swirled as — and I'm guessing here — TP's vision.

    While unloading the searing riff from A Woman in Love (It's Not Me), criminally underrated guitarist Mike Campbell looked down at the ground during most of the fretty fireworks, maybe at a monitor, maybe at a football game to keep up with his fantasy scores. Campbell, whom his boss rightfully dubbed "our secret weapon," made the ferocious solo that closes out Runnin' Down a Dream look so effortless, it was downright comical (if also downright AWESOME). The high-ringing tone and mesmerizing tapestry he wrung out of that sucker was worth the ticket price alone....

    Steve Winwood performs at the Amalie Arena on Sunday. Winwood opened up for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
  6. Tom's Top 25: Our ultimate list of Tom Petty songs

    Music & Concerts

    By SEAN DALY | Times Pop Music Critic

    Tom Petty may not call the Sunshine State his home anymore, but you'd better believe the folks who reside in F-L-A still proudly claim the Gainesville rock star as one of our own. • When I recently asked Tampa Bay Times readers via various social media outlets for their favorite Petty songs — with his venerable Heartbreakers or solo or even with those Traveling Wilburys — the fervent response was fast, bountiful and passionate. • Like, really passionate. • I quickly realized that putting together my list of the 25 best Petty cuts of all time — smack-dab in the heart of Florida, a.k.a. Petty Country — was not only going to be tough, it was going to be polarizing, too. In other words: Hate Mail City, baby! • With the 63-year-old Petty bringing the Heartbreakers to Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sunday, I present this "definitive" (or something) best-of list. After I put my 25 together, I noticed I didn't have two fan "requests": Mary Jane's Last Dance (never loved it, although Mike Campbell's riff is slick) and Breakdown (sacrilege, I know, but again, it's never been a go-to for me). But hey, I love these even more. Start bickering, and rocking out, now:...

    A reference to Joe Piscopo dates Jammin’ Me.
  7. 'Frozen' ousts Norway Maelstrom ride at Epcot

    Florida

    It's official and, for Disney purists, a little depressing: A ride based on smash flick Frozen will replace Maelstrom, the begrudgingly beloved boat trek in Epcot's Norway pavilion. No date has been given for closings and openings, but with the tale of Scandinavian sibs Anna and Elsa being such a phenomenon, you better believe the Mouse House is raring to start the overhaul. Opened in 1988, Maelstrom blends hype for the host country — "Those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure!" — with all manner of trolls, watery drops and that whole backwards-out-the-waterfall fake-out. (For nerds like me, there were also Hidden Mickeys in the queue's Vikings mural.) Details are scant so far, but a Disney muckety said the new attraction will take guests through Arendelle and various scenes from the movie. Oh, I'm sure it will be just dandy — but who's up for one last cruise on the Maelstrom before another part of our childhood gets iced out? — Sean Daly, Times staff writer...

    This undated image released by Disney shows Disney characters Anna, left, and her sister Elsa from the animated film "Frozen" at Princess Fairytale Hall at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Princess Fairytale Hall features walls of stone and stained glass windows, a spacious gallery adorned with portraits of Disney princesses and elegantly finished rooms where guests can meet Anna & Elsa, Cinderella, Rapunzel and other princesses. Wait times to meet the sisters stretches for hours and reservations are snapped up as soon as they become available, part of a frenzy for all things "Frozen."  (AP Photo/Disney, Matt Stroshane)
  8. Six million reasons to go to Fanboy Expo

    Events

    No offense to the record-setting Tampa Bay Comic Con, but as far as pop-culture geekfests are concerned, have you seen the celeb lineup for this weekend's Fanboy Expo? To name a nerd-drool few, Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Scott "Hershel" Wilson (The Walking Dead), Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man, The Fall Guy), Richard "Oscar Goldman" Anderson (The Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman), Drea de Matteo (Sons of Anarchy, The Sopranos), Richard "Jaws" Kiel (The Spy Who Loved Me), Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap), Sandahl Bergman (Conan the Barbarian). Crazy, right? And let me just say, I've interviewed all sorts of famous folks, but if I ever met Lee Majors, I'm fairly certain the braces-wearing preteen tyke in me would burst forth and sob on his mighty shoulder. Which reminds me: I wonder if my mom still has my Six Million Dollar Man doll with the bionic eye (which was greasy and had food stuck in it, but was awesome anyway)? The expo runs 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Hilton Hotel Downtown Tampa, 211 N Tampa St., Tampa. $20, $40 weekend; 10 and younger free. Autographs additional. (865) 280-2023. fanboyexpo.com/tampa....

    Actor Lee Majors starred in the Six Million Dollar Man.
  9. Review: You get what you pay for with free U2 album

    Music & Concerts

    Imagine if Bono threw a surprise party (hooray!) but the fancy three-tiered cake was made of sawdust (oh). That's my downer mood after U2 released new album Songs of Innocence on Tuesday in conjunction with Apple's new-product hullabaloo. I couldn't wait to eat this one up.

    Mouthwash, please.

    Yes, Songs of Innocence — the Dublin Four's first new material in five years — was made FREE to some 500 million iTunes subscribers (until Oct. 13), and that's a novel party favor for sure. If you're an iTunes subscriber, it's already been "purchased" for you; you just have to download it. U2 was reportedly paid $100 million by Apple for the star-studded hype job, so don't go thanking the Edge for his unbridled generosity. And free doesn't always mean good....

    Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, greets Bono from U2 after they performed at the end of the Apple event on Tuesday.
  10. AMC orders spinoff of wobbly 'Walking Dead'

    Blog

    Good news and potentially shaky news here for Zombie Nation: AMC has ordered a 2015 spinoff to apocalyptic smash The Walking Dead, which makes savvy financial sense seeing as how the undead drama is the highest-rated scripted program in the history of basic cable. But the televised travails of Rick Grimes & Co., which fires up Season 5 at 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, has suffered from wobbly storytelling and tonal shifts the past few seasons. Week after week, it's a Walking crapshoot....

  11. Pop superstar Taylor Swift among this year's CMA nominations

    Play

    A week after Taylor Swift said she's now a full-time pop star, Nashville decided to lure the singer back into her country boots for one last yeehaw.

    On Nov. 5, Swift will compete for female vocalist of the year at the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, nominations for which were announced Wednesday. Swift — who's trumpeting upcoming LP 1989 as an "official" pop switcheroo — will compete against tried-and-true cowgirls Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood....

    Luis Santana  |   Times (4/20/2013, Tampa, FL)   Taylor Swift performs to a sold out crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as part of her 2013 Red Tour. [Luis Santana | Times]
  12. Not So Fast, Taylor Swift! CMAs say you're country for one more night

    Blog

    A week after Taylor Swift said she's now a full-time pop star, Nashville decided to lure the singer back into her country boots for one last yeehaw.

    On Nov. 5, Swift will compete for female vocalist of the year at the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, nominations for which were announced Wednesday. Swift — who's trumpeting upcoming LP 1989 as an "official" pop switcheroo — will compete against tried-and-true cowgirls Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood....

  13. Pop superstar Taylor Swift among this year's CMA nominations

    Music & Concerts

    A week after Taylor Swift said she's now a full-time pop star, Nashville decided to lure the singer back into her country boots for one last yeehaw.

    On Nov. 5, Swift will compete for female vocalist of the year at the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, nominations for which were announced Wednesday. Swift — who's trumpeting upcoming LP 1989 as an "official" pop switcheroo — will compete against tried-and-true cowgirls Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves and Carrie Underwood....

    Taylor Swift performs to a sold out crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum as part of her 2013 Red Tour.
  14. I wanna play too!! Fallon, Levine duel on musical impressions game

    Blog

    I demand to play the Musical Impressions Generator game with my Tampa Bay Times coworkers! Michelle Stark? Stephanie Hayes? C'mon! Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the affable host battled Maroon 5 hunk Adam Levine in an awesomely entertaining mimicry showdown, including Eddie Vedder warbling The Muffin Man and Bob Dylan rasping out Rude. I do a wicked Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty impression. Who wants to take me on???...

  15. Review: 'Somewhere Under Wonderland' a turning point for Counting Crows

    Music & Concerts

    Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz is his own best enemy, forever trapped in a dreadlocked head that issues inspiration and frustration in equal, unpredictable bursts. It's not easy being him; it's not all that easy being a fan, either.

    After '90s LPs August and Everything After and Recovering the Satellites — modern-classic chronicles of love and longing, stunning promises of a special career blooming — the roots-rocking Crows have been at the mercy of Duritz's diminishing skills. Ensuing albums were increasingly diluted, unfocused, soon to be dusty at the bottom of your CD stack. Our Man of Eternal Pining, the former future Bob Dylan (or so he yelped on breakout hit Mr. Jones), went dark, forgotten, gone. ...