Thursday, December 9, 2010


I have been writing some vittles for Creative Loafing Sarasota:


Pretty Ricky

Expect slick, focus-group approved R&B aimed somewhere between Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and 2 Live Crew this Friday at Sarasota's closest equivalent to the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheater, MVP Arena Sports. Flashback to the musical landscape of 2005: a song titled “Grind With Me” rockets a major label release to platinum status; the world turns. Since then, Miami's Pretty Ricky may have split ways with Atlantic, but that hasn't disrupted the good times described in tracks like “Kick Them Heels Off” (“Shorty you can leave your dress on, I'ma pull your thong to the side”). One can't detect any intentional irony in the saccharine pop of “Cookie Cutter,” but it sounds close enough to Shock To The System's original track, “We Danced Last Night” to warrant an official call for a mashup, anyone? (MVP Arena Sports, Ellenton)


The history of popular music is littered with tortured souls and broken homes. Billie Holiday dropped out at 11 and was preggers by 13. Even Bieber came into the world by the care of an unwed teenage mother. But what about the planned suburban communities of the granite countertop variety? They need music too, and Skyline Summer's recordings are the perfect nasal acoustic pop for the austere morning commute to high school or just shopping. The songs themselves are well arranged, driven by Brandon Cullen's breathy phrasing, and the peripheral instrumentation creates a persuasive emotional charge. There is a definite vision present in the recordings, but what about the multiple clothing sponsorships? A crease appears on the forehead of Calvin Johnson. (The Blue Owl, Sarasota)


Dead Cat Lounge at Payne Skate Park Grand Opening

After a long standoff between the City of Sarasota and a civil faction effectively labeled “teenagers,” the municipal skatepark will turn over its daily operations to Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences teacher and SK8SKOOL founder, Coach Dan. Payne Park's Bastille Day kicks off with Tampa punks Dead Cat Lounge providing the speedy witticisms related to both riots and dystopia. There will be plenty of skart (skateboard related art) happening, a bowl contest, and proceeds will go towards extending park hours and eliminating user fees. Sentiments are reflected by one young gentleman in the Facebook event comments, “thats probly the 4th grand opening for that park lmfao.”



2nd Annual Spandex Party
It's not too late to find some good spandex by the time you read this, but let's just say the selection will be a little...tight. Leggings, leotards, full body suits, and anything else that leaves little to the imagination on a December night is welcome, and there's even a photo booth incriminating to all. Meteoreyes, Big Blu House, Cassolette and DJ Automaton go all C+C Music Factory for the best dressed night in town and the Official After Hour Party for the Atomic Holiday Bazaar. (Pastimes Pub, Sarasota)

The four piece play dreamy pop songs driven by atmospheric synth textures, supplementing their live sets with a visual show including at least one totally rad sound reactive light cube. Beginning as an acoustic trio around New York City in 2009, Igor moved to Florida to work on their new sound and set design, but pledge to eventually take it back north unless we're all going to come out to the Cock & Bull gig. (Cock & Bull Pub, Sarasota)



Tim Salem

A man with a great voice, penchant for catchy tunes, and acoustic guitar style that can be confidently described as funky might have a hard time distinguishing himself against the typical (if not diminishing) parrothead landscape of the suncoast, but this Indiana transplant has ruffled old feathers with original sing-alongs better suited for rowdy campfires and passing bottles. Respectively, he's bringing the jams for a headlining gig at one of Gulf Gate's best beer bars turned live music venue. (Mr. Beery's, Sarasota)


SNAPM/Burning Tree

“Hammers are for people who can't punch hard enough” said my friend, Hank. In the same brain space, Matt “Matteo Mayhem” Kelly's latest project might be music for people who aren't outraged enough. Melodrama aside, the DIY slam poet has has held the crown serving uncompromising conviction since the days of Porch Magazine, and now that he has a backing band, Matteo should soon be collecting his dues. St. Pete's Burning Tree spent their summer opening for N.E.R.D. on 7-Eleven's dime, playing reggae rock in the vein of Slightly Stoopid and Sublime. (The Blue Owl, Sarasota)


Zombies!Organize!!/Fancy Rat/John Lichtenstein/Easybreezy

Boca Raton's electronic pop trio Zombies!Organize!! play cute little synths and keyboards while singing even more adorable lines like “I am Robotacus/lick my robot clitoris,” because the undead want to dance their way to anarchy. For all the shows Tampa's Easybreezy are playing, we're filling them under 'slack rock' until the release of some official recordings, guys. CL's 2010 Best of the Suncoast standout Fancy Rat and experimental agitator John Lichtenstein supply the area's favorite local flavor: cream. (Cock & Bull Pub, Sarasota)



Yung Yung Pallo/Dizzle/T-Wall/LilHotBoi

No guys, we don't care about Kanye's new video. Let's talk about Yung Yung Pallo's music video for “I Appreciate Ya.” Finally, a professional quality production, filmed throughout Dr. MLK Way! It's simply essential viewing for Sarasotans. So if a most humble Pallo bestows the smooth delivery, Maryland's crunk hero Dizzle is the hype man. Also, hip hop artists have the best myspace pages; in his own words, “Waz up World?..I know alot of ppl are like 'Who The ****'?..Lol..naw but Immmmmm 'Dizzle'...” (Lake Osprey Village Cabaret, Sarasota)


The Mike Kach Group

Keyboardist Mike Kach, of Dickey Betts & Great Southern fame, boasts a backing band composed of former members of Molly Hatchet, Gregg Allman Band, and Clarence Carter. Kach, appearing with Betts on the Allman Brothers 2004 DVD, Live at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, administers the first, if not last, nail in the coffin to any shameful Rock Band addiction. (Ace's, Brandenton)


LUSH! W/ DJ Automaton

Halfway through the week, the young, sexy creative types step away from the needs of their dismal graphic design clients and partake in the American Bandstand at the apocalypse of civilization. Andrew Roberts, JenO, and Luca Rizzi bring back the sweaty, frantic dance nights in the tradition of Electroshock, Dirt, and Soap. (Pastimes Pub, Sarasota)

VINYL NIGHT w/ Physical Plant/Amazon Woman

Physical Plant, referring to perhaps an amalgamation of Physical Graffiti and Robert Plant, represent the New College student body with immaculate musicianship of the psychedelic folk rock variety. The band gained a following on and off campus the old fashioned way, supporting touring acts like Sleepy Sun and The Strangers Family Band. Readers may be surprised to know that the group Amazon Woman is entirely dude occupied. As per every Wednesday at Shamrock, Eric the Vinylist romances the turntable, with bar patrons encouraged to bring their favorite wax. (Shamrock Pub, Sarasota)



DownieBlue Band

Established by Heather Downie and Robye Blue in 2009, the DownieBlue Band continues the lineage of local folk bands Campfire Prodigy, The Jones and Under8ed. Think bright strings adorning wooden boxes; all shapes, all sizes. (Mr. Beery's, Sarasota)

Aja Lorraine

I am the greatest of all time,” proclaims the Ruff Ryders artist and Tampa resident who will make the trip south to persuade us that her soulful R&B is true to every word. (The Hall, Palmetto)

Get Down! Downtown w/ Ted Stevens Band

On the third Thursday of each month, downtown Bradenton shuts down traffic and fills Old Main St. with vendors, performers, and the requisite crowds. Ted Stevens is one of those legendary working musicians who play all the best American Rock and Roll guitar styles in genuine form. Surf-curious indie bands should refer to “Alison Eastwood” from his 2009 release, Exit Zero, available to stream online. (Old Main St., Bradenton)


Big E & The Lazy Texans/Bryan Beardsley/Alan Dude

Expect a night of whiskey bourbon, flame-engulfed stand up bass, and rockabilly accordion from Ft. Meyers quartet Big E & The Lazy Texans. Sarasota native Bryan Beardsley provides support with his authentic storytelling and faithfully demonstrates traditional Americana. Alan Dude rounds out this bill of unprocessed foot stomping semi-acoustic roots music. (Pastimes Pub, Sarasota)



Honestly, the problem with most rockabilly bands is that they don't have nearly enough songs about hot rods. But Chicago's Krank Daddies repertoire (“Hot Rod Hemi Hearse”, “The Devil's Ride II”, etc.) delivers all the greasy innuendo concerning fast girls, death, and f***ing hot rods. Also, who do I thank for the emerging burlesque groups in town?

Diana Krall

The three time Grammy winning Canadian jazz singer-pianist performs breezy renditions of Bossa Nova standards. Listen carefully and you might hear her latest release, Quiet Nights, wafting atop some dimly lit condominium in five points, but its just as likely to be playing in the boutique shop below it. All I want to know is if the three time Grammy winning Canadian jazz singer-pianist will be traveling with her husband, Elvis Costello. (Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota)


As you sit here clutching the fossils of the publishing industry, some folks are teetering on the edge of a technological singularity where new things are happening at an exponential rate that leaves the rest of us slack-jawed luddites gawking like deer under the headlights of some benevolent UFO. The better electronic artists are connecting and sharing their tracks like we're in some kind of matrix, making for undeniably entertaining dance music littered with inside jokes. But the villagers and I think that's precisely the punchline behind Saturday's dubstep and visual projection show. Touche, Alexandre Lavigne. (The Blue Owl, Sarasota)


Izzy and the Kesstronics

The Brooklyn band continue their Florida invasion with resident weekly gigs throughout November at the Cock & Bull. Catch their animated psychobilly swing while you can; Europe is calling Izzy and the gang for the new year. (Cock & Bull, Sarasota)

Letters From Elvis

Pat Johnson leads what may be the loudest band in town through original numbers like “My Babies Got the Rabies” and “Psychic Vampires.” Think Nirvana's In Utero, fronted by the Bobby Fischer of cosmic feedback. (Shamrock Pub, Sarasota)

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