This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Curtin, WiLD Splash 2014, NRBQ, Michael Bolton + more

Concerts, March 6-12




Wild Child
  • Todd V. Wolfson
  • Wild Child
Wild Child In a town that’s virtually brimming with high quality musical talent, it’s particularly telling that Austin-bred Wild Child was named both Best Indie and Best Folk Act in last year’s SXSW-driven Austin Music Awards. The sextet purveys a spry, vibrant, teeth-hurting sweet brand of folk pop driven by piano and baritone ukulele, given a lush chamber feel via layers of cello and violin, and rounded out by the strong dulcet intones of Wild Child singers-songwriters Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins. This tour supports 2013 sophomore album The Runaround, which was produced by fellow Austonian Ben Kweller. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Rock the Park: Les Racquet/Red Sun Rising/Ronny Elliott The March edition of the free outdoor music series features an old hand (alternative folk- hillbilly rock singer-songwriter Ronny Elliott), and a few fresh out-of-town guests — the “Pleasantly Schizophrenic” jammy jazz n’ rock trio Les Racquet, from Brooklyn, and Red Sun Rising, an Akron, Ohio fivesome brewing up hard and driving alt rock. (Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa)

Spiritual Rez Over slow-swaying island-vibing instrumentals marked by bursts of sax and trombone and deep growling basslines, Toft Willingham sings, “Bring it on, bring it on, apocalypse whenever, Armageddon / Bring it on, bring it on, I’ve got my second amendment, stockpiled in my basement.” The track off Spiritual Rez’s just-released fourth and latest studio album, Apocalypse Whenever, reflects the septet’s overall aesthetic — socially conscious lyrics set to a mix of ska, dub, roots reggae and funky-jammy rock music. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)

He Is Legend w/New Cathedral/Dressed To Kill/Goodnight Neverland An alt rock bill headed up by dark and seething, dramatic and heavy N.C. outfit He Is Legend. Among the support is local noteworthy New Cathedral, which has a more sinister quality to its hard lashing instrumentals. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Amid the wave of crunchy long-haired dirt rockers that came up in 1960s California (Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, New Riders of the Purple Sage), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band stood apart with their jug band tendencies. The veteran country-folk act has seen various personnel changes over the decades — Jackson Browne was an early member before he went solo — but the current lineup features three original players: Jeff Hanna (guitars, vocals), Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica, vocals) and John McEuen (banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin); Bob Carpenter rounds it out on keys, accordion and bass. Expect to hear “Mr. Bojangles” among other Dirt fare. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)


Funny Bunny Release Party w/Channing & Quinn/Empire Theory A few years ago, multi-instrumentalist Aaron Lepley cheated on his longtime November Foxtrot Whiskey bandmate, drummer Damon Dougherty, to jam with his life-mate Kim Stein-Lepley. After a lark and a dabble, the spheres converged and Lepley invited Dougherty to dip his expert chocolate in he and Ms. Kim’s sultry peanut butter. The confection they’ve created is mighty tasty — a swirl of traditional rock and experimental psychedelia. Stein-Lepley’s vocal prowess harkens back to badass rock chicks like Siouxisie Sioux and Deborah Harry, but she reins it in expertly, knowing when to simmer and when to sizzle. This date celebrates the release of their debut album. Also of note: Nashville duo Channing & Quinn, who employ guitar, uke, accordion, drums, glock, banjo and various other instruments in their quirky folk pop sound. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) —Julie Garisto

NRBQ w/Vodkanauts Known for being one of the earlier rock improv groups, NRBQ originally formed in ’67, were known for infusing pop, jazz, blues and even Tin Pan Alley styles into their rock n’ roll sound, and like other groups of their ilk, have never ever took themselves too seriously. The quartet issued nearly 40 recordings over the span of their career, so you have the potential to hear virtually anything from their catalog (and likely a few covers) on this Southern tour stop. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

2 Live Crew w/T-Quest/Infinite Skillz Considered among the most controversial rap groups to come out of the 1980s, 2 Live Crew is behind such retro hip hop hits as "Me So Horny," "Banned in the U.S.A." and “Pop That Coochie.” Though they haven’t put out any new material since 1998’s The Real One, the group has managed to maintain active on the strength of their veteran standing. Read a related behind-the-scenes column by warm-up act/CL Contributor Infinite Skillz right here. (Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Funk Volume Presents: Hopsin's Knock Madness Tour w/Rival/Prince Golden/B.C. Funk Volume is an indie hip hop label co-founded by Cali rapper Hopsin, he of the white contacts and drugs-and-alcohol-free rhymes. Last year’s Independent Living: The Funk Volume Documentary shed some light on the label and its primary star as it followed Hopsin and a handful of other fast-rising FV artists on a two-month tour, mixing tour journal style footage with profiles and live performance clips. Hopsin headlines this date backing his well-regarded third LP, 2013’s Knock Madness. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

Iration w/Natural Vibrations/The Movement/Micha Brown Another one of the scores of reggae pop-rock acts to surface from the West Coast. Iration was birthed in Hawaii, giving them a little more island cred, though they re-located to Santa Barbara early on. This date is part of their “Automatic Winter Tour” behind the album of the same name, their third full-length, which features collabs and co-production work by Cage The Elephant guitarist Lincoln Parish. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)


Wiz Khalifa
  • Wiz Khalifa
Wild Splash 2014 w/Wiz Khalifa/B.o.B/Rich Homie Quan/Sage The Gemini/Kid Ink/Ty Dolla $ign/Far East Movement Pretty much every name performing at this year’s Wild Splash 2014 — the 12th annual day-long fest held by Wild 94.1 — has at least one or more tracks playing on the Tampa Bay area hip hop station, and all of them are buzzing hard right now. Wiz Khalifa, the heavily tatted, hazy cheeching rapper with the distinctively gleeful chortle, headlines; not only does he have his own trademarked flavor of ganja, Khalifa Kush, he’s got a few hits ("Black and Yellow," "Young, Wild & Free," "We Own It (Fast & Furious)") along with significant guest spots on several other charters (like Mike Will Made It’s “23” with Miley Cyrus and Maroon 5’s “Payphone”). B.o.B. issued one of 2013’s most ear-wormy hip hop singles, the whistle-fueled “Headband,” while Rich Homie Quan hit the airwaves with his lyrical anthemic “Type of Way.” Also of note: Sage the Gemini, who sets his blasé low-toned rhymes against stripped-down production in tracks like “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose.” (Coachman Park, Clearwater)

Gasparilla Music Festival w/Flaming Lips/Trombone Shorty/RJD2/Los Amigos Invisibles/Grupo Fantasmo/Hackensaw Boys/Delta Spirit/Jason Isbell/Anders Osborne/many more The third annual music festival expands to two days (Saturday and Sunday), and doubles its bill of talent as a result. To read this week's story, and to check out more info, the full schedule and a playlist featuring many of these acts, click here. (Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa)

Green Sunshine & Funky Seeds Mash-up Funkadelic-hopping party-vibing eight-piece Green Sunshine is joined by two Funky Seeds’ principals — ivories master Funky D. and guitarist Sean Hartley — for a night of rhymes, jams and under-the-stars dancing in the Witch courtyard. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)

Rittz w/Jelly Roll Rittz gets instant underground cred, being repped by Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label. Last year, the Atlanta hip hop artist issued his full-length debut, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant, which peaked at No. 8 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts and includes guest spots by Krizz Kaliko and Tech himself, not to mention Mike Posner and a personal Southern crunkin’ fave, Big K.R.I.T. If you dig any of the names I dropped in this write-up, you’ll likely dig Rittz, too. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

You Blew It! Record Release Show w/Dikembe/Prawn/Special Explosion/Ten Acres/Adjy Yet another Orlando band throws down in Tampa to mark the release of a new full-length. This one, punk-emo five-piece You Blew It!, has a rather impressive following (more than 13k likes on Facebook) and is repped by Topshelf Records (Braid, Fake Problems). Their latest, Keep Doing What You're Doing, dropped in January. Read more about You Blew It! and watch their latest video right here. (Mojo Books & Records, Tampa)

The Intoxicators/The Delusionaires/Crippled Masters A triple header of salt-stained indie rock featuring instrumental surf trio The Intoxicators from Tallahassee and a special reunion of elder scene group Crippled Masters, led by Pretty Voices primary Roger Petersen. The Delusionaires deliver self-described “not quite rockabilly, not quite surf, it's 1961-style ‘Music to Construct Zip Guns By’..." (Emerald Bar, St. Petersburg)

Room Full of Strangers w/Danny Feedback/Little Jerks/Monarch An album launch party celebrating the eponymous release from Orlando’s Room Full of Strangers, their sound calling on wildly raucous acid-washed garage rock and sinister hooky No Wave/art punk with light surf tendencies; Mark Kramer (Daniel Johnston, Butthole Surfers) produced. (Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Tom Paxton A longtime folkie who's been on the circuit for decades and got his start in the 1960's Greenwich Village scene. He also received a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the RIAA at the 51st Annual Grammys. (Craftsmen House Gallery, St. Petersburg)


Ol’ Dirty Sundays w/Luvbug Starski On the anniversary of the death of Biggie Smalls, aka the Notorious B.I.G., Lovebug Starski (real name Kevin Smith) lands at Ol’ Dirty Sundays to deliver a special all-Biggie set among other spins. The emcee/producer/musician emerged from NYC’s early hip hop scene, teaming with The Harlem World Crew in 1981 to produce a funky dancing joint, “Positive Life” (sampled most famously in “Pump Up the Volume”), and putting out some of his own retro-era singles, including “Amityville (The House on the Hill)” and the titular track for the 1985 Mario Van Peebles film, Rappin’. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Sol Y Son A group of prestigious musicians from Cuba formed Sol Y Son in 1990. Their name and sound are taken from the colorful tropical style of music called ‘son,’ which fuses Latin American and Afro-Caribbean rhythms with various other tropical sonic elements. In addition to original material and Latin fare, Sol y Son incorporates traditional Spanish, English and Arabic

Punk Rock Wedding Reception: Ink and Sweat/Yankee Roses/Gouge Away/Crowd Bites Wolf/Agents of Dimension X A free, open-to-the-public punk rock show that also happens to be the post-nuptials party for Madison Turner to and Lennox Archer. Come rock out with them; bring your own champagne. (Epic Problem, Tampa)


Shroud Eater w/Orbweaver/Landbridge/Cosm/Ulcer Downtown St. Pete will be knee-deep in sludge when Miami’s Shroud Eater makes their way through town on the final leg of their current national tour. Guitarist/vocalist Jean Saiz and bassist/backup vocalist Jeanette Valentine chum the waters with melodies that are brooding and morose while drummer Felipe Torres gives Shroud Eater’s metallic sound an unexpectedly energetic and aggressive heartbeat. Co-headliners and fellow Miami metal makers Orbweaver offer a sharp contrast to Shroud Eater’s gloomy muck. Like an angry Lovecraftian nightmare, the monstrous creation of Randy Piro (ex-Hate Eternal, Gigan) and Mike Pena prompts listeners to wonder just what the hell is going on, and why they don’t really want to disembark from a vehicle that’s swerving wildly away from sanity. Support for the show provided by local heavy favorites Landbridge, Cosm, and Ulcer. (Fubar, St. Petersburg) —Shawn Ohtani

Michael Bolton With 10 No. 1 AC chart toppers and a few crossover Hot 100 hits, the square-jawed smoky-voiced crooner has made a career of recording cheesy balladry, both fast numbers and slow, some his own, some by others. Michael Bolton has also covered a few classics that aren’t melted in cheddar (“Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”), though most of us would prefer to hear the originals. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)


Galbraith Group w/Green Sunshine An impressively choppy Clearwater-based family band, Galbraith Group is Ashley, Taylor and Josh Galbraith, siblings who dole out groove-oriented ’70s style prog rock instrumentals most definitely influenced by King Crimson, but warmer. Sisters Ashley and Taylor serve as the band’s muscular rhythm section on bass and drums, respectively, while brother Josh wails on guitar — clean soaring solos, crunchy chord progressions and pedal-effected passages. The trio’s repertoire includes originals as well as re-imagined covers by The Beatles (“Eleanor Rigby,” “A Day in the Life”) and Rush (“La Villa Strangiato”) among others. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

  • Curtin
Curtin A last minute customer appreciation (free) show has been added to Soft Rock Renegades' usual All Good Tuesdays festivities: Curtin, an indie rock duo from Brooklyn featuring former Country Mice leader Jason Rueger (vocals/guitar) and drummer Austin Nelson. Their new album One for the Doghearted comes out this summer and features Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen. (Crowbar, Ybor City)


BBQ Wednesday Acoustic Series: Joe Popp The NYC-by-way-of-Tampa Bay punk-kicking singer-songwriter takes a break from his amp/effects building business in his new(ish) hometown for a Southern excursion that includes an unplugged performance at New World as part of its free brews, tunes and barbecue series. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Agent Orange The legendary skate/surf-punk band behind “Bloodstains,” “Living in Darkness,” “No Such Thing” and more (as well as the soundtrack to classic 1986 ‘boarding video Skate Visions) returns to the ‘burg. While a lot of punk trends are best forgotten, their sharp sound remains more than listenable. (Local 662, St. Petersburg) —Scott Harrell

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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