Best Of 2022


Winner: Uncle Johns Band
2. Electric Soul Therapy
3. Elysian Sex Drive
When I first heard Chlorinefields, it was like the Cocteau Twins but sludgier, dirtier, sadder. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kersey Williams pours her heart all over this project with warm guitar licks, her soft vocals and lyrics like a whisper and a wail. The band also features Ortrotasce’s Nic Hamersly on guitar, synth, and arrangements. Chris Angell is on guitar and does songwriting as well, with Jeffrey Fuscardo on bass and Clayton Pendergrass on percussion. A little Portishead, a little Mazzy Star, and some top shelf musicality. It’s music guided by feeling and tailored by people who’ve been playing music, probably, all their lives. The resulting sound is hauntingly beautiful, grimey, and downright groovy.
George Fisher of Cannibal Corpse From Dying Fetus to Obituary, George Fisher of Cannibal Corpse can be found at the corner of Orpheum's main bar, gesturing wildly and singing along to some of the greatest metal bands (besides his, of course) to come out of Tampa. In between headbangs, he can be seen conversing with other show attendees as if they were old friends. He never denies anyone a photo with him, and if you send him a green tea shot from across the bar, he's going to take it. In a world full of Machine Gun Kellys, be a George Fisher.
It’s never a surprise to see Sam E Hues go big for an album release party, but he always has a trick up his sleeve. This time it was a giant billboard just off I-275, advertising not just his new LP, ‘When Tigers Used To Smoke,’ but an immersive show at a decidedly untested venue when it comes to hip-hop: Ybor City’s Centro Asturiano. Thanks to stellar openers, funky stage setup, his own sound system and pop-up food offerings, the smokeshow was a big, Prada-shoe-wearing hit, front to back, and yet another flex from one of the area’s most interesting rappers.
Tone Kapone does not like to call them “local” artists, but each and each Saturday night—from 10 p.m.-midnight—the show he co-hosts celebrates independent musicians who call Tampa Bay home. Like their predecessors, including Kenny K, Kapone and DJ Spaceship play a huge role in the celebration and proliferation of homegrown hip-hop and R&B. If you send him music, make sure it’s clean!
To be honest, this very well could have been the show of the year, and it was well worth the wait. After being on the books for nearly three years, Keys finally landed at the Hard Rock Event center where she delivered a 25-song, 90-minute set driven less by her phenomenal piano and more by an unrivaled vocal and spirit that’s made her a once-in-a-lifetime live act. Just 1,412 fans were lucky enough to get tickets to the intimate gig, which felt, at times, like a straight up arena show.
Until the place decides to start charging a cover, you might as well give this award to Dunedin Brewery every year. Whether it’s Devin the Dude, a jazz supergroup or even Wu-Tang’s GZA playing chess with fans, no place offers more unique shows for free-99. With the opening of the neighboring Moontower venue, things are looking even better for Pinellas music fans.
‘Don’t fuckin’ make me cry. I’m serious’ That’s what Laura Jane Grace told the first of two, sold-out crowds that packed the Bricks courtyard last winter. The Against Me! bandleader didn’t help her cause by playing “Joy,” the lead off track from the band’s 2005 album ‘Searching for a Former Clarity,’ one of the band’s most optimistic songs. Yes, tears flowed. @leadfootpromotions on Facebook
At the release party for Doves, his first outing since 2011, every guest talked about how Scxtt Aye inspired them by hitting stages like the Orpheum’s. It was fitting to see the Tampa rapper get back out there to celebrate new, extremely personal work, backed by a live band and within the walls of one of Ybor City’s best listening rooms. Aye may not be the flashiest, splashiest local emcee, but he’s quietly one of the area’s best and one poised for another productive year.