Countdown to Tropical Heatwave 2012: Barons of Tang

CL spotlights our favorite Heatwave acts in the weeks leading up to the WMNF fest (w/audio & video).

Barons of Tang turn gypsy music on its head, taking the exotic sounds of Eastern Europe and infusing them with elements of ska, dub, punk, metalcore, tango and rockabilly. Their lush, boisterous, colorful compositions are marked by heavy distorted guitar riffs amid acoustic strumming, marching double-kick rhythms, horn arrangements that range from jaunty to mournful to dark and doomfully discordant to slinky and exotic, and wailing strains of accordion to add to the old country mystique. The rollicking moments are interspersed with the downright bizarre and heavy, and while the music leans instrumental, vocals are added when apropos and encompass demon-possessed lead shrieks and rah-rah choruses that shout things like "Even if you?re missing fingers, you can still make a fist!"

Their live show has been described as "thrilling mental bedlam," and I, for one, don?t want to miss it.

Barons of Tang's video for "Villain (Stage Left)" from their 2010 EP, Knots and Tangles.

A live performance of "The Black Flamingo" from last October.

And finally, a playlist of tracks that includes both studio recordings and live cuts.


TROPICAL HEATWAVE DETAILS: Sat., May 12, 4:30-1 a.m., Centennial Park, Collage Ybor, Crowbar, New World Brewery, The Bricks, Orpheum, The Cuban Club, The Ritz, The Roosevelt 2.0, El Pasaje Plaza, Ybor City, $30 adults advance/$40 at the door ($12 youths ages 12-20, available by phone or in-person only). Click here to buy online or call 813-238-8001. Stay tuned for further picks from CL along with our own page featuring details about the fest, its performers, stages and schedule...

Local community-funded radio station WMNF brings a mass of local, national and regional talent to Ybor City every year for a multi-venue genre-crossing music fest, Tropical Heatwave. We're counting down the weeks leading up to the 31st annual event — set to occur on Saturday, May 12, and encompassing 13 stages and more than 60 performers — by featuring our top 10 favorite acts, the ones you can count on to bring the fire to this year's Heatwave. Check out the first four picks here.

This week, the spotlight falls on Barons of Tang, a seven-piece ensemble from Australia that was supposed to appear at last year's Heatwave but canceled last minutue to visa issues that delayed their U.S. tour. Luckily for us, the self-professed "pioneers of gypsy deathcore" get a do-over at Heatwave 2012, so we'll finally get the chance to experience the bedlam.

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