Music Menu


LEE GREENWOOD/CRYSTAL GAYLE Whatever Greenwood's intentions were when he recorded "God Bless the U.S.A." back in the mid-1980s, it couldn't have been too big of a surprise to the artist when the song became the right-wing anthem of the last quarter of the 20th century. But the song's real crime isn't the fact that it's jingoistic — which it is — but that it's banal. Want to write a song that deals with sacrificing for your country? Great. Just don't make it so utterly meaningless and saccharine that politicians can pump it at their rallies. Oh, and just to clarify, God hasn't gone on the record regarding his blessing our nation. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to speak for him? As for Crystal Gayle, doesn't she have lovely long hair? (Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota) —COOPER LANE BAKER

MAKE BELIEVE/THE OCCASION/AUTO!AUTOMATIC!!/THE COMEDY OF ERROR Make Believe is the latest Chicago arty-indie project fronted by fringe-scene hero Tim Kinsella (Cap N' Jazz, Joan of Arc, Owls), and it sounds pretty much like you'd expect it to, albeit with a little more rock and coherent song structure thrown in. New York's The Occasion is along for the ride, and does something a lot more traditional, but does it in interesting ways, and with interesting sounds. Area experimentalists/apparent Tim Kinsella fanatics Auto!Automatic!! and The Comedy of Error provide apt support. (Orpheum, Ybor City)


GEORGE CLINTON The proto-funkateer brings his DeMillian cast of singers, players and tricksters yet again to the Jannus stage. For folks who like anything resembling a proper show, a Clinton set can be a frustrating experience. The music, anchored by a deep, funk groove, sort of meanders; band members mill around the stage (one's generally clad in a diaper); solos can drone on and on and on (and on); and Clinton doesn't do much other than mosey around like a stoned-out figurehead (often soliciting joints from the crowd). If, on the other hand, you like your R&B loose, fun and jammy — and in long helpings — well, you can't do much better than Clinton and his retinue of freaks. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg) —ERIC SNIDER

THE CODETALKERS FEAT. HUBERT SUMLIN w/ELLIOTT COHN & THE COSMIC SWEAT SOCIETY The band's last Bay area show was a scorcher, not only due to the mid-August heat and sweaty Skipper's Smokehouse crowd, but also because Col. Bruce Hampton and Bobby Lee Rodgers were trading licks with guest guitarist Jimmy Herring like they were all on fire, and the only way to put it out was with plenty of energetic, danceable jams. This time around, the Codetalkers perform in Clearwater, indoors, and are joined by the legendary Hubert Sumlin, arguably one of the all-time best blues guitarists. For years, he was Howlin' Wolf's six-string sidekick, and then followed with an extensive catalog of solo work. Elliot Cohn & the Cosmic Sweat Society opens and Rebecca Jean Smith performs a tweener set. (Java Junction, Clearwater) —LEILANI POLK

JOHN HAMMOND & ROY BOOK BINDER Here's a winning double bill of white acoustic bluesmen. Hammond leans more toward the Delta side of things, although in recent years his recordings (including a disc of Tom Waits tunes) have branched into a fuller sound. Alone on stage, though, he lets loose with his acoustic guitar and his raspy pipes. Book Binder skews toward the more folk-oriented Carolina blues sound, and his stage style includes a fair helping of humor and whimsy. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa) —ES

PLAIN WHITE Ts/SPITALFIELD/THE AUDITION/DROPPING DAYLIGHT Emo-pop new kids Plain White Ts are being groomed for big-time breakthrough success, but any of the bands on this exceedingly all-ages-friendly bill could be the next big thing (except maybe Spitalfield, which has a rawer, darker, somewhat more interesting sound). If I had to get behind one in particular, it would have to be The Audition because, while the Chicago outfit is pretty generic, its music really jumps out of its own skin in earnest excitement. (Masquerade, Ybor City)

MAGGIE, PIERCE & EJ The eclectic, enthusiastic roots/pop/folk/rock trio returns to town for another UU Dome appearance. Into harmonies, fun and instrument-switching? Here you go. Expect some holiday-related material, as well. (Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, Tampa)

VERA VIOLETS CD RELEASE PARTY Formerly known as Drone Dimension, Tampa's Vera Violets have just about perfected the original British shoegaze sound a la My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Lush, etc. The group's second release this year, the new full-length Sunshine Dust, is another wonderful collection of gently brutal walls of guitar-fuzz, trance-inducing mid-tempos and barely audible vocals. It's a little more repetitive than previous outings, but it's also really, really good. Providing support tonight are the always-worthwhile Tampa distort-o-pop machine Life of Pi, and darkly New Wave-esque Orlando Chameleons acolytes Us. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

MIX UP MOODS 2 If the moody waves of sound start to get to you over at Orpheum, just head across the street for world/reggae/groove unit D'Visitors' latest schizoid roots/rap/rhythm bill, Mix Up Moods 2. Also on the bill are nigh-untouchable Tampa hip-hop outfit Red Tide and insurgent-reggae upstarts Tribal Style, along with Breakdown, Ran Mecca, Slopfunkdust, Gwaan Hi Fi, DJ Blenda and more. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Scroll to read more Show Previews articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.