Antiwarpt spin-offs Plan-B and Don’t Stop St. Pete fall on different weekends this year, and the relief I feel about not h aving to choose between the two is likely shared by numerous other local-scene folks.
I’ll still have to do some careful planning to ensure I enjoy a thoroughly rewarding music-fest experience at this Saturday’s Plan-B Block Party. Upwards of 40 acts perform over nine hours in six venues that stretch from New World Brewery to The Dirty Shame, and the first-rate quality of these acts (with a few nationals scattered amid the local and regional talent) has made it difficult to narrow down what I want to see to a manageable number. Thus, I’m taking three important factors into account: A) What I absolutely must see regardless of whether I’ve seen it before; B) What I should see because I haven’t seen it before; and C) What I can feasibly see without killing myself running back and forth across Ybor. With these factors in mind, I’ve come up with the following game plan. Check it out below and feel free to make it your own…
Bellows Starting with an act I’ve never seen, Bellows is an Orlando-bred trio led by singer/guitarist Greyson Charnock, their mix of experimental indie rock and folk sounds balancing shimmering atmospherics and chiming melodies with churning rhythmic drive, vaguely ’90s-hued vocal harmonies and the occasional math-y time signatures. (The Social, 6:05-6:35 p.m.)
Rec Center Susie Ulrey delivers dulcet-pretty pipings and plays guitar and electric piano in the ambient, melody-rich indie-rock outfit she leads with co-songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Michael Waksman Husband/New Granada Records partner Keith Ulrey maintains the beats, Melissa Grady adds sweeps of cello texture and Brian Roberts holds the low end steady. (7-7:40 p.m., New World Brewery)
Case Work Yet another musical by-product of popular Orlando dream-pop outfit Saskatchewan (also attention-worthy and playing Plan-B on this night), Case Work started in the bedroom of songwriter Chandler Strang, who eventually brought his breathy, sighing vocals and bright, summery shoegaze-y pop fare to the stage with a full band that includes Bellows guitarist Greyson Charnock. (8-8:45 p.m., The Social)
Monarch Another new-to-me band, Monarch is a locally brewed high-octane band formed by guitarist/singer Jason “Critter” Polo and drummer Andrew Pellegrino that serves up ball-busting rock ‘n’ roll with garage-kicking grit. (8:20-9 p.m., Tequila’s)
Y Los Dos Pistoles>Matt Butcher These two acts play back-to-back at The Dirty Shame, so my goal is to catch a bit of both — first, whiskey-soaked garage-pop outfit Y Los Dos Pistoles, powered by the honeyed-husky vocals of frontwoman Shae Krispinsky (8:45-9:25 p.m.), then Florida-bred, Nashville-based alt-country rocker Matt Butcher (9:45-10:45 p.m.), maybe with a Cuban from Carmine's in between.
Those Darlins I did a story on the Nashville-based foursome back in 2011, but never had the chance to see them until this year’s Gasparilla Music Festival. I was thoroughly won over. Those Darlins blend big-beat garage-pop shuffle with twangy, revved-up alt-country crunch, guitarist frontwoman Jessi Zazu leading the ’60s girl group-style vocal harmonies with a sneering drawl and brash ferocity matched by feminine counterpart and bandmate Nikki Kvarnes. (10:45-11:35 p.m., Crowbar)
Synergy in a Cup JRoc Jones slings conscious rhymes, Jus Henry howls or croons R&B-velvety melodies, and a multi-piece instrumental ensemble combines blues, funk, jazz and soul to get to the bumpin’ grooves that back them up. (11:20-midnight, Tequila’s)
Kishi Bashi I didn’t give Kishi Bashi a 2014 Best Concert award for nothing. The project of K. Ishibashi finds the Athens, Ga. singer, songwriter and violin virtuoso using his classical-music chops to create 21st century psychedelic pop à la of Montreal and tUnE-yArDs, his vocals and instrumentals programmed, multi-tracked, looped and layered into vibrant, lavishly orchestrated soundscapes marked by catchy hooks and an overall delightfully joyous feel. A must-see. (11:55 p.m.-1:10 a.m., Crowbar)
FayRoy Formerly of Indian Rocks Beach, currently playing out of San Francisco, the five-piece crafts breezy surf ‘n’ salt-stained psych-folk with an ethereal quality to the ribboning guitar solos and vintage Byrds-esuqe vocal harmonies. A nice way to end a night of musical adventuring. (12:50-1:30 a.m., Market on 7th)
DETAILS: Plan-B Block Party with Those Darlins, Kishi Bashi, A.J. Vincent, SUNBEARS!, People’s Blues of Richmond, Saskatchewan, Dear & Glorious Physician, SWIMM & many more, Sat., Oct. 4, 5 p.m. doors, Crowbar, New World Brewery, Market On 7th, The Social, The Dirty Shame, Tequilas, Ybor City, $15 advance/$20 dos. Click here to check out the complete schedule.