Antiwarpt III: The Must-Sees

Twenty-five acts worth seeing at today's music fest in downtown St. Pete.

Picking bands to feature from Saturday's Antiwarpt III proved a task easier said than done. With virtually every high-quality Florida act on the bill, not to mention several solid nationals jammed in for good measure, it made a difficult task near impossible. Many of the usual local suspects, bands that have proven their worth and consistently make it into the pages of CL — like Auto!Automatic!!, Poetry n’ Lotion, Sleepy Vikings, Tallhart and Have Gun Will Travel — were ruled out in favor of the lesser-known, newer, or lesser-covered acts. National headliner Mountain Goats was just too obvious. And the rest — well, the CL Team members who threw in their two cents all picked bands we were most interested in seeing, mixing rising acts with vets and fresh outfits you likely haven't heard of before. Venues are located on the 500-900 blocks of Central Avenue in St. Pete.

Here they are, in the order they appear on stage:

Spiller Songwriter John McNicholas’ Spiller presided over the late-’90s era of Bay area indie rock, occasionally as a four-piece but more often as a trio. (This writer briefly played guitar in one of the band’s several lineups.) Now McNicholas and bassist/charter member Marcus McCord are back with gifted musician — and Palantine principal — Vinnie Cosentino on the drummer’s stool, and the group’s inimitable, nearly flawless balance of dynamic energy and earnest, frayed-edge melody remains infectiously intact. Few bandleaders anywhere possess McNicholas’ knack for making simple, familiar guitar-pop ingredients sound so personal, and tunes from Spiller's decade-plus-old setlists still come off as fresh. (4-4:40 p.m., Local 662, 662 Central) —Scott Harrell

The Rosewoods Classic rock and blues riffs from guitarists Nick Valladarez and Elliot Dickinson, bassist Greg Baker and drummer John Macdonald. Lead vocalist Kristina White’s voice screams and scorns lyrics like “Why do you do it?” with soul. Watch out for some killer instrumental breakdowns. The St. Petersburg group is young and fresh but schooled in the heavyweights of rock ’n’ roll. (4:15-4:45 p.m., Cafe Bohemia, 937 Central) —Arielle Stevenson

Hear Hums The globally-infused experimental music duet features Mitch Myers and Kenzie Cooke, who recently relocated to Gainesville from Florida’s East coast to immerse themselves in the city’s budding experimental scene. Their music is built with layer upon layer of guitar riffs, diverse percussive textures and embellishments, nature noises, found sound samples and breathy-sighed vocals. The duo manages to capture something wild and beautiful in every song, their sound gentle like raindrops falling on a Sunday afternoon, but packed with the power of Mother Nature. (5-5:30 p.m., Star Booty, 681 Central) —AS

The Wallies Hailing from Sarasota, The Wallies are a bunch of dirty-mouthed garage rock bad boys — and we mean that in the best way possible. Heartache, hatred, and moments of passion are the general themes of every song, “I don’t give a damn” vocals mixed with thick guitar licks and piled on top of heavy bass drum and cymbal-crashing rhythms. It’s the sort of rock music made for riding a motorcycle down a lonely highway. (5-5:30 p.m., Fubar, 658 Central) —AS

The Dewars The charming music of The Dewars — brothers Anthony and Zachary Dewar, from West Palm Beach — is by turns ambling, bouncy and psychedelic. Songs From The Neverglades is six songs’ worth of highly enjoyable yet slightly off-kilter folkedelia with playful happy pop vibes reminiscent of The Kinks and The Beta Band. Highly intriguing. (5:45-6:15 p.m., Fubar) —Leilani Polk

The Equines While they haven’t been super active in the Tampa Bay area of late, it’s nice to see that a quality music festival can draw The Equines up from Sarasota to present a set of their quirky, up-tempo indie rock. The quintet’s arrangements are permeated with tropicali and synth pop influences, encompass bright sonic splashes of trumpet, xylophone and cello, and are marked by the rich soaring vocals of Erin Murphy. (6-6:40 p.m., Octave, 661 Central) —LP

Must-See Spotlight: November Foxtrot Whiskey Click here to read more. (7:55-8:35 p.m., Emerald Bar, 550 Central) —Julie Garisto

Loud Valley The music of Orlando’s Loud Valley is lovely, pure and simple. Gentle guitars, bass, lead vocals, and piano are a summery, melodic soundtrack to a day at the beach, a drive through the city, a picnic in the park. Dreamy backup vocals echo in unison and bring a surf/doo-wop vibe to a sound they describe as “symphonic mood swing.” Loud Valley features members of the now-defunct Introduction to Sunshine and Saskatchewan, another quality band that plays Antiwarpt earlier in the evening. (8:15-8:45 p.m., VLVT, 538 Central) —AS

Two Cow Garage We live in a culture of hyperbole. Every new band is “the greatest,” every rock show is “face-melting,” but while acknowledging this, I have to point out that Two Cow Garage’s live show is explosive, loud and as good as their name is bad. These Ohio rockers deliver an unabashed rock ’n’ roll revival that’ll restore your faith in three chords and the truth. Bring earplugs. (7:55-8:40 p.m., State Theatre, 687 Central) —Bryan Childs

Must See Spotlight: Permanent Makeup Click here to read more and see the trio's video spotlight. (8-8:30 p.m., Star Booty)—JG

Must-See Spotlight: RedFeather Click here to read more and and check out the band's video spotlight. (8:45-9:15 p.m., Cafe Bohemia) —AS

Day Joy How much happiness and dreamy, down-tempo, sugary sweet pop can two best friends possibly create? Apparently, a whole shitload. Day Joy — which began as the late-night, porch-writing musical project of Michael Serrin and Peter Perceval III — boasts a recorded musical output that consists of just two songs, but the 10 minutes of pristinely recorded oohs, ahhs, guitar squeals, ambient noise, and top-notch songcraft found on their Animal Noise EP just might be the best music Central Florida has released in the first half of 2012. (9-9:30 p.m., VLVT) —Ray Roa

Gerry Williams Band He has velvety sweet, gospel-imbued vocals, and he leads with tender croons or more commanding howls as singer, keyboardist, percs-banging and vibes-playing frontman of Orlando-based Gerry Williams Band. His music draws on funk, soul, R&B and blues influences delivered with jazz-improv performance standards by a full grooving band that includes a three-piece horn section and a couple of support singers who are a fiery feminine addition to his energetic arrangements. Williams and the band put on an engaging, instrumentally vibrant live show. (9:10-10:10 p.m., Morean Arts Center, 719 Central) —LP

Must-See Spotlight: Florida Night Heat

Click here to read more and see the trio's CL/St. Pete Beat video spotlight.(9:45-10:25 p.m., Emerald Bar)—LP

Vasti Orlando performer Laiza Rodriguez was almost named Vasti, which is Spanish for “Vashti,” another name for Queen Xerxes and a word used to represent powerful women. With tunes produced by fellow O-Town compatriots John Paul Ramos and Peter Baldwin (who’s in his own right a sultry and talented vocalist and guitarist), the fierce performer and young mom can go from Fiona Apple-like ballads and female Black Keys rasp to Cyndi Lauper spasticness and modern gypsy jangle without batting an eyelash. (10-10:40 p.m., Octave) —JG

Le Blorr Rain poured outside as two East coast Florida boys took the “stage” in the back corner of the Emerald during the tail end of the 2011 Antiwarpt. Everyone else was raging at Bright Light Social Hour, but the bodies were packed close for the band otherwise known as the Bastard Lovechild of Rock ’n’ Roll. Like the ocean near their hometown of Satellite Beach, Le Blorr’s sound goes from slow and serpent-like to outright filthy fantastic blues-infused indie rock. Boys and girls undulated in erotic frenzy at the late-night set last year. (10-10:45 p.m., Local 662) —AS

Adrian Younge Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Adrian Younge skillfully composed all the music for 2009 blaxploitation action spoof, Black Dynamite; played all the instruments (Rhodes, Hammond B3, clavinet, harpsichord, synths, vibes, guitar, bass, flute, sax, cello, and drums), wrote most of the lyrics, recorded the whole dang thing to vintage tape for a warm and authentic ’70s sound. He issued his own high-quality full-length debut last year, Something About April, a lushly textured mix of psychedelic soul, spaghetti western drama, and grooving R&B. He’ll be bringing his full-on backing band to Antiwarpt for a set you don’t want to miss. This dude is for real. (10:30-11:45 p.m., State Theatre) —LP

The Semis There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about Semis frontman Billy Summer. He’s a guitar virtuoso who’s been run through the gamut of his “mischievous” past only to come out on the other side with even more of the unabashed pop-kissed, sun-drenched garage rock ’n’ roll that The Semis have been crafting since they released an album of early demos (Upper Middle Trash) a decade ago. The ocean-washed, ethereal, and romanticized images of life in the Sunshine State found on 2010 LP Back To The Beach make it a true Florida classic while 2011’s Decapitator Blues proved a strong follow-up. The Semis also have the fine distinction of very recently having their track “Fun In The Sun” used in a Sundance Channel commercial airing frequently to promote its summer film programming. (10:40-11:20 p.m., Emerald Bar) —RR

Levek David Levesque is poised for a breakout. The Orlando singer-songwriter-producer better known as Levek is a certifiable, but would have been on the up and up with or without approval from that particular online rag. His sound has swiftly evolved from the dusty, vintage-pop sounds of his 2009 demos to the soul-drenched sampling and vocals of 2010’s “Look On The Bright Side,” and his debut LP, Look A Little Closer, is set for a September release via San Francisco taste-making imprint Lefse Records (Dominant Legs, Youth Lagoon). (11-11:40 p.m., Octave) —RR


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Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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