Antiwarpt Festival 2011

Warped Tour doppelganger Antiwarpt takes over downtown St. Petersburg.

Conceived as the adult locally-centric alternative to the overblown corporatism of Warped Tour, last year's inaugural Antiwarpt Music Fest drew more than 700 people to downtown St. Petersburg to see a range of local and regional talent perform right up the street from Vinoy Park and The Real Warped.

For their second annual event, Daddy Kool Records and Brokenmold Entertainment are back with a bigger, bolder lineup. The 2011 edition boasts three times as many bands (more than 60, including national acts and the return of Nervous Turkey), double the number of venues (from four to eight), and an extension of the fun with a pre-party at the Shuffleboard Courts on Friday, and an after-party at Ella's on Sunday. Plus, Antiwarpt no longer competes with Warped — which happens Sunday — so you could potentially do both, if you're feeling energetic.

The CL Team has helped me assemble a group of must-see highlights from each stage at Antiwarpt, with the complete schedule included for your stage-hopping pleasure.


Spotlight On: The London Souls

Few musicians can say they've recorded at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, let alone with a superstar producer like Ethan Johns — unless they have major label backing or name recognition (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams). But The London Souls were pretty much handed the opportunity, and they weren't even trying for it.

"We got a call saying that Ethan Johns had heard our EP and was interested in doing an album," Tash Neal told me in a recent CL interview. "And then we heard he was interested in doing it at Abbey Road. We were like, 'What?!?'"

Neal (guitar, vocals), Kiyoshi Matsuyama (bass, vocals) and Chris St. Hilaire (drums, vocals) formed London Souls in 2008. They snagged a weekly residency in Brooklyn shortly after, and started building up their repertoire, drawing upon their shared late '60s and early '70s Brit invasion influences, and developing a sound that fused elements of heavy metal, hard blues, groove and funk-fused psychedelia, and rootsy folk rock. They recorded the EP that caught Johns' attention in January, 2009; they arrived in the UK to record their eponymous debut later that fall. "Just walking into Abbey Road was an overwhelming experience," Neal told me, seemingly still awestruck at having recorded in such a hallowed spot.

They had seven days to lay down the LP. "We cut all the basic tracks live, and nine out of the 13 tracks on the album are fresh takes," he said, and explained "We've been such a hit-'em-hard live band for so long and played so many shows, that it all sort of came out in that week that we had to record it. And I think it comes across on the album, that live energy."

The London Souls does, indeed, capture the band's explosive live energy. All three players sharing vocal duties, trading off on lead and harmonies. Neal offers up a sneering husky-voiced growl, Matsuyama busts out the falsetto highs, and St. Hilaire brings straightforward earnest white boy angst, the band's memorable hooks delivered with self-possessed confidence against a powerful, propulsive rock sound. "We're definitely so excited for people to hear this album, because we put so much into it and so much into the songwriting. We're really happy about how it turned out." (12:15-1:15 a.m., 687 Central Ave.)

Also at State Theatre: Damion Soumi & the Minor Prophets (5:15-6 p.m.), Thomas Wynn & The Believers (6:20-7:05 p.m.), Have Gun Will Travel (7:25-8:10 p.m.), Seryn (8:30-9:15 p.m.), Nervous Turkey (9:35-10:35 p.m.), Bright Light Social Hour (10:55-11:55 p.m.). —LP


Spotlight On: Reptar

There's so much to like about the Athens band named for the Rugrats dinosaur. First, there's the nerdy-intellectual-but-Southern-gentleman charm of singer Graham Ulciny, who sallies forth with his indie-electro army of merrymakers: Ryan Engelberger (bass, keys, vocals), William Kennedy (keys, drums), and Andrew McFarland (drums, vocals). Second: Reptar is known for staging shows that transform into sweat-drenched reveries. These spectacles have won the hearts of rabid fans who dress up in costumes and wear face paint. The cult-like throng even has a name — Reptards. The band is no less wacky. At one Atlanta gig, they came out in Star Wars costumes and battled a mystery guest dressed up like Darth Vader with plastic light sabers. Additional toy weaponry was given to the crowd. Third and lastly: these young men are a talented bunch, deftly combining Afro-pop and dance rock in a tasty a mishmash that'll appeal to fans of Black Kids and Vampire Weekend. Reptar played their first gig in May 2010 and has generated a buzz ever since. They caught the attention of Animal Collective producer Ben Allen, and were named among SPIN's "Top 20 Must Hear Acts" and Paste's "Best of What's Next." Their Oblangle Fizz, Y'all! EP drops Aug. 2. (1:15-2 a.m., 662 Central Ave.)

Also at the Local 662: Loud Valley (4-4:40 p.m.), Infinite Groove Orchestra (5-5:45 p.m.), An Introduction to Sunshine (6-6:45 p.m.), Auto!Automatic!! (7-7:45 p.m.), Radioboxer (8-8:45 p.m.), Andy Matchett and The Minks (9-9:45 p.m.), The Semis (10-10:45 p.m.), Set and Setting (11-11:45 p.m.), The Beauvilles (12:05-12:50 a.m.) —Julie Garisto


Spotlight On: Alias Punch

Quentin Tarantino would probably like Orlando's Alias Punch. Their sound, an ample helping of fuzzed-out guitar tones wrapped in the cheeky badassery of a 1970's-era B-movie, seems right at home in the background of some afroed-out she-ninja fight scene, western church massacre, or whatever other imagery would surely get Tarantino's directorial rocks off.

Snakeskin, their latest EP and single, is not a far cry from that sentiment either. Produced for (or as?) the score of a locally-produced horror flick of the same name, the title track is a 10-minute epic venturing from dark and brooding to frenetic and weird. At times, it hinges on the verge of complete deconstruction — random swells and roars pushing needles into the red with no discernable backing rhythm — before suddenly roping you right back in with reverb-soaked passages just born for the background of some moustache-heavy car chase scene awash in a haze of warm film grain.

They capture and meld the sounds of bygone eras, times when your parents will deftly recall, "shit got weird" and, for that, we thank them. (10:20-11 p.m., 658 Central Ave.)

Also at Fubar: Ink and Sweat (3:20-3:50 p.m.), The Broken Inn (4:10-4:40 p.m.), Y Los Dos Pistoles (5-5:30 p.m.), Signals From Satellites (5:40-6:10 p.m.), Florida Night Heat (6:20-7 p.m.), Jane Jane Pollock (7:20-8 p.m.), The Pauses (8:20-9 p.m.), Lauris Vidal (9:20-10 p.m.), Car Bomb Driver (11:20-midnight), Guiltmaker (12:20-1 a.m.), The Tim Version (1:20-2 a.m.) —Andrew Silverstein


Spotlight on: Feral Babies

The five songs on Feral Babies' demo tape are deceptively melodic, yet maintain the intensity of legendary acts like MC5, Black Flag, and Germs. The tape clocks in at less than six minutes total, but its punchy nature is in complete contrast to the time the four-piece outfit have put into the Tampa hardcore scene.

Made up of members of seminal Tampa punk bands INJ/SYS, New Bruises and Arm the Poor, the Babies — Andy Stern, Justin Arnold, Sulynn Hago, and Marc Cody — collectively boast close to 100 years on the scene. Stern, 37, credits the dedication and passion of the community with keeping it all together over the past 20 years. "I got here in the early '90s," he told CL. "I love that I can go out to shows at venues like Transitions and the Hold Tight House and see the same faces."

They've nearly sold out of cassettes, recently recorded a 7", and have a nine-song album set for release on Rigid Records in a few months. Beg them for a limited edition Feral Babies cookie when you catch them at the Emerald. (7:35-8:05 p.m., 550 Central Ave.)

Also at the Emerald: Kevin K (5-5:30 p.m.), Man Made (6:05-6:35), FATAL (6:50-7:20 p.m.), Doll Parts (8:20-8:50 p.m.), Brahm Bones (9:10-9:50 p.m.), Poetry n' Lotion (10-10:40 p.m.), Eyes Lips Eyes (11-11:40 p.m.), Le BLORR (midnight-12:40 a.m.), Sons of Hippies (1-2 a.m.). —Ray Roa


Spotlight On: Gentlemen Please

Work and family obligations often keep the boys of Gentlemen Please from getting together to record new material, but frontman Alastair St. Hill knows he can't have it any other way. A true cultivator of the Bay area's music culture, St. Hill, 32, is a member of Palantine side project, Mother Winslow, and the host of Grand National Championships on WMNF.

Despite a hectic schedule, St. Hill and his bandmates — John Thacker, John Niles and Kyle Krukar — make the most of their situations and send ideas back and forth before working them out in practice. They hope to have a new EP recorded by the end of the summer, but their latest effort — last year's Nothing Touching EP — is more than enough to get by on. Despite being just eight minutes long, the three-track collection delivers extremely catchy prog-pop that is all available for free on Gentlemen Please's Bandcamp page. (11:35 p.m.-12:05 a.m., 681 Central Ave.)

Also performing at Star Booty: J. Thelonious (6:40-7:10), Noctambulo (7:30-8 p.m.), Young Egypt (8:15-8:45 p.m.), Fever (9-9:30 p.m.) CosmicGospelHour (9:50-10:25 p.m.), Kaleigh Baker (10:45-11:25 p.m.). —Ray Roa


Spotlight On: Saskatchewan

Barely a year old, with a mere handful of songs recorded and live shows played, and already Saskatchewan is making ripples in the painfully hip indie music-sphere. The Orlando dream pop quintet led by Michael Serrin and Chandler Strang from An Introduction to Sunshine — another high-quality O-town act that plays Antiwarpt — landed on two separate mixtapes in February, and earned rave reviews of new single "Dreamboat" by others like Antlered Pigeons and Coke Machine Glow after Saskatchewan dropped a 7-inch in May.

The band definitely merits some attention, the aforementioned "Dreamboat" a simple plea of yearning and affection that doesn't carry the underlying ache of expected rejection, its buoyant '60s pop/surf rock appeal marked by a post-punk bass groove, tambourine-textured beats, an Afro-pop tinged guitar hook, and sweetly enchanting vocals and harmonies shaded with an almost pastoral feel.

Other tracks like "Nice Daze" and "Beast Coast" reveal Saskatchawan's more swooning aesthetic, the former drawn-out into shimmering washes of haunting, hazy bliss, the latter slower, sparser, and marked by dreamy organ and delicately sighing vocals. All of it comes off as fresh, unforced, lovely and worthy of checking out. (10-10:30 p.m., 937 Central Ave.)

Also at Cafe Bohemia: A Play on Words (4-4:20 p.m.), Yogurt Smoothness (4:35-5:05 p.m.), Blood Bats (5:20-5:45 p.m.), Alien House (6-6:30 p.m.), I AND I (6:50-7:20 p.m.), Transcendent Other (7:40-8:10 p.m.), Erin Solari (8:30-9 p.m.), MeteorEYES (9:15-9:45 p.m.). —Leilani Polk


Spotlight On: Bombshell Lust

The Globe's Antiwarpt lineup gets off to a gleefully idiosyncratic start. Warming things up for a slate that otherwise balances veteran beloved singer-songwriters with newer strummy solo acts is what's sure to be an interesting acoustic set by this Bradenton punk act. Heavily influenced by the likes of NOFX and the rest of the early-to-mid '90s first fast-rawk wave of Generation Fat Wreck Chords acts, Manatee's Bombshell Lust usually ply a brisk, snotty and fun sound that's above all faithful to the buzz-saw speeds and sarcastic perspectives of the era the group so obviously adores. It's boisterous stuff at full volume, loose and raucous and designed to delight anybody with a Guttermouth T-shirt that by this point is just barely hanging on.

For this show the band is going unplugged, and whether or not they roll out stripped-down versions of trademark fare like "My Dad is a Transvestite" and "Joke's on You!" or opt for something completely different, patrons are undoubtedly going to be treated to a spectacle that'll be possibly unruly, maybe hilarious and, above all, entertaining. (5:30-6 p.m., 532 First. Ave. N.)

Also at the Globe: Joel Serena (6:15-6:45 p.m.), John Allen (7-7:30 p.m.), Rebekah Pulley (7:45-8:15 p.m.), Jun (8:30-9 p.m.), Will Quinlan (9:15-10 p.m.) —Scott Harrell


CORRECTION: The DJ Silence who Scott featured below is not, in fact, the DJ Silence who is performing at Antiwarpt this Saturday. The correct DJ Silence is otherwise known as Gudjon Carroll, the Iceland-born, Tampa-based member of 500 Wolves DJ collective, which stages Filthy Richard on Friday nights at Czar. Click here to check out one of his mixes. (7:30-8:20 p.m., 548 Central Ave.)

Also performing at Sake Bomb: Jason Kiger (6-6:45 p.m.), Sidedraft (6:45-7:30 p.m.), Infinite Skillz (8:20-8:45 p.m.), Nick Lennon (8:45-10 p.m.), Crate Brothers (10-11 p.m.), DJ Blenda (11-11:40 p.m.), DJ Mega (11:40 p.m.-12:25 a.m.), Louis Junior (12:25-12:45 a.m.), Destroyer (12:45-1:45 a.m.), DJ Y-not (1:45-3 a.m.).

Spotlight On: DJ Silence

DJ Silence is a member of Final Cut DJs, a Tampa crew that joined forces with mega-crew Trigger City DJs earlier this year to beef up that lineup's already impressive size. Silence isn't afraid to lighten things up in order to bring a little life to the party — he's got a style that's less bass-heavy and more about a light, snappy groove than many of his peers, and it's crafted to get heads of all ages not just nodding along but sliding along the floor with a smile on the way to the bar. Chiming disco-era guitars, rhythmic house beats, soulful R&B-meets-funk and maybe even a little go-go blend with hip hop sounds and rhythms from all eras to create an eclectic party vibe.

This DJ-and-MC bill looks and feels like it's going to keep the party going all night with a variety of grooves and sounds; Sake Bomb may very well be the place that sees more carefree dancing and late-night action than any other Antiwarpt venue. —Scott Harrell

About The Authors

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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