BEST PLACE TO BREAK UP WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER
The Nook Table, Limey's Pub
While you may be more than happy to get rid of that leech sleeping next to you, the actual break-up ranks up there with gargling razor blades and electroshock therapy. However, to decrease the chance of her (or him) having an apocalyptic freak-out, take her to a cozy, safe and (this is the key) public environment. Limey's nook table is located far enough in the back to afford a modicum of privacy, and live music every night tends to drown out the pathetic sobbing of that dead weight you just dropped. And even if said freak-out happens, who cares? You're at Limey's! They have a plethora of tasty beers and ciders from which to choose; after all, one of you has reason to celebrate and the other wants to be miserable and forget. That's when you turn to your old multitasking beverage buddy — beer. By the end of the night you'll both be hammered and having sex, but hey, at least you broke up.
Limey's Pub, 1492 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-895-2049.
BEST PLACE TO GET ROAD RAGE
What does that sign say — left lane ends? Why the hell would the left lane — WHOA! Watch it there, Sparky! Great, a left lane ends just as another one merges — hey, screw you buddy, it's either cut you off or drive into the concrete, do the math. Hey! Don't stop in the middle of the freaking road, moron! Jesus Chr... left turn only? Where the hell did that come from? The left lane just ended — HOLY CRAP! That guy almost took my bumper off and left turn only sorry, sorry, watch it, Sparklenuts, FUCK! That was my turn.
Lowest Depths of Hell, Tampa
BEST PLACE FOR
A QUALITY PINT
July was American Beer Month, and not wanting to seem unpatriotic, I figured it was my duty as an American to drink. My establishment of choice was (and still is) the Dunedin Brewery. The main reason for this is that the Dunedin Brewery subscribes to the "quality over quantity" mindset. Brewmaster Mike Bryant and his family have been cranking out quality ales for about seven years now, producing a wide range of flavors to tempt your inner alcoholic (15 at last count, including seasonal beers). Try the Redhead Red, a delightfully smooth ale with a rich taste and no hint of bitterness. Prefer a bit of a bite with your brew? Then the Beach Tale Brown Ale is for you. And really, can you ever go wrong with the Razzbeery, which uses actual raspberries in the fermentation process? I'm thinking "no." But it's not just the award-winning beers that are top notch; the Brewery's "Snug Pub" is a fine place to sit back and enjoy a drink or four. On any given night, there's live music (usually acoustic, but they're not afraid to plug in some amps) and the staffers are some of the nicest folks you're going to find anywhere. It's the kind of place where you leave pretension at the door, sit back, and enjoy good company with an extraordinary pint.
Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 727-736-0606 or www.dunedinbrewery.com.
BEST WAY TO GET FREE BEER AT A SHOW
Be the Merch Guy For Your Favorite Local
Another title bandied about for this category was "Best Way To Get Chicks To Talk To You Without Being In A Band," but we'll ignore that particular bit of pathetic-ness. Anyway, you have friends in a local band, right? If not, go make some. Attend most, if not all, of their shows. Being into their sound helps but is not mandatory. Then volunteer for the most underappreciated job in any band's existence: to sit at a dimly lit table far away from the stage and try to hawk said band's merchandise. After all, they can't exactly dole out T-shirts/CDs/ sequined panty liners/whatever other crap they've slapped their logo on whilst providing the rock, now can they? If the cosmos is working properly, the band will graciously acknowledge your sacrifice and put you on the bar tab. So during their set, you get to sit back, enjoy the music, and swill copious amounts of free beer. As a bonus, you might get acknowledged from the stage; "That's Dumb Drunk Guy (or whatever other derogatory name they come up with — all merch guys get crappy nicknames. I think it's a law) over at that dimly lit, horrible-smelling table. Go see him and buy something." As long as the band has indeed provided and/or exceeded the Recommended Daily Allowance of Rock, people will come by and give you money in exchange for brightly colored trinkets. And while their disposable income becomes grocery money for the band, you get to talk to all sorts of interesting people, most of whom would never consider even remotely associating with you (see alternate title).
BEST CD SHOP
As much as I love Daddy Kool's in downtown St. Pete, Vinyl Fever claims the title for all-encompassing musical goodness. Since moving to its new location on Henderson Boulevard, Vinyl Fever is the Six Million Dollar Man of record stores — it's been rebuilt bigger, stronger and faster. Be it that obscure John Coltrane record, a Minor Threat T-shirt or a Gene Simmons action figure, odds are good Fever either has it in stock or can get its grubby little paws on whatever your little heart desires. Plus the extra floor space has allowed the already massive CD and vinyl selections (both new and used) to get larger. Bonus round for a healthy assortment of local bands, and if you're searching for that guilty pleasure or massively obscure nobody, cruise through The Cut Out Bins of DOOM! Conveniently alphabetized and never more than $5 per disc, this bin is where some true gems can be found. Storewide, there's something to fit everybody's taste, all easily labeled and locatable. And if you can't make a decision, ask. The Fever staff is hands down the most informed and nicest bunch of music geeks I've ever met, and they make some quality recommendations.
Vinyl Fever, 4110 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-289-8399 or www.vinylfever.com.
BEST RADIO SHOW
"Local Motion," 97X (WSUN-97.1 FM)
Since it would be pretentious to vote for myself and/or Professor Bryan ("Sunday School," 8-11 p.m. Sundays on 97X), the obvious choice for airwave champ is "Local Motion." While 97X isn't the only station playing local music, it is the only commercial station dedicating a full hour to some insanely underappreciated bands. Tre and Jimmy recognize that our local scene is as diverse as it is talented, and they hit on damn near every style the Bay area has to offer. Alternative, metal, funk, whatever, they don't care; if it's from the Bay Area, it gets airtime. What's more, they're active in the scene and give relevant information about the bands, including upcoming gigs, CD release dates and a plethora of other tidbits. Do yourself a favor and listen. You just might find your new favorite band.
"Local Motion," 97X (97.1 FM), 11 p.m.-midnight Sunday nights, www.97xonline.com/locals.