Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Forecast: Refined Halloween, Bird St., and John's Festival

[Charles] Halloween is a favorite weekend for lots of folks and the fun is happening everywhere. The one do not miss event as far as I'm concerned is going to be the party on Saturday night at the Refinery. Greg and Michelle love Halloween and are going all out this year to make sure everyone has a great time. Definitely dress up and get ready for a costume contest with some great food and drink specials. Performing at the show will be November Foxtrot Whiskey and the Rock N Body Pole Dancers so it should be a lot of fun. When asked what pole dancers have to do with Halloween, Michelle replied "Everything has to do with Halloween!" Don't miss out on a great local event! Forecast - 60% chance somebody dressed like Dick Cheney will hit on a pole dancer.

My forecast is out of order but whatever, tonight will find The Lee Boys and the Bird St. Players kickin out the jams at the Crowbar tonight. The Lee Boys are what is called "sacred steel" which to me sounds like the best combo of blues and gospel that you could put together. The Bird St. Players are a local funk and soul group that always promise a good time. Forecast of some face melting blues riffs - 85%. Definitely some of the best music in town this weekend. Here's a little video of The Lee Boys from Bonaroo...

Last of all, I want to offer up a chance to be a tourist for once in our little town and enjoy something that most of us normally shun. Over at John's Pass they are having a seafood festival with all sorts of artists and activities for the kids. If you've never done the touristy thing and you live here, now's your chance to check it out and have some fun. Buy a stupid t-shirt and enjoy the cool weather off the water. You might surprise yourself. Forecast of art involving manatees - 75%.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Maker Monday: Not a Lamp - David Graas

Photos from Studio David Graas
{Charles} This little lamp caught my eye the other day in a blog post on Re-nest and I started checking out the other studio work from David Graas. I like this quote about making environmentally friendly designs -"My ambition is first and foremost to make simple, beautiful,
affordable and smart products." I like that idea and that is a common discussion I've had with friends. I don't want to complicate a thing unnecessarily. I like that his designs enjoy some sense of humor as well. Check out this one, which I wish I had thought of when I found that broken trombone a few months ago...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Forecast: Altars, Rabbits, and Grub

How do you celebrate the Day of the Dead in Tampa? How about heading to the new TMA and checking out some altar art from local artists and maybe leaving a little something for people you've lost this week? We lost my Uncle Gary this week and I plan to leave a University of Texas hat down there for the gruff guy from coal-mining country that always knew how to make me laugh.

50% chance somebody is gonna be dressed like Frida Kahlo or Mr. Goodbody down there...

Ever done a ride thru on your bike? Saturday might be your chance. The Hub Grub III (The Grub Strikes Back) is going to take anybody with a bike and an appetite through a tour of SemHeights faves like Ella's, the Shindie, and the Refinery and new guys like Nani's. You'll even get something at Publix this time so head over to the Garden Center at 2:30 to get it going. Here's the link to the page from the SHBC for more info.

I predict a 90% chance somebody will have too much fun and have to walk the bike home!

Last but not least, there's a small - let's say 20% chance that I'm going to drive out of town to see Frightened Rabbit this weekend. I didn't grow up in Florida so driving to shows used to be pretty common for me, but I'm not sure if I'll pony and head up the road. It'll be a real shame to miss these guys if I do. They've been a lot of inspiration to me lately on days that really feel like a continuous kick in the teeth. If you go see them either in Gainesville on Saturday or in Orlando at the Social on Sunday, be prepared to rock your face off!

Hope to see you out there!

Here's a little Frightened Rabbit that I'll dedicate to my Uncle Gary who definitely was a real man and not "a bag of sand".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maker Monday: Fisheye for IPhone

Photos from Elawgrrl's Blog Post on her Iphone Fisheye Lens
[Charles] After following Elawgrrl around this weekend to see just how she gets her awesome live shots at concerts, I was definitely feeling like it was time to read my Digital SLR's manual and see what I'd been missing. I'll post separately about the concerts themselves but today I wanted to point everybody over to a great post she did a month or so ago about adding a fisheye lens to the Iphone.

She has been using the Iphone for her 365 photos in 365 days project this year and decided to make some modifications to the camera to push the creativity beyond what Hipstamatic and some editing can do. The post was great and showed a simple way to take something that's cheaply made and modify it so it is useful. If you want to see how her 365/365 project is going, check it out here -

Here's a shot she made after properly installing the lens with an Iphone (I still can't believe some of the shots she gets with her phone)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Forecast: Injustice, Problems, and Vikings

Photo from Elawgrrl of Sleepy Vikings and friends at Summer Jam
[Charles] This Friday I've got to make some decisions. Why does it seem like every weekend we get more and more good bands here? I don't want to sound optimistic about the scene here but I kind of am. Pretty cool to have enough great shows to cause trouble deciding which I'm going to hit -

So anyhow the Forecast is:

20% chance I'll drive the bridge and see Matt and Kim with Fake Problems although it really sounds like a great show and my buddy Elawgrrl will probably almost certainly be there snapping away with her music hungry lens.

35% chance I'll head over to the Brass Mug to catch Injustice System and their speed punk with the rocktastic Andy Stern on drums - who you may also know from Porch Fire or many of the other bands he's been kicking a$$ with for years.

50% chance I'll head down to The Bricks in Ybor to hear Sleepy Vikings in support of Glitter of our own Tampa Bay Derby Darlins and her mounting hospital bills from being hit in an accident while riding her scooter.

Any one of these shows will be worth spending an awesome Friday night out in the Bay Area so really folks just pick one, get out of the house, and you can't go wrong. Hope to see you out!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are you sure you've never heard of Solomon Burke?

[Charles] I mentioned the death of soul legend Solomon Burke to a few people since Sunday and not many people seem to know him without some prodding. Unfortunately he never received the same name recognition as guys like Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye, but he was definitely a legend. It was interesting that because he outlived so many of those singers, he went on to have a real job and brought something like 19 children into the world. If you still can't place him, then here's a couple of things to help you remember. Let's start with the Dirty Dancing movie - you'll have to follow the link to see this one, but it's worth it...

That was one of his biggest hits released back in 1962 and revived in the 80's.

Next off, remember the Blues Brothers? They covered one of his biggest hits from 1964. "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" You might remember the band here that also covered the song and made a huge hit of it on tour.

If you happened to read Nick Hornby's High Fidelity then you probably caught on that he's a bit of a fan of Solomon too. Here's the song that he said was "responsible for Rob and Laura's whole relationship" in the book because Rob would play it as a DJ and only Laura could dance to it.

I remember one day I was driving home from work and heard Jeff Stewart from WMNF 88.5 interviewing Solomon Burke on the radio - I almost wrecked the car. It was fantastic, and he sounded like such a nice guy and really cool. He'll definitely be missed and hopefully with a little help from all of his fans, he'll be remembered as the amazing man he was.

Here's a song from the last big album that resurrected his career and even won him a Grammy. It was an all-star album with many people writing songs for him to perform. My favorite is the most amazing and soulful track on the album- the title track "Don't Give Up On Me" - Enjoy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Forecast: WMNF Fund Drive, 9Bullets Anniversary Show, Sunday Market

[Charles] A couple of quick things to check out this weekend. First off, this week was the WMNF fund drive and if you didn't chip in then let me remind you of the vast wasteland of other music that awaits us if you don't. Just get off your wallet and send em $10 or whatever. Find your favorite show and put money in the tip jar so they know what you like. They are stopping the drive today and they are still really short. If you need a show to check out, then go to the archives and see either Saturday Asylum, Grand National Championships, or Artful Dodgings. There are lots of great shows, but these to me are the never miss, indie shows that always introduce me to new music. They definitely deserve some love.

On Saturday, over in St. Pete is the 9Bullets Anniversary show with a lot of cool bands and one of my favorites - Will Quinlan and the Diviners. Show these guys some love and enjoy some nice rock and alt-country in the process. This blog puts out consistent reviews on albums and shows that don't get much press here or anywhere else. I can't go, so buy Brian a drink for me. If you really want a taste, then go to the pre-show at Ella's tonight to see The Only Sons. They are a solid alt-country band in the Lucero family of bands that should get the place rockin.

On Sunday, hit up the Sunday Morning Market at Hillsborough High School. It is the first market of the season and should be a great one with lots of vendors and amazing weather. It sounds like Greg and Tiffany have some more surprises this year with lots of fresh local produce and even more prepared food vendors. I'll be there loading up on some awesome coffee and hopefully the gumbo that got me hooked last season. We aren't setting up this time around as we are still getting our act together on what we are making these days, but it will be nice to just enjoy the crowd and actually enjoy hanging out with our neighbors. See you there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Maker Monday - Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations'

Photo of the Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly by James Hampton from Mike Black on Flickr in the Smithsonian Museum of American Art
[Charles] Washington D.C. can lead to serious museum overload, but I'm really glad we saw so much this weekend! We had a little trip for a family wedding and in the bride's guide to town, this piece of art was listed as her favorite. It is an amazing and arresting installation with an even more unbelievable story. This was the only known piece of art from James Hampton, a DC man that worked as a janitor during the day and built this piece at night in secret. It is constructed from found materials like cardboard, paper, thumb tacks, old furniture pieces, and covered in aluminum foil. It isn't known why he was inspired to create this religiously inspired piece. He worked on it in a rented garage for 14 years and it was only discovered on his death by the landlord. If you want to read more about this, check it out here on the Smithsonian's website. I was struck by the sort of commitment and obsession that something like that would require. Thanks Katie for suggesting it, the whole folk art section of that museum was a highlight of our trip!