Monday, January 31, 2011

Maker Monday: Salvage Loft Tour

Photos from Sarah Rainwater on Apartment Therapy
[Charles] I was working on some plumbing this weekend and this piping just cracks me up. I ran into this post on Apartment Therapy today. I love rough and rusty salvage in the home, but these folks really did it right. I love everything about the place. They have old sinks and tables re-purposed but also they have lots of little funny artistic touches. I absolutely love the figure eight knot that they soldered in their copper pipes and the old steam gauges are fantastic.

Thanks for the inspiration, I hope you open to home tours because if I'm in Providence, I'm dropping by for tea on that cool antique stove...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Forecast: Sleepy Sun Fever

Photo of Sleepy Vikings from Elawgrrl
[Charles] This weekend in Tampa is the big Gasparilla day parade so that is definitely an option if you are in for drinking and partying downtown with thousands of people. If you're probably not gonna avoid that this weekend like me, then here's some other options.

First up, tonight at Ella's Folk Art Cafe, Sleepy Vikings are apparently playing an acoustic show. Regular readers know how much we love Ella's, but this makes tonight a definite do not miss. I think that Sleepy Vikings are really really fantastic and unlike the same old stuff that you can hear every night on American "Idle" these folks have a unique sound all their own. If you are anywhere within the hood tonight then definitely make it a point to catch this band and support them at Ella's.
Forecast: 65% chance of more Vikings than pirates at Ella's tonight.

Saturday might be the day for pirates, but as far as I'm concerned, the one send off I'd like to catch is the Vinyl Fever Sendoff. Vinyl Fever is shutting its doors after something like 30 years in Tampa and I haven't been able to get myself over and face it to even say bye. I love that place and I've spent hours just flipping through the cd's and vinyl before dropping stacks of new bands on the counter to take home. They are the place I could always count on for their solid local band section when I wanted to pick up bands I'd heard of. I took my daughter there for Record Store Day and still can't imagine next year's event coming round without the Feve. I know that they've struggled for years and Tampa's ridiculous real estate prices finally destroyed their chances of continuing. By the way, FU Florida real estate industry! You have no stake in your tenants and are happy to just let great businesses go out so you can continue to raise your rates. Congratulations. Anyway, the sendoff is going to have local bands like Will Quinlan, Matt Hires, and Guiltmaker as well as dj's from the shop spinning what else? vinyl of course. Head over any time on Saturday afternoon - bands start at 3:30.
Forecast: 95% chance of PBR consumed and poured out on the premises.

After that on Saturday, you might feel like continuing the music party and heading over to Transitions Art Gallery to check out what the next generation is up to. I'll keep harping over The Sun Society until you go see them so really quit screwing around and head over there. They are excellent. They take the best parts of say, Regina Spektor without being too heady and Cat Power without being too whiny. Oh yeah and they know how to Rock! with a capital R folks. This is another group I expect big things from so seriously, give them a chance. How many times can you watch that boat come in while your neighbor pukes next to you behind a lawn chair?
Forecast: 80% chance of snagging a new EP from The Sun Society at the show! If you can make it through the crowd...

Holy cow! I just found their EP on Bandcamp so check it out and download it right now!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friday Forecast: Will Worms Record? Post #200!!!

[Charles] Looks like the weekend is going to cool off and chase the rain away just in time for some outdoor fun. I'm looking forward to awesome local music at New World, WMNF's record sale, and... learning how to make my own worm bin!

Tonight if you don't have cash or tickets for the Drive By Truckers show at the Ritz, you might be better off to head to New World for a really solid bill of local music. The headliner is the local band that gets a lot of well-deserved hype here but still hasn't quite blown up nationwide yet - Have Gun Will Travel. They just put out a video from their recent release - Postcards From the Friendly City. Check it out and head out there tonight. Will Quinlan is opening and Devon Vlasin from The Takers so definitely catch the whole show!
Forecast: 70% chance you'll drink up the money you saved from avoiding the DBT show in awesome craft beers.

After that, hop up early Saturday morning and head over to the Seminole Heights Community Garden on Violet Street to learn how to make your own worm bin composter! Exciting right?! I know, but seriously, I have a composter without worms and it stinks! Seriously stinks! Think rotting veggie matter or that smell of the dumpster behind the Winn Dixie... Anyway, the folks that use worms swear by them and they make nice clean fertile soil that you wouldn't mind picking up and getting your hands and plants into. Starts at 9:30 so bring coffee!
Forecast: 35% that you're gonna have to pick up a worm...

Also on Saturday, looks like WMNF has put together another version of their super popular Record and Book Sale. This one also has instruments and audio equipment for sale as well. This used to happen before Christmas with live bands and other vendors but this year it's gonna be a little different. Sounds like they will be live on the radio from the event from 10 to 5. Don't miss this event, I always score some fantastic vinyl and cd's from the station and its donors. They also have tons of books and you can probably pick up 100 Years of Solitude if you're lucky...
Forecast: 95% chance there will be a Herb Alpert album sold just based on its album cover tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Maker Monday: Tampa Street Market Coffee Table

[Charles] Here's a recent custom piece that we made for a Tampa home. The piece was made entirely from salvaged wood and was built to customer specific dimensions. Finding wood that is the correct size and will give the right look can be difficult on short notice, but we turned this table around quickly in just a few weeks.

The top and skirt pieces are pine 3/4" planks that I sanded and biscuited together. The skirt was done in a wrap around primitive table style. This idea was borrowed from many of the old farmhouse tables that we see in our searches. It's a strong method to secure the table without fussy angle cutting and miters. I drilled through the outside pieces and nailed in square nails that I found a while back and have been keeping in the cabinet just for projects like this. They give the piece a nice antique look but have to be predrilled carefully because they are large and tapered with a real tendency to split the wood.

The legs are cypress wood that was taken from a roof beam we purchased at Schiller's Salvage in Tampa. Finding wood for nice sized chunky legs is usually the hard (and expensive) part. Luckily the dimensions of coffee tables are shorter so we don't need as long a piece. The beam was cracked on one end but there was enough good wood to give us four legs. Definitely measure and plan out your idea well before you go searching or you will buy material you can't use. I almost bought both of these beams until we got a confirmation on the table height at the last minute!

Hope you like the piece. I think it turned out really nice. We stained it with a custom mix of stain colors to match the room per the designer's request and finished it with a hand oiled and waxed finish. The oil and wax again add to the antique look and luster of an old piece of furniture. All the little nail holes and damage of the old wood show up better with the stain and help give this table elder statesman cred right away. Thanks for checking it out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Forecast: Bob Montreal Jons

Photo by Jamie Mauk-Olson from Christabel and the Jons website
[Charles] This winter weekend in Florida has plenty to keep us busy like a Bob Dylan tribute in St. Pete Beach, big production band Of Montreal, and Christabel and the Jons swinging at Ella's in Seminole Heights.

Kick the weekend off right with a drive over the bridge to St. Pete Beach. Over there some of our favorite local bands are playing 3-4 song tribute sets to Bob Dylan. Expect to see folks like Bradenton's Have Gun Will Travel, my favorite - Rebekah Pulley, Ronny Elliott, Radio Free Carmela, Steve Arvey, Blind Buddy Moody, and Grant Peeples. The show kicks off at 7:00 and is bookended by parties at The Wine Shop and The Swigwam. I gotta say that I love Bob Dylan's music even more when great singers take their turns at it. This should be a great time and a nice primer to some of our best local acts if you are new in town!

Saturday night, if you can get tickets, you could do a lot worse than checking out Of Montreal at the Ritz Ybor. I have to hand it to the Ritz, they've really been bringing in some nice mid-sized acts to town and they have a nice old theater setup that makes seeing a show there really special. It's like a large club and you can get close to the stage if you want, but most of the room has a great view. They've got Galactic, Drive By Truckers, and Jimmy Eat World in the next months coming up at the Ritz. I've never seen Of Montreal live but people that have say their show is quite the spectacle. You can read the CL Tampa interview with lead singer Kevin Barnes here and get some insights. People call them psyche pop and they have been compared to Prince and other cinematic acts with huge stage shows, costumes, and lots of crazy on-stage storytelling antics. Here's one of my favorite songs to give you an idea of the funky grooves to expect...

Finish up the weekend right on Sunday - I love it when Ella's Folk Art Cafe puts a great band together for us. Sunday's were made for Ella's. That is the perfect place to hang, drink, eat, and run into friends. They literally have to kick us out of there some days after the continuous rounds of chatting and drinking. Ernie and Mel couldn't be better hosts and when you add in a great band like Christabel and the Jons well all I can say is, I hope to see you there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maker Monday : Soap Flakes?!

Photos from Core77 blog

[Charles] I love this idea. All of the best soaps you find come in bars. All those interesting homemade soaps that you can't pass up at the market. Unfortunately they get wet and soggy and then you need someplace to set them down so the sink gets gross where they sit. Then you go out and buy a soap dish and you have to wash it every so often and all of this because the soap gets wet when you use it. What you really need is just the smallest bit of the soap to actually do the work.

This came from Core77's blog and it is a project of a designer Nathalie Stampfli who I think did this for her graduation project at Eindhoven Design Academy in the Netherlands.

You get this cool little cheese grater thing going on and all you get are flakes. You push on the bar and it grates the bottom of the bar into your hand. Now you have no plastic bottles for your liquid soap which is mostly water anyway and you can make your bar soap last as long as it should and actually work like a liquid soap by making it into small easily soluble pieces! The other one is like a winding pepper mill for the shower which I'm a little less excited by but I could come around to.

Mechanically it looks a little simplistic and I wonder how it does if your soap gets too small but honestly those concerns are pretty tiny. The complicated squirting devices we see everywhere for liquid soap are much worse than this with their plastic parts all working to annoy you. Congratulations, I would love to see this in production!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Forecast: Hey Pauses Kale

Image from Last Year's Gasp!arilla Art Show at Cafe Hey
[Charles] Florida in January can be a little chilly but that's no reason to sit at home and wish you had a fireplace! Apparently it has something to do with too much snow in Siberia. Whatever it is, it means to wear layers when going to New World and Skipper's!

Before you go to the show at New World tonight, head over to Cafe Hey first and warm up with some fair trade coffee and a new songwriter's night. Tonight they have a couple of intriguing ladies Cuba Luna and Jun handling the music duties. You know how much I love Cafe Hey and it is a great place to start off for a long night of music. Load up on espresso or tea for the cold night out. Check out Cafe Hey's Facebook page for updates on what's in the oven and tasty. I would recommend getting dinner there or if you've never been - right around the corner at the Grass Root vegetarian restaurant.
Forecast: 70% Chance of an empty soup bowl in your future tonight! Get there too late and No Soup For You!

Tonight I would highly recommend heading to New World Brewery in Ybor to catch The Pauses with Sleepy Vikings, Gordon Withers, and Rec Center. Honestly, Sleepy Vikings would be enough to get me out and headed for an 8 Ball Stout at the New World, but adding in the eclectic indie rock folks in The Pauses from Orlando and you've got a do-not-miss show. In a strange interview with Curtis Ross this morning that seemed a bit too obsessed with making theme show music, they discussed their Kickstarter work and how it has funded the CD release. This show tonight is the first part of the CD release party which continues tomorrow in Orlando. Head over to the Creative Loafing article and check out the first single from Cautionary Tale called "Go North".
Forecast: 60% chance you'll wanna ditch your coat tonight after the music gets cranked!

Finally on Sunday don't forget to kick off the new year at the Sunday Morning Market at Hillsborough High School! Every time I visit I discover something new and always leave feeling energized and excited about the potential for our neighborhood. There will be prepared food, veggies - organic and conventional, and lots of local vendors selling their own creations. Last time at the market I ran into Magnolia Organics which is running an interesting type of CSA and making the most of the internet by emailing their weekly offerings and even allowing online ordering. That's pretty exciting stuff for Tampa and I'm glad to see people letting their entrepreneurial spirit drive new ideas for businesses like this. Check it out here or go talk to them in person at the market!
Forecast: 50% chance you'll be typing Kale into your Epicurous app this week!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011: Who's having the best year ever?!

[Charles] Okay, seriously, I had to get that out of my system. I don't expect that when the new year rolls around that everything is going to magically get better, I just wish it would. I'm not really up for one of those "it's a new year" kind of posts but I would like to help set the tone for the year. Besides, it's already the 6th and I haven't posted yet?!

So, 2010 saw the end of our retail shop in Seminole Heights and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still bummed about it. I drive through the neighborhood every day and see some things that make me optimistic and some that make me sad. I wonder if we'll ever get mass transit moving in Tampa. I wonder if this year's leaders will actually listen to the people. I wonder if we'll be able to manage being parents and designers and get to see our friends more this year. I wonder all this and hope for more.

I finally committed to writing regularly last year on this blog and it has been very cathartic for me. I'm not sure if all the posts make sense or fit, but I'm going to keep going as long as I can. I like doing Maker Monday where I post something awesome that someone else made or show something that we've made. I really love doing Friday Forecast and talking about what not to miss over the weekend. I always hate trying to find something to do at the last minute and feeling like I miss out on so much good stuff. It's my cheat sheet and I'm glad you like it. We posted 117 posts in 2010 which is about double the year before and if I can write three times a week, I'll get to around 150 or so. That's my goal so here's hoping and please keep the comments coming, I may not get paid to do this but those comments are like money in the writing bank to me! I like to write about music and the arts so expect more of those posts and let me know if you have a cool event coming up - especially in Seminole Heights.