Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Forecast: Ziggy Sleepy Baamo

[Charles] Friday is for kicking the weekend off so if you don't know what to do then why don't you do what I would do if I got to do all that I want to do. Huh? Just keep reading... here's three for the masses.

Friday Night - Ziggy Marley is at the Green Iguana?! Really?! You read that right. Ziggy Friggy Marley is playing at the Green Iguana on Dale Mabry across from the Stadium. Not even Ybor Green Iguana? I don't know how this happened but you better get yourself down there before he figures out what has happened and heads to the Mons. Of course the tickets are $27.50 so I gotta think that the Iguana has never charged that much for a show ever. So get out there and shake it people. This should be memorable - one way or the other.

On Saturday night - How about the Sleepy Vikings cd release party for starters? Over at the Crowbar in Ybor there will be some serious rock out while they kick off their world tour or at least their long tour through most of the US. We've had the luxury of getting to hear them often here in Tampa but don't mess around and miss this because they might just blow up and the last thing you want to do is try and catch some "southern shoegaze" at the Forum downtown. Plus - the awesome Florida Night Heat is opening and they are a super cool funky trio that always guarantees a good time. I haven't seen the other opener Guiltmaker yet but I hear nice things as they say...

While you're down there in sweaty old Ybor, sometimes it helps to take a stroll to another venue to cool off and text your buddies or to tweet about how awesome Saturday night is to your followers. So anyhow, if you do manage to peel yourself away from the show at Crowbar then I would suggest heading to New World for the BAAMO showcase of local artists and the release of their new compilation CD. This one is called Tales of Highways and Low Roads and features such artists as Alexander and the Grapes, Rebekah Pulley, Will Quinlan, The Woeful Ones, and The Human Condition. All of those folks and more are on the cd and the show starts at 5:00. What better way to start a long Saturday night than in support of local music?

Also, don't miss out on the Seed Swap Anniversary Party at the Independent on Sunday from 4-6. Its a potluck kind of a thing so bring a snack and have a beer -

From the invite -
"Join us for our 2nd Birthday Party and 1st Annual Seed Swap! Bring your seeds to share and come listen to some great music and enjoy the fare of The Independent, along with bringing in your own dish to share! Show us what you can cook!
We will also be holding an awards ceremony to thank everyone who has been an integral part of the garden being such a great thing to be a part of."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Maker Monday: Concrete Storage

Photos from Core77
[Charles] I did a little project with concrete resurfacing material last week and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd look for something even cooler. I was fixing the slope on a sill in our shower so the water runs back into the shower and doesn't puddle - pretty sexy right?! Well anyway it was well overdue, but I just happened to have some left over concrete resurfacer to use. I like this stuff because it is super strong even in thin layers without reinforcement wire. So lo and behold, today I'm looking for something to talk about and here is this cool thing over on Core77. I've seen tons of usb drive ideas, wood, plastic, star wars characters, old teeth whatever, but this is concrete. Concrete is cold and substantial and oh so modsexy. So see what you think of these little drives. I especially like that they carved little semiconductor board looking patterns in them. Now if only I had done that instead of just putting my handprint... Wait though - how cool would it be to put your thumbprint in the concrete as it sets up! Oh yeah, concrete project here we come.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Forecast: Trashy Sun Earth

[Charles] Hey it's Earth Day! Snuck up on ya right?! No worries - here's your cribsheet for the weekend - plenty of green to go around.

Friday night you've got the Trashy Fashion show in Largo at the Largo Cultural Center. This is, I think, the third year in a row they've done this and it really looks like fun. Designers get challenged with making their clothes from at least 75% recycled and reused material. Maybe its a little kitschy but it also gets you thinking about what you could reuse for something else. Also, get there early because they invite great green vendors out to share with the community as well. They setup the vendors from 5-7 and the runway show starts at 7 pm.

After that, you'll be heading back over the bridge but it might be a little early to turn in. Hopefully if you stop by Ella's Folk Art Cafe you'll be able to catch most of the set from my favorite young local band The Sun Society! I don't think they've played Ella's yet but I mentioned them a while ago and finally they are here. They are a super talented group of young players and the two leads are sisters which make for some amazing harmonies. The music is modern indie pop sort along the lines of Regina Spektor and Feist but really good. Don't miss out on seeing them and pick up their album or just head over to Bandcamp and download it.

Saturday is the big Earth Day Tampa Bay event at USF. It is a co-sponsored event by the Office of Sustainability and the Sierra Club out at the Botanical Gardens on campus. For the last few years the Sierra Club event at Lowry Park has been a little of the same thing over so I'm really hoping by tying it with the university that can infuse it with some excitement. The event at USF was great and I think it makes a lot of sense to put them together. Also, the Botanical Gardens are easy so hopefully that will help push the attendance up. I checked out the vendor list and there are tons of new vendors I've never even heard of so I'm really excited to see what they get this year. It sounds like they are going to have bands out there too although I couldn't find the specific times and dates on their site. Check it out and see the beautiful Botanical Gardens and help support a new era for Greens in Tampa.

Have fun out there!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maker Monday: Make A Difference for Earth Day

Photo from Trees for the Future on Flickr
[Charles] April 22nd is Earth Day - but I haven't heard much on the news this year? We're kind of growing numb to Earth Day as a society and it seems snarky negativism rules the airwaves. Why save the environment when the economy is in the toilet and all of the big companies just spew oil into the ocean, melt down their nukes, and turn Earth Day into a PR bonanza where they sell us some widget that is going to save the planet.

For me, I am completely frustrated with the current political state of our country and state and find it so hard to get excited about making a difference. I guess though, if I just lay down and stop fighting then they really do win.

So, instead of encouraging people to compost, or recycle, or to turn up your thermostat because I believe that most of us already are doing a lot, I want to encourage us to take a little bit of money and spin it into something positive. I'm advocating for what I believe is a very worthy environmental organization - one of the biggest groups involved in Earth Day - The Earth Day Network. They are doing really great work and I want people to get behind their call for A Billion Acts of Green, but especially their initiative called The Canopy Project.

Trees are really what got me into environmentalism as a kid. I remember seeing clearcut forests in my East Texas countryside and watching the trees get bulldozed and burned to make room for gas wells and sprawling pasture land. This project is planting trees in places that really can benefit from them and working with local groups to get it done. Places like Haiti, Brazil, and Mexico are all going to have plantings that will be tailored to the needs of the local communities. The group in Haiti is called Trees for the Future and they are planting beneficial trees on an island that has seen much of its good soil eroded through poor management of land and trees for generations. Take a few minutes to check them out or just get in there and drop $10 in their tank. These folks are making a difference and can use the support of all us that can't leave our under water mortgages and crappy commutes to join the fight in person.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Forecast: Sixteen Record Sons

[Charles] What to do, what to do?! It's Friday folks so maybe you'll peruse our short list of suggestions and maybe, just maybe, you'll have some fun this weekend...

Tonight marks the Sweet 16 show at New World Brewery and unlike the show that finally destroyed MTV, this one probably won't have a multi-million dollar budget or a hot pink dyed pool. However, what it will have is a really great collection of bands that tend to put on awesome shows on the patio and that is worth a heck of a lot more than a whole bunch of confetti and whiny teenagers to me. Head out to see Sunbears!, The Semis, Alexander and the Grapes, and Gentlemen Please. I've seen The Semis but have yet to catch any of the others and everything I hear about them is good. Sunbears! got some press for being on Yo Gabba Gabba but don't let that scare you away. Getting out and celebrating the coming of age for a friend like NWB is pretty sweet no matter what.

Saturday brings back around Record Store Day and it sounds like all of our local stores are gearing up for some pretty terrific shindigs. It's still a little bittersweet for those of us that are still stinging from the loss of Vinyl Fever last year. That being said, I'm happy to report that Mojo Records and Books up by USF is taking up the baton quite nicely for those of us in my area. They announced that they are expanding and adding a cafe in the store which has got to be a smart decision as far as I can tell. I love the combo of books and music and why not make it better for hanging out and spending some more coin while you're there. They are planning to have bands play all day and it sounds like they are in the middle of the move so you can see sort of how the expansion will play out. Record Store Day last year at Vinyl Fever had a line around the block to pick up the special releases and hopefully this year will bring even more attention to the stores we love and don't want to lose. Catch sets by King of Spain, Sons of Hippies, and lots of more awesome local bands. They are even having a vegan bake sale and Kahwa coffee for the folks waiting in line so seriously, get over there early. Doors open at 9 AM. Check out limited editions by Of Montreal, The Decemberists, Regina Spektor, Matt and Kim, Gorillas, even Foo Fighters - heck everybody is in on the action - here's the full list!

Saturday night there will be another event at the West Tampa Arts Center that sounds like a great time for a fantastic cause - Save Our Sons Benefit Concert. The group One City Ministries, which we've written about before is launching a new mission in Uganda and raising money. This is really a different approach because this actually involves taking at risk teens in Tampa who are in a cycle of drugs and alcohol and committing them to working in Uganda with people that truly have life and death choices before them every day. Applying their energies to helping people instead of the spiral of self-destruction should be life-changing for all involved. Our friends have teamed up with some great musicians and the awesome DJ Fuego to put on a concert and they will set up the Fair Trade wares from AfricaTraid to sell and raise money as well. Catch some cool local musicians like Cuba Luna, Matt Hires, and Nathalia Estrada and drop $10 to get this new project off the ground! Doors at 7.

Have a great time out there!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Maker Monday: Scrap Wood Honeycomb Shelves

Photos from Arrow & Apple Blog
[Charles] Check out these cool honeycomb shelves out of scrap wood from Arrow & Apple. Saw this over on a post from AT. I like that you can use small pieces of wood for this kind of shelf. They didn't use a backer and they just screwed each one to the wall with brackets so I'm a little concerned about how much weight they'll handle. I guess the point really isn't to load these up and well, I 'm always overbuilding things because you never know when someone is going to try doing chinups on your stuff right? I really like this though because you can use all those small pieces of wood which are a problem for every wood shop. Any small wood projects are life savers and you hate building yet another tiny box to store more tiny pieces of wood... Great job folks. Head over to their link on the top to see the rest of the photos!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Forecast: Paint Lambaster Gumbo

Photo of Trombone Shorty in Creative Loafing
[Charles] Friday Forecast is your cheatsheet to the weekend's to do list. In need of a diversion? You found the shortlist...

First up on Saturday morning, get prepared to pop up early and do some painting. Wait... that sounds like work right? Ok, well I guess you could also garden if you prefer but here's the deal. We need volunteers for Paint Your Heart Out Tampa to help with the Seminole Heights Community Garden project. Our buddies at SHCG are not only doing the paint a whole house in a day thing, but they are also gonna plant a garden for the well-deserving homeowner. The house is at 1008 E. Crenshaw and breakfast, lunch, and t-shirt are provided. Get all the details on that link above. Don't worry you'll be done by 2 or so and you can get on out there and still rock the weekend while feeling like you've helped the world a heck of a lot more than any legislator has this week.

After that you could head to Dunedin for the Highland Games or even over get over to the Tampa Bay Blues Fest to catch James Hunter, but here's another option. How about heading over the bridge to catch The Lambasters at Dave's Aqua Lounge with J Roddy Walston and Casey Lee from Fake Problems. This will be a real Florida kind of night. I'd suggest stopping over at the Crab Shack for some real blue crabs or smoked mullet to keep it real FL style with some cold bucket beers to wash it down. That's right over the Gandy on your left with some real cool picnic tables outside to just get your mind off the week with good friends. Leave the Crab Shack and head a little further toward St. Pete and Dave's will be up on the left. This is a Florida music establishment so be prepared for a good time.

If you don't overdo it on Saturday night then maybe Sunday morning you'll make it to the free yoga class at the Sunday Morning Market at Hillsborough High. It starts at 9 and is run by local Jai Dee Studio so it should be a great way to start the day. If not, roll out late and get some awesome coffee and feed your munchies with some of the great food vendors at the market. If you haven't tried the vegetarian gumbo there, you are really missing out on something amazing.
After that your follow up is gonna be Ella's for The Cadillac Bombers or head over the bridge to the Blues Fest for the final day with Trombone Shorty.

Have some fun out there!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Maker Monday: Cinder Block Wall Planters

Photo from Annette Gutierrez
[Charles] Here we go folks. I may have finally figured out how to pretty up the end of our ugly driveway... I've been thinking about this for a while but I haven't seen anybody ready (crazy enough) to try it until now... Take a bunch of cinder blocks which are cheaper than most pots and stack em and plant them to make a living planter wall. Super cheap. This one used landscape super adhesive which is really strong stuff - we used it on our $5 block seats a few years ago. They also used wire cloth and rocks to keep the soil from leaving in a hurry. We've recently started up a nice batch of succulents and I agree that would be the way to go on something like this... Thanks Treehugger!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Forecast: Dos Living Animals

[Charles] So here you find yourself on Friday, what to do? what to do? Here's the short version...

Friday Night - I would think heading to Ella's to check out Signals from Satellites and Los Dos Pistoles should be a great way to kick the weekend off. I'm not sure about you but I could definitely use an extremely large glass of gatorade and Ella's pours the best in the hood! Check out some local talent and soak up the flava!

Saturday - Good day to check out the Living Green Expo in St. Pete and its triumphant return to the St. Pete Coliseum which personally is a much cooler sort of a place to have the event and is a perfect stopoff point to St. Pete for the Saturday Morning Market. I've been pretty quiet on the green front lately while we mend up from closing the store but our personal commitment to the green movement and sustainability is still as strong as ever. I'm excited to hear about new developments and projects in the community and there should be lots of cool info seminars and giveaways as well. Check it all out here!

On Sunday since you went all the way to St. Pete the day before, why not check out a local growing festival in the hood?! The Talking Animals Festival will be at the Lowry Park Band Shell and in its second year it sounds like it is growing by leaps and bounds. Definitely WMNF is helping usher in tons of awesome local bands like my favorite The Sun Society, Bird St. Players, and Sons of Hippies and there will be lots of vendors there and apparently even a bounce house?! Sounds like a good time even though my four legged friend isn't too socially apt, maybe we'll check out the festival for her.

Have fun out there!