Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WTF...where have we been?

Ok, so I bet you are all on the edge of your seats wondering where the hell we have been. We have been traveling the world, raising kids, getting promotions, and planning world domination. We obviously needed a blog-cation! It's strange, I started thinking about this blog today at work. I opened the page and saw that it has been exactly 1 year since our last post. Was it fate? destiny? divine intervention? Maybe not, but strange none the less.

I'm getting back on the blog wagon and I hope my compadres can do the same. I apologize in advance for any constant rambling, poor grammar, or basic mental frolicking recorded in this blog.

We look forward to catching up with all of the people who love Tampa as much as we do!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blog holiday is over! Get your party pants on!

It has been one hot, crazy summer! We have seen some fantastic shows, eaten transcendent food, met peculiar folks, broken bones, sweated buckets and learned yet more about this great city of ours.

But summer ain't over yet! It looks like this weekend will be chock full of exciting events, too. It's kind of ridiculous how much there is to see and do. Check all this out!

Battle of the Bay Fixed Gear Bike Race on Saturday:

The People's Pool Party @ Czar on Saturday:

Summer Jam 6, also on Saturday:

The PBR Pub Bike Ride with our favorite people from Give & Take on Sunday:

Crazy, right? We better see you out and about this weekend!

Either way, though, we're excited to be back and ready to share some great stories about what we've been getting into over here. Keep an eye out for some great new stories we have in the works. Talk at ya later!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Local Music Profile: Have Gun, Will Travel

Tonight at Crowbar (1812 N. 17th St., Ybor City), Brokenmold Entertainment will be throwing a birthday bash for Sean O’Brien, the company’s founder. The event will showcase four bands from all over central Florida: Poetry N’ Lotion, Auto?Automatic?? (both from Tampa), Peter Baldwin (from Orlando), and Have Gun, Will Travel (based in Bradenton). It promises to be an eclectic evening, featuring everything from guitar-driven rock to smooth soul to instrumental mayhem, and will be headlined by Have Gun, Will Travel, one of the Tampa Bay area’s hometown favorites.

Playing a blend of folk, rock, and alt-country, and influenced by punk and indie rock, HGWT has a significant local following and delivers incredible performances on a regular basis. Frontman Matt Burke started out as a solo acoustic act before bringing the current line-up together, which consists of Daniel Burke on bass guitar, JP Beaubien on drums, Joshua Hernandez on viola, and Scott Anderson on electric guitar and lap steel. This line-up has been playing for about two and a half years.

The band members are all veteran musicians of the local scene. Daniel, JP, and Matt all played in a band called The Chase Theory. Scott has played with both The Human Condition and Will Quinlan & the Diviners, and Joshua is currently finishing up a musical performance degree for viola at FSU. This experience is evident when HGWT plays a show, both in the tightness and continuity of their set, as well as their professionalism both on the stage and off.

When asked what their favorite Bay area venue to play is, Matt Burke says that he personally likes Skipper’s Smokehouse (910 Skipper Rd, Tampa) because of its family-friendly atmosphere and delicious food. As for the Tampa Bay area in general, the band loves hurricanes, blood-thirsty mosquitoes, oppressive heat, and the humidity (insert sarcastic tone where needed). Along with some of central Florida’s finest acts, you can see Have Gun, Will Travel in all of their hot, humid, mosquito-bitten glory tonight at Crowbar. The doors open at 8, and entry is $6. It promises to be an incredible way to spend a Friday night.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Local Music Profile - The Equines

The first time I saw The Equines, they blew me away. They have a rich and full sound, and are captivating from the first note to the last. They play a brand of indie pop that is not easily duplicated, and is uniquely enhanced by unusual instruments and a smattering of electronic gadgets. There’s an overall feeling of fun and magic at their shows, and it’s clear that they want everyone to have a good time.

Hailing from Sarasota, they started out as Maid Mosephine and the Equines in 2008, later shortening the name to The Equines based on advice from a friend. Most of the members have played in previous bands, such as The Illustrated, I Die You Die, Tiny Ensemble, and MeteorEYES. They plucked their mandolin player (pun fully intended) from an open mike night, and the rest was history.

When in Tampa, The Equines enjoy playing New World Brewery, The Orpheum, and Crowbar. Their favorite thing about the city? Our varied styles of jean shorts. That, and the way our local music scene is open to working collaboratively. You can catch The Equines next in Tampa on August 7th at New World Brewery with the Great Deceivers and Friends of Giants.

photo credit: Jaime Vega

You can learn more about The Equines by visiting their Facebook page here:!/theequines?v=wall

Here's a music video for The Narwhal Song:

Their other summer shows are as follows:

7/17 @ Cock N’ Bull (Sarasota)

7/23 @ Backbooth (Orlando)

7/30 @ FUBAR (St. Petersburg)

8/07 @ New World Brewery (Tampa)

8/08 @ Pastimes (Sarasota)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Save the Boobies!

This Sunday in North Tampa, Skipper’s Smokehouse will host the 3rd Annual Susan G. Komen for the Cure fundraiser. A well-known charity, the Komen Foundation raises funds for breast cancer research. The primary way they do this is through a yearly 3-day walk that covers 60 miles. Participants must raise $2300 to walk, and many work in teams to achieve this. This particular event will help raise money for a Tampa team called Saving Second Base. Its members, along with so many other people, have been personally affected by breast cancer, so this is a cause they feel strongly about.

The festivities will kick off at 4 in the afternoon, and will feature a wide variety of music from Tampa Bay area bands: John Hancock, IPD, The Show, Sons of Hippies, Someday Souvenir, and Pitbull Toddler. There will also be an appearance by Cowhead from 102.5 FM. To help with the fundraising, local businesses such as Ella’s Americana Folk Art CafĂ© (remember our very first blog article?), Pepin, and Massage Envy of South Tampa have donated items for a silent auction. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, and food and drink specials.

It’s good to see so many people and businesses coming together to support such a great cause. It’s even more proof that Tampa is a great place to live! We hope that you can all make it out to have fun, hear great local music, and support and encourage Saving Second Base.

Skipper's Smokehouse is located at 910 Skipper Road in Tampa, 813-977-6474.

You can get more information by visiting the event page on Facebook:

If you can't make it out, but would still like to donate, you can do so here:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tampa: General

Saturday started out with my daughter's 8th birthday pool party extravaganza; kids and adults alike spent the day taking advantage of the beautiful weather. Sarah left the party early in the afternoon to enjoy a bike ride, then gave me a call at about 9pm saying, "Hey...weird question: could someone take me to the ER? I think I broke my arm.”

Apparently, Sarah's bike tire had gotten caught in a trolley track, and down she went. Helen and I, still wet from the pool, couldn't believe we were about to roll into Saturday night Ybor City to get her. We picked her up from Fuma Bella, where she stood outside the door with her arm in a makeshift sling made of bar rags. Charlie had taken good care of her.

The E.R. visit was about as pleasant as a hospital trip could be. Sarah was already registered and in a room by the time Helen and I parked the car. As we walked though the buildings to get to the new E.R., we saw the original hospital peeking out from behind the modern architecture and palm trees. It was eerie in the moonlight. Helen wondered aloud about ghosts.

And who decided to put a hospital on an island anyway? Of course there is a story, possibly legend, that tells how while at the Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, James Swann and David Davis asked Dr. J Brown Farrior where he wanted the new hospital. Davis drew a rough outline of the islands and Farrior pointed to the northern tip as the preferred location. And thus, Tampa Municipal Hospital was born.

Tampa General Hospital is now a modern, 877-bed world class facility that admits over 25,000 patients and delivers more than 4,000 babies each year. The emergency room handles 60,000 adult patients yearly.

Though the location is beautiful, it puts the hospital at risk to flooding, which has been a recurring issue in its 77 years. With the threat of hurricanes, frequent island evacuations, and poor island access by only two bridges, we just have to enjoy this hospital when we can.

Sarah did end up having a broken arm. We were in the E.R. for a short 3.5 hours. She was treated really well by the staff and the whole process seemed easier than I have ever experienced. Turns out, Tampa General isn't the worst place to spend your Saturday night. Especially when you're in such great company.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Granada Records Featured at the Homemade Music Symposium

The Tampa Bay area is home to a burgeoning music industry, and is lucky to have several local music labels. Started in 1994, New Granada Records is one of the larger labels, and is home to bands both in Florida and in other states. Saturday evening, they will be presenting a musical showcase for four of their bands at New World Brewery (1313 E. 8th Ave., Ybor City) as part of the Homemade Music Symposium. Here’s an idea of what to expect for the evening:

Heath Dupras – vocals, guitar
Michael Waksman – guitar, vocals
Brian Bates – bass
Keith Ulrey - drums
Zillionaire is a four-piece indie rock band based in Tampa. Its members are all veterans of the local music scene, having played in previous acts such as Pohgoh, Versailles, and The Washdown. Michael and Keith currently also play in Rec Center, and Michael plays in Red Room Cinema. Basically, these guys live music, and it comes through in their performances. I’ve been lucky enough to catch them three times, and they are completely captivating. They don’t play often (Keith, along with wife Susie, runs New Granada, which keeps them busy), so this is not to be missed.

King of Spain
Matt Slate – guitar, vocals, programming
Daniel Wainright – bass
Matt started King of Spain in 2007 as a solo project, adding bassist Daniel in late 2009. Both of them are also long-time veterans of the Tampa music scene. Matt was in Pohgoh (along with Keith), and has also played in Chester and in The Maccabees. Daniel has a current solo project going called The Sea, and previously played in Idle Rude and Spacious International. When asked about their sound, Matt stated, “Our sound can be difficult to describe, at least for me. I encourage people to find out for themselves.” Some of their influences include Animal Collective, Peter Gabriel, Syd Barrett, Fela Kuti, and Gilberto Gil.

Rec Center
Susie Ulrey – vocals, guitar, Fender Rhodes
Keith Ulrey – drums, vocals
Michael Waksman – vocals, guitar
Brian Roberts - bass
The members of Rec Center have known each other for about fifteen years, and have officially been a band for the past couple of years. They all live in the Tampa or Brandon areas, and play indie rock reminiscent of Ida or Ron Sexsmith. Along with the other three bands, Rec Center enjoys playing at New World Brewery because of the comfortable atmosphere.

Candy Bars
Daniel Martinez – vocals, guitar
Melissa Grady – cello
Ryan Hastings - drums
Candy Bars started in 2004, and play what they call depressing indie pop. Daniel has played in previous bands in South Florida, and has been in Tampa for about six years. Melissa plays for anyone who needs a cello, and has worked on numerous local projects. When asked about local influences and what they like best about Tampa, Daniel stated, “Will Quinlan (at the time he was with the Pagan Saints) was probably the first local musician I saw play in the area…I felt good about this scene right away.” Candy Bars come highly recommended, and I hope to be able to see them for the first time here.

There are three other showcases, along with numerous workshops and panels, which are part of the Homemade Music Symposium. More information can be found at It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, we hope to see you all out there!

Photo Credits:
Zillionaire - Nicole Kibert
Rec Center - Nicole Kibert
Candy Bars - Marcus Laurenzi