Artist Profile: Geri X

Geri X’s voice is like a black hole. You can help but get sucked in.

The seductive sounds of this Bulgarian-born singer songwriter is a brilliant, mysterious mix of vulnerability and power. Whether its an acoustic, stripped solo or full-band, wired rock performance, every one of Geri X’s songs are as inviting and intriguing as the artist behind them.

When Geri X was growing up in France, she already knew that music was all she wanted to do. At 16 she wrote and released her first record, and after she compared high school to babysitting, she convinced her mother to let her drop out and start touring.

Seven years later, she has written over 800 songs and released 13 albums. The sound on each of her songs is uniquely her own. Having established herself as an artist at a young age, it’s easy to hear that Geri X’s knows exactly who she is as a rebellious artist and deep musician. Poetic and romantic yet independent and tough, her music feels like it was written just for you, even thought you can tell that Geri X wrote it for herself, without ever really caring what anyone else would think.

There is a reason she has been Creative Loafing’s including Creative Loafing’s Best Singer Songwriter twice.

Geri X

  • Currently Living: St. Pete
  • Originally From: Born in Pleven, Bulgaria and raised mostly in Pleven and Versailles, France
  • Favorite Local Musicians: Have Gun Will Travel, Sons of Hippies, Will Quinlan, Rebekah Pulley, the Wallies, Tallheart, and Red Feather
  • Favorite Places to Play in Tampa: New World Brewery, the Local 662, Ale and the Witch  (“Venues most of the time look at me as a piece of meat, but these few actually care about the music.”)
  • Favorite Places to Hang Out: Same as Favorite Places to Play in Tampa (and for all the same reasons)
  • Favorite Restaurants in the Bay: Bangcok Thai in St. Pete, the Boundary, Cassis, and Ciros
  • Influences: Blues and jazz – Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Magic Sad, Little Walter, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Bill Withers, and Lead Belly
  • For Fans of: Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Band of Horses, The Black Keys

Geri X recently signed a deal with Cleopatra Records in LA so she will be busy working on another full length album in the next few months. We’ll let you know when it is available. Until then you can find “Work is the Wolf,” and all of Geri X’s other records on her website.

Catch Geri X live every Monday at Ringside Cafe and every Tuesday at Ale and Witch.

Check out more about Geri X’s music, show dates and upcoming album at www.gerixmusic.com.

Yeomans Open Mic Night

An open mic is as only as good as its venue and Yeoman’s speaks for itself. With the perfect combination of good food, beer, and service, this island bar is the perfect backdrop for a night of featured local talents and an overall good time.

When I checked it out last week, Brad was bartending. As always, he was doing a great job — acting with quick service and friendly attitude. His old school Buccaneer’s snap baseball hat was a topic of conversation as he quickly paced the bar popping tops and flipping taps.

There is a lot of hustle in Yeoman’s staff and that includes the kitchen staff. They know how to get the food out fast, but while always exceeding the standard expectations of bar food. Burgers, wings and nachos – sounds simple, but as with everything, Yeoman’s does it better than the rest.

Next to the venue, the most important element of an awesome open mic is the host. This person has to wear many hats and at Yeoman’s, the host Kelso wears them all well. First, the host must be able to run the sound. Not always easy. The set up on Tuesday was just how I like it: striped down, well balanced and plenty loud. I also appreciate the cherry drum kit provided by the house for those artists with a fuller band sound.

Secondly, the host has to be a talented performer since they open the night with an extended set of material. Kelso’s sun-dipped soul vocal backed by his funky folk guitar strum styling had a nice snug summer fit in the room. His set was tight as was his bluesy harmonica playing.

Thirdly, the host has to make sure the performers sign in and catch their designated time slots, all while emceeing the rest of the night and mixing the sound for each act. Think one part stage manager, one part stand up comic, and one part house sound engineer. Kelso did it all breezily. He had people laughing all night, as well as, making sure the performers felt welcome, appreciated and sounding their best.

The last and most important aspect of a solid open mic are the performers. Those burning souls with the courage to sign their name on a list, wait their turn, and get up there and do the damn thing. Yeoman’s was packed with such artists and their friends all night long.

I am not sure if most people understand the importance of open mics within our culture or how crucial it is for artists to have the opportunity to hone their craft in front of an audience. Open mics like Yeoman’s are the blood and bones of authentic music in America. So I’m grateful for a place like Yeoman’s that gives local musicians a place to play as well as eat, drink and be rockingly merry.

Yeoman’s Road Pub hosts Open Mic Night every Tuesday at 9:30pm on Davis Island. Learn more about Yeoman’s and their Open Mic Night.

About the Author

Jason Robert Miller lives and plays in Tampa. You can find him playing music and sampling food and drinks throughout the Tampa area. For more info about Jason and his music check out 5 Bees Records.

Artist Profile: Amber Lynn Nicol

We want to see how the Bay area influences the musicians who live here, so we are going out and interviewing some of the best local talent and finding out what makes them tick in Tampa.

For our first profile we met up with 25-year-old Amber Lynn Nicol – singer-songwriter and lead singer for the Swingin’ Poppas. It was a no brainer to interview Amber first because she is what we love about Tampa – all barefoot, beachy and breezy.

Amber’s music is easy listening, blues on pop rock, that can be trouble. It’s so easy to sit and listen to that you may end up with one more margarita than you planned on.

Amber’s first album “Beach Day” is full of obvious influences of  her hometown and upbringing. With lyrics like “love palms trees, cool breeze, you here with me, big blue ocean air,” it’s the happy music you hear playing in your head while you are playing in the sand. But with other tracks like “Dancing With You,” you can hear Amber’s bluesy roots and country influence. She’s got the pop and the twang – a sweet a mix for speakers in the sand, days on the water, or nights at your favorite tiki bar.

Amber Lynn Nicol

  • Currently Living: In St. Pete
  • Originally From: New Jersey
  • Favorite Local Musicians: Funky Seeds, Vicki Scuteri
  • Favorite Places to Play in Tampa: Bungalow
  • Favorite Places to Hang Out: Undertow, Crabby Bills, Bahama Breeze
  • Excited About: Tropical Heatwave (Amber and her full band will be playing)
  • Influences: Bonnie Rait, Ray Charles (& the pop music of her past)
  • For Fans of: Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Buffett

You can find Amber playing at Hyde Park Café, The Bungalow and Taps, among other local spots in both Tampa and St. Pete. Find her at the Collage in Ybor 7:40-8:40pm during Tropical Heatwave. If you can’t find her around, its because she is busy recording her second studio album.

Check out more about Amber’s music, show dates and upcoming album at  www.amberlynnnicol.com.

All Good 4-Year Anniversary Jam

Four short years ago, Tampa was blessed with a new weekly “party” night.  Jack Spatafora and Cameron Correa, better known as DJ duo [the] Soft Rock Renegades, paired up with the folks at Crowbar for something a little different than what was going on throughout the week in Ybor.

Unlike most weeklies, this was less about ruckus dance club vibes, and more about chilling with friends, good conversation, and $5 liters of beer… all set off by an awesome soundtrack. And thus, “All Good” was born.

If you have ever been out to “All Good” (aka Liter Night) on a Tuesday night then you have experienced the random awesomeness that can go on there. On any given night you could hear music like Journey, Boys II Men, and Little Dragon to Salem, Dexys Midnight Runners, and Rick Ross.

People are moshing, swing dancing, two stepping, and everything in-between. Some weeks it can be a primarily quiet hipster crowd, chatting over IPAs while tapping their TOMs or you could be crammed into a packed house of people looking to rage.

This Tuesday, April 17th, is a special occasion – it is the four-year anniversary of “All Good” and in true form, [the] SRRs are bringing in some friends as heavy reinforcement. Joining the dynamic duo will be electronic music DJs Mux Mool and Devonwho .It will definitely not be one of the weeks to skip out; as Jack likes to say, “ don’t sleep Tampa”!

Crowbar will still be serving up the same delicious assortment of $5 liters, entry is will still be free, AND you get awesome guest DJs? Why the heck wouldn’t you make an appearance? So come out and have a cold one, request something we can turn into a giant sing-along, and congratulate Crowbar, Jack, and Cameron on four years of giving Tampa something great to do on Tuesday night!

When you see me, say hello!

Tampa Local Live Music Listing

Bird Street Players

Yvonne has a band for almost everyday of the month in April. Check out the best bands in the bay on her local, live music list.

04/05: Rock the Park: Bird St. Players, Jackie Madden, Head NOKKA, and John Nowicki @Curtis Hixon Park. 6:30pm, FREE

04/05: Torche w/ Palantine and Feral Babies @ Crowbar. 7:30pm, $9/$12

04/05: Sun Hotel, El Cantador, and Letters & Numbers @ New World Brewery.9pm, $7

04/06: Sonen, Zulu Wave, and Empire Cinema @ New World Brewery. 9pm, $7

04/07: I Set My Friends On Fire w/Greeley Estates, A Bullet for Pretty Boy, and A Lot Like Birds @ Orpheum. 5:30pm, $12

04/07: Spiller, The Semis, and Michael Christmas @ New World Brewery.9pm, $7

04/07: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, November Foxtrot Whiskey, Al Torchia @ Crowbar. 9pm, $10

04/08: Of Valleys w/ A View From The East Coast, Donna Lu, and Goodnight Neverland @ Orpheum. 7pm, $8/$11

04/10: Plants & Animals w/ This is the Kit, and Alexander and the Grapes @ Crowbar. 8pm, $8/$11

04/10:  The Wonder Years w/ Polar Bear Club, Transit, A Loss For Words, and The Story So Far @ Orpheum.6pm, $13

04/11:Portugal, The Man and The Lonely Frost @ The Ritz Ybor. 7pm, $18

04/12: Drive-by Truckers @ The Ritz Ybor. 7pm, $12

04/12: Go Radio w/Windsor Drive, ThisProvidence, Tonight Alive, and Tyler Carter @ Orpheum. 7pm, $14.50/$15.50

04/13: Five Eight, Signals From Satellites, and The Pauses (NWB’s anniversary weekend) @ New World Brewery. 9pm, $8

04/14: The Only Sons, Geri X, and Proud Iron Lion @ New World Brewery. 9pm, $7

04/17: All Good 4-Year Anniversary Jam w/ Mux Mool and Devonwho @ Crowbar.10pm, FREE

04/18: Margot and The Nuclear So & So’s w/Ezra Furman, Writer, and Sleepy Vikings @ Crowbar. 9pm, $10/$13

04/19: La Dispute w/ Balance & Composure, All Get Out, Sainthood Reps, and Makari @ Orpheum. 630pm,  $10

04/19: The Night Beats, The Florida Kilos, and Wet Nurse @ New World Brewery.9pm, $8.

04/19: Pop-n-Wave I Love The 90s II @ The Castle.10pm, 18+ $6, 21+ $4 (FREE before Midnight with Foursquare check-in)

04/20: Peelander-Z w/ One-Eyed Doll, Lemon Law, and The Shinobi MC @ Orpheum.8pm, $10

04/21: Record Store Day 2012

04/21: Blackbird Blackbird, Florida Night Heat, and XXYXX @ New World Brewery.9pm, $8/$10

04/22: The Mainew/Lydiaand Arkells @ Orpheum.7pm, $20

04/25: Franz Nicolay @ New World Brewery.7pm, FREE

04/30: Rise Against w/ A Day to Remember and The Menzingers @ The Green Iguana.7pm, $39.50

About the Author:

Yvonne Bell has been going to shows in the Tampa area for almost 10 years. In that time she got to know a lot of bands, show producers, and promoters. She loves to spread the word about Tampa’s vibrant music scene.

View all posts by Yvonne Bell.

Set Phasers to Swoon!

Simple and clean indie rock will always be a staple in my music collection. In a time when the majority of popular music is pretentious and busy, bands like Parachute Musical are a breath of fresh air to me. My love affair with the band started two years ago when I received their 2008 release Everything is Working Out Fine in Some Town and then saw them play New World Brewery in August of 2009; ever since then I have been a die-hard fan and find it quite difficult to talk about them without gushing. At long last,  Aestheticized Presents is bringing them back this Tuesday night and I couldn’t be more excited!

Obviously what struck me first is how amazing vocalist Josh Foster’s voice is; it is pure and passionate – it immediately moved me. You would think with a singer like Foster, the rest of the band would merely be there to make him sound good – wrong. Every member of the band as an individual brings something to the table that, without them, the music just wouldn’t work. In addition to vocals, Foster also plays the piano; another element that makes Parachute Musical stand out. The richness of their vocal arrangement is provided by the addition of background vocals by Tom Gilbert (guitar) and Andrew Samples (bass).  Completing the band’s sound is drummer Ben Jacoby, whose playing becomes the heartbeat of Parachute Musical.

The guys are touring in support of their newly released third album, Kill It Cut It Down with fellow Nashvillian, Kyle Andrews. You might be thinking, “I’m not familiar with Kyle Andrews”…doubtful! Own a TV? Then you have probably heard at least one of Andrews super infectious electro-pop tunes. His 2010 single “You Always Make Me Smile” was used in a Holiday Inn international ad campaign, along with “Bombs Away” in a Dorito ad and “We Were Colors” used by Dell. Andrews’ sound is the perfect marriage of indie rock sensibilities and dancey electro-pop; basically you’re going to have a really good time listening to heartfelt tunes and hearing Kyle’s actual voice!

Adding to the amazing talents of this bill are two local acts: Goodnight Neverland and Wine to Water. The fellas of Goodnight Neverland create an ambiance of whimsy with their twangy guitars, magical vocals, and just a touch of heaviness from the drums. Kerry, Jordan, and Jeremy create a type of music so full of emotion that should move anyone with even half a heart.

Matt Green and Dan Sutter of Wine to Water are an amalgamation of everything good about indie, country, and acoustic – with dashes of du wop and surf rock. Bands that usually combine too many styles of music usually freak me out; it’s like they don’t have an identity, however in Wine to Water’s case, it’s more like they were in possession of perfect musical ingredients and happened upon a recipe to combine them wonderfully. Their sound makes me you feel liquid, like you’re just floating along through a world their rhythms have created.

This is an early show, doors are set to open at 730pm and the show will wrap up around 1130pm; just in time for the perfect built-in after party – All Good! Tickets are $8, so seriously…you have NO excuse!! Come out and either discover some amazing new music that will win you over in a heartbeat or enjoy some bands you already know and love. Either way, you can’t lose!

Don’t Worry About Being “Too Young” to Come Dance!

It took about three years and losing one of the two members, but electropop duo Junior Boys, finally got noticed by KIN Records. Although in 2002 Canadian Jeremy Greenspan was flying solo, it didn’t take long for him to recruit his engineer, Matt Didemus, and put together their first release – Birthday/Last Exit; the four-track EP (out in 2003) was quickly followed up by the High Come Down EP in 2004.

Having released four full-length albums in seven years, Junior Boys have been hard at work making a name for themselves. They have been touring with bands like Caribou and working on numerous mixes and remixes. Although the market has become saturated with musicians making indie synthpop, Junior Boys have managed to keep their sound fresh, and their music relevant after over 10 years and four albums.

Opening for Junior Boys on Tuesday night is fellow Canadian, Egyptrixx. Known for his high-energy live shoes and “celestial” dance music, Egyptrixx makes music that leaves you simultaneously satisfied and perplexed. The man behind the mayhem, David Psutka, shifts seamlessly from melodic rhythms to dissonant beats; he is kind of like a musical schizophrenic, but in the best way possible!

Also gracing Crowbar with their musical presence will be Tampa’s own [the] Soft Rock Renegades. Playing all the right things to get you in the mood for this show and continuing the tunes afterwards for the weekly All Good night – which will serve as the official after-party! Tickets are still available, and are only $12 in advance and $15 at the door (which is set to open at 8pm). Those are crazy low prices for the caliber of music you will be getting to hear, so don’t blow it!

 

Yvonne’s October Live Can’t Miss List

  • 10/04: Junior Boys w/Egyptrixx & the SRRs. @Crowbar. 8pm, $12/$15
  • 10/05: Murs w/ Tabi Bonney, Ski Beatz & the Senseis @ Crowbar. 7pm, $12/$15
  • 10/06: -The Bright Light Social Hour w/ Drake & Sofia @Crowbar. 8pm, $10
  • 10/06: Rock the Park (The Pauses, King of Spain, MRENC, Rec Center) @Curtis Hixon. 630pm, FREE.
  • 10/07: Yuck w/ Porcelain Raft & Palantine @Crowbar. 7pm, $10/$13
  • 10/07: The Beauvilles w/ Dirty Names and Andy Matchett & the Minks @NWB. 9pm, $7
  • 10/08: Rock & Brew Fest: The Beauvilles, Rocksteady@8, Tim Hutchinson @ Brooke Park. 4pm, FREE.
  • 10/14: Florida Night Heat w/ Creepers, Cats in the Basement, and DJ Colonic @Kress Building. 9pm
  • 10/25: Little Dragon w/TBA & the SRRs @Crowbar. 8pm, $15/18
  • 10/26: Battles w/Nisennenmondai and Auto!Automatic!! @Crowbar. 9pm, $12/$15

Peter Bjorn and John with Dinosaur Feathers and Guiltmaker

You know those bands that you thought you’re on the up and up with and then you find out they have been making music for years longer than you even knew about? Yeah, that was me with Peter, Bjorn and John.

When Writer’s Block came out in 2006 and none of my friends knew who PB&J were I was like “oh snap, I’m ahead of the curve!” Wrong. But it really ended up to be an amazing thing because once I fell in love with that album, I wanted more – and more is what I got. Having release two prior albums, Falling Out in 2004 and their self-titled debut in 2002, Peter, Bjorn and John had already been making a big name for themselves in their home country of Sweden and Northern Europe.

Gaining major steam (much to the band’s surprise) after the release of the first single “Young Folks” from their third album, everywhere you went you couldn’t escape “that whistling song”.  Dance clubs across the country started playing them and they blew up. Artists like Kanye West were sampling their songs and they started collaborating with some big names in rap and hip hop: including Drake, Wale, GZA, and 88 Keys. In 2009 they played Lollapalooza and even toured with Depeche Mode.

While the band has always stated that they are influenced by new wave and 80s power pop, they have found success in pulling the best and most abstract aspects of these genres and turning it into something new, refreshing, and even a little out there.  For their headlining tour this fall, you might have to rack your brain trying to come up with who would be uniquely talented enough to fit in with PB&J’s sound: enter Brooklyn’s Dinosaur Feathers.

Dinosaur Feathers is the type of experimental pop you would expect to hear on a tropical island…that is if you were expecting to hear experimental pop while on a tropical island. Regardless, in an age where experimental music seems to be the current bread-and-butter of the music world, Dinosaur Feathers is doing it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve heard it all before.

Kicking off the night is Tampa’s indie rock quartet, Guiltmaker. With an EP and LP under their belts, and a newly, self-released digital EP – the boys of Guiltmaker are no strangers to working hard for their craft. Every member plays off each other beautifully, all while finding a way to showcase their talents individually. From the vocalist Shaun Drees’ (who also plays guitar) pure and powerful voice, heavy and haunting guitar and bass riffs courtesy of Dave Teten, Dan Radde, and the having it all tied together by their drummer, Daniel Williams – Guiltmaker has pretty much perfected what so many other indie-infused, post-punk bands can’t even touch…a harmonious unity.

One of the things I enjoy most about Guiltmaker is that they have not abandoned a hardcore sound. While music on the heavier side of the spectrum seems to have taken a turn to the less popular side of things these days, a band that can still make good hardcore music seem relevant by embracing their indie side gets nothing but major kudos and admiration from me. And while they may not seem like a perfect fit for this bill, sometimes it’s not about a cohesive theme throughout a show; sometimes it’s just about making sure you have a lineup full of bands that are all kickass – mission accomplished Aestheticized Presents, mission accomplished.

I have a major feeling that this show is going to SELL-OUT! So just do the right thing and buy your tickets now, before it’s too late. Or if you really have to wait until the day of show, make sure you get out to Czar early. If there is one thing that place is known for is long lines of kids just dying to get in. Doors are at 8pm and tickets are $20 both in advance and at the door.

P.S. make sure to stick around afterwards for Czar’s weekly Saturday night party, Popsickle! Not only can you cool off after a few hours of moving and shaking with an adult Popsicle or Socialist Martini, but I’m betting the bands might hang around too!

Eisley with Marksmen and Christie Dupree

My senior year of high school, when buying CDs in a record store was still the norm, I walked past a listening station and a green case caught my eye. It only took about the first 20 seconds of “Memories” to make me melt; I was now an Eisley fan. Almost eight years later and they are still one of my go to bands and for good reason: their sound is not only cohesive and fluid…it’s down right beautiful.

However, the DuPree family started making music long before I came across what was their first full-length album, Room Noises. The Tyler, Texas quintet have been playing together since they were all young kids; sisters Chauntelle, Sherri, and Stacy, their brother Weston and cousin Garron started in 1997 – eventually garnering attention from and signing with Warner Bros. Records in 2003. After the release of their debut in 2005, they began touring with bands like New Found Glory, Hot Hot Heat, and Taking Back Sunday. In 2007, came Combinations, which included tracks that were a little more upbeat and dancey in comparison to Room Noises. The band continued to tour and gain popularity and released The Valley earlier this year.

I have been lucky enough to see them live a couple of times before and both times were unbelievable.  Stacey and Sherri’s voices are just as beautiful live, if not more so and their entire stage presence just plays right into the whimsical, yet meaningful music that they have been creating for over a decade. Hearing Eisley play live you get the sensation that they are absolutely in love with what they are doing and they make you feel like you are a part of it. If their live show doesn’t move you, then I don’t know what will.

Making the “ValleyScapes” tour a definite family affair, one of the openers is the youngest DuPree sibling – sister Christie. Her voice is just as lovely as her older sisters’ and though her sound is simpler (it’s just her and her guitar), it is beautiful and stirring. After hearing her music, it is even more unbelievable to me that so much raw and pure talent could be in one family. It almost seems unfair to the rest of the musical world. Christie’s voice is as sweet as someone that is still naïve to all the bad that exist around her, yet her lyrics read like someone wiser than her 22 years. And she definitely has that patented DuPree twang!

If there was any band outside the DuPree family that absolutely belongs on this tour, it’s Marksmen. Adding to their awesomeness is the fact that they are local boys on a bill that could (and should) be their big break.  I initially became acquainted with their music a year or so ago, unaware that they were from Tampa. Marksmen hit the trifecta of great music making: vocalist Matt Segallos rich vocals, the band’s soul-baring lyrics, and instrumentals that accompany every word perfectly.  They go from creating an aura of almost unbearable heaviness, to painting a picture of the light side of life – seamlessly; their music is a rollercoaster of emotion that you would gladly wait in line to ride. This will be my very first time seeing them live and I am certain that watching them perform will only solidify my belief that they are destiny for greatness.

Doors are set to open at 830pm on Friday, September 23 at Crowbar and the show is all ages! And with tickets only $12 in advance and $14 at the door, you’ll feel like you’re committing highway robbery by the end of the night. Do yourself a favor…and just be there!