BIG GUAVA PREVIEW: Ten Bands We’re Most Excited About Seeing

Like it or not, Big Guava Festival is here, and while the debate about the uniqueness of today’s festival culture is certainly brewing (sorry Outkast, we still really, really love you and don’t blame you for taking that guaranteed money by booking 40 festival dates as part of your 20th anniversary tour), the allure of a huge, three-day festival descending upon Tampa is impossible to ignore.


Big Guava — pieced together by the folks at a little company called Live Nation — is set to take over the amphitheatre we still love to call Gary on May 2-4 (shit, Bruce Springsteen is playing on May 1, making it a veritably orgasm-worthy week of rock in the Bay area), and new SubAp! contributor Matthew Rennels has run down the top ten bands he’s looking forward to seeing at the festival and put it all together in a nice multimedia package that you can enjoy on your laptop of from the comfort of the drivers seat of your car via that little handheld device you call a cell phone (just kidding about the last part, please listen and get excited about it all in a responsible manner).

Here we go!


10. Jacuzzi Boys

This three-piece fuzz punk trio may not have a name that will fill the seats, but they caught Iggy Pop’s attention, and I expect their raw, punching sound will attract festival attendee’s attention, too. They’re kinda local, too (Miami), so we can expect some sort of hometown welcome.


9. Sleigh Bells

They met at a diner. He was an experimental guitarist/producer working a bistro, she was an aspiring singer he was waiting on, She was dining there with her mother and he just happened to mention he had a music project in need of a singer. Her mother nudged the singer and now Allison Kraus and Derek Miller are playing Big Guava. They tickle the imagination with drilling percussion beats and slingshot guitar riffs underneath smoothed out vocals. Signed to M.I.A.’s label, these rhythmic renovators have many tricks up their sleeve and are supporting a new album, ‘Bitter Rivals.’


8. Twenty One Pilots

These guys may resemble Eminem on a trampoline, but they feature some flavorful melodies and put on a good party. Open any live clip of these guys and you’ll see them standing on top of pianos, running into the audience, doing back flips, all while maintaining a full sound between just the two of them (drums and piano/vocals). Best of all, in a music world where grit and sadness is the norm, these guys fight that, carrying a message that shines the light against issues of mental illness and depression.


7. Bear Hands

This Brooklyn indie quartet has gotten some national notoriety with tours in front of bands like Passion Pit, MGMT and Vampire Weekend, and perhaps their on their way to being the band that other bands mention opening for. Judging by their latest release, the 2013 synth-cymbol-crashing single “Giants,” yes.


6. Cake

I really wanted these guys to be higher on this list. In 1994 they broke into the mainstream with ‘Fashion Nugget’ and went ‘The Distance’ as my favorite band as my infatuation with them lasted for more than five years. Their moogs, trumpets and vibra slaps were just some of the original elements packed in to delight. Unfortunately, the last 10 years haven’t been quite as delightful (or memorable) and they won’t allow their music of Spotify, but, eh, that doesn’t mean I won’t look forward to them.


5. Grouplove

The audience likely won’t be ‘tongue tied’ when a few beach balls enter the air, complementing Grouplove’s arching choruses and syncopated verses. There will be some fuzz distortion that emulates Billy Corgan and it’s some rubberband vocals that’ll make any sing-along interesting. These are already platinum-selling artists thanks to an epic party song, the aforementioned ‘Tongue Tied,’ and they are proving to have plenty other songs to bolster a good performance. Can’t wait to see this group live.


4. Foster The People

Perhaps there is some credibility to living in L.A. after all. These KROQ favorites buzzed their way to Spotify playlists everywhere when their dance pop single “Pumped Up Kicks” flooded the mainstream in 2011 and now they’re back again with a new single, ‘Coming of Age,’ and a new album. The album that carried their hit single, “Torches,” was a personal favorite, featuring smart pop song crafting and swift production mixes. I’m expecting their live show to be equally sleek, an atmospheric display balancing imagery and sound.


3. Haim

I want to see talented sisters who don’t want to be told that it isn’t 1983, and I want to see them make spectacularly unusual faces, so I want to see Haim. These L.A. siblings are amazing musicians and they’re doing Joan Jett and Hall &  Oates proud, both with their ’80s synth sounds, their mix of “I Love Rock And Roll” and “Sarah Smile” guitar riffs, and there are some Pretenders vocals, too. Can’t wait to see the Haim sisters.


2. Vampire Weekend

Adored by critics and fans alike, these boys should give a fun show. Their saltwater taffy songs are bright but modest, gritty like sand from the beach, but fun like the waves. They’re enjoying the success of their third album now, so with an extended catalogue and a growing fanbase, they likelihood of a good show is ever-increasing.


1. Outkast

These are the guys that got my attention for Big Guava and I can’t imagine I’m an isolated case. One day kids will be digging through the music from my generation – ’90s to early 200s – and I’ll cringe a lot, but Outkast will be the exception. No mainstream rap act did it like Outkast, southern soul/funk with meaningul, smart lyrics, world-changing songs that just so happened to have infectious grooves, like ‘Rosa Parks,’ ‘Hey Ya,’ ‘Bombs Over Baghdad’ and more. This is one night for Big Boi and Andre 2000 to celebrate 20 years of making music together, let’s hope there’s some new music floating somewhere in their setlist. Check out Outkast playing Coachella last weekend, and see Big Guava’s full lineup below.

LISTEN: Jr. Meowzer – “Divorce Party”

We’re suckers for a bill that’s all over the place geographically. It means bands are making their damn way down America’s wang and that venues, promoters, and other regional bands have come together to make sure that there’s a nice mixture of their friends — old, new, and soon-to-be — at the venue to support the out of towners.


That’s exactly what’s happening on Thursday when New York-based husband and wife duo Trifles come to St. Pete to play Fubar alongside local favorites Y Los Dos Pistoles, Nude Tayne, and Tiny Tortures and Orlando, Fla. punk rock quartet Jr. Meowzer who released a nice little four-song EP, Divorce Party, last summer.

Streaming below is the effort’s title track where the band get their self-loathing on top of pleading lead guitar and fantastically sloppy and distorted riffs that make us regret not listening to it all until now. Check out our calendar page for details about the show and listen to the track below. Grab a pay-what-you-want download of the whole EP at Bandcamp.

CL Tampa’s ‘Spring Hops’ is another great excuse to drink in Ybor, get $5 off admission

We usually don’t need much coaxing when it comes to drinking beer in Ybor City on a Saturday afternoon, but our friends at Creative Loafing have made it that much easier, so after you get your Record Store Day on, you should join them in Ybor Square (1911 N. 13th St, just outside CL’s offices) for their “Spring Hops” fest where a dozen local breweries will be pouring over 30 beers including a few Easter varietals (sure Jesus turned water into wine, but he might’ve turned it into Cigar City or Coppertail Brew had they existed back then).

The festival takes place between 1-5 p.m. EDT, and will also feature rockabilly style pinups and a free bike valet provided by the good people at Velo Champ.  General admission tickets are just $25 and include 16 drink tickets (each good for one 3 oz. pour).  VIP tickets are $50 and include 20 drink tickets plus catered lunch from Tampa Bay Brewing Company.  New World Brewery, Spaghetti Warehouse, Cafe Hey, and Pop Bandits will also be on hand to feed you.

Creative Loafing has teamed up with us to provide our readers with $5 off their admission.  All you have to do is enter “SUBAP” in the promo code box to receive your discount.  Grab more details about the event on Facebook and buy your ticket here. A full list of breweries participating is available below.

  • Brew Bus
  • Dunedin Brewery
  • Big Storm Brewing
  • Cigar City Brewing
  • Cigar City Brew Pub
  • Three Palms Brewing
  • Rock Brothers Brewing
  • Cigar City Cider & Mead
  • Coppertail Brewing Company
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company
  • Southern Brewing & Winemaking
  • Saint Somewhere Brewing Company


DO IT TODAY: Red Bull Sound Select brings Cherub to Ybor City’s Cuban Club for a free show

Monday nights are usually reserved for take out and Netflix.  Not this evening though.  Nope, you better not even think of staying in tonight as Red Bull Sound Select will be bringing their tour bus — complete with pop up stage featuring venue quality lights, sound, and production — to the Cuban Club in Ybor City for a free show featuring Nashville based electro-pop duo Cherub.


Also on the bill are Santa Monica’s Carousel and another Nashville band, Future Unlimited.  Admission is free, but you must RSVP to get into the show.  More information as well as a link to RSVP is available here.  Check out Cherub’s video for their latest single “Doses & Mimosas” below.

SERIOUSLY: Benjamin Booker is going on tour with Jack White, playing Lollapalooza too

Benjamin Booker plays Gasparilla Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa, Fla. on March 8, 2014. | Photo by Ray Roa (c/o Gasparilla Music Festival)

Benjamin Booker and Max Norton play Gasparilla Music Festival at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa, Fla. on March 8, 2014. | Photo by Ray Roa (c/o Gasparilla Music Festival)

UPDATE: Tickets to the tour go on sale on Friday, April 11 at 10 a.m., more info here.

Last summer we were up in arms and drooling over the fact that Benjamin Booker and Max Norton would be playing the ninth installment of beloved Ybor City music festival Summer Jam.  Well, the shit has really hit the fan now.

The Lollapalooza lineup that was released a few weeks ago bears the once Tampa-based singer-songwriters name, and now Jack White — who is set to release a new LP, Lazaretto, on June 10 — has announced a North American tour and tapped Booker — who recently signed to ATO Records — to open select dates (via CoS).

Booker, 24, (and presumably drummer Max Norton) will join the White Stripes frontman for a string of northeast dates in July including a two-night stand in Detroit where he’ll play the Fox Theatre and Masonic Temple Theatre on consecutive nights.  Have a look at Booker’s dates with White and see the album teaser from his forthcoming ATO Records debut below.

Benjamin Booker & Jack White 2014 Tour Dates
07/20 – St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
07/21 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
07/23 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
07/24 – Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre
07/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE Outdoors
07/28 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
07/30 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre 0
7/31 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre

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