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.

LOOK: Local Natives at the State Theatre – 4.16.14

The sold out State Theatre was more than ready for Local Natives. We’ve been to many shows in the area where the band comments on the local fans’ awesomeness and enthusiasm as Local Natives did last week. A lot of it has to do with the fact that many bands just skip over Florida when touring, and when they finally do come through, people are just so hungry for the music that their excitement is on another level. Well, it made for a great night of live music, and thankfully, the guys from Local Natives gave us their word that they would be back. Check out some photos below.

LOOK: Moses Sumney at the State Theatre – 4.16.14

Moses Sumney jokingly introduced himself early on in his set by saying “Hi, I’m Moses Sumney. aka not Local Natives.” While he may not have been well known in the bay area when he got on stage, he certainly left it with a theater full of new fans. Check out some photos below.


Well, that first three weeks of baseball didn’t go the way you thought it would. Yeah, it’s not the disastrous 2011 start that saw us start 0-6, and Manny get suspended (please remember, it is your responsibility as a Rays fan to never forget Manny in a Rays jersey), but this 2014 season has gotten off to a pretty Devil Ray-esque start. Worst news first: Matt Moore’s season is over.

Alex Cobb is on the 15 day DL.

Jeremy Hellickson won’t be back until early June.

To top it off, the team is hitting .246, and they’ve been shut out three times in three weeks. We’re 9-10, just a half game ahead of the Red Sox who are in last place in the East. Sure, it’s early, but it’s easy to see that the Rays are going to have yet another season where offense is sparse, and games are won by pitching and defense. With three starters on the shelf, it’s easy to assume that the next month or two might be difficult for a ball club that won’t be able to produce the kind of runs they’ll need to keep some of the back end starters in the game.

But if you’ve been watching the past couple of weeks, the wins (and even some of the losses) have been really fun, and there’s three things I want to highlight to watch for closely as we get into the meat of the season:

  •  The development of Chris Archer, and his relationship with catcher Ryan Hannigan.

If you watched Saturday nights execution of the Yankees, where the Rays hit five home runs and hit the Yankees so hard they had to put a short stop in to pitch, you may have noticed a unique relationship developing between new catcher Ryan Hanigan, and the young, filthy, Chris Archer.

Hanigan, who Homer Bailey said was a big part of his no hitters, worked with Archer like a big brother. His calls were demonstrative, he slammed his glove on the ground after a signal to let Chris know “GET THE BALL DOWN.” When Archer adjusted into the stretch in the middle innings and lost some of his mechanics, Hanigan didn’t hesitate to call time and run out to give him a couple of words. Ryan had Archer working backwards and forwards, up and down in the zone, the Yankees simply didn’t stand a chance. Add a smart mind like Hanigan behind the plate working Archer’s 96 MPH fastball and his newly refined change up, and his unique intelligence combined with energy, he could eventually be an ace that competes for a Cy Young. It’s going to be a treat to watch these two work together all season.

  • Wil Myers bat flips.

  • Longo’s power swing.

(I’m the guy in the glasses, Ray Roa is DeAndre Jordan)

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


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