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Tampa's Guavaween Festival has had a face-lift. Stepping away from the party of years past, Guavaween: Many Shades of Ybor will feature a variety of national and local bands, as well as a costume contest. Shedding the parade of years past, this year's festival will feature The Hold Steady, Fake Problems, King Tuff and many more. Guavaween starts at 6 p.m. on October 27 in Ybor City. Tickets can be bought here.
But first, check out the best bands that Guavaween has to offer:
As an influential indie band that is partially responsible for the mustache trend, Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady know how to party. The band has written several songs about partying in Ybor City and have gained national attention for doing so, being named “America’s best bar band” by Rolling Stone. Four of their albums have charted on Billboard and received glowing praise from Pitchfork, including 2010’s Heaven is Whenever. The Hold Steady’s music is fused with tales of intelligent hedonism, making references to modernist author William Butler Yeats as well as killer parties.
Arguably Florida’s best and biggest punk band since Against Me!, Fake Problems are definitely a notable act. Within the last two years, Fake Problems have toured with Say Anything and Against Me!, surfing between punk subcultures. Fake Problems released their second record on Side One Dummy records, getting comfortable with labelmates Flogging Molly, The Casualties, Gaslight Anthem and Title Fight. As a Florida band quickly gaining momentum, Fake Problems have received acclaim from national music outlets like Spin Magazine, MTV, as well as Vice Magazine.
Not only did King Tuff’s self-titled album make a no.1 debut this year, but Ybor City is going to be catching him on his way back from New York’s acclaimed CMJ Music Marathon. King Tuff, also known as Kyle Thomas started his career with a series of bands and collaborations, including metal outfit Witch with Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis. King Tuff’s self-titled album received overall positive acclaim from music magazines like Spin and Pitchfork.
Rubblebucket is modern glitch pop at its best. Upon catching them at an Ybor City performance earlier this year, I can say that this is one of my favorite bands to see live. Lead by Zooey Deschanel-esque lead singer Kalmia Traver, the band’s considerable horn section takes you through a psychedelic, world music inspired celebration, as if Vampire Weekend and the Flaming Lips made a musical love child. Bringing out silver robot puppets and dancing with the crowd during the solos, Rubblebucket know a thing or two about crowd interaction. Another Brooklyn band, Rubblebucket are currently co-headlining a tour with acclaimed Athens, Ga. Band Reptar.
The Same are a local supergroup, composed of members of bands like Tres Bien and Win Win Winter that have received national attention in passing years. After recently reuniting and playing WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave in May, the band has continued to play shows in the Bay Area. The Same, back and better than ever, will be a must-see at Guavaween.
Another band coming off of CMJ’s music marathon, Tampa’s Zulu Wave are not to be missed. Zulu Wave stands as an example of how local bands can break through to the national music landscape, having also played New York’s inaugural CBGB Festival with The Hold Steady.
Georgia country stars Zac Brown Band are one of those occasional bands that benefit from a consistent sound: We know what to expect from every release, and, in such, they seldom disappoint. The band continues to support this notion with the release of their third major label studio album, “Uncaged.”
Released July 10, “Uncaged” has been the #1 album on Billboard’s Country Album chart since July 21, and held the top position on the Billboard 200 chart from July 21 to July 28, which is ranked by sales.
Admittedly, during a first listen of the album, “Uncaged” plays like standard, radio-friendly country fare, with the occasionally exceptional standout track (Such as the album’s exciting first single, “The Wind,” and the catchy build-up of “Natural Disaster”). It’s only upon further, more in-depth play-throughs that “Uncaged” becomes less of an album to be milked by producers for maximum radio-airplay, and more of a satisfying country experience.
“Uncaged” more resembles 2010’s “You Get What You Give” than their fast-paced major label debut, 2008’s “The Foundation,” in terms of instrumentals and songwriting. As the album plays, it becomes apparent the band is still discovering their place in the country music world, complemented by the artistic directions taken in “Uncaged.”
One welcome highlight of the album is the continuance of what can be considered a Zac Brown Band tradition: The inclusion of an overtly Buffett-esque “beach country” track, this time in the appropriately titled “Island Song.” The song, in much of the same vein as 2008’s “Toes” and 2010’s “Knee Deep” (featuring Jimmy Buffett on guest vocal duties), has less of a place in a honky-tonk bar, and more of an identity as a “beach-front, boat-drinks” single.
While “Uncaged” continues the general “slowing down” of the band’s musical style since their major label debut, that does not mean there isn’t a viable market for such songs within the country market; The band obviously knows the direction they’ve chosen with “Uncaged,” and they successfully reflect those decisions in their performances in the recording studio.
The only repercussion of those decisions is that they might alienate long-time fans, who can recall the fast-picking, hoe-down energy of earlier Zac Brown Band. It’s not that the band’s energy is abandoned in “Uncaged” (as seen in tracks “Jump Right In,” “The Wind” and title track “Uncaged”), but rather shows its rowdy face less often than fans might appreciate.
All in all, “Uncaged” is a solid, satisfying release from one of country music’s most notable rising stars. What sacrifices are made in the regards to the band’s true potential are done so to benefit stylistic continuity across the album as a whole. “Uncaged” is best served in the context of a full-package album, not a collection of singles.
Zac Brown Band will be co-headlining Pensacola’s DeLuna Fest September 21 through 23, along with Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters.
“Jump Right In”
Country music superstars Zac Brown Band were announced today as co-headliners for Mason Jar Media’s third annual DeLuna Fest, held in Pensacola, Florida, in the festivals final lineup announcement. The band will be co-headlining with grunge-rockers Pearl Jam and alternative-rock legends the Foo Fighters.
The event, wrapping up the summer 2012 music festival season, will bring beautiful Pensacola Beach to life with four stages and over 50 bands September 21 through 23.
As in years prior, this year’s festival will showcase an impressive variety of musical acts, featuring performances by notable groups Band of Horses, Florence and the Machine, The Gaslight Anthem, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Ben Folds Five and many, many more. See the 2012 lineup for yourself here.
Three-day passes for the event begin at $159.95 for advanced purchase, and $199.95 for general admission. VIP passes are currently listed at $849.95, and include access to a special VIP lounge with amenities, and viewing areas.
Special prices and packages for lodging in Pensacola also exist for attendees, with many convenient hotel options located along the beach, only a short walk from the event.
DeLuna Fest began in 2010, as a musically-fueled beach party featuring the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, 311, Willie Nelson and Thirty Seconds to Mars. Since then, Weezer, Linkin Park, Cake and The Shins have shared the festival’s stages.
If you’ve missed the opportunity to travel to one of this summer’s many great music festivals, or want to have one more musical beach party under your belt, this close-to-home option is not something to pass up.
Keep in touch with Bulls Radio for two DeLuna Fest pass giveaways, good for all three days of the event.
Is it just me or is there something just perfect about listening to folk rock in the morning?
The sun shining on a cloudless blue sky, your coffee cup steaming, the day lying unconquered.
The Black Keys and Mumford and Sons are great. But they, as a manifestation of how folky roots rock crosses over into something great, are not alone. There is another band you should know about.