Category Archives: Tampa Bay

It’s stuff that has to do with the region – from events, to news, to sports, to politics to music.

A musical throwback: Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 of 2008

I’ve posted two of Music Tampa Bay radio’s “Top 100” lists. Let’s be honest to start here: It’s an unknown station for the most part and the acts being highlighted are mostly enigmas. The question that could be asked about these blog posts is: Why do it? Why post them in text format when they’re already available online, albeit in image form?

The answer is pretty simple to me but it remains to be seen if I have actually accomplished it or anything near it with these previous posts.  That answer is exposure. While these songs have aired on the online stream for MTB over the years, that’s a niche audience. While the songs have likely seen air-time with MTB’s broadcasts on the FM dial in St. Petersburg, Florida, that’s a limited potential audience in Tampa Bay or beyond.

While not all musicians dream of going big, there are those who want lightning to strike,Four Star Riot accomplished that with thanks to their inclusion on the Deadpool soundtrack in 2016. But others remain out there but no one has heard them beyond the niche in live performances and how far they’ve pushed their own exposure to the masses.

What’s posted below is the original Music Tampa Bay Top 100 representing 2008- The nine year old list (released in 2009) features some songs that got somewhere – the “views” count on their music videos/audio streams show it.  Others didn’t go anywhere beyond finally seeing time online in 2015 with thanks to CD Baby’s publication program. Still others are a mystery – the fact they’re on this list in name-only shows that. They may be out there and I may have missed them in my web search but there’s also the high chance they aren’t.

How good these songs are don’t stand in their order, so listen to what music is available and be the judge yourself. Don’t look for performers you know because unless you know the music scene in the Tampa Bay region you likely won’t know anyone. Consider this post your opportunity at music discovery. If not this post, then the more recent Music Tampa Bay Top 100 lists from 2016 or 2017. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Of Tampa Bay sports and media focus

I’ve been put off since last week while scanning headlines and online coverage of news in the Tampa Bay area and seeing a greater-than-usual focus put on the Gasparilla Pirate Festival than usual, while the marquee mid-season event of the NHL All-Star Weekend was an afterthought (or a complication to Gasparilla festivities). It felt almost like the NHL and Tampa Bay Lightning are afterthoughts.

In fact, disappointment and issues with the Bucs holding the headlines in the fall of 2017 and through the early weeks of 2018 have taken away notice to casual readers of local headlines online than the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t just been playing games, but have been (and this will floor you) winning. Continue reading

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Filed under football, hockey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

The idea of hockey players from Tampa Bay

Some of the history of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey was touched on with my endorsement and love shown in the Vincent Lecavalier piece last week. The seed that Phil Esposito planted has taken firm root in Tampa Bay as the true forefather of hockey in non-traditional markets. Yeah, the Atlanta Flames preceded the Bolts, but the franchise did not take root and relocated to Calgary, Alberta.

Tampa Bay really was at the forefront of a southern surge through expansion and relocation – the Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, and Atlanta Thrashers (who ended up relocating to Winnipeg) and the neophyte Vegas Golden Knight.

This didn’t all come by way of Tampa Bay’s success – pro sports is a business; true expansion is to go to an untapped market – but the Lightning were at the start of it all. Starting play in a new markets, new exposure to the game to the youth of the region.

Now here’s question that coincides this: What is Tampa Bay’s best produced hockey player? Continue reading

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Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: Top 25

This is where the proverbial countdown of 100 acts from the Music Tampa Bay 2017 list comes to its pinnacle with the top-voted songs from their web site. These are the folks who’s songs represented here were most often voted to remain in the weekly Top 40 voting chart displaying on the site each week.

Fan support bolstered these numbers; Gypsy star is known for being among the high-rankings annually with thanks to their fans. Yet for popularity of all the songs, some can’t be found on the common media-embed sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, BandCamp, MySpace,  or others. In fact, the entire reason for this series has been to grant direct exposure to the songs for the general public (well… you the person who clicked to see this. Yeah, you. Hi.).

I encourage you to sample the songs if not here then on Part 1, Part 2 and/or Part 3. For the performing artists, it’s got to be nice to have a song that airs on the radio or an audio stream, but it’s even better when someone chooses to listen to it optionally and see what the artists or group sounds like.

Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: #50-26

We’re now in the top 50 of Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 from 2017 with today’s post. You can find 100 through 76 and 76 through 51 by clicking on those links.

Let me stress here that the Top 100 list was compiled by way of voting on the Music Tampa Bay web site. With that said, the order of the songs does not truly show rank or popularity of the songs as-so-much support that the artists gained on the Music Tampa Bay Top 40 vote each week. This also isn’t a listing of top current acts as-so-much recordings by local (Tampa Bay area)  performers that may have been made at any time. While putting together this post I found two songs were from the 1990s. Others I could not find online coverage for and that seems to suggest they could come from any time (though I would not suggest the music is older than 20 years).

In the end, take this as a music and artist discovery opportunity as well as direct exposure for the performing artists and the songs that cracked the list.

Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 list of 2017: #75-51

As the annum that was 2017 drifts off into the history books, its stories and stats are reflected upon in one way or another in a multitude of categories through the world. The facts of the year-that-was will be referenced and reviewed because… Well, it’s history and things that happen are relevant.

Like music.

It’s an annual thing from St. Pete, Florida-based community radio station Music Tampa Bay to present a Top 100 song list from each year of broadcast. I did a reflection post on 2016 last spring to give people a taste (and the music optional exposure) of some of the local music created from Bay area artists. With a new (old) year comes a new list of songs that were successes on the Music Tampa Bay voting poll through 2017. Each week, users are able to vote on the Top 40 on the site and those votes are tallied up into what becomes this grander list.

Unlike the Top 100 listing on Music Tampa Bay, the list version here includes (when available) links to the artist personal web site or a social site (Reverb Nation, Facebook) linked to them. The song is listed of course as well as embedded on the post (when possible). 25 songs are listed on 4 seperate blog posts (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1.

So, if you have time, interest and a musical curiosity, may I present to you the second group of songs from the Top 100 Songs from Music Tampa Bay from 2017. Continue reading

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Filed under interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 100 song list of 2017: #100-76

As the annum that was 2017 drifts off into the history books, its stories and stats are reflected upon in one way or another in a multitude of categories through the world. The facts of the year-that-was will be referenced and reviewed because… Well, it’s history and things that happen are relevant.

Like music.

It’s an annual thing from St. Pete, Florida-based community radio station Music Tampa Bay to present a Top 100 song list from each year of broadcast. I did a reflection post on 2016 last spring to give people a taste (and the music optional exposure) of some of the local music created from Bay area artists. With a new (old) year comes a new list of songs that were successes on the Music Tampa Bay voting poll through 2017. Each week, users are able to vote on the Top 40 on the site and those votes are tallied up into what becomes this grander list.

Unlike the Top 100 listing on Music Tampa Bay, the list version here includes (when available) links to the artist personal web site or a social site (Reverb Nation, Facebook) linked to them. The song is listed of course as well as embedded on the post (when possible). 25 songs are listed on 4 seperate blog posts (100-76, 75-51, 50-26, 25-1.

So, if you have time and interest and a musical curiosity, may I present to you the first 25 songs from the Top 100 Songs from Music Tampa Bay from 2017. Continue reading

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

An annual Tampa Bay festival to coincide the NHL All-Star invasion

Happy New Year to one and all. May 2018 be an annum of achievement and positive happenings for you and yours.

A little note to precede the National Hockey League’s 2018 NHL All-Star weekend for those attending as out-of-town fans and those exposed to the event through national media covering things in Tampa:

There’s an annual event that goes down in Tampa each year, it’s not an official marking of the start of tourist season in town but it tends to coincide it and can be tied to marquee events happening in town like the NFL’s Super Bowl when it’s played at Raymond James Stadium or, say, the NHL holding its All-Star game.

In this event, a flotilla of ships, led by a pirate ship known as the José Gaspar, will cruise around the waters of the Port of Tampa before “invading” downtown Tampa to mark the official start of the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. It’s usually high level execs and political people playing the role of pirate aboard the José Gaspar (or aboard their own ships hanging out with those on the pirate boat) before they land in downtown Tampa and are given control of the city by the mayor of Tampa.

Gasparilla is many events strewn out for a few weeks of time, but it’s the flotilla and pirate invasion that is the visible event that can catch the attention. There’s also a parade event through the Tampa city streets in the early afternoon.

So, what gives with a blog post on New Years Day about it, and why aim the attention at NHL fans?

Everything with the invasion event scheduled for Saturday, January 27th. That’ll be the day of coverage of the NHL Skills Competition, alumni game and all the other  lead-in events preceding Sunday, January 28th‘s NHL All-Star game. I wouldn’t be surprised if some pirate shenanigans are caught on film by visiting media – especially TSN or RDS. Hell, it wouldn’t shock me if NHL All-Stars and alumni find their way into the event as members of the invasion and parade (paging Alex Ovechkin, Mr. Alex Ovechkin…). If you’re scheduled to be in the Tampa Bay area for the weekend, you may want to look into events tied to the Saturday morning invasion antics in and around downtown Tampa…well, unless they conflict with events at Amalie Arena or directly tied to the All-Star weekend you’d rather attend.

For information on Gasparilla check the official site. For history on the festival and other info, I point you to Wikipedia.

Update (January 2nd at 2PM): Well, the NHL taste of the Gasparilla Festival event has taken on a taste. The Grand Marshall of the shindig was announced this afternoon by Ye Mystic Krewe, the organizers, governing crew and swabs, mates, and brooding Pirates of the José Gaspar: Former NHL center and Tampa Bay Lightning alumnus Vincent Lecavalier.

From the press release, quotes from the Krewe and Vinny:

“Vinny Lecavalier was the perfect choice as our Grand Marshal this year as we host the NHL All-Star Weekend in Tampa” said Christopher Lykes, Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. “Vinny was a force with the Lightning and a force as an NHL All-Star. He has continued his leadership by being an active and positive role model in our Community” added Lykes.

“I am honored and grateful to Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla for selecting me to be the Grand Marshal of the 2018 Pirate Fest and Parade, especially at a time when the Lightning will be hosting the All-Star Game in our community,” said Lecavalier. “Tampa Bay is a special place with great traditions and the Lightning and Gasparilla are two of them. I look forward to representing both with pride in the parade.”

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Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay

Volunteer assistance sought by Tampa Bay community station Music Tampa Bay

There’s a special community radio station based in St. Petersburg that airs local music, to say the least. Music Tampa Bay has been operating for 11 years via streaming and terrestrial broadcast and airs music from musicians and groups from around the greater Tampa Bay area (and sometimes the broader central Florida area). They usually there is weekly voting on a Top 40 list and these votes work toward an annual Top 100 list. You can see posts here about the 2016 Top 100 list and a Top 40 from this past summer.  EDIT: You can find the Top 100 page with each individual year of Music Tampa Bay here.

Yet Hurricane Irma did her damage and complicated things with the station that were already challenged in one way or another. The site representing Music Tampa Bay has long been in need of upgrading to improve accessibility and exposure for the artists and the station itself.

All that said Music Tampa Bay is looking for assistance of the high variety. Everything is voluntary but the open positions listed are basically everything. The MTB sit’s declaration shows it:

All Volunteer Staff Needed

​General Manager – Sales Manager – Business Manager – Operations Manager – IT / Website Manager – Program / Music Director – DJs – all shifts

Here’s the official statement off the site about volunteers and the station:

Radio Station Volunteer Staff Wanted

The music stream on this website is now in its 13th year of continuous operation.  96.7 FM in St Pete is now beginning its 2nd year, since the FCC issued a non-profit broadcast license in October 2016.  If these listening platforms are to continue serving the local arts communities as stipulated in the license, new management is needed in key revenue generating and operational areas.  A new general manger being sought to work with the existing team and eventually assume control once the original license period is renewed in early 2020.  Air talent is also needed to fill program positions and operate from the new live Radio Central in The Zoo Studios in St Pete.  All air positions are currently open, 24/7.  Interested beginners and professionals are encouraged to contact rick@musictampabay.com / 727-455-8848.

This is a great starter place for those interested in being part of the music business or working in communications; a prime opportunity for students. It’s also a great place for those who are embedded already in local music as performers to further expose themselves by working as DJs (or, if qualified, in one of the higher-up positions). Most importantly of all, it’s part of the community. While MTB isn’t available in terrestrial, traditional broadcast throughout Tampa Bay, the online stream is readily available for everyone to hear performers who were, and are part of music.

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Daylight Standard Stupid

This is a simple public service announcement because of a pretty simple flaw I see repeatedly coming from businesses or those who are trying to be pretentious and official in declarations online (via social media or on their own web sites):

Unless you are in Arizona and a few other selective locations throughout the United States, you cannot schedule things for a Standard Time.

It’s ridiculous to have to explain this but the United States of America is currently in daylight savings time (or daylight time). That’s what the whole “spring forward” thing is in March. The country doesn’t move back to standard time until Sunday, November 5th at 2 in the morning.

So business posts something like this…

…they’re basically saying the event starts at 1 PM EDT because we’re in EDT now.  If you want to be pretentious on time and date and don’t understand the time difference, do yourself a favor and just list the time as ET, CT, MT or PT which applies specifically for the zone you’re in.

Really, it’s not rocket science to know the differences or to get around them entirely in listing a time. Don’t look so uneducated.

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Filed under Tampa Bay, The Life

Dependability is offline at Tampa Bay Online

The site known as Tampa Bay Online – www.tbo.com – has been around for decades. TBO was once tied to both Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA News Channel 8 and former print publication The Tampa Tribune (both media entities were owned by Media General). Let me stress that with the decades aspect of Tampa Bay Online as TBO started out in the early 1990’s in a form that was accessible through the Prodigy dial-up network and America Online. It’s sort of hard to explain things before the internet as you know it now – some people were exposed to it well before the general public. I was introduced to the Net through Prodigy and later AOL.

Back to the topic, TBO has been around a while as a media hub (to say the least). With the Tribune leading the charge so often, the flavor of news and writing from the Trib (with its right-leaning slant) was always on display but its general news coverage was complimented by video coverage of news stories that News Channel 8 reported on.

Yet a downfall has been rampant for a while: Media General sold the Tribune in 2012, and while the new ownership vowed they were here to stay, it didn’t play out like that. I’m not sure if there was an official end-partnership between the Trib and WFLA but things scaled back and ceased after the Tribune moved away to its own property. In the spring of 2016 the Tampa Tribune was acquired by print news rival, the Tampa Bay Times. The Tribune ceased to be while certain columnists, reporters and employees were imported to Times staff while others were dismissed. TBO.com has continued operations since then but has become a quizzical online destination for news information in the area. Continue reading

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Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017

I may have touched on this Best of the Bay thingie while talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.

Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Continue reading

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Filed under Raw Charge, Sports, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Members of the Tampa Bay music scene

I’m a regular in a Reddit subgroup that represents the entirety of the Tampa Bay area, /r/tampabay.  Most of the citizens of the cities in the Bay area aren’t members of that group, they’re in the singular cities like /r/tampa, /r/stpetersnurgFL, or not in a city subgroup as all (hey, power to the people – it’s not like everyone goes on Reddit to talk about local life).

Anyway, a couple of months ago on the less-populous /r/tampabay subreddit, a new-resident sounded a disdain for the lack of original musicians in the Tampa Bay area:

So, I’m starting to think there just doesn’t exist any kind of local music scene here at all, unless you consider septuagenarians playing jurassic-rock covers a “scene”. Please tell me I’m wrong. The only show that I’ve gone to in a year and a half was when I flew back to Ohio to visit. This is depressing.

This opens up a question of where in the Bay area they were looking for performances and when – it’s not like it’d happen every day of the week. It’s also not like you can expect original music by local band members to be available at a golf resort or at a bar/pub/club/tavern deep in suburbia.  Oh, it likely happens but you’re more likely to get cover acts in small time locales like that.

Lack of local music scene, though? No… That’s not the case. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

Music Tampa Bay’s Top 40 for June 26th, 2017

Earlier this year, I posted a list of the Top 100 songs from Music Tampa Bay for 2016: Converting the image list to text and linking to various locales where you could actually listen to the songs (side note: I’ll still take link and genre submissions for some of the unlinked artists/songs, thanks).

Well, the Top 100 list for each year on Music Tampa Bay is built around a weekly running Top 40 list that Music Tampa Bay has going on. I’m not sure how it has functioned long-term but as of now you can vote once per day on a song that’s been placed on the Top 40 list. Voting ends at 6 PM ET on Sunday nights and the results make up the Top 40 list for the week ahead. How a performer or band get on the list to begin with is Music Tampa Bay’s choice while the songs listed aren’t all recent releases by Tampa Bay musical artists.

Now, exposure to the song is subjective to those who cross the Top 40 list. You either have to be a Music Tampa Bay listener (online streaming or over the airwaves in St. Pete, Florida at 96.7 FM), or have crossed the music by other means (like deliberately hunting down a listed song online, as I’ve done in the past).

Well, this article is a little twist on things. Below you will find the Top 40 list from Music Tampa Bay (released on Monday, June 26th) with embedded versions of the songs from the list. Not all songs are embedded. Omission like that is not a deliberate act as-so-much an inability to locate the song online. Some songs do appear on the web in sales locations or on streaming locations like Spotify. For the sake of accessibility, those instances aren’t linked. In other cases where a song can be accessed by anyone but the tune isn’t embeddable, things will be simply hyperlinked.

Many of these songs have been and will remain listed on the Music Tampa Bay Top 40 for some time to come, so if you like one of these tracks a lot then you should support it: Go to Music Tampa Bay and view the Top 40 list and cast a vote in favor of it (button next to the song on the Top 40 list). Continue reading

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

East Lake High School Class of 1997 Photo

I believe it was exactly 20 years ago today that I graduated from East Lake High School at a ceremony at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.  It’ll be this weekend that a few dozen of the 600+ members of the graduating class get back together for a little shindig. I won’t be participating because I’m waylaid with physical disability to the point I’d just be a fly on the wall, sitting in the corner and feeling awkward.

It’d be like I was back in school!

At any rate, I make this post because I want to make public (in a means beyond a scope of constraint)  something a few of my classmates have already seen online by way of me on Facebook , but it’s condensed (because… Facebook): Our stolid class picture.

I’m pretty sure I still have both versions of the class picture, but they are tucked in such a position in my closet it’s hard to get a hold of them. And the scanning / image merge function that I have to use to get the pictures scanned is a pain to do (it was tough with this one — and that process was a few years ago):

East Lake High School Class of 1997 Class Photo

Click on the image to get a better view at imgur, or click this link to go to the page. And you can click the image there to get an even more close-up view of the image.

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Filed under Tampa Bay, The Life