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).
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.
“It was 50 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.”
Uh, excuse me? Excuse me… Hi… Uh, I need to make a correction for you here (and for anyone else locked in on the 50th anniversary of the album). Let me quote the writing tandem of John Lennon and Paul McCartney here to point out the issue with history:
It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
If it was 20 years on June 1, 1967 (the date of release for the album), it’s 70 years in 2017. I realize the intention of the length of time is something to revel in here and the intro attempt by the article author is a rally-point, but add some logic here… Sgt. Pepper (the personality) and his colleagues had been around a while, going “in and out of style” but they remain “guaranteed to raise a smile”.
At any rate, the article touches on the weight of Sgt. Pepper to the Fab Four, it’s worth a click-thru and a read…
A garage band named “The Pretty Voices” seems a little odd, but that’s the gist I think: to be a little off. The group isn’t aimed at a profound/powerful vocal arrangement; they’re about doing the rock thing in the garage-band kind of way: Independent, holding amateur flaws but also showing an ability that warrants exposure in one fashion or another.
It was completely by chance and a “well why not?” attitude on my part that got me to check out their album, Jangular, which was released in May of this year. The entire album is available online for purchase but it’s also able to be accessed through YouTube.
Now, I’m not a garage band listener on the norm… Heck, I rarely listen to anything of current (which holds to this story in a way, we’ll get to that in a second). I really did just listen to Pretty Voices by chance (the direct influence being Creative Loafing Tampa’s tweeting about their review of Jangular). I was drawn into the group from what I was hearing simply because the band could hit an influential riff in their pieces, such as in Control. It’s simple enough, though it also has its flaws (late in the song, it just ends up sounding messy).
El Camino, in beat and pacing, is pop rock in how it comes off. I can’t make out the lyrics but that’s my flaw with hearing disability and it – missing out on lyrics – is a running truth for most of Janular songs. That’s not a flaw for them, not as much as when engineering / production can’t diversify the sound produced for bridges in Pretty Voices songs.
The track that stands out for me to the point that I bought it was “Crackle Pop” which I embed here:
The oddity of the number is that it was released as a single three years ago by the group. The entire concoction of Jangular was put together and amassed over five years. Back to “Crackle Pop”, it’s a brilliant mix of the riff and pacing to truly come off as a crackling pop-rock number. The take from years ago seems a little less refined than the album version of the song.
In the end, Jangular and Pretty Voices are worth checking into in one way or another – be it an online listen on YouTube, buying a track from an online store, or checking the group out in-performance at a show in St. Petersburg.
Look, I’m not the most interesting guy out there. Just go through the archives here on The Stonegauge (which stretch back to 2002) and you can find plenty of boring, personal, and petty drivel. I’m not flashy, but I have been involved with the sites and people that your independent newspaper has honored again and again — such as helping Tommy Duncan run Sticks of Fire from 2005-2007, or aiding CL columnist Catherine Durkin Robinson with her blog as well as editing one of her books. I’m online buddies with one of Tampa Bay’s most popular Twitter personalities in Clark Brooks (oh, yeah, he also writes for me on Raw Charge).
My point is, how about throwing a little recognition my way in your upcoming 2011 Best Of The Bay awards? I’m not as trendy and attractive as former Interbay Superstar Rachel Moran, nor am I as social as other personalities who’ve won accolades through their net presence…
But I have been around a while, and I’ve been the guy keeping things running for some of your favorites in the past. A hat tip to the mysterious online producer isn’t much to ask, is it?