From West to East and Some Fine Sounds In Between
Friday night offered a wide range of live music possibilities — a mixed blessing since you couldn’t fit it all in one night. The Black Honkeys headlined Neptune Lounge in Tarpon Springs. Joran Oppelt hosted the In the Raw Revival showcase featuring local favorite singer-songwriters (Rebekah Pulley, Geri X) and some artists we haven’t seen in a while or play out as often (Ivan Pena, Natty Mass Bond).
At The Bends, some newer bands of today such as the Sh-Booms, Jackettes (a personal favorite lately) and Gino and the Goons got the crowd dancing. At the Iberian Rooster, jazz greats Gloria West and the Gents held court.
Creative Pinellas instead ventured from west St. Pete to downtown to catch two very different live music shows — a low key intimate gig in a classic down-home Florida bar and grill with veteran singer-songwriter Bob Anthony and a more millennial-type scene in the artfully low-frills Paper Crane ,which featured an Aestheticized Presents showcase of contemporary indie music by Infinite Third, Gullwing and Frank Hezzalia and the Cave Trains.
Photos by Daniel Veintimilla unless otherwise noted.
Bob Anthony offered a great way to dip our toes into the evening. While he’s not someone you’d consider or flashy or self-promoting, he’s among our best local singer-songwriters.
He pushes past his comfort zones to apply nimble finger work up and down the neck of two guitar. Between tunes, he shared amiable and humorous anecdotes, and performed much better-than-average covers.
Says Anthony: “I pick guitars depending on what I feel like playing and whether I’m playing solo or with others. I’ve mostly been playing a 6-string electric hollow body (Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin 2) because of its versatility-halfway between an acoustic guitar and an electric, plus, my favorite guitar sound is the classic hollow body jazz guitar — I play about half instrumental and sing the other half-instrumentally is my favorite way to play, but I felt more like singing last night. Lately I have rediscovered the 12-string. I love the overtones and lushness of it. I like it for finger picking as well as the more jangly songs in my set-though it can be a bit of a workout, I’m somewhat arthritic, so I am sitting more than I like to, but it helps me relax too. My 12 is a Guild jumbo F-212.”
During the gig at the Pesky Pelican Brew Pub, Anthony played some impressively intricate instrumental originals in addition to excellent classic pop and rock and roll, revealing his stylistic range. Hits included “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers, “Thirteen” by Big Star and “Alcohol” by the Kinks. ”
“Eric McNeil is the person in the picture (above),” Anthony says of the friend he introduced us to at the beginning of the night.
“I’ve known him since we were both 6 years old! His path and mine have crossed many times over the years. When I lived in Tallahassee, he did too. We both played in bands up there, and we both worked in TV/video. I ran into him quite a bit when I moved back here, as he had too. He is an outstanding acoustic guitarist-— maybe this is a cue that we need to play together.”
Anthony also had good things to say about the venue, a neighborhood haunt in Azalea — “a nice trip back in time — the kind of place you feel comfortable and welcome-good menu and outstanding beer selection.”
Across town at the Paper Crane, Frank Hezzalia and the Cave Trains rocked the joint with their propulsive, sometimes fuzzy, sometimes sludgy, sometimes progressive rock in their last gig for a spell as member Will Hoffman heads to law school in New York.
Gullwing were down a member — their viola player had a school obligation — but that didn’t stop them from delivering a full and satisfying sound full of transportation ephemera, courtesy of frenzied genius keyboardist/effects maestro Dug Fender. The rest of the band complemented with Fender with solid rhythms and excellent guitar riffs.
Billy Mays III‘ solo act Infinite Third continued the otherworldly vibe with a chilled-out, seated audience. “It was a very Zen moment,” photographer Daniel Veintimilla said after the show.
When Mays performs he live-records and sequences sounds, combining them with prerecorded samples and synths. It’s quite an act to behold from the son of an informercial legend. He shared that he’s working on his forthcoming album, Channels, which will include more structured compositions that resembles songs as we know them. Be on the lookout next month for a Kickstarter campaign to help him fund the project, which should be well worth the donation and then some.