Thursday, November 23, 2017

Writers

Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin is the Pop Music/Culture Critic for the Tampa Bay Times and tbt*, and the editor of Soundcheck, a blog about music and concerts in Tampa Bay. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2002 and has been with the Times ever since. Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck



Brian Setzer at

Brian Setzer talks about Tom Petty, ‘The Simpsons’ and his third act with holiday music

Brian Setzer knows he’s overdue for a trip to Florida. For 13 years, the Grammy-winning rockabilly guitarist and big-band frontman has been packing theaters coast to coast for his annual Christmas Rocks Tour. But somehow, he keeps skipping this...
Published: 11/22/17
Jimmy Herring and John McLaughlin at soundcheck at the Paul Reed Smith 30th Anniversary Celebrations held at Ram's Head Live, Baltimore. Photo via First Edition Arts.

This week’s best Tampa Bay concerts: Brian Setzer, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, 21 Savage, more

SWINGIN’ AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE: Brian Setzer OrchestraWhen you spend 13 straight Thanksgivings on the road, you build some traditions with your crew. "We get a big ballroom," said Brian Setzer. "I don’t know how many turkeys we go...
Published: 11/22/17
NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 11:  Singer/Songwriter Michael W. Smith  performs at Sam's Place - Music For The Spirit at Ryman Auditorium on January 11, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Michael W. Smith talks about Texas shooting, Christmas music and Bono

On the morning after the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Michael W. Smith had pain in his voice. "It’s awful, it’s just awful," said the Grammy-winning Christian music superstar. "Everybody’s going to have their...
Published: 11/21/17
Jimmy Herring and John McLaughlin at soundcheck at the Paul Reed Smith 30th Anniversary Celebrations held at Ram's Head Live, Baltimore. Photo via First Edition Arts.

Legendary guitarist John McLaughlin talks about his last tour

As you might imagine, quite a lot of thought goes into planning your final tour ever.
Published: 11/21/17
Forget the Pizza Rat. Meet St. Petersburg's Pizza Squirrel

Forget the Pizza Rat. Meet St. Petersburg's Pizza Squirrel

New York, it seems, doesn't have a monopoly on pizza-chomping rodents.
Published: 11/17/17
Stefanie Dunlop, owner of two Learning Express Toys chain stores in Tampa and Clearwater, helps customers
at the Learning Express Toys store inside the Westfield Citrus Park mall in Tampa , FL, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. As more people turn to online for their toy-shopping, businesses from big corporate stores to smaller chains to independents are doing what they can to stay in the black. Gabriella Angotti-Jones  | Times

Can toy stores create Toys ‘R’ Us kids in an Amazon world?

Stefanie Dunlop is pinning high hopes on her Fingerlings.Cute, robotic creatures that interact with their owners, they are this year’s white-hot Christmas toy, the Furbys and Hatchimals of 2017. On this weekday in Clearwater, Toys ‘R’ Us and...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Handout photo of Randy Newman, performing at the Capitol Theatre on 11/19/17. Credit: Pamela Springsteen.

This week’s top Tampa Bay concerts: Randy Newman, Tiesto, Et Cultura, more

THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE: Randy NewmanOscar campaigns are nothing new for Randy Newman. For years, the iconic singer, songwriter and film composer was the most-nominated person in history without a win, until his 2001 trophy for the...
Published: 11/15/17
Handout photo of Randy Newman, performing at the Capitol Theatre on 11/19/17. Credit: Pamela Springsteen.

Randy Newman will never be a million-seller, and he’s fine with that

Maybe it’s fitting that the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t win the World Series. Maybe it’s better that all of Southern California didn’t pop Champagne and celebrate as Randy Newman’s I Love L.A. blared through the Dodger...
Published: 11/15/17
Taylor Swift's new album,

'Reputation' review: Taylor Swift should know she's better than this

Taylor Swift has a right to sound bitter.
Published: 11/10/17
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 17: Fashion designer John Varvatos (L) and musician Sammy Hagar attend the John Varvatos 13th Annual Stuart House benefit presented by Chrysler with Kids' Tent by Hasbro Studios at John Varvatos Boutique on April 17, 2016 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for John Varvatos)

Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

The Red Rocker calls on time, and he is all kinds of fired up."Hey, Jay, Sammy Hagar here. Are you ready for me?"Is anyone ever truly ready for a phone call from Hagar, the flame-haired, motor-mouthed ex-Van Halen singer who once dubbed...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/12/17