The Real Music City

I assume that Austin and Nashville each have more musicians per capita than Tampa, but quality outdid quantity once again this weekend.

Jeremy Gloff's CD release party for his 16th collection, 21st Century Love Songs, shook up the Magnum Opus art show Saturday night at the Ritz in Ybor.

Judy Tampa and her Bunko Squad had their release party for Tainted the following night at the lovely Springs Theatre, with music and magic by My Little Trotsky and Harry Hayward, respectively. (Full disclosure, my Ronny played on both CD's.)

Before we headed over to the Springs, we stopped into the new Seminole Heights establishment, Ella's Folk Art Cafe, just down the street. Rebekah Pulley was playing and we can't ever get enough of her. It was great seeing a venue made for live, original music packing in the locals who came to listen and enjoy it, not just to drink and drown it out.

For a weekend at least, good music flourished around Tampa, and this season looks promising. I snagged a brief (by no means complete) concert report from Jennifer and Bev at WMNF's ND Hour (9-10 a.m. @

11/17 Awesome New Republic, Crowbar

11/19 Song writers night at Tre Amici @ the Bunker

11/19 Ronny Elliott @ Sloppy Pelican

11/19 Roy Zimmerman with Grant Peeples
@ Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa (UU Dome)

11/19 Shawn Kyle @ 5 art Gallery 906 N. Armenia Ave, 210

11/20 Eilen Jewell/Sarah Borges at Skippers

11/20 Geri X, Pat Macdonald (Timbuk3) & Margot West at New World Brewery

11/20 Mustard Plug, The Toasters, Voodoo Glow Skulls at Crowbar

11/21 The Revival Tour in-studio on The Saturday Asylum 2 p.m. on 88.5 WMNF

11/21 Revival Tour 8:00 PM at State Theatre in St Pete

11/21 My Little Trotsky and November Foxtrot Whiskey @ Cafe Hey, 1540 N. Franklin St.

11/21 Poetry ’n Lotion, Jim Morey & Infinite Groove Orchestra at New World Brewery

11/22 GeriX Ella’s Folk Art Cafe, 5119 N. Nebraska Ave

For more local show listings, the Saturday Asylum (Saturdays from 2-4 p.m. on WMNF) has a nice, long concert report at 3 p.m.

Thanks to Jeremy Gloff & Khalid Hameed for the photos.


Key Wested

After nearly 31 years of (sporadically) living in Florida, it's always astounded me that I have never been to the Keys. Until last week that is, when Ronny and I headed down to Fantasy Fest for our belated honeymoon. Ronny's been numerous times, and he booked us at the Eden House, one of his favorite reasons for returning to Key West time and again.

Our small television-less room (various sized rooms and suites fit a myriad of budgets) was not just a comfy place to lay our heads, but also gave this do-gooder comfort because of its Green Lodging designation. It's nice to know that one doesn't have to leave their environmentalism at home when they head away for vacation.

Almost every morning we sat on the front porch or poolside to read The Citizen, a flourishing little paper that uses first names in some of its headlines and carries Nicholas Kristof's column.

We ate A LOT (mm, and drank even more), mostly at Pepe's, but we also loved The Cafe, which was darling, vegetarian, and unfortunately for them, mostly uncrowded. I kick myself for not getting a photo of the key lime pie at Blue Heaven, with what must have been five inches of meringue on top. But life is short and dessert must be consumed as soon as possible.

Eventually though, I was tired of not cooking for us so I hit Fausto's for fresh baked ciabatta, goat cheese, and hummus - a quick meal for two under $15. The cheapest of the trip, but one of the yummiest.

On our first day there we rode the touristy Conch train, and got around for the rest of the week by foot and bicycle. I couldn't get enough of the neighborhoods and the houses large and small.
Hemingway's was pretty quintessential, but we liked his cats (43 in all, each descended from Hemingway's six-toed kitty Snowball) even more than the fancy digs.

Fantasy Fest itself reminded me of a cross between Seattle's Solstice Parade and Pinocchio's Pleasure Island. I have a lot more photos of the outrageous costumes, but enough debauchery already. (Not that there's any shortage of pics around the web.)