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Jay Cridlin, Pop Music/Culture Critic

Jay Cridlin

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.

Phone: (727) 893-8336


Blog: Soundcheck

Twitter: @JayCridlin and @tbtsoundcheck

Instagram: @cridlin

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

    Human Interest

    New York, it seems, doesn't have a monopoly on pizza-chomping rodents.

    Around 2:45 p.m. Friday, the Tampa Bay Times spotted a squirrel digging a nearly entire slice of pizza out of a trash can at 146 Second St. N in St. Petersburg. The squirrel hopped down, slice in jaw, and proceeded to scamper up an adjacent tree. Pizza Squirrel made it a good 25 feet up, which is far better than most of us could do while munching a slice of pizza....

  2. This week's top Tampa Bay concerts: Randy Newman, Tiesto, Et Cultura, more

    Music & Concerts

    THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE: Randy Newman

    Oscar 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 Monsters Inc. song If I Didn't Have You. "I was really surprised how moved I was when I won that Oscar," Newman said by phone. "I didn't expect it to mean much to me, but it did." Does that mean Newman will again campaign for a nomination — it would be his 21st — for his score to the buzzy new Netflix flick The Meyerowitz Stories? "The picture, I imagine, will get some Oscar push, because it's a really good picture," he said, adding in typically world-weary, Newmanesque fashion: "Hard to say. I never know anything about that." For now, Newman is content to let his music speak for him, touring behind his deeply resonant catalog and well-received new album, Dark Matter. He'll play an "evening with" set at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $39.25 and up. (727) 791-7400.

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

    Music & Concerts

    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 Stadium speakers.

    Instead, Dodgers fans can spend the off-season flipping through the rest of Newman's iconic catalog, soothing their frustrations with any number of his much more sardonic and melancholy works....

    Handout photo of Randy Newman, performing at the Capitol Theatre on 11/19/17. Credit: Pamela Springsteen.
  4. In second year, St. Petersburg's Et Cultura festival getting bigger, busier



    Don't be alarmed if you find yourself paralyzed by the jam-packed schedule for St. Petersburg's 2017 Et Cultura festival. Organizers know it's a lot.

    "It might seem overwhelming when you look at it all, but the other way to look at it is, there's all this great stuff to do," said Lea Umberger, director of branding and social media. "You could throw a rock and hit something to do at Et Cultura over the weekend. That's a fun concept that we're hoping people embrace as we do grow, because our hope is that it does take over and become a citywide party."...

    Handout photo of Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, performing on 11/17/17 at the State Theatre as part of the 2017 Et Cultura festival in St. Petersburg. Photo: Ground Control Touring
  5. 'Reputation' review: Taylor Swift should know she's better than this

    Music & Concerts

    Taylor Swift has a right to sound bitter.

    Since dropping her blockbuster album 1989 three years ago, she has gone from being one of the most scrutinized pop singers on the planet to the most scrutinized singer on the planet. She has endured a sexual assault lawsuit; an endless, exhausting public feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian; and calls harping on her to get more politically active, or at least denounce her fans on the extreme right. She's handled most of it with dignity....

    Taylor Swift’s new album, “Reputation.” (Amazon)
  6. Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

    Music & Concerts

    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 himself the CEO of Rock? But okay, sure, I got my questions. I'll give it a shot.

    "Are you gonna tape it, or we gonna … ?"

    Yeah, I say, if that's okay....

    If you can’t catch Sammy Hagar in concert Tuesday, his 70th birthday concert film will hit movie theaters Dec. 5.
  7. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie talk Fleetwood Mac's 'dysfunctional family' before Clearwater show

    Music & Concerts

    You dive into the personal dynamics and politics of Fleetwood Mac at your own risk.

    Certainly, you are advised against it before hopping on the phone with Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, the singer-songwriters who were — all due respect to Queen Stevie Nicks and the founding rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie — the primary architects of the classic Mac sound. ...

    Handout photos of Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, who will play as a duo at Ruth Eckerd Hall on 11/9/17. Credit:  John Russo
  8. This week's best Tampa concerts: Fall Out Boy, Last Damn Show, Beats by the Bay, more

    Music & Concerts


    We should be a month into the lifespan of Fall Out Boy's new (and weirdly typset) album M A N I A. Instead, the LP was delayed until January as the band slaves over every little note. "We're done tracking, we're in mixing," bassist Pete Wentz said in a phone interview. "It's probably the time where everyone's the most critical, like, 'This should be louder,' 'This should be quieter.' I'm just happy that we found the finish line." While Sunday's concert in Tampa might not feature as much new music as originally intended, Fall Out Boy can still shake an arena with a hit like Dance, Dance, Thnks fr th Mmrs or This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race, even as their music has gone to some much stranger places (see: sampling the Munsters theme on Uma Thurman, quoting Britney Spears on Young and Menace). And they'll probably play at least one new, unreleased song called Expensive Mistakes. "I feel like rewarding people's patience for sticking around is good to do," Wentz said. Blackbear and Jaden Smith (yes, Will Smith's kid) open at 7 p.m. Sunday at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $30.50 and up. (813) 301-2500.

    Chance The Rapper performs at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Manchester, Tenn. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) TNRP103
  9. Review: Roger Daltrey gets loose, busts out Who rarities at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    Roger Daltrey ambled onstage wagging a fist full of lyric sheets in the air.

    “Look at this lot,” the Who’s lead singer said Monday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. “It should’ve been bloody Shakespeare. Lyrics. Why couldn’t we write simple songs, easy ones?”

    With a set like the one he played Monday, he probably wasn’t the only one who needed those sheets. Kicking off his first solo tour in three years, the 73-year-old singer dug deep into his and the Who’s catalog, dusting off several rarities for the first time in years, maybe ever....

    Roger Daltrey preformed at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Oct. 30, 2017.
  10. SoundBytes: They Might Be Giants, Hippie Sabotage, Sabaton and more


    -- Nerd-rock icons They Might Be Giants are coming to town on Jan. 27. Ticketmaster says they'll be at the State Theatre, and tickets go on sale Friday -- although the duo's own website somehow lists the address for the Ritz Ybor. Either way, clear your night for a night of fun, geeky goodness. Tickets are $26 and up. Click here....

  11. Before Moffitt fundraiser, 311's Nick Hexum talks medical marijuana and his mom's cancer scare

    Music & Concerts

    Nick Hexum will be the first to tell you: He's not 311's beer guy. That would be bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Willis.

    The group's second collaboration with Tampa's Rock Brothers Brewing, an imperial IPA dubbed Beautiful Disaster, "is P-Nut's baby," the singer said recently. "He designed everything. He came up with the idea, he put a little kumquat citrus in there. He was super involved in that. He's probably had as much fun working on the craft beer as I have working on the cannabis products."...

    Nick Hexum of 311 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MMRF)
  12. Kelsea Ballerini coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    It's a big week for Kelsea Ballerini, with a big-city media blitz leading up to Friday's release of her much-anticipated sophomore album Unapologetically.

    Now it's a big week for her fans in Tampa Bay, too.

    The Grammy-nominated singer will bring her spring tour to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on Feb. 16, with opening act Walker Hayes in tow. Tickets are $38.25, and they'll go on sale soon....

    Kelsea Ballerini
  13. SoundBytes: Bjork, Maren Morris, Lil Uzi Vert, H.E.R. and more


    -- Road trip to Miami? Bjork is coming to Miami for what's billed as her "first-ever Florida appearance" during this year's Art Basel. We know that's not exactly true -- she played in Tampa with the Sugarcubes back in the day. But as a solo act, yeah, maybe, this could be history in the making. Either way, her DJ gig on Dec. 5 at Mana Wynwood should still be a spectacle. Tickets are $75 and up. Click here....

  14. Amid fire code violations, the State Theatre struggles to keep shows

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf stood outside the State Theatre with a roll of $20 bills. More than 400 people had tickets to the rock show inside.

    The day before the concert, a St. Petersburg fire marshal inspector surveyed recent repairs and renovations. It was part of an ongoing attempt to rectify 30 fire code violations uncovered at the historic venue within the past year.

    The violations — outdated sprinkler and alarm systems, inadequate handrails and emergency lights, noncompliant doors and exit lights and a green room riddled with electrical and access issues — stretched back prior to a high-profile voter rally with Sen. Tim Kaine and Jon Bon Jovi just before the 2016 election. Many persisted as the venue hosted dozens more events throughout 2017....

    Recording artist Bon Jovi performs on stage with Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine playing the harmonica at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg in 2016. LUIS SANTANA  |   Times

  15. Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa


    Demi Lovato is scheduled to play six cities on this winter's iHeartMedia Jingle Ball tour, including shows immediately before and after Tampa's Jingle Ball on Dec. 16.

    Hmm, we thought when we heard that news. Wonder why Lovato's not part of Tampa's Jingle Ball?

    Now we know: Lovato is bringing her own headlining tour to Tampa next spring.

    The belt-it-out pop singer will perform at Amalie Arena on March 31, part of a 20-city North American tour just announced Thursday. Tickets start at $29.95 and go on sale Nov. 3....

    Demi Lovato