Tag Archives: creative loafing

Creative Loafing‘s Beer Issue 2017: My contributions

Back on February 23, CL published our annual Beer Issue, which always comes out a week or two before Tampa Bay Beer Week (even though it seems like these days, every week is Tampa Bay Beer Week). I usually take point on the special issue content, with a whole lot of help from staffers and contributors, and this year was no exception. Somehow, as a result of a visit to Ybor City’s excellent Coppertail Brewing to accompany our Artistic Director Julio Ramos on a photo shoot, I ended up on the cover this year, as well.

Here’s what I wrote in addition to the special section’s intro, which is linked above:

Heat and brewmidity (about upcoming seasonal trends for summer)

Road soda (about out-of-the-way area breweries/tasting rooms)

Coppertail releases beer that yes, seriously, has stone crab in it

Offering further evidence that there’s nothing craft brewers won’t incorporate into a beer, Tampa’s own Coppertail Brewing marked Friday the 13th with the release of its Captain Jack’s Stone Crab Stout, an “unconventionally flavored” brew that pays tribute to both Florida’s annual stone crab harvesting season and the anglers that brave the slightly colder winter waves in search of those delicious crustacean claws.

And yeah, Captain Jack’s is literally made with stone crabs. For the past couple of years, Coppertail has hosted a mid-season stone crab dinner at its insanely cool Ybor City tasting room/event space. The crab claws come directly from that morning’s catch in Key West; some are eaten, some go home with staffers, friends and family, and 300 pounds go into the beer during the boil, adding “a savory salinity to this rich and roasty stout, kind of like adding salt to chocolate,” according to the label (and press release). This is the third year the stout has made a mid-winter appearance among Coppertail’s consistently tasty lineup.

Coppertail’s not the first brewery to act so shellfishly (sorry). Brewers have been adding flavors of the sea to their beers since time out of mind. But since Coppertail brewmaster Casey Hughes got his start brewing down in the Keys, this one’s a bit of a passion project for him, as well as a nod to his beermaking roots. What’s more, a portion of sales proceeds will be donated to the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association “to promote sustainable fishing, and to help preserve the way of life of Florida fishermen.”

Admit it: You’re curious. Better hurry, then, because Captain Jack’s is only available in limited qualities — some will be distributed, but stopping by the tasting room is probably your best bet.

Book review: Veteran musician Marty Jourard chronicles the birth of the Gainesville rock & roll scene

Most New Millennium punk fans know that Gainesville’s vibrant music scene produced beloved talent like Less Than Jake, Against Me! and Hot Water Music. And if you aren’t aware that Tom Petty learned his trade on the midland Florida college town’s stages and porches, you might not exactly be a walking encyclopedia of All Things Florida Rock. (In fact, your General Classic Rock Knowledge, Class A status might be in danger of revocation.)

But did you know that Don Felder and Bernie Leadon of The Eagles also came of musical age in Gainesville? Or that Stephen Stills spent part of his teen years playing in local bands there? Or that the Elvis Presley hit “Heartbreak Hotel” was conceived there? Or that Stan Bush — whose “The Touch” evolved from soundtracking the closing credits of an animated Transformers movie to becoming the inspiration for a scene in Boogie Nights and an ironic playlist staple — was once a fixture on the scene?

These are just a few of the interesting tidbits from a book about the Gainesville music community’s ‘60s and ‘70s origins that’s jammed with them. Released in April via University Press of Florida, Marty Jourard’s well-researched and insanely detailed Music Everywhere: The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town covers much more than the big names. Starting with rock’s primordial origins in pop, R&B and folk, and their influence on this single (and singular) locale, Jourard chronicles the factors and faces that came together to create a vital and energetic scene that probably couldn’t have arisen anywhere else, and whose influence is still felt globally.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Cross roads: An interview with comedian David Cross


Diehard comedy fans and mainstream entertainment consumers alike have seen plenty of David Cross in recent years.

In IFC’s out-there comedy The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Reunited with collaborators from cult-fave HBO sketch series Mr. Show with Bob and David for Netflix’s spiritually kindred new W/Bob and David. In small roles in big shows like Modern FamilyLaw & Order: Criminal Intent and Community. In the Alvin & The Chipmunks movies.

And, of course, as Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development.

One place we haven’t seen Cross in a while, however, is on tour, delivering the alternately absurd and cuttingly provocative stand-up that made him one of the late ’90s/early aughts alternative comedy scene’s most visible and polarizing figures. Those familiar with the more politically charged bits from timely, visceral live albums like Shut Up You Fucking Baby! and It’s Not Funnymight’ve been tempted to think there wasn’t enough wrong with Obama’s Generation of Hope to inspire the ire of a comic who once suggested George W. Bush might go down in history as America’s worst president ever. But the truth is much simpler — Cross has had his plate full handling the jobs mentioned above, and many more besides.

“I have not heard that perception, but if that is the perception that’s false,” said Cross during a phone conversation with CL. “First of all, I’m not a political comic, I never was … but I also have been doing stand-up, and plenty of it, during the Obama administration, I just haven’t gone on tour, because I’ve been busy, you know?

“I didn’t stop doing stand-up once a black Democrat got into office. That’s crazy.”

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Retro futuro: A Q&A with Intergalactic Nemesis creator Jason Neulander

Intergalactic Nemesis

It’s a comic! It’s a radio play! It’s an old-school adventure serial!

Actually, The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth is all of that and more. Originally conceived as an audio experience, this tale of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan’s adventures criss-crossing the planet and even traveling to outer space in order to stop the invasion of the Sludge Monsters from the planet Zygon (yep) is coming to Tampa as a unique hybrid entertainment: the story is performed onstage by voice actors accompanied by a pianist and foley artist creating music and sound effects live in the moment, all of it staged in front of giant, vibrant comic-book panel-style artwork that follows the plot.

The show stops at the Straz for one night only this Thursday, and promises a visual and aural spectacle unlike anything else hitting the stage this season. CL spoke via telephone with co-creator, co-writer and artistic director Jason Neulander about how the whole unlikely thing came together.

The Intergalactic Nemesis began as radio-style audio experience, right?
[Laughs] That’s a very fancy way of putting it. Yeah, it was originally done as a radio drama, recorded on a four-track recorder to cassette tapes 20 years ago this year.

How did you become interested in adventure serials?
I wasn’t a radio serial listener, but the idea of an adventure serial was straight-up in my wheelhouse when my buddy Ray [Colgan, co-writer] came to me with the idea of making a sci-fi radio play. I was 7 years old when Star Wars came out, and I was 11 or 12 when Raiders [of the Lost Ark] came out. But also with my dad, I have a very clear memory of being 9 or 10, watching Flash Gordon on Saturday mornings with him. I always loved the kind of mid-20th century … American sci-fi short stories. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, any number of those guys.

Just a couple of years prior, I had founded this little theater Salvage Vanguard Theatre in Austin, and that company’s mission was to produce new plays that were sort of redefining what theater could be. Our first couple of years were produced in a rock club here in town called Electric Lounge. So the idea of trying this new old medium in an environment that made no sense, [recording it] in a coffee shop in Austin, made perfect sense to me, so I jumped on it, and here we are.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing