St. Pete beckons music fans a week after III Points in Miami for Don't Stop St. Petersburg, a one-day music and arts festival 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at various St. Pete venues, featuring excellent Memphis punk band Ex-Cult, who released their sophomore record Midnight Passenger to positive reviews in April, and Beach Fossils, the Brooklyn-based Captured Tracks indie-pop darlings, atop a well-rounded lineup of great Florida acts. (RSVP!)
There's lots to explore in the full lineup, but here are three St. Pete-based bands we've been digging on lately:
Anyone who blasted around Backbooth during Eyehategod's recent show will likely remember the fried and frazzled mane of one of opener Set and Setting's drummers (they've got two, and, yes, it's necessary and great) as strongly as they can recall the pretty evolution the post-rock band made on this year's A Vivid Memory. It's a concept album that runs the listener through the emotions of death - both the act of dying and the impact that has on those left behind. It's a strong testament to the band's creative drive, following up the incredibly strong Equanimity with an emotional, aural interpretation of heavy stuff using a light touch, that's especially successful on the title track, which concludes the album on a lovely note - a rare instrumental track that contains a solid message - and gets us excited for the rising St. Pete band's next release.
We caught Jensen Serf Company last when the band opened for Ty Segall at that sweaty, unbelievably fun show at Skatepark of Tampa and racked our brains trying to remember the last time we saw them in Orlando. While noise is a present element of their set, their catchy melodies stuck solidly, and they were the exact right fit to get the crowd going that night. We expect them to do the same at Don't Stop, and if you find yourself humming "Varial Speed" long after their set ends, consider snagging their recently released Triple Freaks a Beach before heading back to town.
If you were at Backbooth for the mighty return of Floor, then you probably found yourself in a slow rock, your head's full weight catching up to you as your neck fails and chin drops in a thrusty sway along with the opener, St. Pete's Cosm. For anyone who fell in love with Maria Sjöholm in the late '90s, prepare to swoon over Cosm vocalist Jacqlyn Titus' distinct sound in that male-dominated metal vocal swell. Listen to the heavy sludge of their 2014 release, Primengender: