June 30, 2010

TBT: La Roux moves show to The RITZ Ybor

La Roux concert moved from Czar to the Ritz Ybor

We saw this happen with another hot young electronic pop act, when Owl City moved from the State Theatre to The RITZ Ybor in February. And that show still sold out.

So maybe it's a sign of this show's impending popularity that it's been moved to The RITZ as well.

The too-cool-for-Tampa La Roux concert scheduled for Aug. 3 at Czar has been moved to The RITZ Ybor. That's a sizeable bump in capacity, so we're getting the sense demand for this show has been, and will continue to be, strong.

On the one hand, it's kind of a shame Ybor's most hipster-heavy dance club won't get to host this show, as it would be a great fit for the Pulp the Party crowd, and we were looking forward to a night where all the patrons were wearing chunky white sunglasses inside a dark nightclub. On the other, The RITZ Ybor is a boffo venue, so it's still gonna be a fun show.

Tickets are still $16-$18.

--Jay Cridlin, tbt*.

Tampa Tribune: Canadians bring new wave pop to Ybor


Canadians bring new wave pop to Ybor
by Curtis Ross

Television producers whose shows have story lines involving young bands, please call Tokyo Police Club. They want to work with you.

The Canadian quartet has experience, too. It appeared in an episode of "Desperate Housewives," thanks to a friend who works on the show.

In the episode, the husbands of the main characters form a band. The story called for them "to be shamed by some younger, energetic, hip band," said TPC keyboardist Graham Wright.

The band's friend talked them up constantly, Wright said, so the producers gave TPC a call. "We got the call and flew to L.A.," Wright said by telephone while traveling to a tour stop in Baltimore.

"It was ridiculous," Wright said with a laugh. "We were treated like actors, sort of like we were the talent. We had stand-ins. For two hours someone would stand behind my keyboards while they got the lighting right while I ate brownies at catering.

"We want to do more of that. Please call us."

Wright and his band mates -- drummer Greg Alsop, guitarist Josh Hook and bassist-vocalist David Monks -- likely will be a bit more high-profile this year, TV appearances or not. Their second full-length album, "Champ," was released Tuesday. It was produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith).

"He's a fantastic producer. I can see why he's had so much success," Wright said. "He's a nice guy, although he has a very dry sense of humor that can be mistaken for him hating you." The band brought Schnapf in to help shape and focus their songs.

"Rob was definitely hands-on because we asked him to be," Wright said. "For this record we wanted input, a fresh pair of ears. Do we need a second chorus instead of a bridge? Should we swap this around? He has a wealth of experience at bringing the song out in a way people can understand."

The band's new wave-influenced pop was first formulated in a basement and then through near-constant touring.

"When we wrote (2006 debut EP) 'A Lesson in Crime,' we were hanging out in the basement with no intention of making a record. It was free, anything went. No rules," Wright said.

The EP gained a buzz on the Internet, which brought the band several festival dates and an opening stint for Weezer. Somewhere in the midst of it all, the band wrote and recorded its full-length debut, 2008's "Elephant Shell."

"We were in a weird place of trying to capitalize on the EP but having to make a new record," Wright said. "We were trying to write songs between tours. It was just insanely rushed. I barely remember writing those songs."

The band took much of 2009 off to write and work on "Champ."

"We said, 'We'll be in a room in Toronto. We'll let you know when we're ready,'" Wright said.

"In terms of how we felt, it was more like 'Life of Crime.' We could do anything we want," Wright said. "We decided, 'We're just gonna do what we want and worry about it sounding like us later.'"

Tokyo Police Club
WITH: Passion Pit
WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday
WHERE: The Ritz Ybor, 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa; (813) 247-2518
COST: $20 advance, $25 day of show

Music writer Curtis Ross can be reached at (813) 259-7568.

June 19, 2010

The RITZ Ybor Battle of the Bands 2010: Quest for the ULTIMATE Opening Act

Does your band have what it takes to win the GRAND CASH PRIZE & the opportunity to open for a national major touring act at The RITZ Ybor?


Every Thursday in July, audiences will cheer and vote for their favorite band at The RITZ Ybor.

Semi-Finals Round
Night 1: Thursday, July 1, 2010
Night 2: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Night 3: Thursday, July 15, 2010
Night 4: Thursday, July 22, 2010
Night 5: Thursday, July 29, 2010

E-mail bands@theritzybor.com for more information.


January 6, 2010

The Top 10 Tampa Music Stories of 2009 — No. 3: The rise of The RITZ Ybor

You could say the The RITZ Ybor got lucky when it booked Lady Gaga right before Poker Face blew up. You could say they got lucky due to the implosion of its biggest rival for concerts, Jannus Landing.

But you can’t say The RITZ has squandered its opportunity to dominate the local concert scene. Starting with concerts last fall by Underoath and Of Montreal, and continuing as it hosted the Maxim Party during this year’s Super Bowl, The Ritz has made believers out of Tampa music fans.

Packed shows included Ben Folds, Brand New, Tiesto, the Psychedelic Furs,Third Eye Blind, Taking Back Sunday, Gwar, Pitbull, the Hold Steady and, um, Air Supply, plus many more. Larger than St. Petersburg’s State Theatre, it’s clearly become the most attractive mid-major concert venue in Tampa Bay, and it sits in the heart of Tampa’s entertainment district.

And with shows by Owl City, Gov’t Mule and (Dweezil) Zappa Plays Zappa planned for 2010, The RITZ is showing no signs of slowing down.

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo by Luis Santana, tbt*.