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Pop: hot ticket

By GINA VIVINETTO, Times Pop Music Critic

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2002

Married to their muse

Married to their muse

We here at Team Pop adore Mates of State, a San Francisco husband-and-wife duo that sings such brisk, gleeful harmonies, they make you want to join right in. A Mates of State gig is a lo-fi affair with just two folks playing a keyboard and percussion, but the music packs a lot of heart.

See the Mates tenderly gaze at each other as they sing. An indie-rock Captain and Tennille -- how cool!

The Mates appear at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Orpheum, 1902 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Tampa. $6. (813) 248-9500.

At 60, still searching

Not only is Bob Dylan responsible for some of pop music's masterpieces -- The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks and more -- the guy stays current.

Last year's perfect Love and Theft topped many critics' lists -- you bet I gave it my No. 1 spot -- and Dylan continues to be an exciting musicmaker. Artistically, he's still restless, filled with vigor, exploring and challenging himself. Equally as important, Dylan continues to provoke. (Mr. Mumbles' bizarre rendition of Masters of War at the Grammys a few years ago comes to mind.)

The 60-year-old Dylan is still searching and honoring his musical roots, all the while commenting on the contemporary world around him and, by that, still influencing everyone under the sun with his genius.

Bob Dylan performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Ice Palace, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $29.75-$41.25. (813) 223-1000.

Ratdog is ready to howl

Ratdog, as every Deadhead knows, began life in 1995 as a side project for Grateful Dead singer-guitarist Bob Weir. After Jerry Garcia's death later that year, Ratdog became Weir's primary music outlet.

The band is just as loose and jammy as the Dead, but with lots of harmonica, horns and a bluesier vibe. The big complaint from critics, of course, is Weir's kinda stinky voice. But, fans don't care. Weir still delivers guitar goods with diversity, everything from blues standards to trippy psychedelica. He's anchored down by Rob Wasserman's slippery bass and crisp, action-packed drums courtesy of Jay Lane.

The Dead may be gone, but Weir and fans want to make sure "the music never stops."

Ratdog performs at 8 p.m. Friday at Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $27.50 advance, $29.50 day of show. (727) 896-2276.- GINA VIVINETTO, Times pop music critic

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