St. Petersburg Times: Weekend

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Pop: hot ticket

By GINA VIVINETTO, Times Pop Music Critic
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 22, 2002

Cool titles

Dishwalla did that nice pop song Counting Blue Cars in 1996, the one whose singer wanted to know "all your thoughts on God." The Santa Barbara, Calif., act gets lumped into the category of blase, benign pop with your Tonic and Matchbox 20 types.

But, come on, give these guys a chance. They have cool song titles: Charlie Brown's Parents and Miss Emma Peel, an ode to everyone's favorite Avenger. What's more, they appear on tribute albums for both The Carpenters and Depeche Mode. Really, how many bands can say that?

Dishwalla performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jannus Landing, on Second Street between Central Avenue and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. $12.50 advance, $15 day of show. (727) 896-2276.

Punk politics

The Weakerthans' music is three-chord punk, slower than you might think, with Sampson's clear-eyed commentary on society. The guy is known for his lyrics, all political, poetic at times, and passionate. Fans are loyal, and why not? It's hard to find a band with such focus and conviction that's not mired in cynicism.

The Weakerthans perform with Christiansen, Unsung Zeroes and Greg MacPherson at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $8. (727) 895-3045.

Good player; good guy

Smooth jazz and New Age favorite Craig Chaquico brings his tasty guitar licks to our neck of the woods. A prodigy, Chaquico began performing with Jefferson Starship when he was 16, helping to write the hits Find Your way Back and Layin' It On The Line.

Chaquico, 47, went on to develop his own deeply spiritual sound on electric and acoustic guitar, blending African rhythms and American Indian instruments. Chaquico isn't just a globally conscious musician; he's also a heck of a nice guy. Renowned for his commitment to charity, Chaquico performs a free concert at a hospital every week and encourages his musician pals to do the same.

Craig Chaquico performs in An Intimate Evening Of Jazz at 8 p.m. Friday in the Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $60. (727) 894-1000.

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