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Swinging with Brian Setzer

By GINA VIVINETTO, Times Pop Music Critic

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 2000


Before it was hip, before the Gap ads and that Swingers flick, Setzer single-handedly resurrected the swing set. The former Stray Cat took his electric guitar, gathered up a big band and taught twentysomethings the name Louis Prima.

Saxes, trombones, trumpets -- Setzer offers up a raucous, sweaty good time for those with and without pompadours.

VERUCA SALT: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday , Tahiti Joe's, (formerly the Groove), 1327 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Tickets are $10 through Ticketmaster, $15 at the door.

Named for the bratty little girl who begged daddy for an Oompa Loompa of her own (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) Chicago's Veruca Salt has seen its share of turmoil in the past two years, with co-leader Nina Gordon ditching the band and best pal Louise Post.

Post continued on with the name, a new lineup (still two boys, two girls) and Resolver, the band's recent release, described as Post's "cathartic" album.

With cat-fight chronicles such as I Used to Know Her, sugar pop harmonies hinting of Cheap Trick -- another Chicago band -- and MTV-worthy fashions, it's surprising Veruca Salt isn't by now a household name.

UNION UNDERGROUND: 8 p.m. Saturday, State Theater, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 895-3045.Tickets are 98 cents.

This San Antonio band puts the "hard" back in hard rock with An Education in Rebellion, a debut full of menacing guitar, pummeling beats and lead singer Bryan Scott's yowl. The band says its influences are Motley Crue, Metallica and Guns N' Roses. Linkin Park and One Way Ride open the show.

BILL MILLER: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 at the door.

Miller is an American Indian singer who concentrates on folk, traditional Indian chanting and rock with a bit of an edge.

Pierce Pettis, a Southern singer from Alabama who focuses on politics and spirituality, opens the show with Texas folkie Eric Taylor.

DAVE HARDIN: 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Blue Coyote Cafe, 1219 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor. Admission is $3.

Local singer/songwriter Hardin kicks off his "Dog Day Tour" in support of his superb Nine Years Alone disc. This gig, a birthday celebration for Hardin, also features locals Dave Miller and the Rude Amigos.

ODIE, THE STARTS, THE UNREQUITED LOVES: 9 p.m. today, the Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave. (corner of Eighth and Republica de Cuba), Ybor City. (813) 248-9500. Admission is $4.

This Florida triple bill features Fort Lauderdale's Odie, a band that makes smart pop hinting of Radiohead and Weezer.

The Starts, from Miami, are U.K.-influenced, with a punky sound similar to the Clash and the Jam.

Formerly the Nailbiters, The Unrequited Loves features talented singer/songwriter Mike O'Neill, a staple of the Tampa Bay music scene and winner of best songwriter honors from Weekly Planet.

HARRY DASH: 6 to 7:30 p.m. today. Ice Palace courtyard, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free.

The talented punky pop band from Hudson, with a sound like Green Day meets the Beatles, has been invited by STAR 95.7 to perform outside the Ice Palace while folks gear up for the sold-out Macy Gray and Santana performance.

TEAM POP TRIVIA: The winner of last week's random drawing for the sweet Times T was Scott Brenimer of St. Petersburg. Brenimer knew that it was folk singer Woody Guthrie who had the slogan "This machine kills fascists" written across his guitar.

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: To get your name in the drawing for the much-coveted, all-cotton Times T-shirt, answer this: Birthday boy Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, was recently deported from Israel for allegedly donating money to a militant Islamic group.

What band had its version of Stevens' Peace Train removed from future copies of an album it recorded in 1987 to protest Stevens' support of the Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence for author Salman Rushdie?

Fax entries to Team Pop Trivia, (727) 892-2327, send e-mail to gina@sptimes.com or send your entry in an envelope as our ancestors used to: Team Pop Trivia, c/o Weekend, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33713. All mailed entries must be postmarked by Saturday (the day after we ask the question). Faxes and e-mail can come as late as Monday morning. Please include your full name and phone number.

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA: 8 p.m. Saturday, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $29.75 and $35.

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