Canadian pop-rock troupers the Barenaked Ladies play ringmasters to a freewheeling circus of brainy pop, brawny blues, and carefree jams as the Last Summer on Earth tour lights up arenas and amphitheaters across the continent. On stage, they maintain their 20-year reputation as an engaging live act with audience interaction, hook-laced lyrical patter, bookworm wit, and mastery of the tone sequences that steered '90s hits such as “One Week” and “If I Had a Million Dollars” into perpetual ubiquity.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms Crowbar into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi-Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios. Crowbar invites Groupon holders backstage after the show to meet the band, discuss musical influences, and take notes on how to hit the elusive high Z note.
Though entertainment fads come and go, movie theaters remain, tempting audiences with fantastical stories new and old. The film buffs behind the Tampa Pitcher Show understand this craving for narrative connection, filling their movie hall and bar space’s calendar with first-run films, alternative events, and live music that helped them take home the prize for Best Kept Secret in Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay 2011 Reader’s Poll. Within the theater, projectors hum to life with current hits and cult classics every night; weekends welcome special happenings that include Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow-casts, art bazaars, and comedy shows. The Take 2 Lounge dispenses a sprawling menu of bar fare, including burgers, pizzas, and beers such as Magic Hat #9, Southern Tier, and Florida Avenue Ale flowing from 13 tap lines.
MPC Models works to attract, manage, and prepare potential talent for the modeling world. A staff of knowledgeable photographers sets up in-studio photo-sessions for new models so that they might gain first-hand studio experience and develop signature styles and looks, aided by the support of make-up artists and wardrobe stylists. The shutterbugs also snap headshots, providing those in the corporate, realty, or acting world with relatable portraits to send to clients and agents, or to tape to their faces in the event of a bad hair day. Outside of its modeling forte, the studio also captures shots of families and pets during more low-key photo shoots.
At Sam's Hudson Beach Bar & Restaurant, grill masters serve up a menu of fresh seafood and tasty burgers among tropical adornments and breathtaking sunsets. Starters compose a palatable prelude to beachside meals, with fried green tomatoes ($5.95) basking in the tangy splendor of their unripe youth and plates of lightly breaded gator ($8.95) gripping hunger pangs in their jaws and dragging them into a pool of dipping sauces. Entrees of beer-battered fish and chips tastefully combine libations and edibles ($10.95), and a marinated Island Grilled Chicken Sammy ($8.95) enraptures taste buds with a tropical garnish of pineapple, slaw, black beans, and rice. Meanwhile, beefy fare takes the form of the Paradise burger ($7.95), in which a half-pound of Angus stacks atop garden fixings to fill mouths and create ketchup mustaches.