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Photo of the Day

Top 5 soundtracks from film

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Inspired by “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which has received several nods from critics for its strong soundtrack, is a list of five films with the most memorable soundtracks, in no particular order.

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ld

Coen brothers take a trip to the past with ‘Llewyn Davis’

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Before we see any image from Joel and Ethan Coen’s newest film, a title card reads: “Gaslight Café, 1961.”  

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Misc.

  • Halloween marathon must-sees

     

    Halloween is Thursday, and as expected, the decision has arrived as to what film will get one in the proper mood for candy munching long into the witching hours as jack-o’-lanterns flicker. 

    Here is a list of films that will guarantee a good night in. 

  • Musical weekend entertainment

    The Oracle has compiled a list of local musicians who are playing at various locations through the city this weekend.

  • agents-of-shield.jpg

    The Oracle’s guide to new fall TV lineup

    After a summer of repeats, fall TV is finally approaching.  

    Starting next week, TV viewers should prepare themselves for a season of brand new TV, as more than 55 new TV shows are hitting the air.  

    Though fall TV is usually an exciting time to tune in and
    continue with already beloved sagas, there are a few shows that stand out above the rest this season. 

    The Oracle has weeded through the vast options and has selected shows that are sure to entertain and have staying power through the years.

  • shows

    Audiences turn to dark side for entertainment

    In the ’50s, families would gather around the television and root for the good guys in TV shows, such as “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke.” In those shows, the good guys were clearly distinguished by white hats, while black hats made the bad guys easier to spot.

  • Jamie Kennedy balances film, stand-up comedy

    Since funnyman Jamie Kennedy hit the silver screen with his role as horror film expert Randy Meeks in the 1996 film “Scream,” he has set out to make a brand for himself.

  • USF Theatre Honors adresses gun control with comedy

     

    A new play from the USF Theatre Honors program, “Reload,” attempts to tackle the serious issue of gun control in a humorous, interactive way. 

  • Concerts to catch this summer

    The lull between the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall classes may lead to many summer days that should be filled with
    entertainment. Opportunities to fill the downtime with musical performances in the Tampa Bay area are vast. From pop to hip-hop and rock, there is something for everyone in these concerts.

  • Big Bird

    Election mockery fuels comedy

    Every four years, the writers of politically charged comedy shows such as Saturday Night Live (SNL), The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are blessed with manna from heaven: the presidential election.

  • The Oracle's Picks: Fall TV you can't miss

    With Labor Day over and classes in full swing, the fall television season is set to kick off. The Oracle recommends the following can’t-miss premieres of the season.

  • Offbeat filmmakers selling mainstream products in recent commercials

    Filmmakers lending their cinematic sensibilities to ad campaigns are nothing new. “Alien” and “Black Hawk Down” director Ridley Scott created a frenzy with his “1984” ad for Apple Computers, which aired just after halftime of Super Bowl XVIII on Jan. 22, 1984.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Adam Green and Joe Lynch bring horror and heart to 'Holliston'

    Directors Adam Green and Joe Lynch would typically be found behind the camera on films like the “Hatchet” series and “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.”

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Don Hertzfeldt discusses a career creating animated shorts

    Best known for his Oscar-nominated animated short “Rejected,” Don Hertzfeldt is considered one of the most influential animators of the past decade.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Director Edgar Wright talks of doing the Wright thing

    “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” director Edgar Wright will be making his second trip in his lifetime to Florida to host “Two Nights Done Wright with Edgar Wright” this weekend at Florida State University.

  • 'Downtown Abbey' makes teatime look cool on the Internet

    A quintessential tea and crumpets British period drama airing on PBS doesn't exactly scream must-see TV to American audiences, but "Downton Abbey" has taken the nation by storm, now drawing in an average of 4 million viewers a week here in the U.S.

  • Filling you in on “Downton Abbey”

    Originally set to be a one-off mini series, "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes thought the show had more life to it than a shortened run on Britain's ITV network and decided to add two more seasons after its rousing season one success.

Movies

  • wesanderson

    Wes Anderson strikes again with hysterical eighth effort

     

    Set in the fictitious alpine country of “Zubrowka,” Wes Anderson’s eighth film tells the story of Gustave, the concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel, and his trusted friend Zero, the hotel’s lobby boy, as they navigate their way through adventures between World War I and World War II. 

  • And the Oscar should go to...

      Best Motion Picture Nominees: “12 Years a Slave” “The Wolf of Wall Street” “Captain Phillips” “Her” “American Hustle” “Gravity” “Dallas Buyers Club” “Nebraska” “Philomena” What should win: “12 Years a Slave” There was one movie this year that embodied every element that goes into making an Oscar-worthy flick — “12 Years a Slave.

  • LD

    'Labor Day' portrays creepy love story

    With a sappy romance drama so close to Valentine’s Day, there is an obvious effort with “Labor Day” to appeal to women everywhere.

  • ‘Ride Along’ leads to dead end

    Last month, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart joined late show host Conan O’Brien on a remote that took them around Los Angeles in Lyft, a popular West coast car service easily recognizable from the pink moustaches its employees must have on the front of their cars. 

  • sh1

    ‘Jack Ryan’ fails without Clancy

     

    Perhaps one of the very few reassurances about “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” is that the creator of the beloved CIA spy, Tom Clancy, is not alive to witness the atrocious, unnecessary reboot. 

  • cc

    Real-life war flick hits big screen

     

    Based on the book by Marcus Luttrell, “Lone Survivor,” written and directed by Peter Berg, tells the true story of the soldiers of Operation Red Wings. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster as four Navy SEALs on a mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan until it becomes compromised. Alone in dangerous territory and heavily outnumbered, the team struggles to fight its way out of trouble and back to base. 

  • her

    ‘Her’ captivates audiences without being on screen

     

    Spike Jonze is one of those directors that doesn’t seem intimidated by a strange idea. 

  • Top 5 soundtracks from film

     

    Inspired by “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which has received several nods from critics for its strong soundtrack, is a list of five films with the most memorable soundtracks, in no particular order.

  • ld

    Coen brothers take a trip to the past with ‘Llewyn Davis’

     

    Before we see any image from Joel and Ethan Coen’s newest film, a title card reads: “Gaslight Café, 1961.”  

  • wolf

    Must see movies from winter break

      “The Wolf of Wall Street” “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a non-stop series of laughs documenting the rise of an unemployed stockbroker, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. As he quickly becomes head of one of the most successful companies on Wall Street, his greed becomes his downfall as the story tells his struggle with the law and drug addiction.

  • Editor’s year-end entertainment picks

    Editors pick their top films and albums of 2013. 

  • hg

    ‘Catching Fire’ ignites franchise to darker dimensions

     

    If one were to take “Ben-Hur” (1959), add a little “Planet of the Apes” (1968), some “Star Wars” and a dash of Spielberg from the ’70s to “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the end result would be “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” the second installment of the billion-dollar franchise that far exceeds the first and is willing to dig more into its characters, and of course, its special effects. 

  • thor

    'Thor' fails to live up to predecessor

     

    “Thor: The Dark World” is a film more concerned with getting to its next installment than dealing with the here and now.  

  • slave

    '12 Years a Slave' moves audience

    A large group of black men in tattered cotton tunics stood with sweat dripping off them in rivulets, dreading looks on their faces. A white man speaks off camera, explaining how to cut sugarcane to his liking. 

  • ridly

    ‘The Counselor:’ The thriller that forgets to thrill

     

    Halfway into watching “The Counselor,” a man with a gruff voice behind me in the audience proclaimed, “What the hell is this?” 

    Perhaps this nameless voice uttered some sort of truth about a film more concerned about the moral complexities of human existence from its characters, than having its audience engrossed with a plot about a drug deal gone terribly wrong. 

  • r

    ‘Captain Phillips’ marries action, human connection in real-life drama

     

    Based on the true events of Captain Richard Phillips and his hijacked ship in 2009, Tom Hanks plays the task master captain, a man who deep down is consumed with love toward his family despite stringent demeanor toward his crew that is a façade to garner respect for his men on board the Maersk Alabama, a large cargo ship carrying supplies and food for developing countries across the tip of Africa. 

  • ‘Gravity’ is Bullock’s one-woman show

    There are moments in cinema that transcend the confines of the screen; they soon become moments in our social discourse that will be spoken about for years. 

  • jgl

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt stuns in directorial debut

    Imagine having to fight the urge to go and start browsing a porn site. 

    Imagine the incessant nagging in your brain and pants that drive you to consume porn in class, in a public stall or while riding public transportation. 

    What lengths would you go to justify your actions? How deeply would this harassing feeling affect your sexual and platonic relationships with those around you? 

    Writer, director and lead actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, tackles these questions surrounding porn addiction in his new film, “Don Jon.” 

  • rush

    Formula One rivals drive Howard’s ability as director

    “Rush” digs deep into the psyche of men who are willing to endanger their lives for the price of glory.  

  • jakegyllenhal

    Jackman turns to dark side in crime-thriller

     

    Child abductions have been an all too common occurrence in these times. Violence against the innocent conjures up our inner desire for revenge toward the predators and kidnappers who commit these crimes, which is what makes “Prisoners” such an engrossing, and often times arduous, film to watch. 

  • indisi

    Insidious: Chapter 2 scares off fear from first chapter

    Director James Wan has had a very good year. 

  • Where’s Johnny?

    Jack Nicholson retirement rumors circle

    The Oracle editors have compiled a list of their favorite Nicholson flicks as a tribute to the great actor. 

  • blujabney

    'Blue Jasmine' offers witty, acerbic portrayal of reality, past and present

    In a dynamic and gut wrenching performance, Cate Blanchett plays Jasmine, a wealthy New Yorker whose marriage, and the luxurious life she has known, is taken away by a domino effect of shoddy business transactions from her polo-wearing, dyed hair husband Hal played with extra sleaze by Alec Baldwin. 

  • worldend

    'World's End' a genre-busting mashup that tops Cornetto Trilogy

    Wright’s devotion for cinema’s past, while forging a new identity as a distinct and original voice, became evident upon seeing "World's End." 

  • 'World War Z' brings new life to zombie genre

    The long-anticipated release of Marc Forster’s $200 million mega-blockbuster has turned many heads. 

  • ‘This is the End’ commits plot armageddon

    Screenwriters everywhere can rejoice in the vindication they may receive by watching “This is the End.”  The film is proof that movies need more than star power to survive.  Though the film is full of celebrities playing hilarious, exaggerated versions of themselves, the delivery is so atrocious that even a cameo by Jesus Christ could not save the apocalyptic comedy’s plot.

  • Superman’s ‘Steel’ appeal flies low in film

    There’s something about Superman. 

    His story seems to never be told properly.

  • Box Office’s best earn poor reviews: The Purge

     

    As scenes of terribly violent and hateful acts are shown on security camera footage set to classical music, “The Purge” begins by informing audiences about the meaning behind its title.

  • Box Office’s best earn poor reviews: Fast and Furious 6

     

    If it were not for the incessant, $100 million marketing campaign that its producers exploited, “Fast and Furious 6” may have been nicknamed “Trite and Repetitive 6: The Quest for Carnage.”

  • Fun in the Tampa sun

     

    During the fall and spring semesters, it can be easy for students to get trapped in a routine of classes, projects, homework and studying. However, during the summer the mood on campus tends to be more relaxed, and students get an opportunity to step away from the normal routine and explore what Tampa has to offer off campus.

  • ‘Gatsby’ soundtrack surpasses movie

     

    Though Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel remains up for debate, the soundtrack produced by Jay-Z is topping charts. 

  • ‘Great Gatsby’ film less than great

     

    Anyone who has seen any of Baz Luhrmann’s previous films knows he tells his stories with an extravagant, theatrical style. “The Great Gatsby” is no exception. This fact alone is why Luhrmann is the perfect directorial fit for this elaborate, idealistic love story full of decadence and excess.

  • 'Incredible Burt Wonderstone' fails to cast spell

     

    “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” is not very incredible, but thanks to ample comedic talent, it’s nicely executed. 

  • 'Safe Haven' makes Sparks fizzle

    The first thought that came to mind walking out of the theater was, “Oh my God, I just paid $10 to watch a Lifetime movie.”

  • ‘Zero Dark Thirty” worthy of Best Picture

    When I saw the previews for “Zero Dark Thirty” this holiday season, I admittedly wrote it off as another military style action movie that was more bullets than brains. In hindsight, I was way off of the mark. If anything can be said of Kathryn Bigelow’s second opus, it’s that you will leave the movie 

  • Golden Globe Awards pave way for Oscar season

      The Golden Globes are often seen as the ceremony to whet the public’s appetite for the Oscars. The 70th ceremony on Sunday night had many of the predictable winners. Best Supporting Actor in Motion Picture: Christopher Waltz, “Django Unch

  • Books to movies: the latest flicks

    Movie releases this season are full of the familiar book-to-movie titles, and this winter’s picks offer moviegoers a wide variety of films to choose from. The Oracle looks at a few recent and upcoming releases.

  • ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2’: A not-so-shocking conclusion

    One of the most important things to remember when going to see a “Twilight” movie is that it will neither be breathtaking, or completely terrible.

  • scene

    ‘Lincoln’ offers more than history lesson

    Set during the fragile time of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, dynamically played by Daniel Day-Lewis, is elected by the people for a second term even as the Civil War rages on.

  • Charming film has ‘Silver Linings’

    “Silver Linings Playbook” has an optimistic feel to it as audiences watch how an unlikely friendship can help characters grow.

  • Pitch perfect adds musical talent to comedy

    Pitch Perfect, the new film about an all-female a cappella group trying to hit the big time, is easygoing and filled with fun musical moments that make it sophisticated rather than cheesy.

  • ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ represents Anderson at his finest

    Wes Anderson, director of idiosyncratic films such as “Rushmore” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” has created what is perhaps the best film of his career.

  • 'Ted' brings predictable humor, unexpected tender moments

    Led by overwhelmingly negative reviews for Adam Sandler's “That's My Boy,” which received a 23 percent “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, fans looking for laughs have been disappointed. Fortunately for those fans, “Ted” finishes closer to the laughs of “21 Jump Street” than the disappointment of “That's My Boy.”

  • Despite scattered script, ‘Prometheus’ proves visually stunning

    Ridley Scott, director of groundbreaking films such as “Bladerunner” and “Alien” completely missed the mark with the release of his latest film.

  • ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ is edgy but fragmented

    Commercial director Rupert Sanders’ big-screen directorial debut is a surreal rehashing of the Grimm Brothers’ classic tale, with its eerie imagery,expert character development, and underlying feminism. “Snow White and the Huntsman” frightens and hypnotizes its audience with stunning cinematography but gets pulled down by the weight of fragmentation between scenes.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ is a charming but overlong romantic comedy 

    Only a year ago, producer Judd Apatow and fellow comedian Kristen Wiig turned a remarkable ensemble cast and crew into the hilarious “Bridesmaids,” setting a standard for many of the raunchy comedies to come afterward.

  • Foreign favorites of the Sarasota Film Festival

    Sunday marked the end of the 14th annual Sarasota Film Festival, which brought several countries together in cinematic competition. Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s “Elena” and Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos’ “Alps” both took home awards. In a short but memorable visit to the Sarasota Film Festival, Scene and Heard takes a look at two of the festival’s foreign films.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Ti West talks ‘The Innkeepers,’ the supernatural and leaving horror

    It’s not often that horror films are widely acclaimed by critics. They’re often dismissed as disposable works with characters produced solely for dying violently, but director Ti West has proven an exception to that rule.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    ‘The Raid: Redemption’ offers brawny action thrills from abroad

    It’s hard to recall the last time a great action film was released stateside to both critical acclaim and commercial success. While “The Raid: Redemption” hasn’t exactly received the sort of box office bounty of a “Die Hard” film, it did well enough to expand from limited release and earn critical accolades.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/DIYAH PERA

    ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ stands with the very horror movies it subverts

    “The Cabin in the Woods” is a film that isn’t fearful of turning the many tropes of horror films on their heads, all while joining in on the ghoulish fun.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    ‘God Bless America’ is a flawed but interesting black comedy

    Once one of the most popular stand-up comedians of the ’80s, Bobcat Goldthwait in his later years has become a promising filmmaker, making comedies out of controversial topics.

  • Putting to rest the anxieties and superstitions accompanying Friday the 13th

    While students may be starting this week off with high hopes for the upcoming weekend, some may be a little anxious to make it Friday. In 2012, we don’t just have one, but three days where Friday falls on the 13th.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Steven Spielberg applies his classic storytelling skills to the middling “War Horse”

    First a popular young adult novel before being turned into an imaginative stage play by British playwright Nick Stafford, the film “War Horse” proves to be a visually splendid but dry adaptation.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Criterion Corner: ‘David Lean Directs Noel Coward’

    One of cinema’s greatest pairings, British playwright Noel Coward and “Lawrence of Arabia” filmmaker David Lean, forged a partnership to create several films that would provide high-brow entertainment for the masses.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/MURRAY CLOSE

    ‘The Hunger Games’ hits the mark and lives up to the hype

    America’s stomach has been growling for a film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ young adult publishing phenomenon “The Hunger Games,” and the well-crafted film incarnation is sure to satisfy

  • Catching up with cinematic comedies

    Last week saw the opening of several notable comedies — cop comedy “21 Jump Street,” telenovella parody “Casa de mi Padre,” and existential comedy “Jeff, Who Lives at Home.”

  • New Releases & Criterion Corner

    While each Tuesday typically brings a flurry of new releases to DVD and Blu-ray, this week and last week have been particularly outstanding in terms of quality.

  • Jason Segel and Mark Duplass discuss ‘Who Lives at Home’

    For Jason Segel, 2011 was a busy year spent co-writing and starring in “The Muppets,” appearing in the raunchy comedy “Bad Teacher,” and reprising his role as Marshall in “How I Met Your Mother.”

  • ‘John Carter’ finds himself on Mars but makes it hard to care

    John Carter, the hero of the classic pulp novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, has finally made the leap from page to screen nearly a century since his first trip to Mars was published. Sadly, the results are just as stale and yellowed as the pages of a first edition copy would be.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/FRANK CONNOR

    Andrew Stanton and Taylor Kitsch travel to Mars with ‘John Carter’

    When choosing a director to take on a big-budget, sci-fi adventure film based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' story "A Princess of Mars," one might imagine Disney would've looked to  James Cameron or even Michael Bay.

  • ‘A Separation’ brings all the elements together for an amazing film

    Though "A Separation" has just reached the Tampa Bay area, riding off its recent Oscar win for Best Foreign Language Film, any moviegoers catching it now will be seeing, arguably, the best film of last year.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    'Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie' heads too far into the absurd to garner laughs

    There's a recent trend in comedic features that pits impish, directionless adult men against major obstacles in their lives, with the film requiring these individuals to reform their ways all within the span of 90 minutes.

  • The winners and missed opportunities of the 84th annual Academy Awards

    The night of the Academy Awards is typically one to celebrate glitz, glamour and all things cinema.

  • 'Wanderlust' is an enjoyable comedic diversion

    Writer-director David Wain's latest film "Wanderlust" offers his typical blend of oddball humor and borderline antagonizing comedic antics in a film that pokes and prods its audience's funny bone in mostly the right ways.

  • How we’ve scene it: ‘Cain’ vs. ‘Cain’

     

    Production difficulties and clashes with film studios are not a rare event on Hollywood productions — "Scarface" director Brian De Palma can certainly attest to that.

Nightlife

Music

  • foster

    Foster the People bring more of the same with ‘Supermodel’

    Indie band Foster the People may find it hard to top the success of its first single, but today’s release of the band’s sophomore album, “Supermodel,” offers 12 tracks that sound like an expansion of the band’s established sound.   

  • Artist in the office: James Rustad

     

    Amid the studious atmosphere of USF with students receiving an education to help achieve their dreams, there are professors that chase their dreams as well.

  • IMG_7504.JPG

    Macklemore. Ryan Lewis bring sincere, intimate party to Sun Dome

     

    Inspiring independent artists everywhere, Macklemore proved Saturday night that one does not need the help of a label to put on an amazing performance.

  • ‘The Marshall Mathers LP 2’: An unfulfilling sequel

     

    After a three-year hiatus, Eminem returns to the music scene with a bang in a sequel that has been 13 years in the making — “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” which hit stores Nov. 5.

  • Kendall Schmidt: From Nickelodeon star to electronic-pop musician

    Since the end of the popular Nickelodeon TV show “Big Time Rush,” the front man of the teenage boy band with the same name, Kendall Schmidt, has been touring as a member of Heffron Drive with his friend Dustin Belt. 

  • mk

    Matt and Kim bring indie sound to Tampa

     

    Known by fans for their distinct music videos in which they tumble around in bed, get hit with food or run around Times Square naked, the electronic, indie-pop group Matt and Kim will be one of 10 bands to perform Saturday at the Coastline Festival.

  • mia

    ‘Matangi’ pales in comparison to earlier M.I.A.

     

    Whether or not one likes M.I.A.’s latest album, “Matangi,” is almost wholly dependent on whether or not one liked M.I.A. prior to the release of her fourth album, which is now streaming on YouTube and releases in stores Tuesday. 

  • /

    Surfer Blood to perform at new festival

    On the heels of the release of their sophomore album, “Pythons,” West Palm Beach natives of the band Surfer Blood are bringing their melodic, indie pop-rock sounds back home in November as one of 10 bands performing at the Coastline Festival. 

  • artic

    Arctic Monkeys try something new with ‘AM’

    The Arctic Monkeys’ strong fan base has given the band free reign to venture into any artistic territory it chooses. 

  • jurley

    Fall Out Boy ends tour at Sun Dome

    Fall Out Boy proved they have not fallen out of touch during their five-year hiatus as they performed the last leg of their “Save Rock and Roll Tour” to a sold-out crowd at the USF Sun Dome on Sunday night.

  • Kings of comeback or ‘Mechanical’ dull?

    Where exactly is rock ‘n’ roll going? 

    Maybe the question should be, what has rock ‘n’ roll done for me lately? 

    For some, these inquires may lead to epiphanies that alter a whole new way of thinking about the world, and their role in it. 

    When Kings of Leon, a band of brothers and their cousin, broke onto the scene with 2003’s “Youth and Young Manhood,” visions of the sacred rock ‘n’ roll torch that passed between generations was thought to have been passed on to these sons of a preacher man from the bucolic pastures of Tennessee. 

  • mgmt

    MGMT sacrifices accessibility for critical acclaim

    Compared with its 2007 release, “Oracular Spectacular,” Brooklyn-based band, MGMT has definitely traded in its dance vibe for a more foreboding, psychedelic feel. 

  • rise

    Rising above with ‘Long Forgotten Songs’

    With six full-length albums under its belt, numerous popular tracks and a diverse fan base, Rise Against has been a leader in the punk rock scene since 2000. 

  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros bring musical circus to Jannus Live

    Formed in 2007, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are trying to redifine the typical indie folk band by creating a traveling musical commune that consists of 11 singers and band members.

  • wkend

    ‘Kiss Land’ is The Weeknd’s epic love story

    In an interview with Complex Magazine in July, Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, said his long-awaited debut album “Kiss Land” was inspired by the horror themes of directors John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Ridley Scott.

  • London at Midnight: King Krule drops long awaited debut album, demonstrates instrumental, emotional

    Archy Marshall, aka King Krule, a 19-year-old with a thick south London accent, brings to life his own  version of inner-city London ambiance with down-tempo, jazz-influenced soundscapes and boom bap  hip-hop beats. 

  • Magna Carta… Holy Fail: Jay-Z’s new album crashes with advanced release

    Fans accustomed to rapper Jay-Z’s ego know exactly what to expect when picking up his new album. 

    He has become a mogul in the rap industry by touting how great he is in almost every song he creates. There is no exception in Tuesday’s release of “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” 

  • billy

    Billy Talent drummer discusses ‘punk rock summer camp’

    After creating a following in its home country of Canada over the last 20 years, Billy Talent will be joining the Vans Warped Tour and bringing its punk sound to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on July 26.

    Drummer Aaron Solowoniuk, took time out from the band’s current tour around Europe to speak with The Oracle about Billy Talent’s music, influences and the Warped Tour.

  • Tyler, the Creator, is growing up with his third album

    A couple of years ago an angry kid from L.A got together with a bunch of other angry kids from L.A. and recorded an album called “Goblin.” The kid made a lot of money and then proceeded to release “Bastard,” and the rest is history. 

  • Mysterious R&B duo pump out tepid debut

    Quiet and predominantly-Caucasian, Denmark might be the most unlikely place anyone would suspect to find a super-funktastic R&B group. But lo-and behold, with the help of the Internet, a two-person outfit made up of electronic producers Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal has been brought to the world’s attention upon the release of its debut album, “Woman.”

  • Artist in the Office: Marissa Smith

     

    There are those who are unflappably jovial almost all of the time. 

  • Folk band doesn’t disappoint with new EP

    Folk music is an oddly undefinable genre. But a new album from The Act of Estimating as Worthless released Tuesday may just fit the word perfectly.

  • Artist in the Office: Ken Apperson

    For the past few years, Ken Apperson and drummer Reno “Groovemaster” Flournoy have been working their way through the local Tampa restaurant and bar scene as the band Fifty Five South.  

  • Artists in the office: Everything is all right with Joshua Paul

     

    Wearing a faded, threadbare shirt rolled up at the elbow and a tentative smile, a wide-eyed young man meandered onto campus Tuesday morning. 

  • Vampire Weekend announces new album

     

    New York City natives Vampire Weekend has finally released the name and cover to their third full length album, “Modern Vampires of the City.” Fans who follow the band on Twitter received this message at 5 a.m. last week, “NYT Classifieds…” 

  • G. Love talks albums, guilty pleasures, hot sauce

     

    G. Love & Special Sauce, known for being the inventors of “hip-hop blues,” have created a loyal fan following with their raw and ever-changing sound that has lasted 20 years.

  • New Foxygen album blends psychedelic with cheekiness

    Jonathan Rado and Sam France, better known as the bedroom-glam/classic-rock/pop duo, Foxygen, have done it again with their second album fittingly titled, “We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.”

  • taylor

    The trouble with country music

    For country musicians, a CMA Award is the equivalent of an Academy Award— it represents a certain level of iconographic importance.

  • Album reviews of the week

    This week’s album releases showcase classic names with new sounds.

  • Luke Bryan serenades crowds on the farm

    Packed like sardines and dealing with elbow shoving and intermittent shrieks may not be an ideal atmosphere for listening to music, but for an intimate evening with one of country music’s brightest stars, anything goes.

  • ‘Babel’ release deserves Billboard spot

    London-based band Mumford & Sons saw its newest album, Babel, open at No. 1 on the Billboard charts this week.

  • Ensemble members bring style to Baroque classics

    A symphony of unique sounds and performance styles filled the USF Barness Recital Hall on Sunday night during a performance by the Bay Baroque Ensemble, which brought in historical instruments and classic Baroque pieces.

  • Faculty quartet ‘tubacellolicious’

    “Experimental” is what the USF faculty ensemble told the audience that filled almost two-thirds of the seats of the USF Concert Hall to expect from Saturday evening’s performance.

  • Soca soothes the soul

    Ever heard of soca music? Here are some of The Oracle's favorites. 

  • Top Tuesday Album Releases

    While Kanye West and Carly Rae Jepsen will likely steal the attention of tomorrow’s CD releases, The Oracle considers a few others that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Elton John’s Top Ten Tunes

    When Sir Elton John takes the stage at the Sun Dome on Friday, he will perform some of the most well-known songs of this generation. The Oracle looks at some of the best songs of John’s 50-year career. 

  • Sun

    Cat Power gets a new purr with ‘Sun’

    Fans familiar with Cat Power, the musical act created and maintained by the temperamental Chan Marshall, are used to moody and bluesy  songs with stripped-down instrumentals and soothing vocals that sound like they exist solely within the listener’s head.

  • Top 5 songs of the week

     

    With pop culture at its finest, The Oracle takes a look at Billboard’s Top 5 songs of the week. 

  • Former lead ska vocalist to perform again

    For the first time since the ska band “Paranoia Dance Party!” dissolved in November 2011, former lead singer Madison Turner will once again take stage. 

  • Ocean's 'channel ORANGE' marks stunning debut

    Frank Ocean’s first major-label release, “channel ORANGE,” is in a word, breathtaking.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Fiona Apple blends bold sound with lyrical wit

    There’s no debating the fact that Fiona Apple is a difficult artist both in context and in life. Over the course of her career she has angered record labels and fans alike with her antics, including the eight-year production of her third album,“Extraordinary Machine,” onstage meltdowns and public tantrums — not to mention various personal traumas.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    R. Kelly’s ‘Write Me Back’ is a return to sender

    R. Kelly is best known for three things: scandals involving underage girls, the 1996 single “I Believe I Can Fly” and the epic hip-hop era “Trapped in the Closet” — a 22-chapter song eventually parodied by South Park.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Artist in the office: Jacob Jeffries Band

    A piano pop-rock trio from Fort Lauderdale, the band has had a whirlwind year of writing,recording, touring around the eastern U.S. and producing a pair of music videos for their new album, “Tell Me Secrets.”

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    The Dirty Names bring ‘old-style rock’ to Tampa

    Hailing from Annapolis, Md., The Dirty Names have been touring all summer, spreading their energetic rock ‘n’ roll to cities across the country.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    No lyrics necessary

    Following the release of their latest album “Take Care, Take Care,” instrumental post-rock group, Explosions in the Sky set out on a tour that will land them in The Ritz Ybor on June 19.

  • ‘A Wasteland Companion’ continues M.Ward’s fulfilling solo career 

    Prior to the success of She and Him, Ward already had several critically acclaimed solo albums under his belt. There was the intriguing 2009 release “Hold Time,” as well as the earlier albums “Post-War” and “Transfiguration of Vincent,” which succeeded at putting Ward on the map of talented singer/songwriters from Portland.

  • Bon Iver brings intimacy to the Straz center

    Rare is the artist who can perform in an arena filled to the brim with more than 2,000 people and still create an atmosphere of intimacy with his audience.

  • SPECIAL TO ORACLE

    Album review: The Grateful Dead- “Dave’s Picks Vol. 2”

    The Grateful Dead uniquely blends Americana, jazz, acid rock, and folk coupled with their long, kaleidoscopic improvisational jams.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Album Reviews: Dr. John-“Locked Down”

    It’s been a long time since 1968, but fans of Dr. John’s first album, “Gris-Gris,”will relish in the fact that his new sound is reminiscent of the psychedelic blues that Dr. John was first famous for.

  • Tampa shows you May have missed

    The lull between end-of-semester exams and the start of summer classes provided USF students an opportunity to catch a few great musical performances in the Tampa Bay area.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/MILES KERR

    Artists in the Office: Franz Nicolay

    Franz Nicolay leads a double life as a musician — performing both as a solo folk troubadour and a member of some of the world’s biggest independent bands.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

    Record Store Day releases to spin and spend on

    This Saturday marks the fifth annual Record Store Day (RSD), an event that has become an international music celebration highlighting the importance of independent record stores.

  • ORACLE PHOTO/EDUARDA CASTRO

    Artists in the office: Famous Kid Brick

    One St. Petersburg rapper is so intent on becoming famous that he has made the word a part of his name. 

  • Quick Picks: April brings many major shows to Tampa

    With the spring semester winding down and finals starting in only a few weeks, there is no better time to blow off a little residual steam. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay area will host quite a few promising rock shows in the next month to help those in need of a musical escape.

  • Falling through the cracks: Music you may have missed

    There are so many new ways to acquire music and follow artists these days, it can sometimes become overwhelming. While some artists don’t even register as a blip on the radar of music retailers like iTunes, they may just be your favorite band.

  • SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/NICOLE C. KILBERT

    Bomb the Music Industry! take a ‘Vacation’ to Transitions Art Gallery

    New York-based recording act Bomb the Music Industry!, which is commonly abbreviated as BTMI!, performed at Transitions Art Gallery in Tampa on March 26

  • Fun. is had by all at State Theatre

    Fun. is an understatement for the name of this New York Cityindie-pop band, who played St. Petersburg’s State Theatre on Wednesday.

  • Japanther

    Japanther talks crazy concert spots, collaborators and ‘Grand Theft Auto’

    Brooklyn duo Japanther have played everywhere from the Williamsburg Bridge and Grand Street, to the back of a moving car, to New Orleans — two weeks after Hurricane Katrina.

  • ORACLE PHOTO/DAMON LORD

    Artists in the office: Geri X

    Bulgarian-born singer-songwriter and current St. Petersburg resident Geri X has been able to gain popularity both locally and internationally with her music.

  • Kid Cudi successfully crosses genre boundaries with ‘WZRD’

    Formed as a project between Cudi and record producer Dot da Genius in 2010, WZRD's self-titled debut album has drawn comparisons to artists such as Electric Light Orchestra, Nirvana and The Pixies, proving Cudi didn't plan this as another album based solely on hip-hop conceits.

  • Remembering Whitney Houston’s best tracks

    Much like her fellow musician and friend Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston was a popular culture icon who was able to balance both critical and commercial success in her music, all while battling her own personal problems.

  • Kaleigh Baker

    Artists in the office: Kaleigh Baker

    For a fresh-faced 25-year old hailing from a small New York town, musician Kaleigh Baker has experienced a lot of heartbreak — or at least that's what her debut, "Weight of it All," would have listeners believe.

  • ORACLE PHOTO/BENJAMIN WRIGHT

    Zola Jesus casts a beautifully dark spell on Ybor

    Zola Jesus, the stage name of singer songwriter Nika Roza Danilova, took to the Crowbar stage in Ybor City on Feb. 6, proving why she's been one of the most buzzed about acts of the past year.