Posts Tagged ‘music’

Black people love Ken Apperson: How a skinny white boy gets down

July 1, 2010

If I know anything as an honorary black person, I know that black people don’t fake feeling music. There’s no such thing as a polite head-bob; something has to seep inside of them [us] and make them [us] move. And the crowd at Green Iguana in Ybor last Thursday … they [we] were feelin’ it.

Ken Apperson. Local musician. Skinny white boy. Within five minutes of watching his set, you can tell that he’s not just playing music, but that he is music. It’s rare that you find someone who has a voice that is just as much of an instrument as the guitar strapped to his chest. He slips seamlessly between a velvety tenor and a falsetto that will subtly strip your clothes off. Speaking of, the way his fingers work his guitar suggests that he may or may not be a ferocious lover. It’s really not up to me to say. Cigarette, anyone?

Ken plays some covers. Anyone can play covers, right? Not the way he does. Ken plays some hip-hop. On guitar. It’s fascinating to watch, really. It takes a special kind of talent to take a hard-hitting song that is notorious for being overproduced and synthetic, and translate it into a Maroon 5-ish type track that is something else entirely. You should see what he does with “Lollipop.” Weezy F would choke on his AutoTune plugin. More so than covers, however, Ken’s heart lies within his original tracks like “Keep Dreaming.”

Ken is a true artist. Starting at the age of 16, on his mom’s “piece of shit, no-name acoustic,” Ken taught himself the basics. With the help of the Internet, he played that guitar until his fingers bled. His mom got him lessons for his next birthday, and within a year, he was the one doing the teaching. Hailing from St. Louis, music was the thing that brought Ken to Tampa when he was 21.

And now Tampa’s lucky to have him. Here’s his upcoming local schedule for the month of July:

7/2 Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, Tampa 4:30-8:30 p.m.

7/2 JJ’s Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/9 Green Iguana, Ybor 5-8 p.m.

7/9 JJ’s Cafe and Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/10 Green Iguana, Ybor 1-5 p.m.

7/13 Channelside Courtyard 4-8 p.m.

7/15 Centro Cantina, Ybor 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

7/16 Palm Pavilion, Clearwater 1-5 p.m.

7/16 JJ’s Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/22 Green Iguana, Ybor 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

7/23 JJ’s Cafe And Bar, Ybor 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

7/24 Jannus Landing Rock for Research

7/30 Havana Room, St. Pete 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

If you can’t make it to one of those shows, you can find Ken every Sunday at TinaTapas in Channelside from 6 to 10 p.m..

Don’t let the contagious smile and the boyish charm fool you, Ken Apperson gets down to business. Call him, and he can make it juicy for ya. Yeah, I’ll take that cigarette now.

[To read at Creative Loafing, click here.]

Boom Boom Brugge

January 6, 2010

1/23/09

6-something P.M.

BRUGGE.

Got in yesterday-day after the train ride. The hostel is nice – much nicer than The White Tulip in the ‘Dam. This one is The Bauhaus. The bed isn’t more comfortable, but the blankets are. And cleaner. And friendlier. Not the blankets – the people. I’m drinking a beer with 8% alcohol right now…

So we got here, checked in, and immediately met Melissa from St. Louis and the crazy Brazilian girl. Cass, Nicole, and I walked around town a bit. Rainy. Cold. Went to the supermarket and got a salad, water, and pears. My body thanks me for the nutrients. Ate. Showered. Masturbated with the shower head. It’s hard to do because you have to constantly push the button on account of the water only staying on for ten seconds at a time. Got ready. Bridget, the 20-year-old Aussie, wanted to go out and dance. PERFECT. So, Bridget, Melissa, Cassidy, George (another Aussie – who has bad hair), Mel (the Canadian Army-girl – who is hilarious), and I did just that. Walked the crazy, confusing straats that change names randomly ’til we ended up at Cafe Pick. Boom, boom boom…

I swear, ALL of Brugge was in this bar. You couldn’t even move. Got a drink, saw a beautiful girl, and danced. Beautiful girl (BG) kept smiling at me. Cute boy comes up to me and asked me if I spoke French. I don’t. He told me in English that the butch girl with a mohawk and small boobs that he was with just got dumped and that I should go dance with her. Then I payed .30 Euro to pee. Jesus christ, I gotta pay to pee! I gave her .50 Euro.

I hopped up on stage and danced with Bridget. Then I danced with Mohawk/small boobs. Told Mohawk that I thought BG was beautiful. Mohawk told me that BG was straight. And seventeen.

I felt like a perv.

I danced with the girls anyway. There were six girls – all in the Dutch Navy. They taught me how to salute, and then we passed ice around to each other with our mouths. I got to kiss BG in a round-about way. The music thumped and our asses shook. There was a lot of American music mixed with cool Belgian shit. Good beats. They all told me their names. I remembered none of them. Kissed Bridget (or so I was told), kissed The Navy. They gave me cigarettes and bought me drinks. They made me feel like a rock star. “Everyone wants pict-cha wif youuuu!”, the blond non-English speaker spoke.

The coolest girl, H-something, and I talked and danced a lot. I gave the “thumbs-up-question-mark” to Melissa and Cass to make sure that they were alright. They were. Then Melissa and Bridget left. I said my goodbyes and kept dancing. I wasn’t ready to leave The Navy yet. I was having the most fun on this trip yet. And in Brugge! Who woulda thought?! I kept asking H-something if she wanted to make-out. She kept turning me down. They were getting ready to leave, and I knew H-something secretly wanted to kiss me, so I grabbed her and kissed her. It was really nice. Then I did it again. What a great night…

I exchanged e-mail addresses with H-something and BG. Got an e-mail from H-something today when I rented a laptop for 3 Euros an hour at the pub. Checked Myspace. Drank beer. Nicole is still sick. We’re just waiting for the “Happy-Dance Day.”

May go out tonight. Wanna check out the one-and-only gay bar in Brugge, but not sure yet. The wallet is getting sad, but Cass is up for it, so maybe I am too.

Threw away my digital camera last night. It’s dead. At least I have the memory card.

Paris tomorrow. Mel taught me something to say in French so the Parisians would like me: “Je shwa-zee Obama.” [I wrote it phonetically so I would remember how to say it.] It means, “I chose Obama.” The French aren’t fond of Americans.