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-by Jay Cridlin (appeared in the TBT Soundcheck blog)
-November 11th, 2009

It’s probably a good sign of the health of Tampa Bay’s creative community that four of its most visible artists are all releasing new CDs in a single weekend.

But with so much creativity to choose from, How do you know where to go this weekend? Here’s a guide, genre-by-genre — and check out songs by each artist in the player on your right.

POP: Hypercreative party-starter and ’80s enthusiast Jeremy Gloff goes all Erasure, Depeche Mode and Psychedelic Furs on his new CD, 21st Century Love Songs. But a few tracks (like “One Phone Call”, “Broken Pieces” and “21st Century Love”) pull in pianos, harmonicas and weary guitars, lending the album a certain warmth and depth. In suitably over-the-top fashion, Gloff’s CD release party is part of Saturday’s Square One party, Magnum Opus, at the Ritz Ybor.

HIP-HOP: One of tbt*’s Ultimate Local Artists in 2009, jet-setting hip-hop duo the Basiqs have finally put the finishing touches on new disc This Lie. It’s a musically adventurous romp across the modern club landscape, with touches that call to mind everyone from Kanye West to Andre 3000 to Thievery Corporation to Akon. The Basiqs will hold a release party for This Lie Friday night at The Place at Channelside.

ALT-COUNTRY: Another tbt* Ultimate Local Artist, Have Gun, Will Travel are gearing up for their highly anticipated new CD, Postcards from the Friendly City, which continues their Decemberists-by-way-of-the-Grand-Ole-Opry sound. Clem Snide and Okkervil River fans will continue to dig Matt Burke’s weary vocal delivery, and the strings and acoustic guitars still sound as fresh as they did on the band’s last disc, Casting Shadows Tall As Giants. The band plays a CD release show at 9 p.m. Friday at New World Brewery in Ybor City. Click here for details.

FOLK: Judy Tampa and Bunko Squad play a quirky blend of roots, folk, jazz and blues, and new disc Tainted is full of head-bobbing ramblers like “That Was That”, railroad-hobo shufflers like “He’s A Bug”, and Simon & Garfunkel-esque pop ditties like “Billy Billy”. It’s perfect coffeeshop music. Sunday’s record-release party might be the local concert of the weekend, as Judy Tampa performs alongside Ronny Elliot, My Little Trotsky, Harry Hayward’s Magic Act at 5 p.m. at the Springs Theatre, 8029 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. There’s a $10 suggested donation.

Let’s hear it, Tampa music fans: Which of these record-release parties do you plan to hit this weekend? Which disc are you most anticipating?