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King of Spain 

When: Thu., Aug. 30 2012
Price: $5
Matt Slate has a history of making life more difficult than it needs to be, but he's changing that. The Tampa-based singer/songwriter christened his solo project King of Spain, only to find out a few years later that a band in the U.K. had the same name. Fortunately, the competing outfits don't sound much alike — the U.K. band is lo-fi rock, whereas Tampa's Spain is lush and atmospheric — but Slate says that their "releases tend to get jumbled together in iTunes anyways." Consider the people who do stumble across Tampa's King of Spain the lucky ones then, particularly now that Slate has joined forces with singer/songwriter Daniel Wainwright. The two began playing together in 2009, and are finally releasing King of Spain's second record, All I Did Was Tell Them the Truth and They Thought It Was Hell this week. Adding Wainwright to the mix has given the band more focus, Slate says. "Having two songwriters keeps us honest. We are constantly pushing each other to make each song the best it can be." And after 15 years as a guitarist in other people's bands, Slate himself is finally settling into the spotlight. For the first few years as a solo artist, he would play with his eyes closed. "It was quite frightening at first, but over the last four years I've become much more comfortable with this role," Slate says. "It finally feels natural for me."
— Andrea Warner

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