Merry Christmas, everyone!
Here's a nice musical present for you: Brian Repetto (of Dumbwaiters and Insect Joy fame) returns to the stage as The Dark Esquire, a newish act that sports a dynamic Duran-meets-Bowie-meets-Roxy Music sound and should have the crowd dancing off the calories consumed all day. The premiere live lineup features Flexxehawk's Chris Sturgeon on bass, keys and backing vocals; Zillionaire's Michael Waksman on guitar and backing vocals, and New Granada honcho Keith Ulrey, also of Zillionaire, on drums. Repetto provides his vocals, keys, machines and singular dance moves. The band plays with likewise stellar acts Red Room Cinema and Jarvik 7, both epic-sounding, ambient rockers. Jarvik 7 celebrates its CD release and is known for its visually compelling background film projections during its shows. Red Room Cinema has been on a long break due to its members' wives popping out kids in the past year (congrats, fellas!) and other delays. WMNF DJ and New World mainstay Scott Imrich spins between sets. 9 p.m., New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City, $7, 813-248-4969.
If your family is out of town and you're craving a big Christmas meal, break away to St. Pete Beach for Tradewinds Christmas Day Brunch Buffet 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The meal includes the traditional holiday goodies, plus breakfast and desserts. $39.95 for adults, $36.95 for seniors (ages 60 and older) and $18.95 for children 10 and younger. 866-587-8538.
Are you suffering from PTHSD Post-Traumatic Holiday Stress Disorder? Get comic relief this weekend with Al Romas, who brings his shtick to Side Splitters Sunday. You might have seen this funny fella. He looks like a shorter, stockier Ray Romano and talks about life stuff, like his upbringing in 70s Long Island what he calls The Brady Bunch meets The Ice Storm (sidesplitterscomedy.com).
The winter festivities may very well bring us another round of sugar plum fairies and scarf-a-thons, but its also a time of spiritual renewal and enchantment. The CL Merrymakers Guide offers events for every mood, including a fun, free Kwanzaa Celebration in Lakeland on Sunday, where you can learn about the African-American cultural holiday and move to the rhythms of the Kuumba Dancers and Drummers of Tampa. Kwanzaa Celebration is 1 p.m., Sun., Dec. 26, free, Polk Museum of Art, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland, 863-688-7743, polkmuseumofart.org.
Café Hey, one of our favorite hangouts for coffee, nosh and cutting-edge goodness and most recently, beer hosts the opening reception for the Boxing Day Incident, Sunday at 5 p.m.
The enhanced installment of the cafes monthly WMNF music series coordinated by staunch music/arts scene supporter and sweetheart Brigid Ochshorn features visual artists Allen Hampton, Shane Hoffman, Susan Janvrin, Patrick Flynn, Charles Haynie, Cory Robinson, Elizabeth McKibbon and Leslie Corsa. Their works span all sorts of media, making use of a plethora of unconventional material, from vinyl records (such as Janvrins Power of Three pictured here) to wood scraps to mechanized contraptions. Local experimental music acts are also featured: Month Mind, Odem Press, Alien House, Serifana and DJ Treasure, who spins between bands. Café Hey owner Cheong Choi recommends Serifana, an act he likens what Animal Collective should sound like live. 5-9 p.m., 1540 N. Franklin Ave., Tampa, 813-221-5150.