Steve Poltz, Movits! and more

Your guide to this week's best live music.

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Jelle Wagenaar


Interpol w/School of Seven Bells A frontrunner of the aughts post-punk revival (with bands like The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand), NYC's Interpol brings a brooding, Dark Wave vibe to their sound with echoing guitar harmonies and the grimly intense vocals of singer/guitarist Paul Banks. Interpol — which released a fourth record on Matador last year — hits town with a new bass player in tow, Brad Truax, and has also recruited Secret Machines keyboardist/singer Brandon Curtis to play on their current tour. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Inspired Flight w/Luminary Youth/Mike Mass San Diego's Inspired Flight draws on hip-hop and downtempo electronica as inspiration, and uses analog and digital instrumentation to build their groove-rocking music. OpenOptics handles the mixing, turntablism and beat-making, co-bandmate Chavez works the guitar and pedal effects, and both add various laptop-crafted sonic embellishments. Their debut album, We All Want To Fly (2010), features guest performances by Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) and Scarub (Living Legends), among others; live, they're joined by vocalist/pianist Ashley Marie Mazanec. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Jim Beam Live Music Series: Cold War Kids The Long Beach, Calif. foursome hit the indie rock scene with a well-regarded debut in 2006 and perform as part of Jim Beam's "Live Music Series" to support their third and latest record, Mine Is Yours. (House of Blues, Orlando)

Heritage Sip handcrafted brews while soaking up the sunny Florida-flavored sounds of island rockers Heritage. The sextet — which hails from the panhandle — played the intimate Dunedin Brewery in September and delivered a few impressive sets that flowed on soulful vocals, grooving Jawaiian beats, tropical Latin melodies and rock-infused rhythms, the irie vibrations accented by ukulele strums and funky percussive-enhanced drums. If swaying to the sweet sounds of amorous reggae riddims in a live setting appeals to your inner beach bum, don't miss this show. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin) —Amber McDonald

Unwritten Law w/Authority Zero/Crash Fist Fight/Dead Cat Lounge Southern Cali pop punkers Unwritten Law are back with their fifth LP and first album of new material in six years, Swan, and a fresh single "Starships and Apocalypse" with a funny and straightforward, if somewhat muddled, chorus ("Singing something about / everybody get drunk drunk / Yeah baby lets fuck fuck"). Much of their lyrics are similarly literal and usually reflect on what's going on in their lives, from the high price of fame to dark times of drug use and partying. The LP is allegedly the band's most personal yet and serves as a tangible record of their struggles over the past few years. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) —Valerie Quintana

Usher The seven-time Grammy winner and diamond-certified R&B-pop star — who's ranked as one of the best-selling artists in American music history by the RIAA — released two chart-topping albums in 2010: his platinum-selling LP, Raymond v. Raymond, and a nine-song follow-up EP, Versus, which sold well enough to become Usher's sixth Top 10 album in the U.S. (Amway Center, Orlando)

FRI 29

Tim McGraw w/Luke Bryan/Band Perry He sings (in a sweet drawling tenor), he acts (his last role was opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in 2011's Country Strong), he's married to Faith Hill (one of the most beautiful and successful female country pop stars around), and he was country music's No. 1 touring act of 2010 according to Billboard. (And yes, I'm talking about Tim McGraw.) (1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheatre, Tampa)

Sleigh Bells / CSS w/Bosco Delrey The NYC noise pop-dance punk duo comprised of vivacious siren Alexis Krauss and guitarist/producer Derek Miller gave off waves of frenetic energy and earsplitting sonics when I saw them open for LCD Soundsystem in Orlando last fall. Sadly, I only caught the last few minutes of their set, but they went from a fuzzy blip on my radar to an act I pledged to catch on their next Florida jaunt. This tour, they co-headline with CSS (Cansei De Ser Sexy, literally, "got tired of being sexy"), a Brazilian electroclash outfit with a neon-sparkling frontwoman, Lovefoxxx. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Snakehealers w/The Future Show/The Broken Inn A bill of Florida indie rock headed up by Snakehealers, the new project of alt-country musician Devon Stuart (ex-Takers, Gainesville), along with post grunge rock outfit The Future Now (also from Gainesville) and Orlando's The Broken Inn, which mixes elements of alt, prog and funk rock into their energetic sound. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Rick Derringer As part of the Cleveland Street District's free family-friendly BLAST! Friday series, the city welcomes hard blues rock guitarist Rick Derringer, best known for his 1973 hit single, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" but responsible for more than 20 albums in his long (more than four-decade) career. (Capitol Theatre, downtown Clearwater)

Ziggy Marley w/Fall On Purpose/Bambooda/Schylan A relatively major artist — reggae singer-songwriter Ziggy Marley, oldest son of legendary late dad Bob — stops at a rather minor outdoor Tampa venue (the former stadium Bennigans that recently re-opened as Green Iguana — Hawaiian Village, because two names are more confusing than one). He's promoting an as-yet-to-be-released solo LP, Wild and Free, due out in June, as well as the first issue of his debut comic book, Marijuanaman, which dropped on 4/20 (go figure) and follows a superhero as he tries to save Earth's marijuana fields from destruction by an evil pharmaceutical drug company. (Green Iguana, Tampa Stadium)

Midday by the Bay Series: AVQ The next installment of the lunchtime music series is presented by the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association and features a program of jazz standards that celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month and Duke Ellington's 112th Birthday. The quartet is led by saxophonist, composer and arranger Austin Vickrey. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg)

John Mayall w/Steve Arvey Band With a career spanning more than five decades, revolutionary British blues rock singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall has made an indelible mark on music beginning in the late '60s with the Bluesbreakers, where a rotating cast of then-emerging sidemen like Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, among many others, were shaped into professional players before moving on to other (bigger) projects. He's produced an unbelievably large catalog of music, and at 77, still continues to record while juggling a full-time international touring schedule. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SAT 30

Sleepy Vikings CD Release Show w/Florida Night Heat/Guiltmaker The dark Southern rock/shoegaze sextet presents their debut LP, They Will Find You Here, officially released via New Granada Records May 10. Read more on p. 31. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Matt Hill The Suncoast Blues Society welcomes North Carolina bluesman Matt Hill, a rising young singer, guitarist and bassist, and the 2011 Blues Music Awards nominee for Best New Artist. Hill delivers his brash lyrics in a booming juke joint bellow, and has dubbed his blend of old school Chicago blues, boogie woogie and deep Southern rockabilly "mean old nasty shit." (Dave's Aqua Lounge, St. Petersburg)

Earth, Wind and Fire Get your discofied dance pop groove on when six-time Grammy award-winning R&B funk mega-group Earth, Wind & Fire returns to Clearwater for another night of hits from the '70s, the perfect vocal fusion of Philip Bailey's falsetto and Maurice White's deeper-register tenor backed by a dynamic horn section and plenty of hip-shaking rhythms. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) —VQ

Mike Herrera w/Gasoline Heart/Dave Decker/Scott Harrell Best known as the singer-bassist for pop punk outfit MxPx in addition to fronting his own new country punk ensemble, Tumbledown, Mike Herrera is a pierced-and-tatted sensitive sort with a nasally inflection to his piercing wail. His month-long acoustic tour comes on the heels of a new acoustic release, MH Live From the Basement, which, as the title suggests, was recorded in a basement (his own). (The Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Paranoia Dance Party! CD Release Party w/Marksmen/Ettison/F*ck Y*ah Tampa outfit Paranoia Dance Party! treads a fine line between their hardcore influences, and the upbeat ska and punk flavors that permeate their unorthodox sound. This release show celebrates the completion of their first full-length, surroundings, which includes the prog-metal-industrial dance of "Herbert West," its horn runs alternately jaunty or menacing and a surprisingly agreeable foil to the crushing guitars, sci fi synthesizers and changing time signatures; and the six-minute out-thereness of "This world ... / These words ...," its vocals jumping between talk-sung rhymes and gut-rumbling screeches, and a couple of buoyant and easy-going island-ska-lounge breaks nestled amidst ridiculously heavy breakdowns. Check out both tracks written about here at (Transitions Gallery @ Skatepark of Tampa)

SUN 01

Toad the Wet Sprocket The serene alt-rock outfit I always get confused with Gin Blossoms has been together off and on since 1986, released a string of '90s hits beginning with "Walk on the Ocean" and "All I Want" (off 1991's platinum-certified Fear), and ending with "Fall Down" and "Something's Always Wrong" (off 1994's Dulcinea), and officially broke up in 1998. They've played the odd shows and reunion tours, but Toad the Wet Sprocket never really verified their "active" status until last December, when they issued their first single in 11 years (a holiday cover) and confirmed they were working on material for a new album. Whether or not they were referencing the new (re-recorded) versions of their hits on this year's greatest hits comp, All You Want, remains to be seen ... (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)

Boobiepalooza w/COPE/The Honeys/Phoenix A charity concert to benefit My Hope Chest, a national nonprofit that facilitates the funding of breast reconstruction for uninsured and underprivileged breast cancer survivors. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

Megan Slankard w/Joel Ackerson A night of twangy acoustic guitar-driven alt pop as doled out by DIY San Francisco songbird Megan Slankard, who just self-released her fourth studio album, A Token of the Wreckage, in March. (Pegasus Lounge, Tampa)

Young Widows w/My Disco/Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun The title track off Young Widows' In and Out of Youth and Lightness is a heavy sprawling epic of thick fuzzed-out basslines, roiling drumbeats, unrelenting guitars that push through the sinister haze with high wailing solos or screeching distorted riffage, and deep and menacing-compelling lead vocals. The song fits with the overall grimy-industrialized feel and dark lyrical themes of the noise rock trio's third album, which dropped last month and was co-produced by Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket) in their Louisville hometown. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

Bayside / Silverstein w/Polar Bear Club/The Swellers/Texas in July Queens, N.Y.-bred alt-rock quartet Bayside has put out several successful albums full of frank narratives, sick guitar solos, brooding melodies, soaring crisp vocals and rhythmically compelling pop-punk jams. Sharing headlining duties on their current Hot Topic-sponsored "Take Action Tour" is Canadian post-hardcore group Silverstein (also pimping a new LP, Rescue); opening acts include indie rockers Polar Bear Club, Warped Tour punk vets The Swellers, and metalcore newbies Texas in July. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) —VQ

8th Annual Rock & Roll Swap Meet w/Thee Knight Sweats/The Friendly Sort/Gino & The Goons/The Lambasters/Magadog A few dozen vendors hawk wares (music, memorabilia, art, handmade clothing, Etsy-chic crafts, etc.), two stages feature live music ranging from the snotty '60s-fused garage rock of Gino & The Goons to the spirited horn-blasted beats of ska-reggae ensemble Magadog (two stages), and hip scensters of all ages mill about playing quasi-serious games of shuffleboard, shopping, and sipping Sunday afternoon-friendly cups of wine and beer ... Yep, it's the eighth annual edition of the Rock & Roll Swap Meet. Be there or be square. (St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg)

MON 02

Steve Poltz You may not get a feel for folk-pop singer-songwriter Steve Poltz's wicked sense of humor from the one song you know by him ("You Were Meant for Me," which he co-wrote with Jewel), but the guitar-slinging artist has put out several solo releases since then that highlight his cheeky talents, including a children's album, a 56-track collection of 45-second "songs" recorded on his answering machine while he was on the road, and his latest LP, 2010's Dreamhouse, which features songs with titles like "License Plate Eyes" and "Killin' Myself (To Be With You)." (Jaeb Theater at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa)

TUE 03

Movits! w/D'Visitors Some facts you didn't previously know about Movits! (if you knew any at all): 1. The trio is from Sweden, and though their music draws on American influences — swinging jazz, '60s Motown, hip-hop — lead vocalist Johan "Jivin'" Rensfeldt spits his sing-song rhymes in his native tongue. 2. All members generally sport black-framed spectacles, black suits and matching bow-ties, and black-and-white saddle sneakers. 3. The band's first official (widespread) introduction to U.S. audiences was a 2009 performance on The Colbert Report in honor of their debut LP, Äppelknyckarjazz ("Apple swiper jazz"); this tour supports album No. 2, 2011's Ut Ur Min Skalle ("Out of my Head"). (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

Nate Najar Trio The final concert in a three-date series of toe-tapping jazz at the [email protected] as produced by guitarist Najar, bassist John Lamb and drummer Stephen Bucholtz. ([email protected], St. Petersburg)

Amanda Shires w/Alias Julius The Texas-born, Nashville-based fiddler, ukulele player, singer and songwriter returns to the Bay area fresh from recording her first Daytrotter Session, "The Sound of the Salted Love" (available for free download at, and hot off her first acting gig — in the aforementioned Country Strong with Gwyneth and McGraw. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

For a complete list of this week's upcoming concerts, visit our Music Events page.

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