Janet Jackson gets nasty at the Straz Center

Plus Tracey Shedd, Foster the People and more of the week's best upcoming concerts.

click to enlarge Tracey Shedd - Julia Deconcini
Julia Deconcini
Tracey Shedd


Rock the Park w/Set & Setting/Al Torchia & The Tattered Saints/Suns And Soul/Folly Dean The December installment of the outdoor music series features a four-prong attack of diverse local sounds: Set and Setting, a four-piece that features two drummers and two guitarists who build instrumental epics of post rock with hazy-psyche tendencies and propulsive rhythms; Springsteenian-style roots rockers Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints, who are currently recording their sophomore LP and will likely unveil some new material; blues rock outfit Suns and Soul (for fans of Black Crowes); and Folly Dean, a newbie soul and funk-fused alt-rock quartet led by velvety-sultry voiced singer Ashley Niven. (Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa)

Microgroove Opening Night Block Party Seminole Heights businesses help celebrate the grand opening of the neighborhood's new indie record shop, which is co-owned by Carl Webb and Keith Ulrey, former employees of Vinyl Fever (RIP). The doors open at 5 p.m. with Cappy's pizza by-the-slice for sale and half-off drafts at the Independent (with Microgroove proof of purchase). Festivities continue through the weekend, including in-store performances by Jennifer O'Connor and Tracy Shedd (Friday), Sleepy Vikings and I Was Totally Destroying It (Saturday), and Rebekah Pulley and Will Quinlan (Sunday). (Microgroove, Tampa) —Julie Garisto


Rene Marie While you may not be familiar with jazz songstress Rene Marie, you likely heard all about the controversy she stirred up in 2008 when she was asked to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a civic event in Denver, and substituted the song's lyrics with those from "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (aka "The Black National Anthem"). Marie's arrangement became part of an original suite on her 2011 album of American pop and patriotic standards, The Voice of My Beautiful Country. This year also saw the release of another LP by the songstress, Black Lace Freudian Slip, which is made up of all original material as delivered in Marie's smoky croon. Marie stops in town for performances on Friday and Saturday night. (Jaeb Theater at Straz Center for Performing Arts, Tampa)

The Men of Soul If you dig baby-making slow jams, then this bill's for you. Four soulful R&B crooners — Jeffrey Osborne ("On the Wings of Love"), Peabo Bryson ("If Ever You're in My Arms Again"), Freddie Jackson ("You are My Lady") and Howard Hewett ("This Is For The Lover In You") — come together for an evening of easy-going grooves. (Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg)

The Black Honkeys feat. Theo Valentine and David Muse Motown revival ensemble Black Honkeys — led by polyester-loving Brother Phil Esposito and the funky bass-and-drum assault of Wil "Da Thrill" Harris and Steve Tanner — bring their high octane ass-bumping grooves back to the Local 662 for their First Friday Soul Revue. This time around, the horn-fused outfit is joined by sultry vocalist Theo Valentin and sax whiz David Muse, who's best known for his tenure with Firefall. (The Local 662, St. Petersburg)

Tracy Shedd w/Rec Center/Jun Bustamente Born and raised in Jacksonville, now based in Tuscon, Az., indie rock singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd is a self-taught guitarist who played piano in her much younger years and returned to her key-playing roots with her 2010 release, EP88. Her silky, girlishly high-toned delivery and tender, forthcoming lyrics are set against piano-driven instrumentals that include the pretty balladry of "West Inn Love" ("If you ever need a friend, I'll be the one that you can come running to"), which was originally written as a wedding gift to two of her (newly-married) hometown friends. Shedd performs a live acoustic in-store at the newly-opened Microgroove, then hits New World for a plugged-in show later that night. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

The Devil Wears Prada w/Whitechapel/Enter Shikari/For Today Dead Throne, the 2011 fourth studio album by Christian metalcore sextet The Devil Wears Prada, is not only their highest charting to date — it peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200, No. 3 on the Rock Albums chart, and topped the Christian and Independent charts — but has also garnered wide-ranging critical acclaim. (The Ritz, Ybor City)

Skinny McGee & His Mayhem Makers An old timey rockabilly/Americana trio from Winter Haven led by Chattanooga-bred singer and acoustic bassist McGee, who re-located to the Bay area in the 1990s, played around here for more than 10 years with his Mayhem Makers, and put out a few well-regarded albums (Mint Julips & Sweet Magnolia in 2002, 99 Years in 2005) before a period of inactivity that seemed to start sometime in 2007 and ended a few months back. (Ella's Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa)

L.A. Guns / Dokken It's a showdown when two rival incarnations of LA Guns hit town on back to back nights. This lineup of the hard rock/metal group that spawned Guns n' Roses is led by Phil Lewis with Stacey Blades — who once played with the Bay area's own Mojo Gurus — on lead guitar. Co-headlining is heavy metal foursome Dokken ("Dream Warriors); their sole remaining original member is lead singer Don Dokken. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

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