Larue Nickelson, Rascal Flatts

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 14

LARUE NICKELSON One of Tampa Bay's preeminent musicians, guitarist Nickelson is a jazz guitar instructor at USF and has played with a roll call of top players. He's performing as part of the WMNF Jazz Series. (WMNF Studios, Tampa) —Eric Snider

THE HUSH SOUND w/THE CAB/STEEL TRAIN/THE MORNING LIGHT Chicago foursome The Hush Sound's sunny, smart indie-pop melds big, jittery guitars and jubilant keyboards. Singer/piano woman Greta Salpeter delivers earnest or slyly playful lyrics with punch. Guitarist Bob Morris is also a more than capable singer who takes lead vocals and offers sugary harmonies. Highly recommended. The band records for locally-based Fueled By Ramen (Less Than Jake, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco). (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

LIGEIA w/I WRESTLED A BEAR ONCE/JUSTIN THE RED/UNKEMPT/LANGDON ALGER/WHOM SHALL I Named after a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, Ligeia reps the Western Massachusetts hardcore scene with songs that skew a bit more melodic than those of its peers. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

KENTUCKY SOUND ARSENAL w/ SKIFFLE/LIBYAN HIT SQUAD Fargo, N.D.'s Kentucky Sound Arsenal covers a surprisingly broad musical base for a two-man wash of guitar and drums. Nick Boushee and James Dravitz take a largely instrumental approach that spans metal to down-tempo prog and grunge. The results are crunchy, punchy and minimalist in a really maxed-out way. (Pastimes Pub, Sarasota) —Amanda Schurr

FRIDAY, AUGUST 15

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND My experience with Springsteen concerts in recent years has ranged from outstanding (April 22, St. Pete Times Forum) to tears-and-chills-inducing transcendent (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2006). This Jacksonville gig is part of an extended leg of Springsteen and the E Street Band's Magic tour. (Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville)

HISTORY w/DROPSONIC/AUTO! AUTOMATIC!! Orlando quintet History offers keyboard-enhanced metal for the indie set. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

GERI X w/INERTIA/GEOFF'S EVIL TWIN One of Tampa Bay's top lyricists and most emotive singers, Geri X returns to her home turf along with the gals from the infectious indie folk/pop duo Inertia and the Clearwater strummer who has chosen the off-putting Geoff's Evil Twin as his stage name. (Globe Coffee Lounge, St. Petersburg)

BUFFALO STRANGE 'Burg-based jam band doses listeners with funk, folk, reggae, feel-good originals and crowd-pleasing covers of the Dead, Marley, Van Morrison, etc. It's a good fit for fans of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, two other acts whose songs might surface in a Buffalo Strange set. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

COLETTE Considered an innovator of house music, Chicago's DJ Colette also happens to be a hottie, which, y'know, makes watching her work the wheels and bob her head for a couple hours all the more enjoyable. (Push Ultra Lounge, St. Petersburg)

THE SECRET HANDSHAKE w/BRIEF CAROLINA/THE MORNING OF/SING IT LOUD Dallas electro-pop outfit The Secret Handshake does an irony-free cover of the Skee-Lo novelty number "I Wish," and it works extremely well. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

FLEETWOOD MAX Take a wild guess what band this act will be aping. (Largo Cultural Center, Largo)

MAG OPS/THE IN-CROWD/SPANKIN' FRESH/THE CHEAPSHOTS/RECTAL BREACH/DIRTY ROTTEN SKANKSTERS Band name and tunes entitled "Christ Fuck" and "Sodomizer" notwithstanding, Sarasota metal outfit Rectal Breach professes peace, harmony and free art. It probably doesn't make for the most family-friendly of all-ages shows at the VFW, though. Lightening the anal retentive load are ska/punk trio Dirty Rotten Skanksters and recent area Battle of the Bands victor, The Cheapshots. (VFW Post #3233, Sarasota) —AS

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16

PEMBERLEY w/REC CENTER/SONS OF HIPPIES/NATHALIA ESTRADA Led by singer/songwriter/violinist and Florida Southern alumni Rachel Margaret, Lakeland indie-pop quintet Pemberley returns to New World to perform songs from its recently recorded second EP. For more info and my interview with Rachel see p. 29. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) —WT

SOUL2EARTH w/BIRD STREET PLAYERS Soul2earth is a Central Florida eight-piece band that plays Hammond-drenched gospel with a funk flair. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

RASCAL FLATTS w/TAYLOR SWIFT Rascal Flatts is to country music what Kenny G is to jazz. Discuss. I would knock barely legal Taylor Swift for being merely a Nashville Lolita, but she has talent, both as a singer and songwriter. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa)

KINGDOM OF SORROW w/SOILENT GREEN/SCUM OF THE EARTH New Orleans sludge metal pseudo-supergroup Kingdom of Sorrow features Crowbar's Kirk Windstein (vocals/guitar) and Hatebreed's James Jasta (vocals). (Orpheum, Ybor City)

THE IN-CROWD/CRASH FISTFIGHT/SMASHISM KILLS Promoter Ben Bakker throws a back-to-school warm-up with a bill of punk rock that, as of press time, was still expanding. (Rasher Tierney's, Bradenton) —AS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 17

KING'S X Critically acclaimed hard-rock trio King's X flirted with fame in the early '90s alternative rock boom ("It's Love," "Black Flag" and "Dogman" were all minor hits) but ultimately proved too eclectic, weird, etc., for the mainstream. No matter. More than a decade later the band enjoys a loyal enough following to continue playing mid-sized venues like Jannus. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

MARGOT & THE NUCLEAR SO AND SO'S w/AUDRYE SESSIONS Margot & the Nuclear So and So's is the eight-person entourage of singer/songwriter Richard Edwards, a master of indie (soft) rock sadness and storytelling. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

DIABOLIC w/RISE 2 BRUTALITY/A BROKEN MACHINE/END UNSEEN, GLADIATOR AND DEMENTIA Tampa death-metal outfit Diabolic headlines a gig that marks the reopening of Gasoline Alley. This should come as great news for the myriad bands and fans that have attended the beloved venue over the years. (Gasoline Alley, Largo)

MONDAY, AUGUST 18

TERROR w/THE WARRIORS/CDC/DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR/ TRAPPED UNDER ICE L.A. thrash unit Terror headline this bill of speed and brutality. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19

SOAP 4 w/LAST YEAR'S MODEL/SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM/DJ SUGARPILL The nu-rave dance party returns with another heavily tweaked night of loops and sequences, programming and percussion that's like Pop Rocks for the ears. Headlining is the robotic synth-punk of New York's Last Year's Model, while locals Shock to the System and DJ Sugarpill supply the electro dings, tings and breakbeats. (Pastimes Pub, Sarasota) —AS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20

THRASH AND BURN TOUR: DARKEST HOUR w/PARKWAY DRIVE/MISERY SIGNALS/STICK TO YOUR GUNS/WINDS OF PLAGUE/ARSIS/LIGHT THIS CITY/AFTER THE BURIAL/ ARSONISTS GET ALL THE GIRLS D.C. black-metal outfit Darkest Hour is one of the genre's more popular acts, having formed more than a decade ago. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

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