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SAGE FRANCIS w/SOL.ILLAQUISTS OF SOUND/JARED PAUL/SCIENCE-NON-FICTION Spoken word artist/poet/battle rapper/social commentator Sage Francis' A Healthy Distrust delivers - it's a taut, moody collection of mostly hard-edged tunes that take on everything from Clear Channel to organized religion, and Francis can spit and write. Jazzy hip-hop fusionists Sol.ILLaquists of Sound return to town, as do Bradensota favorites Science-Non-Fiction; Jared Paul hails from Providence, R.I., where he runs that city's award-winning Providence Youth Slam poetry project. Highly recommended. (Masquerade Infinity Room, Ybor City)

DAVID ALLAN COE The original C&W outlaw makes another stop in the Masquerade big room. Coe wrote the Johnny Paycheck smash "Take This Job and Shove It," among many other hits for himself and various artists. (Masquerade, Ybor City)

BLAKE SHELTON At the other end of the country-music spectrum, we've got Blake Shelton, who first scored in 2001 with the hit "Austin." His latest album, Blake Shelton's Barn & Grill, is pretty lightweight, but Shelton's easy baritone and obvious sense of humor set him apart from the stubbled, posturing bad-asses and cheesy-wordplay addicts (though he suffers a bit from that particular malady himself). Buck Wild is located at 4951 U.S. 98 N. in Lakeland. (Buck Wild, Lakeland)

WILLIE AND LOBO Violinist Willie Royal and guitarist Lobo Fink have been playing world music since before there was such a category at your local record store. Royal lives in Sarasota; Fink spends his time somewhere in Mexico. They've been playing what's commonly referred to as "gypsy jazz" (an incomplete summary at best) for well over a decade now, and although Royal keeps a low profile in his hometown, Willie and Lobo's all-too-infrequent concerts down here are always a welcome diversion. (March 17, Sangrias, Tampa; March 20, Players Theatre, Sarasota)

-Mark Sanders


JIMMY SOMMERS People magazine coined him one of its "Top 50 Eligible Bachelors," which we suspect is not as impressive as Chris Botti's inclusion into a 50-most-beautiful-people survey. But hey, I'm sure Sommers'll take it. The saxophonist is out doing shows to pimp Appleton Estate V/X Jamaican Rum, so go get yourself a sip or two while you check out Sommers' "funky and spirited" (his bio's words) alto sax work. (Headliners, Tampa)

-Eric Snider

GLASS & ASHES/NORTH LINCOLN/THE TIM VERSION/NEW BRUISES Glass & Ashes is a tight, screamy punk outfit from Ventura, Calif., that's garnering comparisons to idiosyncratic cult fave Planes Mistaken for Stars; stalwart Gainesville label No Idea put out the group's Aesthetic Arrest last October. Labelmate North Lincoln does a more straightforward "Gainesville Sound" type of thing, akin to that of Tampa's slightly twangy, wholly rough-and-tumble Tim Version. (Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa)

TRULY SUNDAY CD RELEASE PARTY These quickly maturing Pinellas County emo heroes have a brand new 12-track disc, The View from Here, to pimp. Helping 'em out to that end are catchy, frenetic frequent bill-mates Soulfound; popular and talented punk act Crooked Edge; and the evocatively named Hopesick. (Boomerz Boiler Room, Seminole)

TARPONFEST Tarpon Springs venue The Neptune Lounge has been throwing an annual March shindig for four years now; the club has provided a nurturing environment for emerging young Bay area bands for quite a while, though recently national underground touring acts have graced the stage with increasing frequency. While Saturday features the daylong bill (starting at 2 p.m.) that is the meat of TarponFest, there are four days' worth of notable shows going on here, so we'll list 'em all for your edification. Fri., March 18: Variety Workshop/Chubby Tuff/Synergy/Effusion/Hot Metal Sat., March 19: Uprise in Tragedy/Caius/Until Eternity/Car Full of Midgets/The Farce/Bomb Rockets/Noise for Heroes/Eugene/The Secret Handshake/The Homecoming/Brotha Mello Sun., March 20: Mason (West Palm Beach)/Echo Me Astronaut (West Palm Beach) Mon., March 21: Verona Burning (NYC)/My Hero is Me (NYC)/Greenhaven/Down Falls the Morning (Orlando) (Neptune Lounge, Tarpon Springs)

NELSON The hey day of Love and Affection are over for early-'90s hair metal act Nelson, but that hasn't deterred them from releasing six (yes, six) albums since then. Ricky's sons are born entertainers, it seems, and this time around, Matthew and Gunnar pay tribute to their dad with a batch of acoustic songs. (Neel Performing Arts Center, Bradenton)


TAMPA BAY BLUES FESTIVAL Three days of blues, R&B and derivations thereof happen in downtown St. Pete this weekend. It's always a good time, even if you're not a hardened blues aficionado (and if you are a blueshead, you've already got tickets, because this is something you don't pass up around here). For the complete skinny on the fest, check out the Music section's lead stories. (Fri.-Sun., March 18-20, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg)



THE BEACH BOYS Brian Wilson's completion of his SMiLE album, and its attendant tour last year, surely eclipsed anything the other Beach Boys have done in, oh, the last couple of decades or so. Mike Love and the fellas are purely a nostalgia act, so the show will likely be a nice trip down memory lane. They make no pretense about art, per se, and just reliably deliver the hits. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

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