Music Menu

All entries by Scott Harrell except where otherwise noted.

THE MERCURY PROGRAM/FIN FANG FOOM/RED ROOM CINEMA The Mercury Program hail from Gainesville. Indie types love 'em. The instrumentation includes a vibraphone, which is pretty cool in and of itself, but their post-rock has been and would be great even without such a righteous contraption. Also back for the umpteenth time are the excellent Fin Fang Foom, whose fractured yet melodic fringe-rock could easily be huge, were they exposed to more people. Be one of those people. (Nov. 4, New World Brewery, Ybor City)

SUBHUMANS w/CAUSTIC CHRIST/7 CROWNS When I worked at Daddy Kool Records over in St. Pete, I sold more Subhumans CDs to kids who hadn't been born until after the seminal British band's '85 breakup than discs from any other early-days punk act, The Clash and The Ramones included. And they're, like, way more raw and gnashing. Now that's a legacy. Caustic Christ reportedly play a ripping, crusty brand of hardcore, while 7 Crowns used to be called Tiny Elvis, and mixes old-school hardcore with more straight-up rock influences. (Nov. 5, State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

PAUL THORN w/SAWGRASS FLATS WMNF presents another one of their favorite cult-legendary singer-songwriters. I'm just gonna tell ya what the Skipper's release told me: "Paul Thorn is an inveterate storyteller with wily lyrics and brilliant irony. His rootsy style of gospel-infused rock can be quirky or tug at your heart strings." Got it? Hardworking Bay area newgrass ensemble Sawgrass Flats opens. (Nov. 5, Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

METALLICA w/GODSMACK It truly boggles the mind to know that there are tons of people out there who (a) fell in love with Metallica when Kill 'Em All came out in 1983, and (b) are still willing to give the band not only the benefit of the doubt, but their continued fervent loyalty, in 2004. Such a fact is a testament to not only the talent displayed on Metallica's first four albums, but also humanity's general inability to accept it when a relationship goes bad. The most powerful metal band in the world hasn't made an even halfway decent album in 13 years. It has, however, reneged on its promise to never court MTV; traded in its every-dirtbag image for fashions that bordered on young-rock-idiot caricature; sued its fans; fired its bass player for wanting to play in a side project; participated in making a documentary of its group-therapy sessions (!) titled, with no detectable irony, Some Kind of Monster; and, most recently, handpicked what is possibly the worst alterna-metal band still selling records to open its biggest U.S. tour in four years. Look, people, I completely agree that Master of Puppets is one of the four or five best heavy-music records ever recorded. But Metallica hasn't been a band of the people, or even a relatively good band, in a long time. What it is, is a monolithic contemporary corporate endeavor. Microsoft with a soundtrack. (Nov. 5, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa)

DOPE w/TWISTED METHOD/MOTOGRATER The guys over at Seminole's beautifully appointed Boomerz Boiler Room think I bust their balls too much in print about the national acts they book. So, in the interest of appeasement, I have the following to say about this gig, featuring disturbing nu-metal cult faves Dope: Um, uh, well ... Motograter doesn't suck. They're quite good, actually. (Nov. 5, Boomerz Boiler Room, Seminole)

BIG SANDY & HIS FLY-RITE BOYS w/SKINNY MCGEE & THE MAYHEM MAKERS These Cali rockabilly/western swing/upbeat croon-tune veterans have been turning all-ages clubs, punk-a-billy festivals and erudite arts venues into sweat-humid dancehalls for 15 years or so. Dying to know how Big Sandy got his name? Find out by reading the Music feature. Kindred-spirit support comes courtesy of West Central Florida's Skinny McGee and the boys, who have wowed crowds and won fans at Skipper's regularly for what seems like ages. (Nov. 6, Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SARASOTA BLUES FEST Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm headline this year, with ample help from New Orleans roots act The Radiators, progressive blues guitarist Larry McCray, pimp-daddy wannabes Nick Curran & the Nitelifes, 15-year-old guitar sensation Robin Thrush Jr., plus local acts The All-Stars (featuring members of Jennifer & the Venturas, King Louie Band and Big Night Out). You need any more reasons to go? I didn't think so. (Nov. 6, Sarasota Fairgrounds, Sarasota) —Mark Sanders

R. KELLY & JAY-Z "I've got jokes for days 'bout R. Kelly's lays, their ages are in question/ too young to woo, too open to the powers of suggestion." But seriously, both of these men are among the best of the best in their respective genres — except, apparently, when they make albums together; both of their full-length efforts at collaboration come off as a bit half-assed when compared to their usual output. No matter — you get to see two titans of urban music do their thing, and in Jay-Z's case, perhaps for the last time ... as Jay-Z, anyway. (Nov. 6, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa)

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