Music Menu

THURSDAY, MARCH 23

SHE WANTS REVENGE w/ROCK KILLS KID It's the bill from the recent Electric Six show at the same venue, minus Electric Six. Both of these bands are handily surfing Old Wave's new wave; the darker, more electro/dance-informed She Wants Revenge isn't as good in concert as it is coming out of your iPod while you update your Myspace profile, but Rock Kills Kid's soaring anthemics are well worth the price of admission. She Wants Revenge will also be signing shit at Vinyl Fever starting at 5 p.m. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

EARTH, WIND & FIRE This large, horn-heavy ensemble covered the more poppy, bouncy corner of '70s soul. (Me? I'll take the rude funk of Johnny Guitar Watson any time.) The hits have dried up, but EW&F has persevered as a staple on the performing arts hall circuit. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) Eric Snider

THE NATE NAJAR TRIO & HARRY ALLEN Steady guitarist Najar is joined by New York tenor saxophonist Allen, who some have characterized as a blend of Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. The quartet will play music by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg) ES

SOLE/SKYRIDER/ASTRONAUTALIS/SCIENCE-NON-FICTION This is a four-headed beast of independent hip-hop, with the biggest props reserved for Sole, who was involved in the founding of the Anticon collective and whose sound is marked by dense lyrics and dramatic beats, basically the current M.O. below the mainstream. SkyRider produces mostly instrumental beats, but incorporates a lot of live instrumentation instead of depending entirely on samples. Astroanautalis and Science-Non-Fiction ... what more is there to say? You know them and — maybe — love them. (The Tavern on Main, Sarasota) Cooper Lane Baker

JUICE NEWTON Though she flirted with commercial pop during the '90s, Newton will forever be known for the early-'80s pop-country crossover hits "Angel of the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts." Tonight marks the beginning of a weekend-long stand at Busch Gardens' Stanleyville Theater. (Busch Gardens, Tampa)

FRIDAY, MARCH 24

NATALIE COLE Nat's daughter scored several contemporary R&B hits in the '70s and '80s ("This Will Be," "Our Love," "Pink Cadillac"), but saved her biggest commercial success for the early '90s when she turned to old chestnuts like those made famous by her late dad. There are still music critics out there who can't fathom "Unforgettable," her computer-spliced duet with Nat that climbed the charts in '91. Cole plays Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Tuesday, March 28, as well. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) ES

THE ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION The band always worked the periphery of the '70s Southern rock scene. More song- than jam-oriented, ARS notched such hits as "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover," charting 14 times in all. (The Tamiami @ Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg) ES

HARD-FI Mercury Prize and Brit Award-nominated English indie-rock act Hard-Fi mixes New Wave melody, No Wave angularity and punk energy. The band is a relative newcomer to the scene, particularly here in the States, where nobody had heard of it before last year's South by Southwest festival. It's 2004 debut, Stars of CCTV, wasn't released until this month. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

SATURDAY, MARCH 25

R. KELLY Though many said talented, sexually obsessed, perpetually scandalized R&B singer/songwriter/producer Kelly went off the deep end with the recent, melodramatically corny "Trapped in the Closet" serial (did you see him on the MTV Awards? Holy shit, that was weird), he remains an urban-music icon to millions, particularly in his hometown of Chicago. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

DAR WILLIAMS & LISA LOEB A female singer-songwriter twofer. Williams' traditional-yet-personal style is often intimate and sharply humorous, and has endeared her to both diehard folkies and more adventurous Adult Contemporary fans. Loeb, of course, is the quirky, bespectacled pop songstress you either loved or hated because of "Stay," which, by the way, came out while she was still unsigned. Since then, she's recorded better music, released a children's album with Ida's Elizabeth Mitchell, married Dweezil Zappa and starred on a Food Network series. Her Very Best of anthology was released Stateside this year. (Tampa Theatre, Tampa)

JUAN GABRIEL Mexican vocalist and songwriter Juan Gabriel is a lasting Latin-pop success throughout much of the world. He's sold over 30 million records, produced several albums for several other artists (including Paul Freakin' Anka), and been covered by folks like Marc Anthony since releasing his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," in the early '70s. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa)

DALIFEST For its 24th anniversary, the Dali Museum throws a bash with all sorts of diversions, including plenty of music. Here's the rundown: 1:30 p.m., Ronnie Dee's Gravy, a funky, jam-oriented outfit; 3:30 p.m., The Irritable Tribe without Poets, moody world/jazz fusion; 5 p.m., On Que Players, R&B/Motown covers; 6:30 p.m., Bogus Pomp, scintillating, spot-on renditions of Frank Zappa compositions. (Salvador Dali Museum/Poynter Park, St. Petersburg) ES

HOT TOPIC REGIONAL SHOWCASE Yes, I make fun of Hot Topic at every opportunity. And yes, I make fun of Rumors of War frontman Ben Bakker for working there. But Bakker has parlayed the trendy chain's interest in supporting unsigned bands (and self-promotion, natch) into this sponsored local show, so maybe I'll make fun of both of them a little less for the moment. A Hot Topic higher-up or two will be flying into town to check out Rumors of War, The Chase Theory, Farewell Verona and Signal 76 (and, presumably, how enthusiastic a crowd they draw), and if they like what they see, they'll distribute the bands' CDs to Hot Topics all over the Bay area. (The Distillery, Bradenton)

BATTLE OF THE BANDS Sinking Ships and Shook Ones, both on revered California hardcore label Revelation Records, headline; 10 other all-ages-scene types from around Central and South Florida compete for studio time, CD duplication and a slot on the stage at next month's PierFest extreme-sports shindig. This big bad boy starts at 3 p.m. The contendahs: Thick As Blood; Stand Behind; This Will Be Remembered; Contagion; Frontline; Deathbed December; And I Dreamt of You; Salin' On; Social Lies; and Last Bulb Burning. (688 Skatepark, Clearwater)

THE INDUSTRY'S MOST WANTED Production and promotion company Dawson & Evans presents this filled-out urban/R&B/spoken word showcase. Producer/songwriter/Dawson & Evans principal Jarvis Evans co-headlines with Deca; other performers include 2 Pistols, Showtime, Jay R., E Jae, J Flame, Scandalous and many more. For more information, check out www.jarvisevans.com and click on "Events." Oh, and it says "dress to impress," so get your mack on. (The Junction, Clearwater)

SUNDAY, MARCH 26

UNCLE EARL/ADRIENNE YOUNG & LITTLE SADIE/THE BISCUIT BURNERS WMNF goes extra rootsy (what else?) on this enticing triple bill. Uncle Earl is an all-female string band; they perform traditional Appalachian music while hovering around a single microphone. Asheville, N.C.'s Biscuit Burners are a rising outfit in the mountain music realm. Adrienne Young fronted probably the most popular band in Gainesville in the mid '90s, a quirk-pop outfit called the Big White Undies. These days, she brings contemporary hues to old-time music with a charming album called Art of Virtue. Show time is 6 p.m. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa) ES

HANGAR 18/APSCI/INNERSTANCE.BEATBOX Ambassadors from NYC's underground hip-hop scene bring goodwill and good rhymes. Trio Hangar 18 is affiliated with the top-notch Definitive Jux Records, and Hangar member Alaska showed up on Cannibal Ox's untouchable Def Jux release The Cold Vein. Crew/collective ApSci has made the Tampa scene at least once before, and producer-turned-performer Innerstance. Beatbox mixes found, stolen and manipulated sounds with live instrumentation and deft DJ work. If you can't make the show (and even if you can), know that Hangar 18 and ApSci will be doing an in-store at Vinyl Fever this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

CENTRO-MATIC/THE GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS/NEW ROMAN TIMES/NESSIE Hope New World's stocked up on Beast and PBR, because much will be consumed at this alt-country throwdown. Centro-Matic is simply the most consistent band trolling the alt-country scene right now. Fort Recovery is Centro-Matic's newest release, and just in time — my copy of My Morning Jacket's Z is worn to the nub, and this is a perfect replacement. Support comes from gothic country labelmates Great Lake Swimmers, Winter Park hipsters (but with talent!) New Roman Times, and the Bay's own Nessie (which happens to feature our own Scott Harrell). (New World Brewery, Ybor City) Mark Sanders

SOUTH Somewhere between Frou Frou and Brothers Past lies South, a British group adept at blending elements of electronica with trad-rock instrumentation to create atmospheric pop soundscapes akin to a lighter latter-day Pink Floyd. The outfit got its start remixing the work of others; ironically, it was many of these others who originally urged South to begin making its own music. (The Tamiami @ Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

THE NOT-YET-NOT-QUITE-GOODBYE-TO-VIVA-LA-FRIDA PARTY It looks like the celebrated Seminole Heights restaurant/venue Viva La Frida's days might be numbered, which means the long-running spoken word-backed-by-jazz-improv revue known as Irritable Tribe of Poets might be losing its home. Get there by 7:30 p.m. to hear some seriously talented men (Jim Beckwith, Ray Villadonga, Jonathan Priest, Peter Mongaya and John Richardson) back some seriously talented men and women (James Tokley, Ronny Elliott, Melissa Fair, Paradox, Myron Jackson and hostess Rhonda J. Nelson) for perhaps the last time. (Viva La Frida Café y Galeria, Tampa)

MONDAY, MARCH 27

ERICA WHEELER Wheeler, who was in our area not too long ago, blesses us this go-round with a steady-if-not-quite-gripping amalgam of folk and country. (Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota) CLB

TUESDAY, MARCH 28

THE LIVING THINGS w/THE VACATION Driving a hypemobile that includes year-end-list kudos from both Spin and Rolling Stone, socially conscious, St. Louis-bred, glam-punk combo The Living Things roars through its first high-profile club tour. The music's pretty good, in a solid, loud, no-frills way. Along for the ride is surprisingly groovy (but still kind of generic) Los Angeles garage-rock/New Wave unit The Vacation. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29

THE SWORD/TORCHE/ASG/TARANTULA AD With Masquerade's Infinity Room having gone bye-bye along with the rest of the club, Aestheticized Presents has moved several of its shows out to the Skatepark of Tampa's Transitions Gallery. File this one under comparatively slow and crushingly heavy. Raised on a steady diet of Sabbath, Melvins and Sleep, Austin's The Sword will hurt you in the best of ways. So will Floridian favorite Torche, which last destroyed this room, like, 10 minutes ago. North Carolina's more upbeat (but no less threatening) ASG and the inimitable, often perplexing multi-instrumental mix of European folk, classical and metal that is Tarantula A.D. provide support. (Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa)

KRUNK NIGHT Tastemakers and the aforementioned Aestheticized Presents turn Wednesday night over to HB Video and Dem MOB DJ's principal and Wild 98.7 veteran DJ Headbussa; he and WMNF's DJ Lowdown are bringing an evening of hip-hop ranging from spun krunk tunes to live rap from around the state. Rising Tampa-by-way-of-O-Town MC J-Rod performs, along with the smooth Da Fam, Deca, Spring Hill's Hard Target and West Palm Beach's Sean Simp. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

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