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Picks for the week's best shows


STEELY DAN & MICHAEL McDONALD Here's the good news, for me at least (and, I'm guessing, you too). Steely Dan's setlist consists only of songs from their 1970s golden era. Nothing from the two subpar discs released in the 2000s. Singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen and guitarist Walter Becker will be joined by a crackshot ensemble that includes a second guitarist, second keyboardist, drums, bass, four horn players and two female backup singers. For some musings on Steely Dan, check out this week's music feature. Michael McDonald, who was briefly a member of Steely Dan before joining the Doobie Brothers, has enjoyed a career resurgence thanks to an album or two of Motown covers. He'll join Steely Dan on stage for a couple of songs. Of course, the pressing question is, will he do "Yah Mo B There"? (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa) —Eric Snider

INDIA.ARIE w/LORENZO OWENS Emerging from the fertile Atlanta music scene, India.Arie managed to combine neo-soul with a Lilith Fair singer-songwriter feel. Her breathy pipes and sultry stage demeanor have earned her a loyal cult of fans. (Personally, I wish she'd drop the dot from her name.) Last year, Milwaukee-born soul crooner Owens was chosen as one of three finalists in Oprah's Popstar Music Challenge. Hey, who needs American Idol? (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa) —ES


REGGAE SUNSPLASH FEAT. UB40/THIRD WORLD/MAXIPRIEST/TOOTS & THE MAYTALS If you like your reggae fests with a pop flair, you can hardly do better than this. UB40, named after the British welfare form, is a multi-racial outfit that scored the smash "Red Red Wine." Third World is a storied Jamaican reggae act that enjoyed considerable crossover success. Briton Maxi Priest is a lead progenitor of the sultry subgenre known as "lovers rock." The real gem here is Toots & the Maytals; Toots Hibbert — with his gruff, soulful pipes — is one of the best vocalists in reggae annals. The band's "Do the Reggay" (1968) is believed to be the first use of the word reggae in a song. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa) —ES

HATEBREED Perhaps the most recognizable band in the post-nu-metal canon, New Haven, Conn.'s Hatebreed got rid of Slayer's frenetic arrangements, keeping the heavy grooves and mosh breaks of the original thrash/hardcore crossover bands; along the way, it helped define contemporary metalcore. The group is also at least partially responsible for making metal hip again, to the point that frontman Jamey Jasta hosts the current incarnation of MTV2's Headbanger's Ball. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

SOUTHERN PRAISE Gospel quartet Southern Praise has been spreading the Word through music for a decade now. The individual members all have laudable backgrounds in both the church and music/music education, and the group itself is a veteran of the beloved Kingsgold gospel-revival concerts of the '90s with a Top 40 original gospel hit ("Get Out of the Boat") under its belt. A barbecue dinner will be served prior to the 7 p.m. show. First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks is located at 12685 Ulmerton Road in Largo. (First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo)

CIGAR STORE INDIANS The Indians' eclectic roots-rockin'/rockabilly/jump-blues sound is familiar to most Bay area fans of all things twang, as the group stops in town regularly, and has done so for at least a decade. This time around, the Georgia-bred Indians are hitting Gulfport's historic casino, where it's a little easier to dance than the Skipperdome (nothing against the 'dome — I'm just sayin, the floor at the Casino isn't made of sand). And dancing is what tonight's gig is all about, as this is another in a long line of quality Swing Time productions. (Gulfport Casino, Gulfport)

THE SOULAR SYSTEM w/THE HUMAN CONDITION Over-the-top funk/boogie/rock/disco/groove collective The Soular System should be too jammy for the hip set, and too hip and crazy for the jam set, but somehow scores with both. True to the band's description of itself, the sound comes as close to absolutely defying categorization as anything I've heard in a while. The deal is, it's a fun, danceable time, the bass lines are prominent, and there you go. Pinellas strum-pop band The Human Condition really must've wowed 'em at the Americana Fest a few weeks back, because the group was hand-picked by the folks at Skipper's to open this show. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

SUICIDE SILENCE/ALL SHALL PERISH/TOO PURE TO DIE/LIGHT THIS CITY/NIGHTS LIKE THESE If any more evidence were needed to prove that the lines between contemporary hardcore and extreme metal styles are officially nonexistent, this gig would do nicely. Headliner Suicide Silence hails from Riverside, Calif., and negotiates hairpin grind-to-blast-beat tempo shifts with ease. Oakland's All Shall Perish remains closer to a familiar death metal-influenced groovecore sound; Iowa's Too Pure To Die strips it even further back to its chug-and-anger foundation; San Francisco act Light This City's MySpace "genre" tag says it all ("metal/metal/metal"); and Tennessee's Nights Like These sounds a lot like an emasculated Tom Jones. No, just kidding — they're heavy as shit too, and probably the most anarchic/noise-core band on this bill. (688 Skatepark, Clearwater)


SUMMER BLING '06 This outdoor urban-style summer jam/world's largest block party features all manner of attractions, from a car show to a fashion show to a chance to spend a hell of a lot of money on swag. It's the music that's germane to our purposes, however, and Summer Bling has that, too. BET Rap City host Mad Linx plays master of ceremonies to appearances by the likes of Tampa Tony, Dre, Acafool, and Trick Daddy's Dunk Ryders. (Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa)

SAY HI TO YOUR MOM w/LIFE OF PI Say Hi to Your Mom started as a one-man home-studio project, an outlet for Brooklyn singer-songwriter Eric Elbogen's earnest, surreal and impossibly catchy pocket-sized indie-pop tunes. But four albums later, it's a nationally-buzzed full band fronted by Elbogen that has so far eschewed all of the record deals shoved under its nose. If you like things infectious, not too self-conscious and just a little bit twee, Say Hi to Your Mom is definitely hard to beat. Top-notch local fuzz-pop combo Life of Pi provides support, and word on the street says the act has some great new material to shove in your ears. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)


THE RADIATORS The long-standing New Orleans band, which blends the second-line syncopation of its hometown with hard-hitting rock and boogie, is one durable outfit. The group has played the Bay area countless times. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa) —ES

VOODOO GLOW SKULLS/BIG D & THE KIDS TABLE/WESTBOUND TRAIN Look, anybody interested in the ska-punk matrix is already intimately familiar with VGS' hardcore-laced bilingual awesomeness and Big D's way with bouncy fun, so let's just get right to the relative newcomer: Boston's Westbound Train has a new album coming out on intensely cred-heavy Epitaph Records subsidiary Hellcat this September, and incorporates more straight-up punk and Clash-indebted reggae to its sound than the two titans it's supporting. Sounds goooood. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

THE RED BARON/CALL TO PRESERVE South Florida Christian act Red Baron isn't interested in metal, or metalcore, or whatever else; this band plays the sort of all-speed-no-grace gang-chorus hardcore that has become increasingly rare since, well, the mid-'80s, I guess. Is it good? Sure, but not in any way, shape or form original — you know the drill. Call to Preserve is much more steeped in current metallic hardcore trends and influences. (688 Skatepark, Clearwater)

DON SAGINARIO Couldn't find a whole lot on ol' Don. Near as I can tell, he's a Floridian guitarist in the jazz and blues mold. (Carrollwood Cultural Center Annex, Tampa) —ES


CANDLEBOX The Seattle band existed on fringes of the grunge movement, earning scorn from hardcore scenesters who felt Candlebox was watering down the music. In '94, the single "You" broke through to rock radio and the group enjoyed a blush of multi-platinum success. Candlebox has undergone several personnel changes but keeps plugging away. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg) —ES

DRAGONFORCE/BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME The wonderfully cheesily named Dragonforce has become a favorite everywhere in the world except America by not only embracing all of heavy metal's most overblown clichés (operatic keyboard atmosphere, crotch-grabbingly high vocals, gothic/fantasy imagery, etc.), but shoving them into fans' faces with nary an ironically arched eyebrow. This current tour is the band's bid for Stateside credibility; whether they'll be accepted as a real band or a heavier, more instrumentally adept Darkness remains to be seen. Support act Between The Buried And Me is at the other end of the metal spectrum — a brutally innovative experimental metalcore outfit. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

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