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WP's picks for the week's best shows

THURSDAY, AUG. 24

THROWDOWN/ZAO/EVERGREEN TERRACE/MAYLENE & THE SONS OF DISASTER In metalcore years, the dudes of Orange County's groove/mosh unit Throwdown are elder statesmen; the band has been mixing straightedge hardcore with NYC-style crossover for nearly a decade. Zao and Evergreen Terrace are among the most beloved groups in the genre's current, all-ages-friendly second wave, and helped craft the original screamo template. Word on the street is that Maylene & The Sons of Disaster, the new group from former Underoath frontman Dallas Taylor, absolutely smokes, and adds Southern rock swagger to metalcore's intensity. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

PATRICK BETTISON QUARTET Renowned as one of the Bay area's top bassists, Bettison, who also plays harmonica, will perform with guitarist LaRue Nickelson, drummer Dave Reinhardt and tenor saxophonist Jeremy Carter. (Palladium, St. Petersburg) —Eric Snider

FRIDAY, AUG. 25

ROLLINS BAND/X/RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS What? Former Black Flag frontman/current IFC talk-show host/notoriously hit-and-miss songwriter Henry Rollins headlining over the legendary Los Angeles twang-punk progenitor known as X? That's a head-scratcher, for sure. In any case, both acts are bona fide punk icons, but you know what I'm really looking forward to? Openers Riverboat Gamblers, a charismatic, rock-rooted punk act whose '06 album To The Confusion of Our Enemies is a serious contender for the best rock 'n' roll album of the year. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

ANTHONY GOMES Young, flashy blues-rock singer/guitarist Gomes hails from Nashville. He seems to have fallen prey, at least to a certain extent, to that city's reputation for turning roots music into a video parody of itself. Gomes' latest album, Music Is The Medicine, while adeptly played and sung, is a cheesy, overblown affair — hopefully, these songs will get stripped back to their essences in a live setting. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

MARTY GOETZ The Messianic Jew began performing back in the mid-'60s, long before his conversion in the late '70s. Since then, Goetz has become a gospel performer and speaker (testifier?) known for his strong, clear voice and skill on the piano, and plays to Christians and Jews for Jesus alike. Tonight's program at Shoresh David Tampa (4320 Bay to Bay Blvd.) begins at 7:30; Goetz will also perform at Shoresh David Lakeland (4416 E. County Road) tomorrow evening. (Shoresh David Tampa, Tampa)

JOHN McNICHOLAS CD RELEASE PARTY He may be spending most of his time in Atlanta these days, but impeccable singer-songwriter John McNicholas will always be a St. Pete boy to us longtime scenesters, and he knows it. That's why John's coming back to town for a weekend's worth of shows, and kicking them off with this party celebrating his second solo EP of crisp, personable and innately infectious pop-rock tunes, Silver. (Longtime fans will be happy to know that the top-notch four-track CD includes both a new version of "Maria" and, finally, a studio recording of "No One Would Miss Us," along with two great newer tracks.) Tonight's gig features a full-band format, and support from likeminded local pop purveyors Brian Merrill (Barely Pink, The Threads) and Lance Rowland; in addition to this Globe shindig and tomorrow night's SMA to-do at The Garage, McNicholas will also play Viva La Frida's dog-friendly Yappy Hour on Sunday afternoon. (Globe Coffee Lounge, St. Petersburg)

ROOTSTOCK 3 Heavily buzzed and scene-beloved local roots/reggae/hip-hop/Afro-beat/anything-with-an-overwhelming-groove collective Gwan Massive is at it again, with the third installment of its RootStock mini-fest. Tonight's program features everything from rocksteady to ace turntablism, from the familiar likes of Tribal Style, LMNO (of The Visionaries), Surreal & Breakdown, The Rukus, 99 Lions, Slopfunkdust and more, more, more. There's no better place to stand, heavy-lidded with a superior brew in your hand, and nod along, than at the New World tonight. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

HIPPY GONE WRONG A band from Orlando with an apparent penchant for performing in tighty-whiteys, Hippy Gone Wrong is in the mold of the classic mid-'90s alternative bands. The sound is aggressive and loud, but without the monotonous shrieking or the tunelessness of hardcore punk. In fact, Hippy Gone Wrong might just make you nostalgic for the era of Bush, Sponge and Veruca Salt. (The Tavern on Main, Sarasota) —Cooper Levey-Baker

SATURDAY, AUG. 26

MARY J. BLIGE The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul brings her inimitable, sensuous blend of those two genres to Tampa's big ol' shed. I'm going to go ahead and assume that anyone even vaguely interested in urban music is familiar with Blige's sophisticated, forward-thinking and seemingly ever more mature and classy style — she's come a long way from the stereotypical streetwise bad-girl who began her career in the early '90s, and is currently touring to support her 10th full-length, The Breakthrough. Support comes courtesy of Jaheim — a guy who also seamlessly blends rap and soul — and LeToya, a former member of Destiny's Child's original lineup whose eponymous debut full-length finally dropped (after several years of singles) last month. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa)

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