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DETROIT WOMEN & MOTOR CITY EXPRESS Eight disparate, powerful, soulful female blues singers (including the Grammy-nominated Kate Hart), backed by an award-winning band of veteran Detroit musicians. Though only in their second year, these Detroit Women swept this year's Detroit Music Awards, garnering a jaw-dropping, record-setting 13 titles, and Motor City Weekly Detroit Metro Times saw fit to include them in its list of the most influential hometown artists to emerge over the last 100 years. (Bourbon Street, New Port Richey)

ROD MACDONALD An unabashedly political singer/songwriter, MacDonald got his start back in Greenwich Village in the 1980s, drawing from and adding to the neighborhood's deep history of socially charged folk music. And while you're right to dismiss the pretensions of the folkies who came along thinking that they could cure the world's ills through sing-alongs, give a listen to MacDonald and, while the tunes may be kind of corny, it's pretty hard to dismiss them. And really, why shouldn't an artist draw from his or her political convictions? I'll take that over the meaningless pap that passes for material in other quarters any day. (Fogartyville Café, Bradenton) COOPER LANE BAKER

SUNCOAST BLUES SOCIETY HOODOO BLUES CRUISE It's the SBS' third annual party on the water. Reserve yourself a spot at www.sbs.org, head on down to Dolphin Landings in St. Pete Beach (4737 Gulf Blvd.) at 7:30, and enjoy three hours of wine, water and song. This year's performers are road-warrior blues bards Kraig Kenning and Steve Arvey. (Dolphin Landings, St. Pete Beach)

SATURDAY, NOV. 05

THE LAST DAMN SHOW 7 Wild 98.7's annual one-day hip-hop/urban radio festival boasts one of its most high-profile lineups ever. In addition to raucous (and incredibly vapid) headliners Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, the bill includes Young Jeezy, David Banner, Slick Rick (hell, yeah!), Pretty Ricky, Chris Brown, T Pain, Ray J and that sickly talented mouth from the south, Pitbull. (Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg)

EMERSON DRIVE/RICOCHET/FANNY GRACE Canadian C&W act Emerson Drive spent 2002 and '03 collecting just about every country music award the group was eligible to win, as well as enjoying heavy CMT rotation; its second album, What If?, is expected to do similarly brisk business. Similarly harmony-heavy quintet Ricochet and up-and-coming Oklahoman duo Fanny Grace — you might've heard their big single "Counting on Love" — provide support. The Pasco County Fairgrounds are located at 36722 State Road 52 in Dade City. (Pasco County Fairgrounds, Dade City)

H.I.M. This Finnish Goth-metal project has been huge in Scandinavia for years, though various complications (such as a long-running legal dispute with Midwestern multi-instrumentalist/former June of 44 and Codeine member Doug Scharin, who also has an outlet called HiM), have kept the band from really exposing itself to the States. That could change this year, though — Universal released H.I.M.'s back catalog in the U.S., as well as a new effort, Dark Light. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

SUNDAY, NOV. 06

MATISYAHU If the name rings a bell, but you can't quite remember exactly what it refers to, here's a hint: He's the Hasidic Jew dancehall toaster who put out a live album (the recorded-in-Austin Live at Stubb's) as his first widely available release, and who a bunch of hipsters were talking about for, like, five minutes this past spring. He's a gifted guy, but doesn't really sound all that different from any veteran reggae star you'd care to mention, and the novelty factor completely overshadows whatever credible talent he possesses. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

MONDAY, NOV. 07

DWARVES/MONDO GENERATOR/THE TURBO ACS/WANTED DEAD Quasi-legendary nihilist-punk act Dwarves is known far more for suicidal onstage antics, aborted three-minute shows and frontman Blag Dahlia's mouth than for its music, which sounds exactly like what you'd expect from a band known more for the above offenses. It doesn't matter, anyway, because 75 percent of the people who attend this provocative rogue-punk spectacle will do so solely to catch a glimpse of (or be beaten up by) Mondo Generator principal Nick Oliveri; Oliveri was one half of the driving force behind Queens of the Stone Age until last year, when he was very publicly fired. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

MARA LEVI She's a singer/songwriter from Baltimore whose latest album — 2003's Life's a Ball — was recorded with a strong band possessing a delicious alternative rock sound. In Sarasota County, though, she's keeping it acoustic, performing solo. Her tunes are catchy and uptempo and, even without the benefit of the band, Levi should generate enough excitement on her own. She also just happens to have a buoyant, expressive voice: not technically perfect, but unique enough to separate her from the indie pack. If you miss her tonight, she'll be playing a second show in the area at Metro Coffee & Wine on Tues., Nov. 8. Or you can check her out twice. There are worse ways to spend your time. (Stir the Soul, Venice) CLB

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