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THURSDAY, AUG. 03

THE KENNY DREW JR. TRIO By now, Drew has to be tired of reading that he's the son of the late Kenny Drew, a pianist who played with a roll call of jazz greats, including the holy troika of Bird, Miles and Trane. So let's spare him the rehash, OK? Uh ... let me start over: St. Pete resident Kenny Drew Jr. is a jazz pianist of considerable repute who possesses a winning combination of fire and lyricism. Now in his late 40s, he has released 20 albums under his own name on a variety of small-to-medium labels. Brought to you by the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association and the city of St. Petersburg. (The Palladium, St. Petersburg) —Eric Snider

FRIDAY, AUG. 04

DAVE MASON A founding member of Traffic, Mason enjoyed middling success as a pop-rock solo act in the '70s. He's a serviceable singer, a better guitarist. His electrified version of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," while it doesn't rival Hendrix's, nevertheless features some rippin' guitar breaks. (Largo Cultural Center) —ES

JURASSIC 5/X-CLAN Progressive Los Angeles hip-hop crew Jurassic 5 has been waiting more than a decade to stop being called the Next Big Thing and start being it; but, mainstream rap being what it is these days, the group will either have to wait a little longer, or completely sell out like former scene peers/formerly decent act Black Eyed Peas. Let's hope that never happens, because J5 gives up consistently superior product. The politically active X-Clan helped define the look and sound of thoughtful rap's late-'80s Afrocentric trend. Though two of the group's charter members have sadly passed away, primary motivating force Brother J has a new X-Clan effort, Return from Mecca, slated for an October release. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

MAE/THE SPILL CANVAS/INKWELL Since forming in '03, Virginia Beach's Mae has, like Elliott before it, tried to introduce new sonic atmospheres to emo-pop. The band is undeniably more ambitious than most, but often relies on the same tender earnestness and guitar hooks that have come to define the genre. The Spill Canvas also works familiar moody/catchy territory, but Orlando's Inkwell — a new project from former members of great Florida acts My Hotel Year and Believe in Toledo — offers a wonderfully original and personality-driven take on infectious indie-pop. Come early. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

JOSH ZUCKERMAN CD RELEASE PARTY Rising gay-culture maverick Zuckerman mixes his love for both country (he plays violin and acoustic guitar) and rock 'n' roll (he reveres the New Jersey storytelling-songwriter tradition) to make upbeat, strummy, danceable pop-rock with serious crossover appeal. His latest single "Out from Under" (from his second album of the same name, due this month) was recently the most requested track on Sirius satellite radio station OutQ for four weeks straight. (Valentine's Nightclub, Tampa)

THE AUTUMN OFFERING/BURN IN SILENCE There's really not much "core" in The Autumn Offering's metalcore. This Daytona Beach band plays the kind of Iron Maiden-inspired riffage that recalls another, more famous group with "Autumn" in its title, From Autumn to Ashes, but breaks it up with moody instrumental passages. Burn in Silence rose out of the same Boston extreme-music scene that birthed the likes of Converge and Hatebreed; the band's pummel lies somewhere between those two titans, not too teched- or spazzed-out but not too simple either. (688 Skatepark, Clearwater)

BOBAFLEX/STILLKEPT/PRIMITIVE ASTRONAUTS/INDORPHINE/PSYCHOSTICK It's an evening of average metal, some of which deserves a modicum of credit for not being afraid to just be heavy and dumb and trend-less and sometimes funny. West Virginia's Bobaflex has been spotted opening for much bigger bands recently, but this particular stop on the tour is a big one for Orlando's Indorphine. The band has made a name for itself around here on the strength of some interesting, well-played comedy-metal and a lot of over-the-top live sets, and tonight serves as a CD release party for its new album Glowsticks for Clubbing Baby Seals, out now on fledgling national label Rock Ridge Music. (Bourbon Street, New Port Richey)

SATURDAY, AUG. 05

BRAD PAISLEY He came on the scene in '99 as one of those scrubbed "hat acts," and has been a radio and fan fave ever since. Paisley sports a bit more roots cred than most of the contemporary country pack. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa) —ES

THE SMITHEREENS w/THE THREADS Hatched in north Jersey, The Smithereens occupied an interesting niche in late-'80s rock. Influenced by the British Invasion, as well as punk and the likes of Elvis Costello, frontman Pat DiNizio and company bundled all that up into a working-class bar-band sound. "Only a Memory" and "A Girl Like You" were rock radio hits during the heyday of hair bands like Poison and Cinderella. It's been a long time since The Smithereens were a rock force, but the hunch here is that this could well be a fine show. A nice bonus: The Threads. St. Pete's Brian Merrill, late of Barely Pink, leads his new band in a somewhat twangier take on power-pop. (Jannus Landing, St. Pete) —ES

LAGWAGON/THE LAWRENCE ARMS/A WILHELM SCREAM Lagwagon has been fusing melody to hardcore tempos since '88 and is both godfather to and a perfect example of the kind of scorching, catchy punk that's come to be known as "the Fat Wreck sound." Of course, Chicago's literate, funny, intensely original Lawrence Arms are a perfect example of how there's no longer any such thing as "the Fat Wreck sound" — the band's latest album for that label, Oh! Calcutta!, conforms to no punk-rock dogma and is one of the two or three finest sound recordings to emerge so far this year. A Wilhelm Scream is a better-than-average new-school act from Massachusetts that remembers the finer elements of the old school and can actually play. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

FATLIP/OMNI Pharcyde co-founder Fatlip finally followed up on his 2000 debut solo single, "What Up Fatlip," with last year's full-length The Loneliest Punk, and he reportedly hasn't lost any of the rambling, personable skills that made his old crew such an indispensable addition to '90s alternative rap. Underground MC Omni began his career in the late '90s as a member of Los Angeles' BassLine Xcursionists, then went solo in '01 with Funkdafied Freddy. He's since shared the stage with backpack powerbrokers like Murs and Rhymesayers' Brother Ali. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

SUBURBAN LOCKDOWN/MORE TBA The dudes that make up Suburban Lockdown have a little bit of punk-rock history. Various members have been playing in the scene since all the way back in 1982, the year after Black Flag dropped Damaged. Cause, please meet effect. Despite all that time playing, though, these guys still sound like a bunch of hardcore-worshipping teenagers hopped up on speed and out to destroy their equipment. They just released their debut album — Locked In — on Canada's Steel Capped Records and are in the midst of a brief run of Florida dates to celebrate. If you like your beer cold, your TV loud and your punk rock whiplash-inducing, you've found a good night out. (The Tavern on Main, Sarasota) —Cooper Levey-Baker

SUNDAY, AUG. 06

AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE For the countless tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of adoring Tampa Bay fans for whom sitting on the couch and watching the Fox ratings juggernaut two or three nights a week this spring wasn't enough, the American Idol "singers" roll into town for a one-night, G-rated throwdown. Michael McDonald-wannabe Taylor Hicks tops the bill, with his easy-to-take soul vocals. Studly rocker Chris Daughtry and the R&B teenager Paris Bennett (both eliminated from the competition before their time) are probably the closest this bunch comes to genuinely exciting entertainment. As for the rest? Well, who could forget the stellar competition performances of, say, munchkin Elliott Yamin or dumb blonde Kellie Pickler? The fact that this tour is sponsored by the sugary breakfast pastry Pop-Tarts reeks of truth in advertising. (St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa) —Wayne Garcia

NOW IT'S OVERHEAD/SUMMERBIRDS IN THE CELLAR/THE ALOHA MODEL If you're at all interested in seeing how today's indie-rock kids are incorporating the early alternative ethereal/shoegaze influence, this show is not to be missed. Athens-based Now It's Overhead principal Andy LeMaster is no slouch when it comes to writing great songs and rendering them beautifully in the studio — the band's new album, Dark Light Daybreak, is often breathtaking — and Orlando's masterfully evocative Summerbirds in the Cellar is always a highly recommended live experience. As a value-added bonus, you get Tampa one-man band The Aloha Model, which blends acoustic guitars, cut-and-paste beats and noise and breathy vocals to come up with something extremely gratifying. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

BETTER THAN AVERAGE/CHARMIN/MORE TBA As if one night of punk rock from central Florida at The Tavern weren't enough, Better Than Average is in town the very next night after Suburban Lockdown is set to nuke the place. BTA is more influenced by bands that were influenced by punk rather than the real deal, though, with a sound that doesn't stray too far from the Green Day template. The band is pushing a new self-released LP and played a date on the Warped Tour. Oh also, don't forget to pick up some Rockstar Energy Drink, which the band is promoting. "Party like a Rockstar!"© (The Tavern on Main, Sarasota) —CLB

MONDAY, AUG. 07

MARIAH CAREY w/SEAN PAUL While I wouldn't categorize myself as a fan, I admire Mariah's spunk and survival instincts. (Hey, anyone can have a meltdown.) She bounced back in '05 with the year's biggest seller, the six-times-platinum Emancipation of Mimi, which must still have the folks at Virgin eyeing the window ledges. That was the label, you might remember, that offered her a $28-million buyout of what was then the richest contract in music history — after they had already paid her $21-million. While Carey might be too much of a diva for her own good, she's a formidable singing talent who inspires fierce loyalty among her fans. Sean Paul is probably the top act in dancehall reggae. (St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa) —ES

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 09

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND It never ceases to amaze me that what is essentially a jazz-fusion band fronted by an acoustic guitar strummer with an irritating voice can be one of the biggest concert draws in the world. What can I say? I just don't get it. But y'all do, so have fun. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa) —ES

GEORGE BENSON & AL JARREAU The late '70s/early '80s was a period when jazz-associated artists could actually make a run up the pop charts. Guitarist-singer Benson and singer Jarreau reaped some of the benefits. Benson remains a sturdy act, while Jarreau has become even more a cartoon (with his rubbery body language and over-the-top vocal gymnastics) than he was during his brush with mainstream popularity a quarter century ago. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater) —ES

LITTLE RIVER BAND The Australian lite-rock band scored an astonishing 13 Top 40 hits from 1976-1983, including three Top 10s ("Reminiscing," "Lonesome Loser," "The Night Owls"). How they managed this I have no earthly idea, but it's certainly a poor reflection on the American culture of the time. (Largo Cultural Center) —ES

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