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ENDEAVORS 3 It's Soul Motive Production's third "Live PA" extravaganza of daring electronic music created live onstage — almost like a real rock concert, heh heh. No, seriously, they'll be outfitting the New World with a full-on sound system for the event, and these guys are at the head of the live-electronic pack. Function, Trace Element, The Primordial Steps, Denizen and Anomalous will turn in sets of tuneage both grooveable and trancy. (Dec. 19, New World Brewery)

GRAND BUFFET/RED TIDE/BLUEBIRD & SPYTECK/ACCORDION JUSTICE/SECOND STRING HERO Tonight's Orpheum action is a mixed bag of hip-hop and indie, courtesy of Aestheticized and Peripheral Records (the label run by underground hip-hop guru Lazy, of our own beloved Red Tide). Grand Buffet offers oddball, out-there and even downright goofy rappage; they opened for outsider artist Wesley Willis the last time he came through town. Tampa's own Red Tide creates some of the most intelligent and visceral collegiate/backpack/underground hip-hop going. For Bluebird & Spyteck, I'm gonna hafta rely on Lazy's description: "Orlando-based dreadlock hippie lunatic emcee and whacked-out DJ swamp-style turntablist madness!" Of course. Noisy avant punks Accordion Justice are from 'round these parts, while posthardcore stalwarts Second String Hero hail from Ohio. Highly recommended. (Dec. 19, Orpheum)

REV. BILLY C. WIRTZ Piano-pounding boogie satirist Wirtz returns to the Skipperdome for, like, the millionth time. Cool. His charisma and sidesplitting tales are every bit as engaging as his Southern roadhouse tonk. (Dec. 20, Skipper's Smokehouse)

MARK RALSTON The perfect antidote to that world-weary Friday night feeling of, "Well, I've seen every band around, but I still want to go out and do something fun and almost unbelievably cheesy." You know what I'm saying? Musical impressionist Mark Ralston blows through 60 well-loved tunes and celebrities, accompanied only by George The Percussionist on electric drums. Tell me you're not salivating, and I'll tell you you're a liar. There are two shows, a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 7:30. (Dec. 20, Royalty Theatre, Clearwater)

GRADE 8 W/TRIP2GO/STIGMA/SOULFOUND Los Angeles-by-way-of-New Jersey groovecore outfit Grade 8 are signed to Lava Records, the label that brought you such high-profile dreck as Matchbox Twenty and Kid Rock. The band has a serious Godsmack quality, which is good, I guess, because they look like the girl on the cover of Godsmack's first release, all pierced and spiky and shit. Trip2Go is a worthy female-fronted heavy rock band out of Sarasota that seems to infuriate the Coffeestain.com crowd because a) they have melodies, and b) their recorded material doesn't sound like it was taped on a boom-box sitting on a dryer. Locals Stigma (quite heavy) and now-locals Soulfound (a bit less heavy, thanks) round out the bill. This is also a benefit for Metropolitan Ministries, making both attendance and various canned-goods donations mandatory. (Dec. 20, Twilight)

THE CEREBRAL ARTS FESTIVAL V The province is a mixture of visual and aural art. The theme is An Evening of Multimedia Improvisation. The band is The August Collective. The artists are Stig, Kell Holliman, Micheal Chromic, Bask, Frank Strunk II, Josh Sullivan and others. The beneficiaries are Creative Clay and ALS Hope. The cover is $5. The "something different and worthwhile" quotient is high. (Dec. 20, Goldstar Lounge at Jannus Landing)

BATTLE BASICS Awwww, yeah. It's a classic MC battle, featuring performances by Double Helix (new 12-inch out on Peripheral Records, donchaknow) and Unseen (both of these acts opened for KRS-ONE a few weeks back), to boot. DJ NAK1 lays down the sonic battleground, while Surreal and Deakon provide the running commentary. The winner scores at least $100, and possibly more, depending on how many would-be masters of wordplay step up and sign on. This means you, MC Hairbrush Microphone and Bedroom Mirra Wrekka. (Dec. 20, Orpheum)

A VERY METAL CHRISTMAS Ah, nothing says "Christmas" like a bunch of hardcore bands who swear they hate metal, but actually love it, covering metal songs with what they swear is irony, but is actually reverence. Hell yes. Arcade Inferno, As You Wish, More or Less, A Nation of Suspects and quite possibly a few other great bands will lay down the chunk, with a twist. This is going to rule. (Dec. 20, State Theatre)

DJ SHARAZ Florida breakbeat master DJ Sharaz has worked with the likes of Icey and Baby Anne. He's appeared on various favorite dance-music comps, including Rick West's Flavored Beats series. (Dec. 21, Twilight)

TRUST CO. W/LO N-metal hitmakers Trust Co. ("Downfall") blended the quiet & creepy/loud & angsty dynamic of their genre to some infectious punk-pop chorus hooks on this year's The Lonely Position of Neutral. It made them perhaps the most immediately catchy heavy national act this side of Linkin Park, and the kids loved it. Locals Lo likewise take a more melodic direction than most of their peers in the groovecore scene, and it seems to have served them well. (Dec. 21, Jannus Landing)

SANTA BANANA HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR Shana Banana's throwing a Christmas party for the kids, and she's getting a little help from "Hollywood" Dave Wright (who, here, is ostensibly sans Hotheads). For two shows (1 and 3 p.m.), the pair will delight youngsters with a concert and sneak peak at S. Banana's latest DVD release, Bananayoga. T. Oliver Kopian's fabulous Creatures of Delight will be on hand as well, and every little one in attendance will receive a gift and can have his/her picture taken with Santa Dave. (Dec. 22, Catherine Hickman Theatre, Gulfport)

All entries by Scott Harrell.

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