Music Menu

THURSDAY, DEC. 29

CLAY AIKEN w/WILLIAM JOSEPH American Idol runner-up, Howdy Doody stand-in and sexual-orientation rumor subject Clay Aiken's second annual holiday tour comes to town for a two-night stand at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall. PRO: For these sets heavy on holiday favorites, Aiken is supported by ace classical-pop pianist/David Foster protégé William Joseph. CON: This year's program also features "a series of vignettes with a running storyline, written by Aiken." PRO: Local actors will be cast in said vignettes. CON: You might be seen attending a Clay Aiken concert. PRO: Look, the kid can sing; plus, he's a spokesperson for UNICEF, and as such has helped raise all kinds of money for worthy causes. (Dec. 29 and 30, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

FOOD WILL WIN THE WAR w/HANDSHAKE SQUAD Rob Ward and his compadres in immaculate New York folk-pop act Food Will Win the War studied under Handshake Squad principal/helluva nice guy Rob Constable at New College back in the day. Now they're taking their smart, strummy, subdued sound on the road, and want all the West Central Florida folks to come out, listen and say hi. Do so; they're really good. The magnificently skewed Squad will provide wondrous support. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

FRIDAY, DEC. 30

DAVE MASON & LEON RUSSELL Dave Mason has been an influential force in rock since the '60s, from his tumultuous Traffic days through working with Delaney & Bonnie, Cass Elliott and Fleetwood Mac, to his own ongoing solo career. Tonight he'll join forces with legendary session man/erstwhile label owner/solo performer Leon Russell, whose fingerprints are on more rock 'n' roll hits than we could possibly list here, but let's just say he's worked with the Stones, Willie Nelson, Ike & Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, for starters. (Tampa Theatre, Tampa)

NEW MONSOON w/EARTH BOMBS MARS Rhythmic San Francisco jam-rock septet New Monsoon has made a few Tampa Bay appearances; it's stopping at St. Pete's estimable Bank Nightclub and Concert Venue for two nights this week on its way to take part in the fourth installment of the annual Jam Cruise. Tonight, the group — whose new album, The Sound, was produced by original Santana drummer Michael Schrieve and Luna/Grant Lee Buffalo knob-twiddler Paul Kimble — is paired with Earth Bombs Mars, the local groove/R&B/funk/rock act formerly known as the Rich Whiteley Band. Tomorrow night, New Monsoon will be joined by long-running local reggae-inflected favorites Buffalo Strange for a New Year's Eve jamstravaganza. (Dec. 30 and 31, The Bank, St. Petersburg)

MAGEVET Clearwater's Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center is proud to present Magevet, a Hebrew and Israeli a cappella group that's brought traditional Hebrew music, Israeli pop, Yiddish folk songs and more to audiences since it was founded at Yale University more than a decade ago. This 1 p.m. matinee will be held at the Center's Ralph & Dorothy Dutcher Auditorium, located at 2010 Greenbriar Blvd. in Clearwater. For more information, call the Center at 727-736-1494. (Golda Meir/Kent Jewish Center, Clearwater)

BOMBS AWAY Apparently there's always room for one more edgy new art gallery in the downtown St. Pete area. (At least until the fucking condos chase out all the charm and ruin everything, that is.) This time around it's Bombshell, a place opening at 2534 Central Ave. and celebrating that fact with tonight's multimedia soiree. In addition to installations and exhibitions by all manner of Bay area artists, you get rockage from the Tampa females in Giddy-Up Helicopter, Bombshell owner Gina Vivinetto's Peabodies, and long-running poetic-jangle purveyors Unrequited Loves. (Bombshell Gallery, St. Petersburg)

WOODYSTOCK Many kudos to 16-year-old Bay area drummer Robert Elwood "Woody" Bond, who took it upon himself to throw this much-needed showcase of new and, in most cases, very young original-band talent. The show is all ages, runs from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., and features a whopping 14 bands running the gamut from metal to ska. Featured acts include Synthetic Awakening, CIO, At Heart and Skantly Prepared. Get out there and support the new breed. (Brass Mug, Tampa)

SATURDAY, DEC. 31

AN EVENING WITH BARENAKED LADIES Oh, if only that headline were true. But instead of multiple birthday-suited chicks, you get that Canadian band that did that one good song about an old apartment, and that one funny/irritating song with the wordplay. And some champagne. (St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa)

SISTER HAZEL w/FALL ON PURPOSE The once chart-topping Gainesville strum-pop act plays host to an outdoor New Year's Eve party at the best mid-sized venue in town. Eclectic St. Pete act Fall on Purpose opens, and yes, you will get at least one free glass of bubbly. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

WMNF NEW YEAR'S EVE TRIBAL GATHERING FEAT. DONNA THE BUFFALO/JOHN MOONEY Having upstate New York roots act Donna The Buffao come down to the Coliseum to ring in the new with the WMNF throng has officially passed "regular occurrence" to enter the hallowed halls of tradition. The greatest thing about this now-annual shindig, as most attendees know, is the BYOB policy — screw the champagne, let's make Flee pour tequila shots for everybody as the ball drops. A new wrinkle this year comes in the form of an opening set by bluesman John Mooney, who mixes Delta sounds with Crescent City groove and was handpicked by the headliner. (The Coliseum, St. Petersburg)

DJ BABY ANNE/DJ JEN LASHER The first is arguably the country's best-known female breakbeat DJ. The second is a Washington, D.C.-based up-and-comer. The two collaborated on a double-disc mix set called Assault & Battery, and are now taking their tag-team to the dance floors of our nation. They just happen to hit Ybor's Amphitheatre on New Year's Eve, but we're sure the club will parlay it into something extra-special. (Amphitheatre, Ybor City)

FROM FIRST TO LAST/NUMBER 12 LOOKS LIKE YOU/CHIODOS/DEAD RECKLESS Looking for something a little more weighty in your New Year's party music? Try this metalcore/emo/spazz-core bill on for size. I've gone on and on in the past about how unimpressive L.A.'s From First to Last is, and nothing's changed. Both the frightening Number 12 Looks like You and heavily buzzed Chiodos bring some interestingly fucked-up time signatures and style shifts to the fray, but the latter has a tendency to sound like little more than a ballsier Coheed & Cambria. The most promising thing here is opener Dead Reckless, which spices up its punk-metal with swaggering Southern shuffle. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

THE FLORIDA FEST St. Pete-based Christian youth-and-outreach program The Refuge and Tampa alternative-lifestyle champion Club Underground join forces to bring you more than 12 hours of punk, hardcore, screamo, alternative and more. This might be THE all-ages local show of the winter, for fans in search of their next favorite underground underdog. The bands, in order of appearance (the show kicks off at 11 a.m.): Martyr's Prayer; Mile Stretch; To Save a Stranger; Never Falter; Letter to God; Nothing in the Dark; Sleep When You're Dead; Until Eternity; No Love, No Pride; Second Round Knockout; This Will Be Remembered; Deathbed December; Drowned Out; Burden of a Day; Needless Guilt; Eversfield; Covet; The Mosaic. (Club Underground, Tampa)

SUNDAY, JAN. 01

PUNK ROCK RECORD SWAP Ease your hangover by browsing, trading and buying all manner of punk-ass vinyl, CDs and, yes, maybe even cassettes at enduring Brandon underground-music nurturer Sound Idea. And if you've got too much music cluttering your personal space (as if such a thing is possible), vendor space is free. Things run from noon until 3 p.m. To reserve yourself some area or get more information, call Sound Idea at 813-653-2550. (Sound Idea, Brandon)

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