Retard-O-Bot, Henry McGee, John Gorka...

What's coming up at local venues


BLUE TURTLE SEDUCTION w/UNCLE JOHN'S BAND Grateful Dead Night is livened up with California's Blue Turtle Seduction, a quintet that plays rollicking roots rock embellished with vivacious fiddle and mandolin, and marked by a lead singer whose throaty vocals are straight-up King Louie from Disney's The Jungle Book. Good times. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa) —Leilani Polk


BUFFALO STRANGE w/SPIRITUAL REZ Formed on the USF campus five or so years ago, reggae- and funk-informed jam band Buffalo Strange has built a strong local following with its bouncy rhythms and neo-hippie lyrics. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

PRIMER 55 w/EMERGE/UNSPOKEN/LIFE SCORN/LOVE SAID NO/SYPHUR A night of aggressive noise is headlined by Kentucky nü-metal outfit Primer 55, which scored a minor hit in 2001 with the single "This Life." Highly recommended for fans of Limp Bizkit. (Boomerz Boiler Room, Seminole)

WEAK SAUCE w/RUDE SQUAD A Sublime-indebted rock quartet, Clearwater's Weak Sauce freshens things up with a trumpet player in possession of a rich, warm tone. St. Pete's Rude Squad, a solid ska band, should have no problem getting the party started. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

RETARD-O-BOT w/DEARESTAZAZEL/THE WALKING LIFE/THOREAU This local Retard-O-Bot dude rents out the State Theatre every few months or so and offers quirky industrial noise barrages that sound like Trent Reznor would if he had a sense of humor. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

RAY OLAN AND THE JAZZ OLE BAND Local ensemble incorporates salsa, Latin pop, jazz, blues and rock into its dance-friendly sonic presentation. (Largo Cultural Center, Largo)

BRITNY FOX w/M8OZ Philly glam-rockers Britny Fox relocated to L.A. during the city's mid-1980s, sleaze-metal heyday and signed with Columbia. The band's self-titled debut came out in '88 and produced its lone hit, "Long Way to Love." (Bourbon St. Nightclub, New Port Richey)

MORNINGBELL w/MILITARY JUNIOR A Gainesville band that regularly plays Tampa, Morningbell offers mellow, rootsy psychedelic pop tunes prone to unexpected turns. St. Pete's Military Junior's brand of emotive math rock has established it as one of the best bands in the Bay. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

A WILHELM SCREAM w/ONLY CRIME/THE SWELLERS/SAFETY/DEGENERATE ELITE Massachusetts post-hardcore quartet A Wilhelm Scream headline, but the most noteworthy act on this lineup is Only Crime, a fierce hardcore unit featuring drummer Bill Stevenson, a near legend (in certain circles) who has played with Black Flag, All, October Faction and Descendents. (Springs Theatre, Tampa)

EMERSON DRIVE/THE STONEWALL BAND Two nights after entertaining at the epicenter of the country music universe (the Grand Ole Opry), Emerson Drive takes the stage in a slightly less primetime location: Arcadia. The band's unexceptional take on mainstream pop-country isn't the most thrilling sound in the world, but it gets the job done. I suspect the night might draw plenty of locals out east, thanks to the strange and surprising lack of country shows of this stature around the Suncoast. Why in the world do country fans have to drive almost an hour to catch this band? (Turner Agri-Civic Center, Arcadia) —Cooper Levey-Baker


MANÁ If memory serves, it was the late '90s/early '00s when the music industry pushed hard to introduce a new genre to American audiences called Rock en Español. After a spasm of popularity, the marketing effort didn't really take. A few bands stuck, though, and one of them is Maná, a group that formed in the late '70s in Guadalajara, Mexico. The band alternates between straight rock rhythms, ballads and Latin grooves, and the singer reminds me a bit of Sting. Maná must have a pretty formidable fan base, 'cause they're playing a mighty big room. (St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa) —Eric Snider

SEAN CARNEY BAND The Suncoast Blues Society does an ace job of beating the bushes to find lesser-known (read: affordable) blues talent to complement big-name festival acts and the many talented local artists that appear on our stages. This installment features Sean Carney, from Columbus, Ohio, who plays a fat, hollow-body guitar with a smoother, jazzier approach than the standard Chicago-based style. The band can also kick out some hard-edged boogie and shuffles as well. (Dave's Aqua Lounge, St. Pete) —ES

PUDDLE OF MUDD w/SALIVA/DEEPFIELD Puddle of Mudd represents everything that's wrong with rock 'n' roll these days: Their sound is streamlined metal, high-polish heaviness and phony angst; it's as safe as your grandparents' vinyl and more generic than pop creations like Britney Spears. Hell, at least her train wreck of a life is interesting. Have you heard Mudd's latest smash single "Famous"? Which crassly quotes Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing"? Seriously, Mark Knopfler should sue these guys, not so much for ripping off his line, but for doing it so lamely. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

HISTORY w/CHRISTINA WAGNER/WIN WIN WINTER! Orlando hard rock quintet History keeps things interesting with zigzag rhythms and spacey keyboard effects. Jacksonville singer/songwriter Christina Wagner offers heart-on-sleeve confessionals in a sultry whisper. Tampa quintet Win Win Winter! plays melodic indie rock with a verve that should translate well to stage. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

THE SECRET LIFE OF HAL McGEE McGee is an experimental noise musician from Gainesville who's been creating his own brand of schizzed-out electronic sounds for the past 26 years. Transitions Art Gallery screens The Secret Life of Hal McGee — a documentary about McGee and his audio explorations — against a free-form improvisational soundtrack performed live by McGee, Ironing's Andrew Chadwick, Jay Peele from Fiver's Stereo, K. Paul from Otolathe, Bobby Moseley from Ego Annihilation and several others. (Transitions Art Gallery @ Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa) —LP


PAPA GROWS FUNK w/CHRISTIE LENEE The best place to see the Big Easy's hottest funk band, Papa Grows Funk, is at its weekly Monday gig at the famed Maple Leaf Bar — where James Booker used to hold court — in the New Orleans Uptown district. The second best place to catch PGF is at the Skipperdome, where the band's regular appearances have become must-see affairs since it started performing here about five years ago. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

MINUS THE BEAR w/THE HELIO SEQUENCE Seattle's six-year-old Minus the Bear has been building quite the rep on the indie circuit with a sophisticated sound that fuses elements of progressive rock with driving, saccharine-free power-pop. Shifting time signatures never veer into the land of inaccessibility; the lyrics are sweetly thoughtful; and their songs are texturally seasoned with guitar loops, samples and other electronic flourishes. They've put out a handful of EPs and three full-lengths, their most recent, 2007's Planet of Ice, putting them on MTV's "Buzzworthy" radar in September. Electronic shoegazers The Helio Sequence (out of Oregon) provide support for Minus the Bear's Florida shows. (Club Firestone, Orlando) —LP


JOHN GORKA With his weathered, everyman voice and knack for plainspoken but poetic lyrics, Gorka is a singer/songwriter with terrific narrative skills. He writes and sings earnest tunes about life, love and the world. Gorka excels at creating the kind of intimate concert environment that allows him to commune with his audience. He'll perform in the cozy and acoustically warm Jaeb Theater. (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa) —ES


CARIBOU w/BORN RUFFIANS/DUMBWAITERS Electronic hero Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, got all warm, fuzzy and psychedelic on his latest release, Andorra, one of the best CDs of 2007. (For more on Snaith, see the music feature.) Toronto's Born Ruffians craft the kind of indie rock I dig: bouncy, irresistibly catchy, energetic and intelligent, with out-of-leftfield songs that serve as odes to folks like author "Kurt Vonnegut," as in the title of a track on their new EP Hummingbird. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

INCA SON Boston-based Peruvian group plays music from the Andes and across Latin America. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)


TWELVE GIRLS BAND Actually a 13-member group, this all-female ensemble plays ancient Chinese compositions and Western classical and pop music on traditional East Asian instruments. Their repertoire consists of everything from pieces by Handel and Mozart to Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" and the theme from Titanic. (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa) —LP

SAOSIN w/NORMA JEAN/ALEXISONFIRE/THE DEAR & DEPARTED The California screamo band signed to Capitol and scored last year with the pedestrian hit single "Voices," (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

DJ KRUSH Japanese turntable whiz/producer brings his lauded beats to this rather intimate downtown St. Pete setting. (Bishop Tavern, St. Petersburg)

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