She wants candy

Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and The Album Leaf

Christina Aguilera's pinup-girl adorable and stripper sexy and — get this — she can actually sing better than just about any gal on the radio. Yeah, she started her post-Mickey Mouse Club career with fluffy hits like "Genie in a Bottle" and then crept into slutsville with "Drrty" and a near-naked video appearance. But Aguilera got it all together, both in terms of image and musical style, for last year's double LP Back to Basics, a juicy blend of hip-hop beats and old-school horns that produced the hits "Ain't No Other Man," "Hurt" and the delightfully decadent, Andrews-Sisters-inspired "Candyman." Them naughty Pussycat Dolls are the vixens who ask, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" Dannity Kane is the all-female vocal group spawned from the reality TV show Making the Band that scored last year with the single "Show Stopper."

Christina Aguilera w/Pussycat Dogs/Dannity Kane, 7:30 p.m. Fri., May 4, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. $49.50-$85. —Wade Tatangelo


Whereas Madonna made up for her lack of vocal chops by writing provocative lyrics and creating one of the most indelible personas in pop history, Gwen Stefani has climbed to the top of the pop heap with the kind of charm that even hipsters find themselves falling for. Formerly of ska/pop band No Doubt (will she dust off "Don't Speak" or "I'm Just a Girl"?), Gwen should have no problem keeping asses shaking on the lawn at Ford Amphitheatre (where I will be shaking mine) with infectious radio confections like "Hollaback Girl" and "Wind It Up." I'm not too keen on Akon, but the self-described "biggest midget in the game," pint-sized English rapper Lady Sovereign, put out one of the wittiest, funniest and well-produced albums of 2006 with her debut LP, Public Warning. By the way, props to whoever OK'ed the $10 lawn tickets.

Gwen Stefani w/Akon/Lady Sovereign, 7:30 p.m. Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa. $10 (lawn), $69.50. —WT

Turning a new Leaf

I like Music for Airports and especially Another Green World as much as the next self-respecting music geek, but I have come to loathe the onslaught of bands Brian Eno has inspired over the years — especially (sorry, folks) the myriad Tampa Bay acts specializing in the sort of "ambient sounds" that sit in the air like cuts of blubber. San Diego's The Album Leaf is an Eno band that doesn't suck and definitely has something to say in terms of the occasional vocal track, but mostly by dint of haunting violin work by Matthew Resovich. Tampa's indie/mood-rock quartet Jarvik 7 and New Orleans soundscaper Belong are also on the bill. This show is being sponsored by Creative Loafing.

The Album Leaf w/Jarvik 7/Belonfg/DJ/Cynth, 9 p.m. Mon., May 7, Crowbar. $10. —WT

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