Stalling Dawn, Tim Reynolds

Plus (yikes) Bret Michaels

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31

STALLING DAWN w/SOULFOUND/THE PROSPECT/TEARS IN THE SAHARA An alternative rock outfit that incorporates elements of pop-punk and screamo, Tampa's Stalling Dawn delivers earnest meditations on love's vagaries that are by turns pedestrian and inspired. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1

WEEN Though they don't possess the manic musicianship of Frank Zappa, Pennsylvania-based "brothers" Gene and Dean Ween (aka Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo) carry the title of rock humorists just as capably. The two have been writing music together since they met in high school back in '84, and their ability to showcase their absurd lyricism against virtually any genre — from cheesy techno to hardcore punk rock — is unmatched. For more about Ween and their new album, La Cucaracha, see p. 52. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg). —Leilani Polk

TIM REYNOLDS and TR3 Famous for his frequent collaborations with the Dave Matthews Band and his duo outings with Matthews, Reynolds is a multi-instrumentalist best known for his renowned guitar work — he excels at a variety of styles, ranging from Flamenco-informed plucking to otherworldly harmonics. Reynolds fronts the long-running instrumental act TR3, which currently includes bassist Mick Vaughn and drummer Dan Martier. The trio promises Reynolds originals and "everything from James Brown to Prince." (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

EARLY NEXT YEAR w/HISTORY/RADIO RESET/THE HERO THE VILLIAN With its power-pop topped with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and vocals that possess a welcome, idiosyncratic quality, Orlando quartet Early Next Year might come across as formulaic at first, but, simply put, repeated listens reveal a band that has something to say. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

BRET MICHAELS w/GREG BILLINGS BAND MILF heartthrob Bret Michaels takes a break from his popular-yet-pathetic VH-1 reality series Rock of Love to scan the audience for potential paramours while plying them with '80s schlock like "Talk Dirty to Me" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" — ditties he originally sang with his old band, Poison. A Tampa Bay Southern rock outfit (think Molly Hatchet), the Greg Billings Band's namesake singer is formerly of Big Hair-era Florida faves Stranger. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

KEVIN DEVINE w/DAVE ELKINS/THE JEALOUS GIRLFRIENDS After spending the beginning of the decade fronting emo band The Miracle of 86, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Kevin Devine embarked on a solo career with his 2002 album, Circle Gets the Square. Following subsequent indie releases, his 2006 full-length, Put Your Ghost to Rest, came out on Capitol. The disc failed to chart but is praiseworthy nonetheless. Devine's expressive vocals and clever, never-cloying lyrics are set against the assured sonic backdrop of his Goddamn Band. The ensemble offers standard rock instrumentation goosed with spot-on violin, Moog and Mellotron flourishes. (Orpheum, Ybor City)

EARTH BOMBS MARS Best known for cofronting long-running, beloved local Dead tribute act Uncle John's Band, Tampa's Rich Whiteley is a skilled singer/songwriter whose jammy, psychedelic-leaning quartet Earth Bombs Mars couch his originals in a hippie-friendly, psychedelic-folk vibe. (Kelly's Pub, Tampa)

HIGHWAY TO HELL The "ultimate" AC/DC tribute band is back in black — not to mention a pageboy and tie and culottes. Tampa's Martyn Jenkins and his look-alike/sound-alike cohorts will do their damndest to shake you all night long — or at least until last call. With any luck, ubiquitous Sarasota resident — and real AC/DC frontman — Brian Johnson will show up and confuse the hell out of everybody. (Five O'Clock Club, Sarasota) —Amanda Schurr

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2

ONE FOR THE ROAD THREE feat. LORNA BRACEWELL/HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL/THE DITCHFLOWERS/RONNY ELLIOTT/REBEKAH PULLEY This eclectic lineup spotlights acclaimed Tampa Bay area purveyors of original music. There's rootsy singer/songwriters (Elliott, Bracewell, Pulley); an alt-country ensemble (Have Gun, Will Travel); and highly literate power-poppers (The Ditchflowers). They will perform to raise gas money for an upcoming SXSW fest kickoff gig in Austin, Texas. A freshly minted compilation CD (Cheatin' Heart: Tales of Lies & Love), featuring contributions from the artists, will also be for sale as a fundraiser. For more info, see p. 49. Bracewell also performs Wed., Feb. 6 at Sacred Grounds in Tampa. (Dave's Aqua Lounge, St. Petersburg)

RICHARD SHINDELL Having first heard his melodic folk originals about seven years ago on WMNF, I purchased Shindell's classic (in certain circles, at least) 1992 debut album, Sparrows Point. Boasting the catchy, poignant-yet-humorous breakup ballad "Are You Happy Now?" and the soulful trucker's lament "Kenworth of My Dreams," it's a disc I still return to regularly. Shindell performed a Tampa Bay show shortly after I "discovered" him, and his concert proved to be that rare dude-with-a-guitar outing that held my attention throughout — his set included the afore mentioned songs and equally gripping, self-penned numbers like "Next Best Western" and a moving cover of Little Feat's gorgeous country foray, "Willin'." (Friday Morning Musicale, Tampa)

SKACORE RECORDS PRESENTS: SUNSHINE STATE SKA COMPILATION RELEASE SHOW w/MAGADOG/RUDE SQUAD/CAN'T DO IT/SKUFF'D SHOES Back with renewed vigor (and a strong new album) following a years-long absence, Tampa's nationally recognized Third Wave ska pioneers Magadog headline this celebration of local acts. (Transitions Arts Gallery at Skatepark of Tampa, Tampa)

HIGH ON FIRE w/A LIFE ONCE LOST/SAVIOURS/RWAKE A potent metal trio that makes minimal concessions to current trends, Oakland's High on Fire alternates between heavy, gloomy drones and speedy excursions into the shadowlands with vocals that don't possess the clarity of, say, Ozzy-era Sabbath, but at least shun the Cookie-Monster-on-crack growl employed by countless indistinguishable bands finding success under the "death metal" and "metalcore" tags. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

KING OF SPAIN w/CANDY BARS/SUSIE ULREY & MICHAEL WAKSMAN This show is the CD release party for Tampa's Matt Slate, aka King of Spain, whose full-length Entropy has been released on the local imprint New Granada and will be given away with paid admission ($8). The album's distinctive, sustained tone might entrance some — but the dreary, detached vocals and precious lyrics paired with meandering atmospherics definitely aren't for all tastes. Popular local indie duo the Candy Bars perform for the first time since last August, offering fans covers from Cat Power's Moon Pix album. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

HYBRID GROOVE The Suncoast Blues Society hosts this show, featuring Janis Joplin-esque frontwoman Amy Savage belting out standards like "Born Under a Bad Sign." (Gulfport on the Rocks, Gulfport)

SEAN CHAMBERS A guitar hero (and singer) in the SRV mold, Chambers brings his power trio back to the Skipperdome for another night of fierce (albeit far from original) blues-rock. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

THE STRANGEWAYS It's been a while since this super skankin' local outfit has played out — most of the guys have side projects, and other, life-related details like babies and weddings have sidelined the Sarasota favorites for about a year now. The horn-heavy ska/reggae act is reuniting for a full, afternoon gig during Siesta Fiesta. And since bassist/lead singer Jason Nwagbaraocha is still trotting the globe with The Toasters, former frontman Clyde "Supa C" Pinder will be filling in this time around. (The Old Salty Dog, Siesta Key Village) —AS

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6

ALEJANDRO SANZ This Grammy-winning singer/guitarist from Madrid ranks as Spain's most commercially successful pop star. Sanz's latest album, El Tren de los Momentos, includes "Te Lo Agradezco, Pero No," a sultry duet with hip-shaking hottie Shakira. He also collaborated with the crossover star on her international hit "La Tortura." (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa)

BRASS BED w/BARON VON BEAR Playing organic indie-pop that's grabby, earthy and intelligent, Brass Bed, a band from Lafayette, La., spices its psychedelic sounds with country nods like pedal steel — resulting in a compellingly distinctive assembly of instrumentation that dutifully serves each song. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

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