This week in Tampa Bay area live music: Talib Kweli, Amon Amarth, Willie Nelson & more

Concerts, Jan. 23-29.

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Appreciated by his peers but not well-known by the public at large, and not through any fault of his own, Paleface started out his career tooling around NYC with Daniel Johnston and Beck in the late 1980s, self-released the majority of his dozen LPs (save his 1991 eponymous debut on Polydor and his two most recent full-lengths on Ramseur Records, 2009’s The Show Is On The Road and 2010’s One Big Party), and he’s written, collabed and performed on three Avett Brothers albums, likely what landed him on the Ramseur label. For the past several years, he’s crafted freewheeling rays-lit folk rock as a duo with his main squeeze, beat-keeper and backing vocalist Monica “Mo” Samalot; he sings in a warm husky timbre that complements Mo’s higher, clearer dulcet tones. (Ale and the Witch, St. Petersburg)

  • Paleface

Nonpoint w/Scorpion Child Nonpoint’s sound borders on “too heavy for radio” — clean yet aggressive vocals, an impenetrable wall of guitars, and drums that hit like a cannonball to the chest, all punctuated by moments of melodic beauty that are sometimes uplifting and other times bleak. (Orpheum, Ybor City) —Shawn Ohtani

Robyn Hitchcock More info here. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Turbo Fruits w/Luxury Mane/Empire Cinema More info here. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

The McLovins
When the Superbad-named band first hit the jam scene, they were enthusiastically embraced, both for their youth (they were high school-aged at the time), and because of a widely circulated 2008 YouTube video featuring The McLovins covering Phish’s rather difficult prog-jam opus, “You Enjoy Myself.” Currently a quartet with a keys player and enrolled at University of Hartford, the McLovins — who are still progressive rock inclined and sing in four-part harmonies — have three full-length albums to their credit; the last was 2012’s Who Knows, co-produced by Anthony Krizan at his Sonic Boom Studios with longtime Phish songwriter Tom Marshall, who also co-wrote three tracks. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)

  • Against Me!

Against Me! w/The Sidekicks/The Shondes Florida-bred punk rock staple Against Me! has experienced some rather significant growing pains in the past two years. The lead singer, songwriter and guitarist formerly known as Tom Gabel came out as a transgender and dropped his given name and pronoun in favor of her current one, Laura Jane Grace; and two members left to pursue other projects, including longtime bassist Andrew Seward. The material on just-dropped sixth studio album Transgender Dysphoria Blues draws heavily from Grace’s experiences with the titular condition in songs that touch on the death of a friend, unconditional love and self-acceptance, among other topics. (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)

Obituary w/Nocturnus A D/Archangel/Nakhiel/Tickle The founding fathers of Tampa death metal descend on their home turf and land at sweaty hardcore haven Brass Mug to rage through a set of heavily distorted guitars, growling vocals and never-subtle rhythms. The three-decades-old quintet has wooed and won countless fans of extreme metal, their dark and gritty no-nonsense sound imitated by generations of aspiring metal musicians around the world, though few have come close to the success, persistence and longevity of Obituary. (Brass Mug, Tampa) —Shawn Ohtani

Don Williams A country music Hall of Famer who had 17 No. 1 Hot Country hits in the 1970s and ’80s, and has been covered by a slew of diverse artists (Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss, Kenny Rogers, Lambchop and Tortoise with Bonnie “Prince” Billy among others). Deep drawling Texas-bred singer-songwriter Don Williams originally retired in 2006, at age 66, but returned to the road in 2010 and issued a new album, And So It Goes, a few years after that. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

  • Falling In Reverse

Falling In Reverse w/Escape The Fate/Chelsea Grin/Survive This! While I typically avoid writing up the sort of post-hardcore acts you find on Warped Tour bills, it was the roadies’ reality show following that aforementioned fest that gave me newfound respect for Falling In Reverse. Even if I’m not a fan of their synth-fused style, I have to respect the band members’ attentiveness to the 15-year-old terminally ill fan whose dreams were made true when she got to hang onstage at Warped for a day and joined Falling In Reverse on stage to perform “The Drug in Me Is You” with frontman Ronnie Radke. Nice to know that such heavily tatted hard-asses could have such soft hearts. On this date, the band hits town supporting 2013 sophomore full-length Fashionably Late; noteworthy support from metal-leaning Las Vegas quintet Escape the Fate. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Amon Amarth w/Enslaved/Skeletonwitch
One of the most successful and prolific champions of Swedish death metal since the genre emerged in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Amon Amarth drinks deep from the flagon of their Scandinavian heritage. The quintet’s career spans more than two decades, and their current U.S. tour backing ninth and latest studio album Deceiver of the Gods features warm-up by two other significant acts of the genre. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City) —Shawn Ohtani

Ronny Cox Look him up on Internet Movie Database, and you’ll find upward of 130 acting credits for Ronny Cox. Likely you’d recognize him, too, if you saw him walking down the street, though you might recall exactly how you know him. (He was a smarmy corporate villain in both RoboCop and the original Total Recall.) He’s also a longtime musician with a Southwest-dusted folk style, warm fogey vocals and a new album, Ronny, Rad, and Karen, with pianist Radoslav Lorkovic and mandolin player Karen Mal. (Hideaway Café & Recording Studio, St. Petersburg)

  • Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli w/Dynasty/Jinx/The Villanz A very exciting Saturday night hip-hop bill that will hopefully shed some positive light on the Bay area’s underappreciated hip-hop scene. Socially conscious rapper Talib Kweli (whose last Tampa date found him warming the stage for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the Sun Dome) returns to headline Crowbar with support from two local rap talents who’ve both clocked studio time with him: Dynasty and Jinx. The former traded verses with Kweli on her track, “Stay Shinin’” — the lead-off single on Dynasty’s new album, A Star In Life’s Clothing — and the latter produced and mixed said track. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

The Clinic Quartet The [email protected] presents an evening of experimental, atmospheric grooves with The Clinic, a four-piece composed of local jazz-trained players David Pate (saxophones, woodwinds), Jim Stewart (drums, world percussion), Bill Folwell (bass, trumpet, autoharp) and Ella “Stella” Fredrickson (theremin, amplified cello). Their program was described by Stewart as “spontaneously improvised within subtle guidelines allowing for constantly changing textures, timbres and direction.” Show starts at 7 p.m. (The [email protected], St. Petersburg)

Venture Presents: We Are Jazz (Session 1) w/The Downtown Trio/Resurgence If The Clinic’s jazz presentation wasn’t stimulating enough for you or you have room for some more boundary-pushing, the aforementioned Dave Pate strikes again with another of his many jazz groups, The Downtown Trio, where he’s joined by bassist Michael Ross and drummer John Jenkins for a set of avant bop sounds. Also slated for this night: fresh jazz sextet Resurgence, featuring Alexander and the Grapes drummer Philip Charos and his virtuoso trumpet-playing younger brother Jason with Caleb Murray (saxes), Eli Ponder-Twardy (trombone), Dominic Walker (guitar) and Richard Jimenez (bass). (Venture Compound, St. Petersburg)

Big Something
Hitting town behind self-titled sophomore full-length is this sextet from North Carolina that crafts funked-out electro-jam rock marked by sax and trumpet tones, shredding guitars, ethereal synth-sonics, and grooving or hard-hitting rhythms. Big Something also opens for Uncle John’s Band on Thurs., Jan. 23, at the same venue. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)

  • Big Something

Ol’ Dirty Sundays: Diamond D Last year, he packed the Crowbar patio during the official after party for Ghostface Killah’s Ybor stop. For those who missed Diamond D.’s vinyl throwdown or for the ones who want a re-do, the Bronx decks master (who’s worked with the likes of Busta Rhymes, the Pharcyde and KRS-One) makes his triumphant return to play the last ODS of January. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

Richard Thompson Electric Trio
In what has become a once-a-year stop in Tampa Bay, Fender Strat great Richard Thompson brings his British Invasion blues rock back to town; his electric trio (he, bass player Taras Prodaniuk and drummer Michael Jerome) back a brand new album, 2013’s Electric, his 13th overall. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater)

USF Monday Night Jazz Series: Blue Train Recreated Supreme jazz sax master John Coltrane conceived of 1957’s Blue Train expressly for celebrated jazz label Blue Note, per a commitment he’d made to co-founder Alfred Lion prior to signing to another label. Lion personally produced the fundamental Coltrane recording. Nearly six decades later, Blue Train has withstood the test of time in all its classy hard bop glory and continues to influence aspiring young jazz artists to this day. The USF Jazz Faculty performs the historic album in its entirety for this special Monday night presentation. (USF-MUS Concert Hall, Tampa)

Willie Nelson w/Sasha Dobson
Nelson is a crazy prolific musician (more than 200 albums and counting), and while his sound is rooted in country music, he’s collaborated with a broad range of artists beyond the genre, from Toots and the Maytals to Snoop Dogg to Wynton Marsalis. Last year he issued Let’s Face the Music and Dance, a collection of genre-spanning covers, and more recently, To All The Girls …, a duets album that finds the 80-year-old Nelson pairing up with some noteworthy women in music, among them, Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Norah Jones and Brandi Carlile. Nelson is joined by his regular backing band, The Family, which includes piano-playing sister, Bobbie. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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