Lots on tap this Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 13-14. Breakdown below.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13
Hallucination Before Christmas The annual holiday shenanny thrown by underground electronic music label Hallucination Recordings is a much-anticipated collision of Christmas and Halloween, the freaky seasonal mayhem spread over three themed rooms and encompassing upwards of 20 electro artists. The big room is Halloween Town (aka Jack’s Christmas Graveyard and Pumpkin Patch); the sounds touch on electro, nu disco, bass music and breaks, and Tommie Sunshine leads the fray, which also includes Bunny (Rabbit in the Moon) and Monk, among others. Oogie Boogie’s Lair falls into dubstep, trap, moombahton and DnB realms as headlined by AK1200, while Christmas Town pulses with acid, deep and minimal house sounds, and finds DJ Three assuming the top billing slot. A range of eye-popping visuals (video projections, 3D animations, laser light shows), aerialists, go-go dancers, performance artists and roaming holiday freaks round out the night’s diversions. Fetish-inspired fashions and character-driven costumes encouraged. Show up after 11 p.m. or without a donation for the food drive to benefit Feeding America Tampa Bay (three cans minimum), and pay a higher cover. More info at hbcparty.com/2014. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)
Future Vintage with Leisure Chief A pairing of two funk-bumping outfits tears up the standing room stage at Yeoman’s: locally spawned electro-groove and acid jazz instrumental trio Future Vintage, and Orlando-based fusion five-piece Leisure Chief, their own saxophone-splashed sounds marked by breathy-soulful vocals and a mix of hip-hop shaking and lounge-slinking rhythms. (Yeoman’s Road Pub, Tampa)
We the Kings Unplugged Pop-punk band We the Kings was birthed in Bradenton and has enjoyed some moderate chart time and fame, likely spurred by all the hours clocked on Warped Tour stages (this past summer included). This Florida-only round of unplugged dates backs Stripped, a newly released LP that includes acoustic versions of songs off 2013’s Somewhere Somehow. (Local 662, St. Petersburg)
The Bends Xmas Party with Wet Nurse, Selectric Squeezed in the middle of a Bends week that features a whopping three nights’ worth of live music amid the usual DJ nights and jukebox jams is the St. Pete bar’s holiday party. Orlando all-grrl garage-pop trio Wet Nurse headlines the festivities and another three-piece, Tampa’s own Selectric, plays a set of tripped-out blues-rock as fueled by powerhouse vocalist/drummer/guitarist Jasmine Raja. (The Bends, St. Petersburg)
Trampled By Turtles with Nikki Lane The title track off Trampled by Turtles’ seventh and latest studio LP Wild Animals finds the Minnesotan folk/bluegrass ensemble setting a multi-part chorus of mellifluously forlorn vocal pipings against a fine balance of plucked banjo and mandolin, strummed acoustic guitar and mournfully bowed fiddle with an acoustic lowend anchor. Trampled by Turtles has been snagging the hearts of fans across the country since topping the Billboard Bluegrass charts with 2010’s Palomino and their 2014 effort earned the quintet some NPR Tiny Desk Concert exposure this fall. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra If you’re tired of the same ol' trite seasonal music presentations, I bet a dose of lasers, pyrotechnics, and Broadway-style theatrics and storytelling with sweeping prog-symphonic instrumental accompaniment will get your eyes dazzled and heart pumping. Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns with a whole new feast of sights and sounds on its annual holiday tour. The Paul O’Neill-led group presents 1998 rock opera The Christmas Attic (which includes well-known ode “Christmas Canon”) in its entirety for the first time ever live, along with select snow-flecked TSO favorites like “Wizards In Winter,” “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” and “Requiem.” (Amalie Arena, Tampa)
Crowbar’s 8-Year Anniversary Party with Have Gun, Will Travel, Sons Of Hippies, Gwan Massive, Will Quinlan & The Holy Slow Train, The Groves, Sun Signs Click HERE for more information. (Crowbar, Ybor City)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14
John McCutcheon Not many people have hammered dulcimers in their instrumental arsenal, but longtime folkie John McCutcheon claims mastership of that particular stringed instrument along with playing a host of others — guitar, fiddle, banjo, autoharp and jawharp included — and his songwriting encompasses historical odes, balladry, children’s fare, satire and even some holiday tunes that span upwards of 35 albums. (Craftsman House, St. Petersburg)
Ol’ Dirty Sundays with DJs YNot & Bizarro + ODS Doc Premiere A very special edition of the weekly Sunday night hip-hop dance party kicks off with the premiere of a new documentary web series about Ol’ Dirty Sundays produced by noiseporn.tv. Clips are presented via big screen at Crowbar. Business as usual afterwards, with guest sets by a few DJs who are considered part of the extended ODS family — DJ Ynot from Miami and Brooklyn-bred Crazy DJ Bazarro — along with the usual decks maintenance by residents Casper (it’s his birthday! wish him warm regards!) and LeSage. (Crowbar, Ybor City)
Usher with August Alsina The superstar R&B pop artist has spent the better part of two decades flying high with a steady string of radio hits starting at 1997’s sexy ode “You Make Me Wanna...” through 2004 party-banger “Yeah!” to recent vintage-hued funk-grooving single “She Came to Give It to You” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nicki Minaj, which is primed to be on the airwaves and overplayed any day now. He’s apparently quite the showman, too, with abundant charisma, tight choreography and fly on-stage style. (Amalie Arena, Tampa)
Help Betty Get to the IBC in Memphis with Betty Fox Band, Selwyn Birchwood Betty Fox will be representing the Suncoast Blues Society at the 2015 International Blues Challenge — but first, the soul-howling blues songstress has to drum up enough money to get to Memphis. This is the first of what I imagine will be several fundraising concerts leading up to the competition in January. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa)
The Greyhounds with Troy Youngblood & Soulfish There’s something both vaguely vintage and inherently modern in the idiosyncratic roots-blues tunes of The Greyhounds, guitarist Andrew Trube and keysman Anthony Farrell crafting electro-ambling odes like the deep, mystery vibing of “Lone Rider” and more straightforward soul jams á la “What’s on Your Mind.” The Austin duo is touring behind a 2014 album, Accumulator, its fourth overall and debut on Memphis label Ardent Records. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)
Click HERE to check out more events for today and the next week.