This weekend's best bets in Bay area music: SPC Jazz Festival, Jucifer, BB King & Buddy Guy, Todd Snider, and more


John Mayer w/Michael Franti & Spearhead In his recent Rolling Stone cover story, John Mayer likened his abrupt break-up with Jennifer Aniston to burning the American flag. Despite his tabloid romance tendencies, his fourth album, Battle Studies, debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 last November. The album sold 500,000 copies in less than three weeks and spawned the singles “Who Says” and “Heartbreak Warfare.” See the multiple-Grammy winning lothario as he coos his way through his white bread blend of pop, rock and blues tunes. 8 p.m., St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, $37-$68.25. --Matthew Spencer

[image-1] [pictured, photo by Frank Mullen/Matteblack] w/Essex A nomadic, RV-living duo made up of Amber Valentine on lead guitar, soft purrs and gut roars, and husband Edgar Livengood on drums, Jucifer purveys a vicious blend of sludge metal and garage rock. Their ambitious 2008 concept album, L’Autrichienne, is an expansive 21-song journey through the life and times of Marie Antoinette complete with historical commentary. Online indie music rag gave it 8 out of 10 stars, comparing their music to their RV: “richly appointed and very much home.” Be prepared to have your face rocked off — Jucifer is known for putting on intense, high-volume live shows. 9 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $8 (ages 18 & up).

B.B. King & Buddy Guy ctogenarian B.B. King is among the world’s most revered, influential and successful bluesman, his style of electric blues, rock and soul earning him 14 Grammys as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the No. 3 rating on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” King’s highest-debuting solo album of his nearly 60-year career was his most recent, 2008’s One Kind Favor, produced by T Bone Burnett (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss) and featuring covers of blues standards that inspired King as a young musician. Chicago-style blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy is a septuagenarian who’s won five Grammys, inspired artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, and also got a shout-out on Rolling Stone’s list (he ranked No. 30). Guy reached his own musical milestone in 2009 with The Definitive Buddy Guy, his first single-disc career-spanning album. The blues guitar masters stop in town as part of a series of co-headlining dates. 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, $49.50-$125.

[image-2] w/Rebecca Zapen On his eighth studio album, 2009’s The Excitement Plan, wryly humorous soul folk and alt country singer-songwriter Todd Snider plays barroom stomping honkey tonk in a duet with Loretta Lynn, “Don’t Tempt Me”; gives his experiential commentary on the entertainment biz in the bouncy “Money, Compliments, Publicity”; and delivers a hilarious, ambling, true-story ode in “America’s favorite Pastime,” about a pitcher who famously (and successfully) played under psychedelic influence: “By the time that he mowed the last man down / he was high as he had ever been / laughing to the sound of the world goin’ round / completely unaware of the wind / And while the paper’s would say he was scattered that day / he was pretty as a pitcher could be / The day Doc Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates threw a no-hitter on LSD.” 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $15 in advance/$20 dos.

The Expendables w/Passafire/Iration/Pour Habit/Roots Down Below Hailing from Santa Cruz, Calif., is four-piece reggae rock outfit The Expendables, which sets pleasant vocal harmonies against tasty island grooves, and infuses their breeziness with faster punk rock moments featuring dueling guitars, distorted riffage, and heavy-pounding beats. 7 p.m., The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City, $17 in advance/$19 dos.


The Caribbean Festival/Bob Marley 65th Birthday Tribute w/Impulse/Reality Band/Johukames Posse/T&T Sweet Tassa Drums/Mello-Le Roy/Kebbe/Jahfari/Ras Cocomon &Rizza Band/Setauras/Ever-G & Iyata Christi/Ray Pansocalyp (Mr. Smooth)/DJ Dean & Mikey/Sound Aquarius Technology/DJ d Vyeb/Doy Deru/Due Ranks/Garner/Strappy D/Pezo/Liter Damis/Kenny Ranks/Compton/Party Thought Dance Group/Ife Dancers/House of Love Drummers/The Master Rockers/DJ Spice/DJ Sensation/Pezo-Dancer Singers The next WMNF tribute features a roster of dancers, DJs, singers and bands performing the history-making, genre-defining music of reggae luminary Bob Marley. 4 p.m., Skippers Smokehouse, Tampa, $12 in advance/$15 dos.

Sarge and the Aeromen CD Release Party w/Midnight Bowlers League Guitarist Mark Warren (Barely Pink, Vodkanauts) joined forces with the Voyeurs’  Chris “Sarge” Pack (drums, vocals) to form the Aeromen, a lively rockabilly four-piece that also includes Mike Daley on upright bass and Ryan Arsenault on keys. The band presents Cleared for Takeoff at this CD release party and will likely play tongue-in-cheek numbers from the album like “Pork Gravy,” an ode to the heart-clogging sauce with charming, three-part harmonies raised in a chorus of “Gravy!” 9 p.m., Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin, $5.

$15 in advance/$20 dos.

A quick breakdown of this weekend’s most worthy concerts beginning with Thursday, ’cause that’s when the weekend really starts, right? For a more comprehensive schedule, check out our Upcoming Concerts page.


Have Gun Will Travel w/The Whiskey Gentry [pictured]/Josh Roberts & the Hinges Bay area purveyors of fiery Americana HGWT caught the attention of Suburban Home Records and were brought into the distribution fold with their latest full-length, Postcards from the Friendly City. This show is part of a Southeast regional tour with The Whiskey Gentry, an Atlanta six-piece that makes old timey alt country with banjo, accordion, fiddle, harmonica and the sweet-drawling vocals of frontwoman Lauren Staley; and Columbia, S.C.’s Josh Roberts, who brings a harder Southern rock feel to his band’s freewheeling roots music. 9 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $8.

SPC Jazz Festival w/Helios Jazz Orchestra/Guisando Caliente/John Lindberg & The Powell Brothers Quintet SPC hosts its second annual three-day fest beginning on Thursday with “Big Band Big Bang” by resident ensemble Helios Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalists Dale Williams and Sasha Tuck. On Friday, Guisando Caliente performs a concert of “Hot Latin Jazz.” And the Saturday night finale, “Jazz on the Edge,” features a one-two punch of music headlined by composer/bassist John Lindberg and featuring the Powell Brothers Quintet, a quintet that includes horn-playing Powell brothers Jonathan (trumpet) and Jeremy (saxophones) as well as guitarist LaRue Nickelson. 7:30 p.m. (all three nights), SPC Music Center, St. Petersburg, $10 per night.

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