Fall Arts: Music

Black Kids, Black Crowes, Mary Gauthier, Phoebe Snow and more

BLACK KIDS

Jacksonville indie pop outfit the Black Kids emerged last year as The Sunshine State's hottest band thanks to the four-song EP Wizard of Ahhhs, which the quintet offered for free on its MySpace page. Pitchfork and other tastemakers praised the release while the synthed-out confection "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You" became a must-own MP3 for any self-respecting fan of danceable snark. In July, Black Kids' full-length Partie Traumatic came out on the major label Columbia. Basically an augmented version of Wizard of Ahhhs, its most addictive track remains "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend...," which has become a mainstream smash in the United Kingdom despite failing to climb the pop charts stateside. Regardless if Black Kids ever live up to last year's hype, which was based on an EP that runs a mere 15 minutes, the band's first Tampa Bay performance since it blew up will draw throngs of sing-along fans — and probably a few skeptics. Black Kids w/The Virgins/The Magic Wands, Sun. Sept. 21, Crowbar, Ybor City. —Wade Tatangelo

BLACK CROWES

The Black Crowes' 1990 debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, provided listeners with a much-needed jolt of authenticity at a time when hair metal still largely dominated the airwaves. The disc is a timeless, sizzling, fully realized collection of hard-edged boogie ("Jealous Again"), supercharged soul (the Otis Redding cover "Hard to Handle") and raised-Bic-worthy balladry ("She Talks to Angels"). The Crowe's subsequent albums, 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, and, to a slightly lesser extent, 1994's Amorica, remained sterling examples of gut-rattling groove rock lathered in grease. By the end of the '90s, though, The Crowes delved into stoned-out psychedelia geared toward the jam-band crowd. When I saw the Crowes play the Ford Amphitheatre a couple years ago, its performance often crumbled under the weight of trippy, incessant noodling that sounded about as sharply defined as the ramblings of an acid freak. In March, though, the Crowes finally emerged from a decade-long fog with the album Warpaint. It's a fierce and focused disc marked by precision songwriting and the juke joint slide guitar heroics of the North Mississippi Allstars' Luther Dickinson, who is touring with the Crowes. The Black Crowes w/Buffalo Killers, 8 p.m. Mon., Nov. 10, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. —WT

MARY GAUTHIER

Few singer/songwriters relate working-class struggles and universal pathos as convincingly, passionately or as poetically as alt-country luminary Mary Gauthier. Abandoned by her mom at age 15, she fell into a life of petty crime and drug abuse and didn't write her first song until she was 35. But the wait was worth it. Gauthier's work is highly literate and decidedly mature, with each detailed line delivered in a plaintive drawl that recalls her New Orleans roots and years of hard living. After a trio of critically acclaimed albums on boutique labels, Gauthier finally enjoyed widespread adoration with her 2005 Lost Highway debut, Mercy Now. On the song "I Drink," a meditation on following in an alcoholic father's footsteps, Gauthier intones: "Chicken TV dinner/ Six minutes on defrost, 3 on high/ A beer to wash it down with/ Then another, a little whiskey on the side." Among Gauthier's fans is Bob Dylan, who included the song on his XM Satellite Radio program. Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco) produced Gauthier's 2007 record, Between Daylight and Dark, last year. It includes her haunting-yet-understated Katrina account, "Can't Find the Way." Mon. Nov. 17, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. —WT

PHOEBE SNOW

She broke out of the box in 1975 with a debut album that reached No. 4 on the Billboard album chart, a No. 5 hit in "Poetry Man," and a laundry list of critical plaudits. That same year, New Yorker Phoebe Snow gave birth to a severely brain-damaged daughter (who died in 2007). Because she decided to care for Valerie instead of institutionalize her, Snow's career never scaled the heights many thought possible. She is, has always been, a remarkable vocalist who has straddled the line between folk, jazz, rock and R&B. Check out her formidable dynamic range, from brassy to breathy, with a knack for sliding in and out of falsetto, an indelible trademark. I don't recall Snow, 56, ever performing in Tampa Bay, so this is indeed a special occasion. Dec. 10, Tampa Theatre. —Eric Snider

MORE MUSIC:

AUGUST

27 Matt Pryor, Orpheum

28 Rod Stewart, Ford Amphitheatre

28 Jake La Botz, Las Vegas Tattoo Co., Tampa

29 Kenny Chesney w/Miranda Lambert, Ford Amphitheatre

29 The Mystic Orchestra, St. Pete Times Forum

29 Kate Voegele, State Theatre

29 My Morning Jacket, House of Blues, Orlando

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