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E3/Sage/Fang Shooey Sarasota quartet E3 have caused quite a stir around the Bay area over the past couple of years; they'll gig anywhere, regardless of scene, sound or style, and are rumored to be nurturing the big-time industry hook-up. The band's sound rides the line between jagged grooves, heavy alternative and straight-up melodic rock. They've got the hooks, but love the pummel. Northern Pinellas heroes Sage are similarly inclined; their next disc is slated to drop sometime before the meek inherit the earth. St. Pete's Fang Shooey purvey quality punk/reggae/ska in the vein of Sublime, or perhaps a less cred-intensive Rancid. Any outward indie snobs with a soft spot for modern rock radio's better moments are encouraged to head up to Billy G'z (601 Cleveland Ave., Clearwater) for some muscular power-chord melody. (Dec. 13, Billy G'z)

Christiansen w/Red Tide Dynamic posthardcore stalwarts Christiansen hail from Louisville, Ky. If memory serves, they've made a stop or two at The Refuge over the years, and ply some earnest and anguished stuff. Local organic hip-hop conglomerate Red Tide provides support, in something of an intriguingly mismatched bill. Fuck your genres, buddy. The Kids skateshop/show space is out toward Town & Country on Gunn Highway, somewhere west of Dale Mabry. Be seen, and pick up the latest skate-shoe video while bagging on whoever's not you. (Dec. 13, The Kids)

King Johnson Horn-driven blues rock with a strong dose of New Orleans funkiness and soul-shuffling boogie, sez Skipper's. One might also add coming through town every 17 minutes or so, but they're always tight and entertaining, so we'll let it slide. KJ's been described as a cross between Van Morrison, James Brown and Little Feat; horn player Adam Mewherter has played with Ray Charles, Don Henley and Al Jarreau, while founder Oliver Wood was once Tinsley Ellis' guitar-slinging sideman. (Dec. 14, Skipper's Smokehouse)

Oksana Russian-born, critically acclaimed pianist/composer Oksana Kolesnikova will be delivering a casual, intimate performance of classical, folk and original songs this evening on the patio of Cafe Lido, at the St. Petersburg Pier. There is no admission charge for this event, but man, you're gonna look like a jackass if you don't sit down and order something to eat. Gratuities and donations are encouraged, a sizeable percentage of which will be donated to Autumn's House, a privately funded home for children born with AIDS. (Dec. 14, Cafe Lido)

Burden Fly Burden Fly relocated to our cozy little seaside climes from Atlanta a year-and-a-half or so ago. Their earthy combination of college-town groove and anthemic rock 'n' roll immediately struck a chord at places like the Neptune and Club More; you know, venues where people go to dance, hang out and have fun, as opposed to just checking out their buddies' bands (read: girls who you don't know drink and shimmy when they play). Tonight they'll continue to break in new bassist Andy Tinker with a couple of sets, in preparation for their New Year's Eve blowout at the same venue. (Dec. 15, Neptune Lounge)

Groovenics/Gargamel/Attica/Kaizer Soze South Florida nu-metallers Groovenics have almost everything they need for the big time: crazy/colored hair, perma-scowls, crushing downtuned riffage and an awful name. There's even an iota of originality to their sound, which incorporates death metal, hardcore and electronic influences with aplomb. What they may not have, however, is the clarity to realize that anyone who sees their picture is going to immediately assign them fifth-tier bandwagon-jumper status. Which may be why photos of Gargamel, the Orlando institution/disturbing aural-ADD freakshow, are so hard to come by — these guys aren't stupid. Over the years, the Bungle-esque Gargamel have never really gotten the props their talent warrants, and they gleefully continue running amok anyway. It's something that must be seen to be appreciated. St. Pete groovecore institution Attica, who does it better than anybody, and up-and-comers (and Band Name of the Week award recipients) Kaizer Soze provide more-than-ample support. (Dec. 15, State Theatre)

WMNF's Holiday Schmoliday Jingle Bell Bash WMNF's latest soiree features 14 notable locals having their way with your holiday favorites. Expect everything from reverent renditions to barely recognizable bastardizations. Slated to appear are Barely Pink (hook-laden power-pop); Ghetto Love Sugar (jazz-fusion); Crabgrass Cowboys (C&W); Handshake Squad (indescribable mad-scientist weirdness); Spacious International (hip, inventive post-rock); Rocksteady@8 (ska/reggae); Hangtown (insurgent country/roots-pop); Sandy Atkinson (blues); Bob Anthony (sophisticated singer-songwriter pop); Dave Hardin (soulful folk); The Dagari Jazz Trio (self-explanatory); Maggie Council (acoustic, folky singer-songwriter pop); Gumbi Ortiz (percussive Afro-Cuban grooves); Midnight Bowling League (rockabilly); Crash Mitchell Quartet (surly chicken-fried punk/country). Sorry about reducing everybody to a couple of words, but suffice it to say there'll be a buttload of good tuneage. (Dec. 15, Skipper's Smokehouse)

The Pawn Rook Four Gainesville quartet The Pawn Rook Four play lush, ambitious pop-rock that runs the gamut from strings-and-piano ballads to gritty Cheap Trick-inspired nuggets. The band does an admirable job of updating their love of The Beach Boys and AM-radio gold with wit and (occasionally) a considerable edge. (Dec. 16, Borders Books & Music)

Britney Spears w/O-Town Still the queen of teen product, Spears brings her gargantuan stage production, lavish light-show, multiple costume changes, copious bet-hedging lip-synchage and pectoral conundrum to the Ice Palace. I know, I know, when you dance that hard, you shouldn't be expected to sing every little line; what it lacks in live authenticity, it more than makes up for with all that other shiny crap. Britney has confounded all expectations by continuing to matter. But she can't elude the inevitable forever, and when she finally does star opposite Kieran Culkin in a TBS Original Presentation (Markie Post will play their mom, naturally, and I'm thinking Joey Slotnick for the loser uncle), we will all laugh until our larynxes rupture. (Nov. 18, Ice Palace)

The Six Parts Seven w/Dumbwaiters/Skyline Proving once and for all that the line between subdued underground indie and the New Age/Smooth Jazz wasteland is indeed a thin one, Kent, Ohio-based instrumental quartet The Six Parts Seven delivers intricate, mesmerizing nap-core that makes Low sound like Machine Head. Not that they're bad — the foursome weaves some intriguing sounds, meandering from and returning to key melodic themes with ease. Just don't listen to their forthcoming disc, Things Shaped In Passing, while driving home after a long day, and try to avoid getting your whooo! on when you show up tonight. Masterful rock deconstructionists Dumbwaiters and quickly maturing new posthardcore outfit Skyline are always worth a listen, as well. (Dec. 18, New World Brewery)

Wee Bee Foolish/Subconscious/Yeshua Dapoed/Ace Lover/Red Tide/Congo Fam Brooklyn quartet Wee Bee Foolish had already captured the attention of NYC's hip-hop underground long before their debut full-length Brighton Beach Memoirs dropped straight into Hot Movers bins and DJs' crates nationwide last month. The group's blend of commercial hooks and iconoclastic traits seems to set them on the edge of something bigger, while consistently avoiding the one-dimensional cliches of most radio-ready rap. Everybody knows locals Red Tide deliver a great set of left-of-center material. DJs Balance and Mega will provide additional sonics. Highly Recommended. (Dec. 19, Orpheum)

—All entries by Scott Harrell

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