Must-sees in music May 8-9: Unwigged & Unplugged, MC Chris, DeadNet Jam, NIN/Jane's and more.

[image-1]Canadian punk-informed Celtic rock quintet Enter the Haggis stops in town a few times a year, and is currently pimping its seventh and latest studio effort, Gutter Anthems. The album combines easy-on-the-ear acoustic balladry with heavy riffin’ rock ‘n’ roll marked by warped-out fiddle-playing. Highland bagpipes and Deger pipes are scattered throughout and are found even in rousing drinking numbers featuring such memorable lyrics as “With a smile on my face and a bottle in my hand, you’ll find me in the gutter in the morning.” The Beauvilles provide support. Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $12 in advance/$15 DOS. —LP

Drummer/percussionist Jon Priest returns to town for the weekend and performs a Ghetto Love Sugar Reunion Show at this one-night show featuring three bands he helped shape over the course of his many years living and playing in Tampa — the experimental quartet Ghetto Love Sugar, the funk-jazz foursome Infinite Groove Orchestra, and reggae masters Rocksteady@8. Priest is also due to perform with Middle Rhythm Session to kick things off. For more, click here to read CL's feature on Priest. Fri., May 8, 9 p.m., Yeoman's Road Pub, Tampa, $7. —LP

A more than solid four-pack of local acts rock the courtyard at New World this Friday.[image-2] Hankshaw is among the most commercially viable pop-rock bands that call Tampa Bay home. Eminently hooky, with tender tenor vocals. Zillionaire falls into a generally similar realm, although with a sound that’s a bit more languid. Also on the bill is King of Spain and Rec Center. Fri., May 9, 9 p.m., New World Brewery, Ybor City, $7. —ES

Saturday, May 09

Tampa singer/songwriter Dan Kincaid (pictured) celebrates his long-realized album The Walk Within, a polished piece of pop-rock, with a CD Release Party at Yeoman's. Kincaid keeps good company; one of his collaborators on the project was pan-stylistic drummer Jon Priest, who’s in town for a Ghetto Love Sugar reunion gig. (See above.) There’s every reason to expect Priest to be on hand for this gig. Sat., May 9, 9 p.m., Yeoman's Road Pub, Tampa, $5. —ES

Originally created by a group of Tampa musicians who’d met via DeadNetCentral — a message board community on the Grateful Dead’s official website — the DeadNet Jam brings together a bill of well-read Dead bands for an evening of Grateful appreciation. The several-hour show is headlined by Uncle John's Band, with sit-ins by pianist Michael Sokolowski (SOKO, Tim Reynolds, Steve Kimock), guitarist Jon Ezrine (Soft Monkey), bassist Bradley “BT” Rhea and guitarist Kirk “Sawtooth” Gregory (The Ultrasonic Project). Sat., May 9, 5 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa, $10. —LP

[image-3]You’ve probably heard his voice on Aqua Teen Hunger Force or laughed at his writing in Space Ghost: Coast to Coast without even knowing it. As a musician, MC Chris (pictured) is like an underground, funnier version of Eminem — white boy comedy hip-hop, helium-high vocals, club-friendly beats. But his lyrical absurdity is more the steamy brown tongue-in-cheek style of Ween. From “Pizza Butt:" "Some say Polo stole it from China/ Some say your stomach ate your vagina/ Is it delivery? No, it’s DiGiornno/ Let’s microwave it and put in a porno.” Sat., May 9, 7 p.m., Orpheum, St. Petersburg, $10. —LP

I spent much of my teen years listening to heavy music that spoke to me of injustice and hypocrisy and society’s ills, and fed into my angst-ridden feelings of powerlessness as a non-adult. I wanted to rage and I wanted to curse and I wanted to do whatever the fuck I wanted, and Nine Inch Nails made me think it was possible with albums like Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral, which gave me much appreciation for Trent Reznor’s provocative poetry, his use of “fuck,” and his qualms-free blasphemy. I haven’t been as tuned into NIN’s current catalog – I dropped off when I got happy – but the band’s latest, The Slip, and its subsequent “Lights in the Sky” tour was apparently so good that Reznor decided to break up the band while they were still ahead. This is NIN’s farewell tour. Jane's Addiction is a whole ‘nother beast. The Perry Farrell-headed on-again-off-again alt rock band with world flavor made it biggest from 1988 to 1991 with two solid albums, Nothing’s Shocking, and Ritual de lo Habitual. Then they broke up, got back together, broke up again, and then reunited again for this tour, through rumors are already flying about trouble in paradise. We may see another Jane’s break-up before this tour is through. Sat., May 9, 7 p.m., Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, $18.75-$93. —LP

What if James Taylor skewed his pop-folk a tad more country? You’d have an artist akin to [image-4]Petersburg) —ES

If Ryan Massaro, a 1995 graduate of Cherry Hill High School East in southern New Jersey, changed his name to Amos Lee in pursuit of some sort of cred, I’m going to submit that he, um, erred. Blue Note released the singer/songwriter’s debut album in ’05, apparently in hopes of spawning another Norah Jones-type crossover success. Didn’t quite work out that way, of course, but Lee’s forged on with a steady career. His old-timey, faux-jazz tune “Sweet Pea” will likely be familiar to you; it’s on a commercial or something and features the line “You’re the only reason I keep on coming home.” The opener is fellow Philadelphian Mutlu, an acoustic soul artist who’s been championed by Daryl Hall. The show is held in the new downtown Clearwater venue run by Ruth Eckerd Hall. Sat., May 9, 8 p.m., Capitol Theater, Clearwater, $31 and $46. —ES

The locally-based blog, Something Planet, celebrates its first anniversary with an eclectic bill that touches on powerful, emotive alt rock (Geri X), horn-infused funk (Rise of Saturn, made up of members of Weaksauce and Soulfound, among others), and dub reggae (Badda Skat). Sat., May 9, 7 p.m., Gasoline Alley, Largo, $6 21 and up/$9 under 21. —LP

CL's choice picks for this weekend in music.

Friday, May 08

file:///Users/dwarner/Desktop/Untitled%20clipping.textClippingWhat was it that Deiter said on Sprockets? Oh yeah … “Your story has grown tiresome.” I can see this gimmicky show — Unwigged & Unplugged: An evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, which features the three now-silver-haired comedians who made up Spinal Tap performing acoustic — as getting real old real fast. Let’s hope the trio doesn’t think that just the songs can carry the day; they’d better have some funny shtick in there, or I could see this thing being a waste of time. Then again, I could be wrong. Still, one wonders: What happens when you run an acoustic guitar through an amp and turn the amp up to 11? Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, $36.50-$49.50. —ES

Post rock meets experimental electronica by instrumental Los Angeles duo El Ten Eleven (pictured). Made up of Kristian Dunn (fretless bass, guitar/bass doubleneck) and Tim Fogarty (electric drums, acoustic drums, synthesizers), El Ten Eleven employs heavy looping and much effects pedal-pushing to create its fuzzified, lively brand of dance music. Also performing: Surly, The Tape Delay and Ghost of Gloria. Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., Orpheum, Ybor City, $8 in advance/$10 DOS. —LP

It’s only fitting that Nashville’s Kings of Leon have graduated to playing arenas — although the Sun Dome is pretty small in that regard — because their sound has morphed from a garage-y immediacy to, yup, more of an arena-style bombast. “Sex on Fire,” the first single from KoL’s current album, Only by the Night, casts a U2-ish hue. The shift must be working: Only by the Night ascended to No. 5 on the Billboard 200, besting 2007’s Because of the Times by 20 slots. For more, read CL's interview with guitarist Matthew Followill here. Fri., May 8, 8 p.m., USF Sun Dome, Tampa, $35.50 and $43. —ES

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