Music Menu

THURSDAY, DEC. 01

HOT HOT HEAT w/THE RED WALLS/DIAMOND NIGHTS Canadian hipster fave Hot Hot Heat moved from semi-experimental synth-punk to (comparatively) more straightforward indie-pop fare, and rode this year's Elevator to MTV2 buzzdom. Those interested in being the first to hear the newest should come early and check out NYC's Diamond Nights, a rising act with a killer, throwback sound that recalls the best of quality classic rock — think Thin Lizzy meets the Nuggets compilations. (Masquerade, Ybor City)

FRIDAY, DEC. 02

JASON MRAZ w/JAMES BLUNT/TRISTAN PRETTYMAN Semi-jammy pop singer-songwriter Mraz wormed his way into collegiate America's hearts via a slightly cocked baseball cap and some funny, rhythmic pop, then, ironically, outgrew the hat for the new, infinitely less mature album Mr. A-Z. James Blunt plies a more lush, old-school "AM Gold" sort of strumminess, while Mraz associate/surfer/former model Tristan Prettyman comes across as more straightforward and contemporary. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

FRONT 242 w/GRAYMATTER Long-running Belgian act Front 242 has always been associated with industrial music, though the group was always more electronic and danceable than, say, Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. F242 arguably helped launch the IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) trend of recent years. It's perhaps best known among non-fans for being one of the first truly alternative (i.e., not guitar-based) units to grace the stage during Lollapalooza's heyday. (Masquerade, Ybor City)

OTEIL AND THE PEACEMAKERS w/THE LEE BOYS Oteil Burbridge — a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit, current member of The Allman Brothers Band and Vida Blue, and arguably one of the best six-string bassists on the jam-band circuit — leads his crew of talented groovers through music that blends elements of jazz, funk and gospel, interspersed with solos aplenty. Florida natives The Lee Boys kick off the evening of danceable jams with an electrifying set of sacred steel music, a rousing form of Southern gospel that spotlights the pedal steel guitar (Robert Randolph is the genre's most popular figure). (Java Junction, Clearwater) LEILANI POLK

JIM LAUDERDALE w/RANDY KOHRS One of the largely unsung heroes and architects of Americana/roots music's current vogue, Lauderdale is not only an award-winning solo performer and Donna the Buffalo co-conspirator; he's also an award-winning songwriter whose material has been interpreted by everyone from Patty Loveless to Vince Gill, and an in-demand collaborator who's recorded with the likes of Dwight Yoakam and Lucinda Williams. Yup, you guessed it — WMNF loooooves him, and this show's at the Skipperdome. Opener Randy Kohrs was a session man on the bluegrass scene before founding his own band, which will back up Lauderdale tonight as well. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

THE FIRST ANNUAL BOCA BALL: REBIRTH OF THE BLUES Diehard raw-blues fans may remember the unlikely duo Satan & Adam, who recorded a few albums in the late '80s and appeared briefly in the U2 film Rattle & Hum; the pair consisted of veteran '60s sideman Sterling Magee and young harmonica player Adam Gussow. Though the group's notoriety was short-lived, Magee was already something of an underground figure in the blues world. Well, some fans found Magee living in a Pinellas nursing home; he reunited with Gussow last year, and has been playing regular Thursday-night gigs with notable locals T.C. Carr and Tracy Purcell. And he'll once again play with Satan & Adam tonight, as part of a benefit for the his nursing home, the Boca Ciega Center, which needs a new wheelchair-accessible van. Along with Satan & Adam, Carr, Purcell and Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues will also perform at this very special celebration of Magee's life and return to the stage. For more information, call the Boca Ciega Center at 727-344-4608. (Gulfport Casino, Gulfport)

JAKE ARMERDING He grew up under the tutelage of a mandolin-playing father — of New England bluegrass circuit band Northern Lights — so it's no surprise that Armerding mixes his mellow folk-rock with Americana, despite his upbringing in Massachusetts. This saves him from being just the latest blue boy with an acoustic guitar, particularly since his lyrics are often maudlin break-up sobs. Armerding's got a new album coming out in early 2006, and is going to focus on new material at this gig, so maybe he's moved on to less monotonous subject matter. We'll see. (Fogartyville Café, Bradenton) COOPER LANE BAKER

SATURDAY, DEC. 03

ALAN JACKSON w/LEE ANN WOMACK Country superstar Jackson makes good on a previous date that got cancelled a little while back. With him is the lovely Lee Ann Womack, who worked behind the scenes as a songwriter for several years before establishing herself as a performer in her own right during the late '90s. (Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa)

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS Headed by singer/guitarist Luther Dickinson and his drumming brother Cody, the NMAS started out a few years ago by bringing the hill-country blues sound of their home state into a modern, plugged-in context. Over time, the band has moved into a more refined, song-oriented sound, which, to these ears, has not been as satisfying. On stage, though, the Allstars rip it up. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg) ES