The Roches, Mojo Gurus, Ghetto Xmas...

By Wade Tatangelo

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20

PSEUDO HEROES w/STAY AT HOME MAFIA Featuring members of Down by Law and Pink Lincolns, Pseudo Heroes are kinda like a local punk supergroup, offering knotty riffs and power-pop-style hooks. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

BOB MARGOLIN A sideman for Muddy Waters through much of the 1970s, "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin is a gifted guitarist who plays smoldering slide licks and sings in a low, distinct croon. A solid songwriter as well, Margolin maintains a place as one the better bluesmen of his generation. (Ace's Lounge, Bradenton)

TORI SPARKS CD RELEASE PARTY Throaty-voiced Nashville artist Tori Sparks celebrates the release of her promising new disc, Under This Yellow Sun, in Sarasota this week. If you dig folk, country, rock or combinations thereof, Sparks will probably satisfy ya'. (Metro Coffee & Wine, Sarasota) —Cooper Levey-Baker

JIMMY GRISWOLD St. Pete singer/guitarist Jimmy Griswold and his four-piece have been serving uptown blues at Ringside for years, including the night when Jimbo Mathus sat in with them for a killer performance following his sideman gig with Buddy Guy at Vinoy Park. (Ringside Café, St. Petersburg)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21

JIM BRICKMAN With a silky, melodramatic voice and a piano playing style that has landed others on the country-club circuit, New Age star Jim Brickman makes music you either love or hate. This "Holiday Homecoming Concert" features special guest Richie McDonald, singer/guitarist of the pop-country band Lonestar. (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater)

SETH WALKER A singer/songwriter and hotshot guitarist with a blues bent, Austin-based Seth Walker (profiled in last week's CL) brings his seasoned quartet to perform material from his exceptional new self-titled album, which includes rousing originals and a gorgeous cover of the Tom Waits love letter "Picture in a Frame." (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

THE ROCHES Offering contemporary folk marked by quirky lyrics and sweet vocal harmonies, the three Roche sisters will be augmenting faves like "Hammond Song" — which dates back to their acclaimed 1979 self-titled debut album on Warner Bros. (featuring guitar work by producer Robert Fripp) — with holiday standards like "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Frosty the Snowman." (Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa)

SRQ UNDERGROUND INDIEFEST!!! w/ONE SMALL STEP FOR LANDMINES/LOOK MEXICO/THIS WAKING MOMENT/SAINT SWEETHEART/MOUSE FIRE/SUNDAY SUIT/THE PROSPECT/SETH SCHONFELD The best lineup of bands to hit Sarasota in a minute, this early-starting, all-ages show features a wide range of indie-tastic bands from around the state. The Tallahassee headliners, One Small Step for Landmines, are making waves with their twitchy guitar-pop, and Best of the Suncoast award winners Saint Sweetheart are sure to rock the house during their slot in the middle of this lineup. (Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, Sarasota) —CLB

SOCIAL JET LAG w/UNKEMPT/STAB THE SKY/ASHES OF ARIES This night of screamo is headlined by the Hunstville, Ala., quintet Social Jet Lag, which keeps things interesting by alternating between death growls from the male bassist and Gothy singing courtesy of the female frontwoman. (The Orpheum, Ybor City)

DUKES OF JUKE This Tampa-based rhythm-and-blues outfit has been raising the figurative roof of the Skipperdome since 1985. (Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa)

MOJO GURUS w/BLIND BUDDY MOODY/STAND BACK Fresh off recording a new album at Pro Star, the Mojo Gurus return to Ringside for a guaranteed good-time "Christmas Party" of rock 'n' roll revelry featuring the band's fiery glam-meets-twang originals plus outstandingly executed covers of classic-rock gems like Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited." (Ringside Café, St. Petersburg)

NOUS RAPPORT/THE GET-DOWN/MUPHIN CHUCKRS Sarasota's Nous Rapport puts on an excellent live show, with enough buzzsaw guitar to get that head moving in an up and down motion and just the right amount of dramatic atmospherics to have you pondering what it all means, man. Don't show up late, though, because Palmetto's Muphin Chuckrs be illin' with their punk-rock skillz. (The Clubhouse Tavern, Sarasota) —CLB

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22

LIL' BOOSIE w/LIL' WEBBIE A gangsta rapper from the Baton Rouge, La., Lil' Boosie blew up in '05 with the single "Give Me That" and repeated the success with this year's crunky smash "Wipe Me Down." Lil' Webbie also hails from Baton Rouge and can be heard on the "Wipe Me Down" remix. No word on whether Lil Jon or Lil Wayne will stop by to show a lil' solidarity. (Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg)

GIDDY-UP, HELICOPTER! w/GUILTMAKER/SNAILS IN FOLKLORE Tampa indie-rock faves Giddy-Up, Helicopter! headline this show with support from Bay area quartet Guiltmaker (now with Red Room Cinema guitarist Dave Teten on bass) and Orlando's Snails in Folklore, which offer a strange brew of math-rock, whispered vocals and back-porch fiddle. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

SKATEPARK OF TAMPA GHETTO XMAS PARTY VI Unfortunately named Tampa punk band VaginaSore Jr. and local reggae standouts Tribal Style perform at this Yuletide bash featuring free cover for those skaters actually old enough to drink legally. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

UNPLUGGED FOR THE HOLIDAYS w/BURNING TREE/JACUZZI FUZZ/INDICA Local favorites Burning Tree, Jacuzzi Fuzz and Indica come together for an acoustic reggae fest — complete with Burning Tree's Mike Fratone on upright bass and Tommy Slade on ukulele — to help the Pinellas County Toys for Tots drive. While there won't be any holiday music, there are always plenty of Christmas lights at the Patch. And if that isn't enough to get you in the holiday spirit, there will be a free keg for anyone of legal drinking age. For more info, visit blueberrypatch.org (The Blueberry Patch, Gulfport) —Katherine Clement

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25

ALISTER Z. DESMOND & THE BLACKWOODS ORCHESTRA w/MY OWN AMERICA/WILL QUINLAN/RED HANDS What better way to celebrate the birth of Christ than with Louisiana metal band Alister Z. Desmond & The Blackwoods Orchestra? The outfit performs titles like "Betting on Satan," and is led by a masked singer known for accosting audience members. Yeah, I'll be with the fam watching Christmas Vacation — but, y'know, that's just me. (New World Brewery, Ybor City)

December

29 Sevendust Jannus Landing

30 ZZ Top Ruth Eckerd Hall

31 The Bellamy Brothers Dallas Bull

31 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue The Palladium

JANUARY

8 Ronnie Baker Brooks Skipper's Smokehouse

10 The Dresden Dolls Tampa Theatre

11 Tab Benoit Skipper's Smokehouse

12 Galactic Jannus Landing

12 Ruthie Foster Skipper's Smokehouse

13 Neil Sedaka Ruth Eckerd Hall

17 Toad the Wet Sprocket Jannus Landing

18 The Subdudes Skipper's Smokehouse

19 Robin Trower Jannus Landing

19 George Strait w/Little Big Town St. Pete Times Forum

19 Night Ranger Ruth Eckerd Hall

19 Oteil Burbridge & the Peacemakers Skipper's Smokehouse

25 David Allan Coe Jannus Landing

26 Matchbox 20 w/Alanis Morissette/Mute Math St. Pete Times Forum

FEBRUARY

12 Queensryche Tampa Theatre

16 Wanda Jackson w/Unknown Hinson Skipper's Smokehouse

21 Gordon Lightfoot Tampa Theatre

22 Michael Buble St. Pete Times Forum

26 Keb' Mo' Tampa Theatre

MARCH

2 Rosanne Cash Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

3 k.d. lang Ruth Eckerd Hall

9 Blue Man Group St. Pete Times Forum

10 Pat Metheny Trio Tampa Theatre

APRIL

12 Los Lonely Boys Vinoy Park (Tampa Bay Blues Festival)

21 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band St. Pete Times Forum

27 Bon Jovi St. Pete Times Forum