This week in Tampa (with audio!): Michael Buble, AFI, Kool Keith and more
Indeed. In addition to mainstreamers like AFI, Iyaz and the folks at the Strawberry Festival, you've got Fruit Bats, Kid Sister, Kool Keith and F---ed Up, which we have to dash because we're a family blog. (Although we did once write this piece of award-worthy journamalism.)
There's also Michael Buble, above. What, you don't think he's edgy? Do you NOT want to book a reservation at the Hamm & Buble? Then you, sir, cannot be our friend. Mickey Bubbles is Canadian! How can you hate him? We will stand by him, and continue to call him "Mickey Bubbles," even if we are the only ones doing so.
Carole's concert picks, with lots of streaming-mp3 goodness, are after the jump.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $64.40-$106.05. (813) 301-2500.
Contemporary crooner Michael Bublé spurs American debate like health care reform. To many, Bublé is a gifted singer, a fine interpreter of the standards and a modern restorer of romance. He could sing about bread pudding and you’d swoon. But for others, Bublé is to Frank Sinatra what Kenny G. is to John Coltrane — a schmaltzy, watered-down follower. So, it’s time to take sides as if this were a Twilight heartthrob battle. Where do you stand?
With Pauly Crush, The Crate Brothers, Heemo Feelya
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$17. (813) 247-2664.
Head back in time with Kid Sister to the era of jokey, spandex-clad rap — an age when neon colors and tacky rhymes encouraged shameless busting of moves. (And the term “gangster” still referred to Italian mobsters, for the most part.) This spunky Chicago artist, whose background includes musical theater and “dorky things,” raps about beepers, bass and acrylic nails over ’80s-style electro. Kanye West appeared on the Kid Sis single Pro Nails. Fans of Amanda Blank, Rye Rye or Salt-n-Pepa should enjoy.
With Trash Talk, Forgetters
FRIDAY 9 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 247-2555.
For an evening of hardcore punk, man sweat and malt liquor, head to Skatepark of Tampa’s Pro Party at the Ritz. Nutty Ontario band F---ed Up play meaty, confrontational punk, complete with pack-a-day barking and experimental interludes. After the band’s MTV performance of Minor Threat-honoring Baiting the Public resulted in injury and set damage in 2007, the network promptly banned all moshing from future MTV Live shows. So you have an idea of what you’re in for, eh?
With Blue Giant
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Influenced by the rural, masterful folk-rock sounds of The Band, Sub Pop act Fruit Bats provide the perfect soundtrack for an ebullient trot through the wheat fields (see Ruminant Band). The Shins’ Eric Johnson writes most of the material (and happens to sound like a countrified version of Shins singer James Mercer). This is smart, sunlit folk with an affirmative vibe.
SUNDAY 9 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$18. (813) 247-2664.
Underground hip-hop king Kool Keith has more aliases than a Department of Corrections inmate roster. Since the late ’80s, under the names Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom, Black Elvis and so on, Keith has evaded the mainstream rap world with a schizophrenic style and lyrics that could make even 2 Live Crew blush (see Sex Style). In true antiestablishment fashion, he loves sci-fi and creative thinking, and hates all things marketing.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. $10-$15. (727) 571-2222.
Iyaz, that guy you thought was Sean Kingston even after a dozen listens, will perform his No. 1 hit Replay at the Venue’s spring break party Friday. Props to the Virgin Islands singer for delivering a love metaphor today’s youth can relate to — having a girl or guy consume your thoughts as if your “iPod was stuck on replay.”
Matt Pond PA
With Stars of Track and Field, The Pauses
SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-4969.
For songs about dim lighting, bitter cold and window smashing, this stuff sticks with you in the best of ways. Matt Pond PA’s lush chamber pop songs come with rustic guitar, jangling keys and passionate vocals. Fun facts: Pond has written songs for the Oxygen Network and is terribly allergic to pond water (ironically enough). His last show at New World Brewery in 2008 was sold out, so don’t sleep on this one.
With the Loved Ones, Scarlet Grey
TUESDAY 6:30 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $26. (813) 247-2555.
AFI’s original sound, a speedy, ruffled punk-rock blend, has undergone frequent metamorphosis over the years. The group slowed its roll, doused songs with pop melodies, got deep and discussed feelings. Most recently, singer Davey Havok lightened up on the gothic makeup in favor of a more classic, big-haired rock look, a complement to the band’s latest anthemic rock songs.
Florida Strawberry Festival
Featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sara Evans, Patty Loveless, Tracy Lawrence, Oak Ridge Boys, REO Speedwagon
THURSDAY-SUNDAY Florida Strawberry Festival, 303 N Lemon St., Plant City. $10-$30, not including festival admission (about 3,000 free concert tickets available on a first come, first served basis). flstrawberryfestival.org.
Plant City's 75th Strawberry Festival wraps up with a rock 'n' roll flair, with Lynyrd Skynyrd and REO Speedwagon taking top billing. Old-school country fans will have to make do with Sara Evans, Patty Loveless, Tracy Lawrence and Oak Ridge Boys.
Jon Snodgrass and Cory Branan Fri. With Nessie, Deadly Fists of Kung Fu. 9 p.m. Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $9. (727) 898-6054.
Fall of Troy Fri. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $13.50. (813) 248-9500.
Andy McKee Fri. 7 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 871-7874.
Gordon Lightfoot Fri. 8 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$75. (727) 892-5767.
Paradise house music night Fri. featuring Romano Arcaini and Jason Leva, Jask, Dino Bonetti, Cubanix. 10 p.m. Hyde Park Café, 1806 W Platt St., Tampa. Free-$10. (813) 254-2233.
Absolute Queen (Queen tribute) Fri. 8 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $12. (727) 843-0686.
Crawfish Festival Fri.-Sun. featuring The Porch Dogs, Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie, Don Fontenot and Les Amis De La Louisiane, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys, Lost Bayou Ramblers and Same Old Two-Step. Vinoy Park, 501 Fifth Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. $12-$35. (800) 745-3000.
Rise of Saturn Sat. With Variety Workshop, Push Button Press. 8:30 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. $6-$8. (727) 532-0265.
Audrey Auld Sat. 5 p.m. Gram's Place, 3109 N Ola Ave., Tampa. Suggested donation of $10. (813) 221-0596
Arlo Guthrie Sat. 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $50-$65. (727) 791-7400.
Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express Band Sat. With Peter Mulvey. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $17-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Stephanie Anderson CD release Sun. 6 p.m. Chic-a-Boom Room, 319 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 736-5284.
Otep Sun. 5 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
Then and Now (Barbra Streisand tribute) Mon. featuring Carla DelVillaggio. 2 and 7 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $20. (727) 587-6793.
Tea Leaf Green Wed. With Diocious. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
Badfish, a Tribute to Sublime Thurs. With Orange Hour. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
Richard Marx Thurs. 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $34.50-$42.50. (727) 791-7400.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.