This week in Tampa (with audio): Wilco, Wild Splash 2010, Rodrigo y Gabriela and more
You know you're in for a fun week when Jeff Tweedy, Tone Loc and Leo Kottke are allcoming to town.
Yes, this week we took a look at Tampa Bay's 25 top spring concerts, including shows by Tom Petty, Alicia Keys, Limp Bizkit, Tim McGraw and many more. Click here for the full list.
But this weekend marks the official first day of spring, so it's time to celebrate right. After the jump, Carole Liparoto (and a couple of guests) walk you through this week's concert picks, including Wilco, Tone Loc, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Bruce Katz, Leo Kottke, Tinsley Ellis, Ingrid Michaelson, Mat Kearney and Wild Splash 201o, featuring Trina, Damian Marley, B.O.B. and more ...
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third Street S., St. Petersburg. (727) 871-7874.
Not to discredit Tone Loc’s acting role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, but clearly, the world knows him best for million-selling singles Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina. Both late-’80s hits showcased Tone Loc’s hoarse, cavernous voice and his ability to tell a good story — usually about fine ladies, cold drinks and gold chains. And how about those twist endings? Sheena was a man! Ms. wild thang was a hooker! In the record books, Loc is the first African American rap artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop album chart.
Wild Splash 2010
Featuring Plies, Trina, Damian Marley, B.O.B., New Boyz, Roscoe Dash, Lil Kee and Javon Black, Roscoe Dash, Real and Chance, Yo Gotti
SATURDAY 1:30 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $22. wild941.com/wildsplash
After a stint at Tampa’s Ford Amphitheatre, Wild 94.1’s annual Wild Splash concert returns to the gulfside setting at Coachman Park, where it belongs. It is a Spring Break party, after all. Local R&B/rap representatives Lil Kee and Javon Black kick off the show. Other performers include Yo Gotti (Women Lie, Men Lie), “baddest chick” Trina (Single Again) and Ft. Myers “goon” Plies (Awesome) in the headlining slot. But don’t miss funky Southerner B.O.B. (especially if you own a copy of Outkast’s Stankonia) or latest festival addition Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock, the monster track in which he describes the poverty and political violence plaguing Jamaica, was recently dubbed “the best reggae song of the decade” by the New York Times.
FRIDAY 10 p.m. Ace’s Lounge, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton. $8-$12. (941) 795-3886.
Customarily, even the greatest keyboard and organ players are overshadowed by guitarists and singers. (Exceptions to the rule might be Deep Purple’s Jon Lord and Yes’ Rick Wakeman). Well, these guys deserve love too. Keys dynamo Bruce Katz, a player described by Gregg Allman as a keyboard “heavy,” blurs the lines of blues, rock, gospel, soul, jazz and Americana. An associate professor at Berklee College of Music and a Blues Music Award nominee, Katz has toured with Gregg Allman and Friends, the Allman Brothers and John Hammond, to name a few.
Rodrigo y Gabriela
SUNDAY 8 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 247-2555.
After meeting in a thrash metal band, Mexican guitarists (and Metallica worshippers) Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero took a seemingly illogical next step: They moved to Ireland to play acoustic world music. Today their expert sophomore album 11:11 remains at the top of the World Music charts after 20 weeks. (Just goes to show you what we know about music logic.) This guitar duo slaps, picks and strums extremely meticulously and sometimes adds in-between snarky banter. Maybe if The X-Files’ Mulder and Scully were guitar virtuosos, this is what they’d sound like.
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Sold Out. (727) 791-7400.
It’s no secret: Smart people love Wilco. Maybe it’s the surrealist, often insensitive lyrics and word games. Maybe it’s the layers of rollicking guitar and experimental flourishes, which call for repeated listens and analysis. Maybe it’s Midwesterner Jeff Tweedy’s emotionally volatile lead or his taking on a major record label. No matter how you slice it, Wilco is one of the most beloved alt-country-rock bands of all time. This will be the group’s first local appearance in five years, and it’s promising material from each of its seven studio albums. Again, because Wilco fans are extra-smart, they got their tickets to this sold-out show in advance. The rest of us are out of luck.
Ingrid Michaelson and Mat Kearney
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $29.50-$32.50. (727) 791-7400.
When former children’s theater director Ingrid Michaelson offered her sweater to a chilly beau on 2007 track The Way I Am, listeners took notice. They also bought some stuff at Old Navy. Michaelson’s soft pop songs are uncomplicated, comforting and warm, her style a lovely librarian chic. Christian singer-songwriter Mat Kearney evokes a combo of Coldplay, Counting Crows and TobyMac with dulcet guitar, piano-based tunes and the occasional faux rap.
FRIDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $36-$45. (727) 791-7400.
I don’t know if Leo Kottke takes requests from the audience, but if he does and I make it to the guitarist’s concert this weekend, I know what I’ll ask for: Power Failure, Kottke’s rendition of the old Procul Harum rocker from its album Broken Barricades (Click here to listen.) After Kottke had covered the song on one of his own albums, he toured Europe with the great British band. For a folk strummer like him to kick out the jams with Power Failure, and perform it so brilliantly, was a revelation. Kottke, 64, is master of the six- and 12-string guitar, but he also sings in a deep baritone famously compared (by the guitarist himself) to “geese farts on a muggy day.’’ His catalog includes so many great songs, from Pamela Brown (his one chart hit) to music for the movie Days of Heaven to his version of the Byrds’ Eight Miles High to Vaseline Machine Gun to inspired arrangements of Bach. -- John Fleming
With Anders Osborne
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd., Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
Every now and then, when I least expect it, my iPod will hit me with a bolt of lightning, a freight train, the devil’s right hand — you name the appropriate bluesman metaphor. The six-string in my ears will be fiendishly edged, switchblade vicious; the road-hard voice will be the equivalent of a flaming sea of moonshine. I’ll stop in my tracks. Who in the heck is THIS?! And then I remember. Oh yeah, Tinsley Ellis. Man, I really should listen to this dude more. The pride of Alligator Records, and a native Floridian to boot, Ellis is a journeyman busker with such incendiary chops and presence, you wonder why, after three decades in the game, the man is still working so hard. His new record is Speak No Evil, a 12-tracker of original cuts that veers from smooth blues to Ellis’ new obsession with down ’n’ dirty rock ’n’ roll. That’s right: He wants to play even LOUDER and HARDER now. You and your iPod have been warned. -- Sean Daly
The Honor Society Fri. With Just Kait, Ashlyne Huff. 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Pnuma Trio Fri. With Big Gigantic, Soft Rock Renegades, DJ Craig Heneveld. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $10-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Locolism Fri. Beach Bar, 454 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach. (727) 447-4100.
Lucid Druid Fri. 7 p.m. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 Broadway, Dunedin. Free. (727) 216-6318.
W.A.S.P. Sat. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
Andy Matchett and the Minks Sat. With Friends of Giants. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Dementia Sat. With Before the Tide, Promethean Horde, Lost in Eternal Sleep, A Broken Machine. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N., Largo. $6-$10. (727) 532-0265.
Women of Jazz III Sat. featuring Sweet Sue Terry, Peggy Stern, Rose Bilal, Theo Valentine, more. 7:30 p.m. Palladium Theater, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25-$40. (727) 822-3590.
India Sun. 4 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa. Free with park admission. 1-888-800-5447.
Florida Folk concert series Sun. featuring Mare Wakefield, Ronny Elliott. 1 p.m. St. Pete Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free, donations accepted. (727) 894-1052.
Alpha Decay Sat. With Hammerslug, Dead End River, Red Rockits and John Palumbo. 8 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $8. (727) 843-0686.
Saving Abel Sat. Following Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa. Free with game ticket. lightning.nhl.com.
Rubix Cubed Sun. 5 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 247-2664.
Audrey Auld and Stevie Coyle Sun. 3 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa (UU Dome), 11400 Morris Bridge Rd., Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 988-8188.
Stolen Idols Sun. 4 p.m. Ella’s, 5119 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 234-1000.
Aggrolites Sun. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
Fake Problems Sun. 7 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $7. (813) 382-3477.
Dick Hyman (A Century of Jazz Piano) Sun. 3 p.m. Mainstage Theater, Hillsborough Community College Performing Arts Building, Palm Ave. and 14th St., Ybor City. $10-$30, free for HCC students and staff. tampajazzclub.com.
Alesana Wed. With A Skylit Drive, Of Mice and Men, The Word Alive, We Came As Romans. 6 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $14. (727) 895-3045.
Jaguar Love Wed. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10.50. (813) 248-9500.
Robert Earl Keen Thur. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $24. (727) 895-3045.
Greg Billings Band Thur. 7 p.m. With Tom Gribbin and the Saltwater Band, Gale Trippsmith. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free, but ticket required. jannuslive.com.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: AP.