This week in Tampa: Junior Boys, Moonalice, Modern Skirts and more
With the insanity of Halloween (on a Saturday!) just a week away, this might be a week to relax and take it easy. Maybe watch singer-guitarists Steve Vaclavik or Sean Chambers. Or take in the bluesy, jammy vibes of Moonalice or the Sarasota Blues Fest.
Or you could don your craziest attire and hit Friday's electro-heavy Junior Boys set at Crowbar. Your call.
Carole Giambalvo walks you through these shows and more in her weekly concert picks, after the jump...
With Woodhands, Soft Rock Renegades
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Like kids who spent too much time in the electronics room at Sam Ash, the Junior Boys have struck a terrific balance of digitally soothing and downright spooky electro-pop. Standout songs include an interpretation of downhearted Frank Sinatra standard When No One Cares, ear-pleasing So This Is Goodbye and In the Morning, which evokes a Hot Chip/Cut Copy combo. Bonus: frontman Jeremy Greenspan loves Halloween almost as much as Michael Myers. “Part of being a young Jewish kid to me was directing all of your excitement that should’ve been for Christmas towards Halloween,” he said in the band’s official bio. He promises CDs and shirts for attendees in the best costumes.
Steve Vaclavik CD release
With the Woeful Ones, Richard MacLemale
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Pro Star Recording Studio, 3220 28th St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 526-0446.
Folk troubadour Steve Vaclavik is a regular presence at coffeeshops, festivals and singer-songwriter hangouts (like Tre Amici @ the Bunker) around Tampa Bay. With a deep voice and country-tinged flavor, Vaclavik has a poet’s eye for the imagery of the American landscape, as filtered through the windows of a dusty windshield. “Heaven may be a place for the just,” he sings on Sunset of Gold, from his new album The Roof Needs More, “but hell is the place for the rest of us.” It’s also a release show for Richard MacLemale’s new CD, Every Single Day. — Jay Cridlin
Sarasota Blues Fest
Featuring Little Feat, Duke Robillard, Larry McCray, Bruce Katz and Floyd Miles Allstars, Mojo Myles Band, Fogt’s Jr. All-Stars
SATURDAY 11 a.m. Ed Smith Stadium Complex, 2700 12th St., Sarasota. $20-$25. sarasotabluesfest.com.
For a full day of howling, note-bending blues, head south. Sarasota Blues Fest (which has been host to Buddy Guy and Delbert McClinton) celebrates its 19th year Saturday. Founded by Lowell George (once a Frank Zappa bandmate), headliner Little Feat took country music both blues-ward and bizarro in the early ’70s. A sample of their dreamlike lyrics: “If you’ll be my Dixie chicken, I’ll be your Tennessee land.” Even after George’s death, the band has maintained its rep as a quirky touring act. And thanks to recent collaborations with Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett, Bela Fleck and Phish, younger followers have been trotting to Little Feat shows, too.
Vega Under Fire
WEDNESDAY 8:30 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third Street S., St. Petersburg. (727) 871-7874.
At least until our term “ponk” catches on, we’ll tag Vega Under Fire in the pop-punk genre. The quintet from Naples and its absurdly catchy new single Fabricated Air call to mind a sweeter, smilier Say Anything. Alternative Press calls it “feel-good dance-inspired punk.”
SUNDAY 5 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
We’ve already seen rock supergroups Chickenfoot and Tinted Windows emerge this year. Now, Moonalice is making a name for itself as a supergroup of sorts for the hippie set. Comprised of guitarist G.E. Smith (Bob Dylan, the Saturday Night Live band), Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane), Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship), John Molo (Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh) and Roger and Ann McNamee, the group performs lighthearted, organic and improvisational originals that often come off like remastered ’60s tunes. The group, which was organized by T-Bone Burnett, played Bonnaroo earlier this year.
With Flight Patterns, Manic Drive
SATURDAY 9 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 US Hwy. 19, New Port Richey. $18-$25. (727) 843-0686.
One of the first-ever Christian metal acts, Styper sought to spread God’s word with screeching vocals and some serious riffage — not to mention towering hairdos and insanely gaudy spandex. Essentially, Stryper brothers Michael and Robert Sweet loved the music of bands like Van Halen, but thought the message could use improvement. So they formed Stryper, a glam metal group who rocked ballads (Honestly) and handed out Bibles. Ellen Page sports a Stryper tee in Whip It!
Sean Chambers CD release
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 822-3590
Tampa blues guitarist Sean Chambers has been plucking, riffing and shredding away at local bars, blues fests and headlining shows around town since he was a teenager. A regular at venues like the Ringside Cafe, Chambers has opened for the likes of B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy during Florida tour stops, and for five years he toured the world as the musical director and guitarist for Hubert Sumlin of Howlin’ Wolf’s band. On his new CD, Ten Til Midnight, Chambers’ Jimi Hendrix obsession comes through loud and clear. — Jay Cridlin
With the Old Ceremony, Glasgow, Alexander and the Grapes
MONDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Athens, Ga.’s Modern Skirts do alt-pop like a raggedy Ben Folds or Weezer for indie kids. The band played Tropical Heatwave earlier this year.
The Revolting Cocks: Fri. With Jim Rose Circus, Blownload. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18. (727) 895-3045.
Screaming at the Silence: Fri. With Superhuman, Bob, Nothing Promised. 8 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th Street N, Largo. (727) 532-0265.
Nervous Turkey: Fri. With the Jim Morey Band. 9 p.m. 236 E Davis Blvd., Tampa. $5. (813) 251-2748.
The Roy Sites Band: Fri. 9 p.m. Sneaky D’s Saloon, 4808 C.R. 16, St. Petersburg. (727) 547-0202.
Stalling Dawn: Fri. 9 p.m. Encore on 7th (formerly Fuel/Frankie’s Patio),1920 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City. myspace.com/encoreon7thave.
Freaker’s Ball: Fri. featuring the Legendary JC’s, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
Solillaquists of Sound: Sat. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.
Hello Alaska (Halloween Cover Show): Sat. 7 p.m Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $6-$10. (813) 382-3477.
Gary Dizon: Sat. With Greenhill, the Boozers. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $5. (813) 248-4969.
Charlie Hotel: Sat. Bay Street at International Plaza, 2223 N.West Shore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 342-3790.
Eric Lindell: Sat. 10 p.m. World of Beer WOBtoberfest, 9524 W Linebaugh Ave., Tampa. (813) 852-BEER.
Devon Allman’s Honeytribe: Sat. 10 p.m. Pastimes Pub, 6540 Superior Ave., Sarasota. $15. (941) 924-7782.
Wicasta: Sat. 12 pm. Clearwater Beach Family Fun Fest, 100 Devon Drive, Clearwater Beach. Free. (727) 394-1012.
Charlie Morris: Sat. 9:30 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 576-1091.
Benise: Mon. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $39.50-$78. (727) 791-7400.
Rubix Cubed: Wed. 6 p.m. Hyde Park Village, 1622 Snow Ave., Tampa.
David Dondero: Thurs. With Whiskey and Company, Christina Wagner. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $9. (813) 248-4969.
Cheap Girls: Thurs. (Pre-Fest Show) With Failures Union. 6 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $10. (813) 382-3477.
-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*. Photo: Joe Dilworth.
Where are you going this weekend? Leave your own concert picks in the comments!