This week in Tampa: Natalie Cole, Charlie Louvin, Norma Jean, Black Dada and more
'Twas the week before Christmas ... and all seemed pretty quiet around Tampa Bay. Most people, it seems, will be out shopping this weekend instead of going to concerts. But that doesn't mean there isn't some good music out there, if you know where to look.
After the jump, Carole Giambalvo walks you through this week's best local concerts, including Natalie Cole, Charlie Louvin, Norma Jean (above), Black Dada, Laws, Matt Hires and a couple of CD releases by former Soundcheck Artists of the Day Bootleg and Limit-57...
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $8.50. (813) 248-9500.
In 2009, Matt Hires gave the Tampa music scene something it has long hoped for — an opportunity to watch a homegrown pop star make it on a national level. Here’s his year in review: The lead singer of a well-liked local band (Brer), Hires gets discovered on MySpace and signs with an Atlantic Records imprint. He then lands a couple of songs on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice and goes on tour with nationally-known artists like Paolo Nutini, Kate Voegele and American Idol’s Jason Castro. Finally, he releases his solo debut album, Take Us To The Start, which hits No. 96 on the Billboard album charts. — Jay Cridlin
MONDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $42-$83. (727) 791-7400.
With a voice that epitomizes grace and warmth, Natalie Cole delivers both holiday favorites and hits. In 1991 (after Hank Williams Sr. and Jr., but before Diddy and Notorious B.I.G. landed “back-from-the-dead” hits) Cole’s “virtual duet” Unforgettable with her late father Nat King Cole became an instant classic. You may find her rendition of Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) and Walkin’ My Baby Back Home equally lovely. Cole’s Valentine’s Day show sold out Ruth Eckerd earlier this year, so don’t sleep on this one.
With Super Show, Hard Target, Mason Caine
FRIDAY 10:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $6. (813) 248-9500.
When you dub yourself “your future favorite rapper,” it’s good to have the skills to back it up. Lucky for us, Laws does. Straight out of Spring Hill (!?), the veteran MC recently signed to Warner Brothers imprint Asylum. And that means he’s now a full-time musician ... which also means more sleeping in and Ren and Stimpy, he jokes. Celebrate with him where it all started during this “Laws Got Signed Showcase.” You can download his DJ Smallz-hosted mixtape, which includes hot and synthy J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production Rain, for free at yourfuturefavoriterapper.com.
Charlie Louvin and the Smokin’ Guns
With Have Gun, Will Travel, Blind Buddy Moody
SUNDAY 6 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $13. (813) 248-4969.
As fathers of the genre now known as “alt-country,” the Louvin Brothers laid down the kind of harmonious, poetic country songs that could make even the dingiest, ill-lit truckstop seem welcoming. Eighty-two-year old Charlie (the brother that doesn’t sound like a lady, he jokes) will perform both his own songs and Louvin Brothers classics.
With Horse the Band, the Chariot
FRIDAY 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15-$17. (727) 895-3045.
Like Underoath and August Burns Red, Norma Jean pummels listeners with jagged guitar riffs and intense screaming ... often in the name of the Lord. The band got an assist from Page Hamilton of Helmet and Chino Moreno of the Deftones on Anti Mother, its most diverse and technical album to date.
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Legends Sports Bar, 1339 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. (813) 453-4779.
When Black Dada’s infectious Imma Zoe came out, we admit we had to do some Google searching (and ultimately consult Urban Dictionary) to make sense of the lyrics. Turns out the South Florida singer-producer was waxing poetic about his Haitian roots. He’ll bring a mix of Island R&B and pop-leaning rap to this USF-area hangout.
Limit-57 CD release
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Neptunes, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.
Do you like goofy pop-punk songs about girls and grandparents? Then Blink-182 babies Limit-57, a Clearwater trio with serious chops, has 16 semi-serious new tracks to unveil at Neptunes Sunday.
Bootleg CD release
With Rude Squad, Unmotivated
SATURDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16-$20 (free CD with admission). (727) 895-3045.
Holmes Beach band Bootleg sets itself apart from other red-eyed applicants in the Sublime-influenced reggae-rock category. Its glossy, island blend comes complete with bluesy guitar solos and buoyant odes to the hometown and family pets.
Tori Sparks: Fri. With the Odessa Sideshow. 9:30 p.m. Dave’s Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. $6. (727) 576-1091.
Battle of the Bands (St. Petersburg Bowl pep rally): Fri. 10 a.m. Tradewinds, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 367-6461.
One Night Crush: Fri. 10 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. $6. (727) 532-0265.
Trailer Choir: Fri. 7 p.m. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. $9.95. (813) 987-2855.
Look Mexico: Fri. With Mike Dunn and the Kings of New England, the Equines, Andy Matchett and the Minks. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Car Bomb Driver: Sat. With Dank, the Pretty Voices. 10 p.m. Shackleton’s Folly, 4300 Sixth St. S., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 329-8847.
Local Lockdown: Sat. featuring The Dood, Suggestion, Full Flight, Thrash Jazz, Holly Maddux, From this Fire, Misunderstood Superheroes, more. 2:30 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $5-$7. (727) 843-0686.
Sarah Mac Band: Sat. 7:30 p.m. The Hideaway Studio and Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 644-7895.
Ghetto Christmas Party: Sat. featuring Full Fledged Unit, Soft Rock Renegades. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $5. (813) 241-8600.
Maggie Council: Sun. With Ella Jett. 1 p.m. Sweetwater Organic Farm, 6942 W Comanche Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 887-4066.
The Supervillains: Sun. 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Rockapella: Tues. 8 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin Street, Tampa. $29. (813) 274-8981.
The 9: Round Three: Tues. featuring Variety Workshop, Male Order Brides, more. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $5. (813) 971-0666.
Broken Mold Holiday Show: Wed. featuring Poetry 'n Lotion, Jim Morey Band, the Sheaks, Brahm Bones, Florida Night Heat, Dan Kincaid. 7 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.
-- Carole Giambalvo, tbt*