This week in Tampa: Sleigh Bells, Anvil, They Might Be Giants and more
After a so-so few weeks to start the year (no offense, Akron/Family and Mountain Goats), indie music nerds finally get a weekend in the spotlight, with shows by Sleigh Bells, Diplo, Liturgy, Zola Jesus, Mike Doughty, Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants (above), among others. And let's not forget country acts like Brantley Gilbert, Gloriana and David Nail; or rock 'n' rollers Sponge, Anvil, James McMurtry, Keb' Mo', Wayne Static and Richard Thompson.
After the jump, get the details on all these shows and more, courtesy of Carole Liparoto...
Sleigh Bells and Diplo
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $23. ritzybor.com.
Sleigh Bells ripped into the mainstream in 2010 with their unconventional debut album, Treats, a blistering, id-driven mix of Alexis Krauss’ breathy pop vocals and Derek Miller’s fuzzy metal guitars and hip-hop beats. Indie music watchers are counting down the days until their second album, Reign of Terror, is released on Feb. 21 — we can’t get enough of the Nirvana-like first single Comeback Kid — but starting this week, fans all over Florida will get a sneak preview, as the group embarks on an eight-city tour of the Sunshine State, where Miller and Krauss both lived as children. Joining them are mega-DJ/producer Diplo and New York black metal band Liturgy. Although this is a co-headlining show, Diplo is the closer, so if you want to see Sleigh Bells, get there early. -- Jay Cridlin
SUNDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 895-3045.
Chances are that unless you’re a hardcore fan of either hard rock or music documentaries, you’ve never heard of Anvil. The Canadian heavy-metal act was a force in the rock scene of the early ’80s, playing big festival shows and influencing future headbangers like Anthrax and Metallica. And then ... they just disappeared. Decades later, they’d resurface in the 2008 documentary film Anvil: The Story of Anvil. The movie shows how indifferent record companies and incompetent managers sank the once-promising band. It’s a horrifically sad tale — with an unexpectedly happy ending. Everybody became an Anvil fan again. Music festivals and TV shows called. Concert tours again beckoned. Turns out the movie about their demise gave them a second shot at stardom. -- Steve Spears
With Michael Jerome, Taras Prodaniuk, Steve Robinson, Ed Woltil
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin Street, Tampa. $26-$46. (813) 274-8981.
Outfitted in trademark beret and eastern European army gear, Richard Thompson often looks more like Che Guevara than a prolific Brit folk-rocker who schools in songwriting and sterling guitar playing. A powerhouse of dexterity and dourness, the still-raging 60-somehthing will uncork a searing live set — his guitar tone has been called “as recognizable as Dylan’s voice” — with his longtime road band. Other accolades: Thompson was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, and his live tour CD Dream Attic received a 2011 Grammy nod.
They Might Be Giants
With Jonathan Coulton
TUESDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $22-$24. (813) 247-2555.
When it comes to playful, imaginative pop-rock, They Might Be Giants has become the go-to group of the era. The theme-music aficionados ooze with cheesiness and charm, providing the Malcolm in the Middle theme song Boss of Me, as well as sounds of The Daily Show and the Mickey Mouse Club House, to name a few. They’ll have more than a dozen full-length albums to navigate at Tuesday’s show. Yale grad and former computer programmer Jonathan Coulton opens with idiosyncratic ditties about the duties of a software code writer, robot overlords and Ikea. And if a banjo version of Baby Got Back is up your alley, don’t be late.
With Anders Osborne
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$45. (727) 791-7400.
Bottleneck blues guitar hero and Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ (yes, those apostrophes come with the territory when you’re a ferocious picker and one bad Mo’) arrives in Clearwater Friday. Mo’, whose real name is Kevin Moore, is known for his smoky, unadorned voice and first-rate guitar work. He also bears a striking resemblance (musically and physically) to his idol Robert Johnson. This led to Mo’ teaming up with actor Danny Glover for Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl, a docu-drama of the mysterious blues singer.
SATURDAY Following Lightning vs. Florida Panthers; puck drops at 7 p.m. Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free with game ticket. (813) 301-2500.
When we think hockey, we most certainly think about good-looking country music co-eds Gloriana. Or something like that. The crossover success story, similar in nature to The Band Perry and Lady Antebellum, had a hit in Wild at Heart. Now the guys and gal (Tom, Mike and Sarasota native Rachel) are getting ready to release their second album, featuring single (Kissed You) Good Night.
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15.50 theorpheum.com. And 6 p.m. Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 253-2638.
Earlier this year, Mike Doughty released The Book of Drugs, a memoir about his “ugly, drug-doing years.” The former heroin addict led a funk-grooving Soul Coughing (a group Dave Matthews has held in high regard) when grunge was the order of the era. The singer talks and rocks at two separate events Wednesday.
The Carpenters Tribute Show
SATURDAY 6 p.m. The Conmy Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 750 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin. $25. (727) 593-8195.
A Carpenters tribute bash in Dunedin? On the Our Lady of Lourdes campus? Don’t mind if we do! For teary ’70s AM gold, check out Bay-area residents Pam Zeitler and Thomas Kurt as they uphold the standards of Richard and Karen Carpenter — the wholesome harmonies, the airy melodies, the gorgeous arrangements. Birds may very well appear.
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $17-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Son of famed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) James McMurtry got his start after his demo landed in the hands of John Mellencamp. Today, his flat vocals, sharp lyricism and clean strumming combine to form some of the smartest, novelistic tunes of our day. The Texas troubadour’s Americana/country effort Just Us Kids topped many “best of” lists of the last decade thanks to its sharp political commentary, humor and romance.
Pelican Pop Fest
SATURDAY 6 p.m. The Local 662 featuring Al Torchia and the Tattered Saints, The Equines, Sons of Hippies, The Future Now, Signals from Satellites, Dead Sound; Fubar featuring Easybreezy, Friends of Giants, Michael Christmas, Ancient Sun, Fancy Rat; Sake Bomb featuring Mountain Holler, Audrey Sinead, Erin Solari. Daddy Kool featuring Billy Summer, Al Torchia, Erin Solari; Cafe Bohemia featuring Adam Randall, The Happiness Machine, Sheep, Mute Speak. $10 access to all venues.
Last November, Men’s Health magazine declared St. Petersburg “America’s saddest city.” Thanks, bros. Fortunately, the good folks behind the Pelican Pop Fest are flipping the label on its head in their promotions of this multi-venue music festival. “It’s always sunny in the saddest city,” they’ve proclaimed. Top local and regional bands acts will rock around St. Pete’s 600 Block Saturday during the third installment of this growing festival.
With Talk Normal, Thee Liquid Jesus
MONDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
Nika Danilova or “Zola Jesus”, a bleach blonde from rural Wisconsin, makes dark music. How dark? When describing her must-hear, must-see track Vessel (which calls to mind a Nine Inch Nails song of the same name) she says, “I was able to communicate this universe that is my prison.” (We mentioned dark, right?) The classically-trained singer is best when unleashing icy, avant garde goth-pop of epic proportions. Lucky for us, that’s almost always. But with her operatic wail and bewitching lyrics, we can’t help compare her to a strung out Florence and the Machine.
Thomas Wynn and the Believers CD release Fri. With Will Quinlan and the Diviners, Roadkill Ghost Choir. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Wayne Static Fri. With Team Cybergeist, more. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $16. (727) 895-3045.
The Black Honkeys Fri. 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Big Gigantic Fri. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $15. (813) 241-8600.
Enter the Haggis Fri. With The Human Condition. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.
LoCash Cowboys Fri. 10:30 p.m. The Round-Up, 13918 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10. (813) 855-1464.
Ryan Montbleau Band Fri. 8 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $15. (727) 644-7895.
David Nail Fri. 10 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
Trigger City Trio Sat. 8 p.m. Barley Mow’s, 518 West Bay Drive, Largo. Free. (727) 584-7772.
Morningbell Sat. With King of Spain. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play Sat. 8 p.m. Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34-$39. (727) 587-6793.
Jayne Kelli Sat. 9 p.m. Old Northeast Tavern, 718 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-8070.
The Anonimo Trio Sun. 9 p.m. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. (813) 238-5618.
Austin Lucas Tues. With Only Monsters, Mountain Holler. 10 p.m. Durty Nelly’s, 149 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 823-3878.
Foreigner Tues. 8 p.m. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $40-$60. (941) 953-3368.
Scott H. Biram Tues. With Lydia Loveless. 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $7-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Suncoast Dixieland Jazz Concert Thurs. featuring Bobby Tess and the Dixie Chaps. 7:30 p.m. Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Blvd., Treasure Island, $7. (727) 522-6877.
Sponge Thurs. 8 p.m. Pastimes Pub, 6540 Superior Ave., Sarasota. (941) 924-7782.
Brantley Gilbert Thurs. 10:30 p.m. The Round Up, 13918 West Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 855-1464.
Toubab Krewe Thurs. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $15-$18. (813) 241-8600.
-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*