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This week in Tampa: Sting, Thrice, Steve Aoki, Infected Mushroom and more

It's Independence Day weekend, right? So why are this week's best concerts being headlined by a pair of stuffy old Brits?

Well, okay, Sting and Jamie Cullum aren't stuffy. They're just distinguished. Sting performs with London’s Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Saturday at Tampa’s 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, and jazz upstart Cullum brings his high-energy stage presence to Ruth Eckerd Hall on July 7.

Click here for an interview with conductor Steven Mercurio, who is leading Sting's sympohny, and click here for an interview with Cullum.

And after the jump, get Carole Liparoto's holiday weekend concert picks, including Steve Aoki, Infected Mushroom, Thrice, Donavon Frankenreiter, Plies, Corey Smith, Mix Master Mike, Waka Flocka Flame and the annual Hot Dog Show at Crowbar...

Donavon Frankenreiter
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20-$24. (727) 565-0551. 
Like fellow wave chaser and friend Jack Johnson (who plays Tampa in August), Donavon Frankenreiter is a soft-rock daydreamer making music for endless summers. Last week, Frankenreiter released a Hawaiian reinterpretation of his self-titled album from 2004, which includes best-known tracks It Don’t Matter and Free. The songs are treated with ukulele, Mauna Loa slack-key guitar and gentle vocals, allowing even the cubicle-confined listener a taste of carefree salt living.

Infected Mushroom
With Suzy Solar, Roe Revolution, more
SATURDAY 10 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 247-2664.
When you think Tel Aviv, maybe electronic music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But Infected Mushroom aspire to change that someday. The pioneering Northern Israeli trance team has racked up a huge international fan base and a number of high-profile performances, including sets at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Coachella in Indio, Calif. earlier this year.

Steve Aoki
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $17.50. (727) 565-0551. 
The son of Olympic wrestler and Benihana chain founder Rocky Aoki, DJ Steve Aoki provides imaginative hip-hop, electro and house remixes to fuel sweaty, neon-splashed dance events. (Please note: we made it through that sentence without using the word “hipster.” Hope you’re happy, hipsters).

With Kevin Devine, The Dig 
SATURDAY 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $18.99. (727) 895-3045. 
Singer and bookworm Dustin Kensrue is responsible for Thrice’s lyrical references to C.S. Lewis and Thomas Pynchon. The constant tweaking of the band’s sound has been a group effort, however. On latest Beggars, the garage punk of its early years has given way to big, progressive rock songs (All The World Is Mad even approaches Muse territory). And as long as we are using old English vocab, we encourage you to cometh early because openers Kevin Devine and The Dig should also bequeath high-quality sets.

With Webbie
THURSDAY 8 p.m. Club Skyene, 1509 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $25 and up. (813) 974-3002.
Through a shining gold grill, Ft. Myers and Tampa’s superstar rapper Plies knows how to sweet-talk the ladies (don’t mind the insanely explicit lyrics or the sandpaper-like moan). On latest She Got It Made, which samples Rupert Holmes’ Escape (The Piña Colada Song), he promises his lady Gucci, Prada, a Teacup Yorkie and trips around the world. Plies’ fourth studio album, Goon Affiliated sold more than 57,000 copies in its first week. (Note: This show was originally scheduled for the USF Sun Dome.)

Corey Smith
SUNDAY 8 p.m. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. $20-$25. (727) 871-7874.  
DIY country artist Corey Smith returns to town after playing Ybor City just a few months ago. Makes sense considering Smith once sang, “The Florida shore, it really put a spell on me / turned a quiet Sunday school boy into the life of the party.” Without a major label or even a promoter, the modest musician and former teacher has used tales of hand-me-downs and trips to Panama City Beach to win over a largely college-aged following. His album, Keeping Up with the Joneses, debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.

Mix Master Mike
SATURDAY 2 p.m. Shephard’s, 601 South Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. (727) 442-5107
Mix Master Mike will make good on a missed Memorial Day weekend performance with a makeup show at Shephard’s Saturday. The guy is legendary in the DJ world for providing the ultimate cut/scratch accompaniment to the Beastie Boys’ awesomely tacky rhymes.

Fourth Annual Hot Dog Party
Featuring MRENC, Enzo, Beardsley, Andy Matchett and The Minks, Diamond Man, DJ Hektik
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $5. (813) 241-8600.
Because nothing says Fourth of July like shoveling hot dogs down the ol’ gullet. In addition to a hot dog-eating contest, local bands will perform, including “Orlampa’s” bedroom pop artist MRENC (imagine a Beck/Cold War Kids combination), Clearwater’s Beardsley (think Pavement meets the Beatles meets The Clash) and Andy Matchett (consider The Shins channeling Duncan Sheik, sometimes underneath a parachute).

Also playing

Amber Pacific Fri. With Halifax, City Lights, Neglected Superhero, more. 7 p.m. Transitions Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $12. (813) 382-3477.

Poetry 'n Lotion Fri. With The Jim Morey Band, Florida Nite Heat, The Whales, The Soft Rock Renegades. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $6. (813) 241-8600.

Jake & Elwood’s Summer Blues Bash Fri. featuring The Deacon Blues Band, Tampa Bay Blues Brothers Tribute, Jessica Wagner, Pasco Lefty, Brittany Lajoyce, Franc Robert. 5:30 p.m. Pioneer Park, 420 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 488-2423.

Black Honkeys (Soul Power Review) Sat. 8 p.m. Beach Bar, 454 Mandalay Ave., Clearwater Beach. $5. (727) 447-4100.

Howlies Sat. With Mogul Street Reserve, Mumpsy. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Save Our Shores Sat. featuring The Basiqs. 9 p.m. The Roosevelt, 1812 N 15th St., Ybor City. $5. (813) 421-4802.

Lillian Axe Sat. With Julliet, 20 Shades, more. 9 p.m. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $10-$15. (727) 843-0686.  

The Spazmatics Sat. With DJ Gimme Samoa. 8:30 p.m. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. $10. (727) 532-0265.

Waka Flocka Flame Sat. 10 p.m. Club Underground, 802 E Whiting Street, Tampa. (727) 520-4089.

Andy Bell Sun. 10 p.m. The Honeypot. 1507 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15. (813) 247-4663.

Authority Zero Tues. With Whole Wheat Bread, Lionize, Chase Long Beach. 6:30 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $13. (727) 895-3045. 

Candy Bars Wed. 9:30 p.m. Cappy’s Pizzeria, 4910 N Florida Ave., Tampa. $2. (813) 238-1516.

Molotov Solution Wed. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-9500.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:20pm]


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