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This week in Tampa: Taking Back Sunday, Natasha Bedingfield, Joan Jett and more


Ready for a comedown from the bottle-poppin', rocket-glarin' festivities of the Fourth of July? You're in luck. This week's concert highlights include a bevy of stripped-down rock, pop and metal.

Okay, there are a couple of wild children in there -- like electro-magicians The Glitch Mob and Phantogram, and Harry and the Potters, performing the same week as the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Should be a wild time.

Here with the rest of your weekly picks -- including Natasha Bedingfield, Taking Back Sunday (above), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Torche, WMNF's Americana Fest and more -- is Carole Liparoto...

Natasha Bedingfield
With Kate Voegele, Andy Grammer  
THURSDAY 5:30 p.m. The Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20. (813) 247-2555. 
Lauren Conrad and the rest of The Hills cast should be indebted to Natasha Bedingfield, the supplier of the show’s buoyant, remote-freezing theme song Unwritten. The soul-splashed pop song was so enchanting that it helped encourage millions of viewers to root for a rich kid from Orange County. Following brother Daniel Bedingfield’s breakout (Gotta Get Through This), Natasha became the first British female artist in 20 years to score a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard pop chart. On this “Less Is More” tour, fans will be taken on an “intimate, stripped-down musical journey,” say the PR peeps.

The Glitch Mob and Phantogram
With Com Truise 
WEDNESDAY 9 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $13-$20. (813) 247-2664.
With a wide variety of electronic gear in tow (including trademark touch-screen controllers called Lemurs), The Glitch Mob looks more like a touring Sam Ash DJ department than a dancefloor-rattling trio. For the ultimate audio-visual experience, the geeked-out group is also bringing along the production and design team known for work with Daft Punk, Kanye West and Deadmau5. Delicately dreamy opener Phantogram will likely draw its own crop of fans with experimental pop off debut Eyelid Movies. The intoxicating coed duo conjures up Sleigh Bells after about a gallon of warm milk.

Taking Back Sunday
With Thursday, Colour Revolt
SUNDAY 5 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $26. (813) 247-2555.
The last time Taking Back Sunday played the Ritz, the overhead lights blew out. So, we can only imagine what will happen this time around, when the newly-reformed cast takes the stage. But let’s start from the beginning. When emo-punk was peaking in the early ’00s, Taking Back Sunday was climbing Kilimanjaro with gold debut Tell All Your Friends. Then the band imploded almost immediately as guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper left to start Straylight Run. This year, the original group has reunited to offer up all the anthemic rock tunes that hurt so good. For more day-of-the-week confusion, Thursday is opening this show. The hardcore group for academics draws lyrical inspiration from novelists like Cormac McCarthy, and pounds it out on hard, winding rock songs. They’ve worked hard to avoid pesky genre labeling with an ever-changing sound, one that includes everything from distortion-drenched riffs to slide-guitar breaks.

With Big Business, Helms Alee 
MONDAY 8 p.m. The Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $10-$12.
If you like your metal uncompromising and extra sludgy — like the oil gunk that can build up in an unattended engine — you’ll dig Torche. Led by Jack Black look-alike Steve Brooks, the three-piece group displays dazzling technical skills amidst drone tones. Not an easy feat. Fans of Kylesa, The Sword or Isis should like it.

Harry and the Potters 
With the Jones Street Boys
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Dr., Tampa. $8. (813) 382-3477. (The band also plays at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the meeting room of the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. Free. (727) 562-4970.)
Inspired by (you guessed it) the J.K. Rowling megaseries, Harry and the Potters play public libraries, bars, Nerdapaloozas and just about anywhere else they can gush about magical people with fellow Potter fanatics. “Wizard rock” pioneers the DeGeorge brothers dress in crew-neck sweaters, ties, and glasses like Hogwarts students. Then, they sing out of tune, jump, play wholesome rock riffs, recommend reading material, and jump some more. Singing along is easy, they say, because on songs like Voldemort Can’t Stop the Rock, the title is pretty much the only line. 

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
WEDNESDAY 10 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock and Casino, 5223 Orient Rd., Tampa. $45. (866) 502-7529.
It’s remarkable how a three-chord chorus can turn a sleepy bar into a fist-pumping karaoke caravan. But such is the power of glam-punk powerhouse Joan Jett. After her time in the Runaways, the black-clad Gibson girl branched off to record biker chick classics Bad Reputation and I Love Rock 'n’ Roll with the Blackhearts, the band she tours with to this day. Grab the eyeliner and go a little sleazy Wednesday at the Hard Rock. 

WMNF Americana Fest     
Featuring Have Gun, Will Travel, Black Finger, Ted Lukas, Mike Dunn and The Kings Of New England, Rebekah Pulley, John Ralston, The Sweetkisses, Memphis Train Union, Alexander And The Grapes, Greenland Is Melting, Sunset Bridge
SATURDAY 4 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.   
WMNF’s annual Americana Fest is a place where poets, outlaws and grubby bar bands come together to share warm, road-tested tunes that pay homage to roots rockers like Tom Petty and Neil Young. Wielding acoustic guitars, upright basses, pedal steel, harmonicas and kitchen-sink creations, these storytellers show appreciation for unaffected vintage sounds. Bradenton’s Have Gun, Will Travel adds a Western tinge to this event’s rugged charm.

Quest for the Ultimate Opening Act
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. The Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $5. (813) 247-2555.
Band battles are a dime a dozen these days, and all too often, the winning artist doesn’t get much out of it. That’s not the case here. The Ritz’s second “Quest for the Ultimate Opening Act” is a month-long contest pitting local bands against each other for a chance to open for a national act, as well as $500 cash, a paid gig at an upcoming Square One event, and recording time at Atomic Audio. During round one Wednesday, five local acts will be tasked with covering songs by artist of the week Queen, as well as perform a few originals.

Swagg Fest
Featuring Lil Kee, Shawty, Famous Kid Brick
FRIDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $14. (727) 565-0551
Local rappers get their moment in the spotlight at Jannus Live. One of tbt*’s 2011 Ultimate Local Artists, Lil Kee, prepares to Buss It Wide Open via his NSFW party anthem of the same name. His Keezone Boyz cohort Shawty, of Largo, brings a slickly Auto-Tuned vibe to the scene. And hot St. Pete up-and-comer Famous Kid Brick has playful doo-wop-influenced singles I’m On It and The Anthem, which reflect the lighter side of hip-hop. Think B.o.B. or even Sean Kingston.

Also playing 

Ringo Deathstarr Fri. With Empire Cinema, Fever. 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

Swagg Fest Fri. featuring Lil Kee, Shawty, Famous Kid Brick. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $14. (727) 565-0551.

Eric Lindell Fri. 8 p.m. Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $12-$15. (813) 971-0666.

Rocksteady@8 Fri. With D’Visitors, DJ Blenda. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. (813) 241-8600.

Sandy Atkinson and the True Loves Fri. With Dean Germain, Cannon Quinn, Ben Jammin, Dennis McCarthey, DJ Marvelous Marvin. 8 p.m. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 822-3590.

Rehab Sat. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.

Gove Scrivenor Sat. 8 p.m. The Hideaway Cafe, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 644-7895.

Tribal Style Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.  

Aaron Wilkinson Sat. 7 p.m. Bongos Beach Bar (Grand Plaza Hotel), 5250 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. Free. 1-800-448-0901.

Road to Ruin Sun. With The Tempest, Reckoning, more. 7 p.m. The Neptune Lounge, 13 S Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs. $8. (727) 943-5713.

Edward Maya Wed. With Vika Jigulina. 10 p.m. The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater. $10-$20. (727) 571-2222.

-- Carole Liparoto, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images

[Last modified: Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:50am]


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