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August offers legends Brian Wilson, Alison Krauss among musical mashups

H ip-hop gigs and tween pop shows have a lot in common. Okay, maybe not a lot, but both impetuous groups love giving live nods to current radio hits — even if said hits aren't their own. The other night in Clearwater, Selena Gomez sucked up to Britney Spears and rapped a snippet from Nicki Minaj's Super Bass. Her opening acts caterwauled Katy Perry and Rihanna. And you better believe when Lil Wayne & Co. show up in Tampa tonight, rappers from Jay-Z to Kanye West will get buckets of love — even if they're not in the house. You may think these shoutouts are lame karaoke; I, however, think they're goofy, giddy appreciation of pop peers and a genuine desire to jack up fans. ¶ Herewith, the top August shows in Tampa Bay:

Lil Wayne

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, today

Lil Wayne is an iconoclastic mess with wild tastes and a face like the map of New York. But in these times of cultural artifice, 28-year-old Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. is as real, and real wacky, as they get. Weezy is a modern-day bluesman, infuriating as many as he thrills, one of the few who can move a million albums (or maybe I should say A Milli) in one week — then make a rock album that doesn't sell anything. Dude is different. (

Brian Wilson

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Saturday

The chief architect of the SoCal sound, and a legit rival to those boundary-pushing Beatles, 69-year-old Brian Wilson is one of the most fascinating tragedies in music. The man who made such Good Vibrations was raised by an abusive father and destroyed by a quacking shrink. And yet, the Beach Boys founder persists, sort of, his face a contorted mask but his voice still youthfully riding the waves. (

The Dear Hunter

Orpheum, Aug. 18

I have some out-there music on my iPod, and this Providence, R.I., band is definitely one of the out-iest. The Dear Hunter is an art-rock outfit that mixes clanking industrialized sounds (think Nine Inch Nails), prog-rock beats (think System of a Down) and snarled vocals (think blink-182). The band's new album, The Color Spectrum, is a song cycle reflecting the moods of the rainbow. I know: weird. But cool, too. Just sit back, creep out and enjoy. (

Sara Evans

1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Aug. 19

Not only is this a swell opportunity to remind you that Evans, for all her tabloid scandal, is a sublime country singer. It's also a great chance to mock Rascal Flatts, which is actually headlining this country ticket. May I offer a game plan? Go see opener Evans sing Born to Fly and Suds in the Bucket. Then bolt for the Hard Rock and wait for Rascal Flatts' super-hot fans to show up. If they ask what you thought of their dumb band, tell them, "The guy with the weird nose was awesome!" (

Alison Krauss and Union Station

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Aug. 21

The most awarded female artist in Grammy history — 26 trophies total — Alison Krauss could sing at the bottom of a sea of mud and still, somehow, sound crystalline and perfect. She's a bluegrass hero, a violin champ, but her voice is so malleable, so perfect, it can master '70s pop (It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference) and randy rock (the Raising Sand record with Robert Plant) as well as the high-lonesome sound with her Union Station crew. Believe the hype. (

Sean Daly can be reached at or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life column is at

August offers legends Brian Wilson, Alison Krauss among musical mashups 08/02/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 10:03pm]
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