Details: Friday 7 p.m. Countryside Christian Church, 1850 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $20 and up. (727) 799-1618.
After introducing the mainstream music world to perky, pious rock more than 20 years ago (amid hair metal mania), the Newsboys are all grown up. Where so many have shied away from the "Christian rock" label over the years, this group continues to unabashedly place faith front and center. Take God's Not Dead (Like a Lion), the rocking affirmation that currently sits atop Billboard's Christian CHR Chart. Singer Michael Tait, of that other Christian rock mainstay DC Talk, joined Newsboys in 2009. Consult the rocktionary for "contemporary Christian" pioneers, and you'll most certainly find Australia-originated act Newsboys.
Details: Saturday 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20 and up. (813) 873-8368.
Before the invasion of dubstep — a genre that sounds like "two transformers fighting," say astute children — electronic music was run by Dutch DJs like Ferry Corsten, Armin Van Buuren and Tiesto and their brand of sturdy, euphoric trance. Corsten helps the Ybor Amp celebrate its one-year anniversary and introduces new dance disc WKND, a traditional, grooveable respite from the work week that doesn't condone chemical aid (something Madonna recently took flack for at the Ultra Music Festival).
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's
With Writer, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, Sleepy Vikings
Details: Wednesday 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 241-8600.
Eight friends from Indiana watch The Royal Tenenbaums, and the rest is history. Named after Gwyneth Paltrow's character in the movie, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's radiate bittersweet romance with a mix of cinematic pop and affecting rock. In recent years, they've roughed up the sleepy sagas and sultry cello/trumpet tickles of artists like Bright Eyes or Sufjan Stevens to create a grittier rock sound. The Arcade Fire-sized crew released Rot Gut, Domestic last month.
With Florida Georgia Line
Details: Friday 10 p.m. Dallas Bull, 3322 N U.S. 301, Tampa. $10-$15. (813) 987-2855.
How do you know you've really made it? How about when your "Corey" ranks higher than those other famous "Coreys" — Feldman and Haim — in a Google search. More singer-songwriter than country musician, rascally former geography teacher Corey Smith has built his career DIY-style without a major label or even a promoter. Latest The Broken Record adds color to old college-recollecting tunes and coming-of age tales (Maybe Next Year), and strips down new tracks to the bare essentials. Friday, he'll return to the place ("the Florida shore") that "really put a spell on me / turned a quiet Sunday school boy into the life of the party."
Tim Reynolds and TR3
With Sons of Bill
Details: Friday 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Best known for duos with Dave Matthews, like the critically acclaimed Live at Luther College and Live at Radio City, Tim Reynolds brings herculean guitar skill to the small stage. The fingerboard visionary and improv wizard will perform originals and a variety of covers. Even if you're not a guitar geek, Reynolds has melodies that satisfy, too.
Details: Tonight at 8. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$25. (813) 247-2555.
The Drive-By Truckers stop in Ybor City for an evening of painkiller alt-country and more. Patterson Hood, a man baptized in the tears of Tom Petty and Steve Earle, and the son of Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bassist David Hood, maintains the Truckers' classic droop with Southern alt-country opera about family crisis, class division and alcoholism. But after backing Bettye LaVette in 2007 and Booker T. Jones in 2009, the Drive-By Truckers also have some upbeat soul songs in the cannon from their Go-Go Boots release. Longtime bassist Shonna Tucker recently left the group after eight years.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at [email protected]