Better Than Ezra
Details: 7 p.m. Friday, Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $20. (727) 896-2276.
If the reception Third Eye Blind received at Derby Lane a few months ago taught us anything, it's this: Don't underestimate kids' affection for the T-shirt-and-jeans alt pop of the '90s. Right around the heyday of Home Improvement, New Orleans' Better Than Ezra was climbing to platinum sales status with jubilant chorus, "it was good living with you . . . wahowww!" New material shows the band journeying from its Live-meets-Gin Blossoms origins to the Fray or Mat Kearney territory. And you thought they went out with the Tamagotchi.
Taking Back Sunday and Anberlin
Details: 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Ritz, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $25. (813) 247-2555.
Addicts for the dramatic, Taking Back Sunday, above, return with new melodic, posthardcore ("mallcore" might work, too) songs from their June release, New Again. Single Sink Into Me is heavy on hand claps, harmonies and heartache. (Note to self: Don't break up with Taking Back Sunday because they'll most certainly write about it.) Orlando's own Anberlin gracefully shuffle wistful melodies and pointy hooks. They may also be the most courteous band in modern rock.
Homemade Music Conference showcases
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, multiple venues. $5 per show or $10 for all-access pass. For full schedule, visit artistsandwritersgroup.com.
Everything you wanted to know about the music biz but were afraid to ask is available at Tampa's free version of SXSW, the Homemade Music Conference. How can your Echo and the Bunnymen tribute act get a gig in this town anyway? But seriously, there's lots of good information here and great live sets, too. Front-porch folk comes courtesy of Will Quinlan and Rebekah Pulley at New World. The Aripeka Stompers give a lesson in clogging, and John McCoy's got Nintendo DS Techno. Head to the Roosevelt for hip-hop and to Crowbar for XL rock by Hat Trick Heroes and Rise of Saturn. Sunday, 11-year-old Ella Jet performs a blend of country and pop with proud papa Stephen Vessenmeyer of Experimental Pilot.
Eric Lindell, 8 p.m. Fri., Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Ryan Cabrera, 7 p.m. Fri., with the Kin, Blondes Not Bombs. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 248-9500.
Kore, 8 p.m. Fri., with New Season, Down Jr. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. (727) 532-0265.
The Cowboy Mafia, 9 p.m. Fri., Sneaky D's Saloon, 4808 County Road 16, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 547-0202.
Fatal, 8 p.m. Fri., with Legions, Party Time, more. Brass Mug, 1441 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. $5. (813) 972-8152.
Dave Eichenberger and Ronald Hays, 9 p.m. Sat., Sacred Grounds Coffee House, 4819 E Busch Blvd., Tampa. $5 or drink purchase. (813) 983-0837.
Skafest 2009, 2 p.m. Sat., featuring the Taj Motel Trio, the CV, Paranoia Dance Party, Angry Banana, the Long Johns, Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso. Transitions Art Gallery, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. $12. (813) 382-3477.
Tampa Tina and the Delta Aces, 9 p.m. Sat., Dave's Aqua Lounge, 10820 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 576-1091.
Bootleg, 10 p.m. Sat., Coasters, 1311 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. (727) 596-3332.
Singing Monkeyz (Liz Hollister and Jay Kiernan), 7 p.m. Sat., Industrial Arts Center, 2902 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. $5 donation. (727) 289-9365
Pro-Pain, 8 p.m. Sun., Garage Bar, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $12. (727) 896-2276.
Got a concert tip for Carole? E-mail her at carole. firstname.lastname@example.org.