With Foxy Shazam
Details: Tonight at 7. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $20-$22. (727) 895-3045.
Amiable Winter Haven rock act Anberlin offers crisp, melodic rock riffs, a la Jimmy Eat World or Switchfoot, with a Christian sensibility. Latest effort Dark Is The Way, Light Is a Place finds the band and its lead man Stephen Christian chasing a darker, drum-heavy sound, partly the influence of producer Brendan O'Brien.
August Burns Red
With Silverstein, Texas in July, Letlive
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $21.50. (813) 247-2555.
The dedicated Christians of August Burns Red make a brand of music you might dub "heavenly metal." Balancing dogged aggression and inspirational messaging, the hardcore band and its saber tooth cat of a lead singer offer never-stop-fighting roars, beastly riffage, double-bass drumming, and a few Latin-style breakdowns for good measure. But if you hadn't already surmised from this description, be warned. The shows are a lot less like a Sunday liturgy and a lot more like an Argentinian soccer riot (a well-intended one, anyway).
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
Details: Wednesday 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $14-$17. (813) 241-8600.
Singer-songwriter John Darnielle doesn't need major-label machinery to make smart, snarky alternative rock and folk. He's been proving that since the early '90s, when he began a DIY series of widely popular Panasonic boombox recordings. As The Mountain Goats (the name is a reference to a Screamin' Jay Hawkins song), the smart dude and smart-alec Darnielle, along with his assembled group, still rank high when it comes to making strummy, brainy narratives like a low-budget Decemberists. These days, they just happen to do their witty grumbling with the likes of big names Stephen Colbert, Kaki King and St. Vincent.
With Gabe Dixon, Drake and Sofia, Friends of Giants
Details: Monday 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $8-$11. www.theorpheum.com.
"The thrill we'll never know is the thrill that'll getcha when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone." Those Dr. Hook lyrics are probably quite familiar to Lelia Broussard, the Louisiana singer-songwriter who narrowly lost a contest to become the first unsigned artist to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. (Canada's Sheepdogs took the win.) But Broussard presses on with a Kickstarter account and a smile, raising money for a new album and touring relentlessly. (Her viral hit cover of Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) is worth a look, too). Co-headliner Gabe Dixon turned down a touring spot with Paul McCartney a decade ago to focus on his own music. Enough said.
With Girl In a Koma, Kirsten and Jasmine
Details: Friday 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $9-$10.
Nashville's The Features are a hot commodity in Britain, thanks to a bar-band/pub-band style that resembles the Hold Steady, or Aha Shake Heartbreak-era Kings of Leon. Throw in a dash of Killers and Elvis Costello and it adds up to "volcanic rock with electronic flourishes and a deceptively sophisticated wit," says Spin. The group made perhaps its biggest stride in U.S. a few months ago when From Now On appeared on the Twilight Breaking Dawn soundtrack.
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $22. (727) 895-3045.
Although alt-country didn't quite take off the way grunge did in the '90s (as some had predicted) these brash, bold Texans are widely considered legends of the genre. Following a particularly rousing show at New York's Bowery Ballroom, the New York Times once said this of the band: "In the imaginary geography of pop, Texas is where thinkers get rowdy, restless, heartbroken and drunk. … The Old 97's lived up to the reputation." We'd summarize that observant, agitated frontman Rhett Miller is an inspiration to intelligent Wild Turkey drinkers everywhere.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.