With Julie Doiron, Geri X
Details: 9 p.m. Wednesday. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Upon hearing Bowerbirds' lovely, off-the-grid folk songs, you may find yourself preparing to make some new commitments — like growing a beard or composting your own waste. "It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth," the group sings on In Our Talons, a fragile, harmony-rich hymn written and recorded in a solar-powered Airstream. These brainy folk-pop tracks contain free-range acoustic strumming and a rustic charm like that of Bon Iver or Iron and Wine.
Cold Cave and Nite Jewel
With the Soft Rock Renegades
Details: 9 p.m. Wednesday. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $7. (813) 241-8600.
Blogger-favored "no-fi" music often divides the house. Is this feedback-riddled, tape-hissing genre rebellious and cutting-edge? Or is it about as incomprehensible as folding a fitted sheet? We'll leave that up to you. If one thing's certain, though, it's that Cold Cave and Nite Jewel are two of the top acts in the category. Cold Cave's menacing baritone and ambiguous synths conjure up black lipstick and New Order, while Nite Jewel, the experimental art project of philosophy student Ramona Gonzales, evokes '80s popster Lisa Lisa.
With Rebecca Zapen
Details: 6 p.m. Friday. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $15-$20. (813) 971-0666.
Todd Snider, a sharp social commentator and a rascally comedian, falls somewhere between a John Prine and a Randy Newman. The windswept troubadour writes twangy tunes about beer runs, our troops and baseball players who pitch no-hitters on acid. The Excitement Plan from 2009 is "JJ Cale meets Jerry Jeff Walker with words that would hopefully impress Shel Silverstein or Kris Kristofferson," Snider describes.
With Guiltmaker, Light Yourself On Fire
Details: 9 p.m. Saturday. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
The local music scene needs a guy who will go all out every time he plays. And Ernie Locke has proved (through surgeries, colds, whatever) he's that guy. The Nervous Turkey frontman, vocalist and harmonica player, known for a foul mouth, funny faces and shirtless belly rolls, was described by one staffer as "a possessed preacher-man who gets crowds more heated than an Alabama church revival in July." Rumor has it the group just scored a slot at SXSW, so let's hope Austin's ready for a sound Locke characterizes as "Booker T and the MG's and Howlin' Wolf being chased into a chicken coop by Jon Spencer."
With Iration, Passafire
Details: 7 p.m. Friday. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$18. (813) 247-2555.
Stop me if you've heard this one. Beach-going white guys play a mix of reggae, rock and punk that critics largely detest and the rest of us find pretty agreeable. If you like Sublime, Pepper or Slightly Stoopid, you'll probably dig this crew from Santa Cruz, Calif.
Times correspondent Carole Giambalvo can be reached at carole. [email protected]
B.B. King and Buddy Guy
Details: 8 p.m. Friday. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.50-$82.50. (727) 791-7400.
Spend a few hours with B.B. and Lucille (his affectionately named Gibson), and it's easy to grasp why King is considered the greatest living electric bluesman. Yes, he's in his 80s. And yes, he's usually seated in an armchair. But King's note-bending know-how and spunky staccato-picking still dazzles. Chicago blues showman Buddy Guy, who was hugely influential on Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, is thought to be the bridge between blues and rock 'n' roll (although his biggest hits came in the '80s and '90s). Okay, so we know John Mayer's playing across town, but really?