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SoundCheck: Carole Liparoto's top live music picks

m A Rockapella Holiday

Details: Tonight at 7:30. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin St., Tampa. $26 and up. (813) 274-8981

Led by University of Tampa alumnus and high tenor Scott Leonard, Rockapella made a splash as the "house band" on PBS's Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego? His five-man vocal troupe performs Christmas classics with a twist this week in Tampa. Leonard crafts the arrangements, all of which include vocal percussion or beatboxing. Imagine Silver Bells with the "Mozart of spit" shaping the rhythm and feel, Leonard describes. "Some say the best musical instrument of all is the human voice — if you've seen Rockapella you know that's the truth," says USA Today.

m R5 featuring Ross Lynch

Details: Friday 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $17.50 and up. (727) 791-7400.

It's like stereo candy for adolescents. Sweet teen family band R5 offers strummy, chivalrous and insanely catchy pop-rock songs about the pains and pleasures of growing up. Golden-haired singer-guitarist Ross Lynch of Disney Channel hit sitcom Austin and Ally leads the group alongside brothers Rocky and Riker, a recurring guest on Glee, sister Rydel and family friend Ellington Ratliff. The band signed to Hollywood Records in April, and its second EP drops next year. You'd be smart to see R5 before they start selling tickets at Bieber prices.

m Tres Bien

With Levels, Shaller, Instanter

Details: Friday 9 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5.

Tres Bien, an energetic gang of 20-somethings bowing to the Beatles, the Kinks, the Zombies and the era of moptops, went hard to bring their Clearwater-bred pop tunes to the rest of the country. After testing the waters in New York and Philadelphia over the past few years, the vintage favorites are bringing the harmonies back to the bay. Opener Levels, composed of Tres Bien's Cody Wilson and Mikey Rollingchild, as well as St. Pete native Roxor Evensen, has been tinkering in Hollywood, writing deliberately primitive garage-pop tunes about Lamborghinis and life in La La Land. Absolutely worth a spin.

The Annual New Granada Christmas Night Extravaganza

Featuring Alexander and the Grapes, King of Spain, Alaskus

Details: Tuesday 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.

Nineteen years in, this traditional Christmas night show at New World Brewery has become the place to escape holiday hubbub. For founder and Tampa musician Keith Ulrey, it all began Christmas night 1993. "It started out as something for some punk kids to do late at night when they were done with family obligations," Ulrey says. "Each year was so successful, it turned into an evening of old and new friends gathering, grounded by the local indie music community." Seek refuge from the in-laws with Alexander and the Grapes, a homgegrown bunch packing woozy folk and swaths of '90s alternative rock. Flee the fruitcake with King of Spain, a Tampa act that offers a cool kind of indie-tronic rambling. Alaskus, made up of ex-members of Sleepy Vikings Sandra Lolo and Nicole Schleif, brings lovely, lo-fi shoegaze.

m 97X End of the World Party

Featuring Sick Puppies, IAMDYNAMITE

Details: Friday 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. Free with ticket. (727) 565-0551.

Party like it's your last at 97X's free apocalyptic rock show. Australian act Sick Puppies rocks like the "caps lock" key is on with loud, elbow-throwing track You're Going Down. Not unlike treadmill-hoppin' OK Go, the Sick Puppies' breakthrough came via music video. The band's "free hugs" accompaniment to balladic rock track All the Same has some 70 million YouTube plays. This show is free, but you must get a ticket at a designated drop location. Visit for details.

Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at

. Also playing

Late Night Brass Holiday Show Fri. 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $7-$10. (813) 971-0666.

Sara Rose Band Fri. 9:30 p.m. With Midnight Bowlers League. Ringside Cafe, 2742 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 894-8465.

The Bastard Sons Fri. 9 p.m. With Jack Jasper, Kill Kurt Reifler. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0606.

The Zombie Apocalypse Fri. 7 p.m. Featuring Dementia, A(k)new, Emerge, Yoshi Gish, more. Gasoline Alley, 14042 66th St. N, Largo. Free. (727) 532-0265.

Envy Christmas Party Sat. 11 p.m. Featuring DJ Santana, Pedro M, Chris Craze, MC Sonny Glover. Hard Rock Café Tampa, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. Free. (866) 502-7529.

'Tis the Season to Rock Sat. 7 p.m. Featuring Sunshine and Bullets, Bastards of Doom, Dark Summer, G2P, the Dood, Virginia Rose. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 89.05-3045.

Brokenmold Annual Holiday Party Sat. 8 p.m. Featuring Wolf-Face, the Woolly Bushmen, the Funky Pandas, more. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8. (813) 241-8600.

Santa Rock n' Roll Angels Party (Operation Coexist Benefit) Fri. 8 p.m. Featuring Not Tonight Josephine, Paint the Town Red, Lushbudget. Octave, 661 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 826-0820.

Sarah Mac Band Fourth Annual Christmas Show Sat. 8 p.m. The Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 644-7895.

Monétique Album Listening/EP Release Party Sun. 8 p.m. Cheap, 309 S. Howard Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 258-5878.

Jeremy Thomas Mon. 9 p.m. Chic-a-Boom Room, 319 Main St., Dunedin. Free. (727) 736-0206.

SoundCheck: Carole Liparoto's top live music picks 12/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:30am]
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