With Laws, Dynasty, poet Motown Pride, DJ Sandman, DJ Deacon
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $15-$20. (813) 241-8600.
This is gonna get raw like sushi, so haters to the left. Okay, that's a Tracy Morgan line, but it may as well be in a Little Brother skit. Big Pooh and Phonte of hip-hop duo Little Brother mix banter with social observations, like mentors De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Hand-clapper Breakin' My Heart features hitman Lil Wayne. They'll bring speeded-up vocal samples, thought-provoking lyrics and beats from the "borough" — near Greensboro, N.C. that is — to Tampa for the first time.
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Homemade Music Symposium
With performances by Ronny Elliot, Maggie Council, Denise Moore, Handshake Squad, Jules Dobrowolski, Next Exit, Bunko Squad
SATURDAY 9 a.m. conference, Hillsborough Community College, Ybor Campus, Palm Ave. and 14th St.; 5 p.m. performances at New World Brewery; 7 p.m. at Tre Amici at the Bunker. Free. (813) 253-7674.
For aspiring artists, self-promotion and production has never seemed more possible and more necessary than in the era of MySpace and Pro Tools. The free Homemade music event will address topics ranging from do-it-yourself booking and promotion to video-making, writing and recording. Sharing their perspectives are musicians, producers, promoters, and journalists (including tbt*'s own local music guru, Julie Garisto). Rock 'n' blues man Ronny Elliot will perform, perhaps with even more gusto than normal, remembering pal and former tourmate Bo Diddley, who died Monday.
SUNDAY 7 p.m. Bell Shoals Baptist Church, 2102 Bell Shoals Road., Brandon. $15. (813) 689-4229.
After Simon Cowell joked about her weight during American Idol auditions, Season 5 finalist Mandisa quashed his comments with forgiving words, not fightin' ones (probably to the producers' dismay). Now on tour, Mandisa brings big, beaming vocals, but stays humble. Most of the material is gospel with some pop and adult contemporary twists.
With Eric Hutchinson, Justin Nozuka
MONDAY Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-9500.
Living-room video songstress Marie Digby garnered big plays on YouTube strumming an acoustic cover of Rihanna's Umbrella in front of her couch. But the track really blew up after a spin on The Hills season premiere. Her videos (including a fascinating version of Britney Spears' Gimme More) brought some of that "lonelygirl15"-type buzz, but Digby shows real talent with originals like Say It Again. Her acoustic-pop chops call to mind Michelle Branch.
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $15. (813) 247-2664.
Electronic-rock quartet Ladytron delivers dark but highly danceable jams. The group got its start with a passion for '80s New Wave, playing on vintage instruments. And even the songs sung in Bulgarian, like Black Cat, the lead banger on new album Velocifero, are easy to groove to. The uber-chic Blue Jeans — which I am surprised hasn't been snatched up by Levi's — ups the cool quotient with lyrics club crowds can relate to: "Soft loans that spent all last summer buying drinks for you, blue jeans."
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $43.25-$63.25. (813) 301-2500.
In their 30-plus years, the Cure has achieved a combo of commercial and cult success that bands yearn for. And in 2008, it's clear the group still has the tricks to make you scream — textured pop-rock that overflows with both mope and hope. "Guru of gloom" Robert Smith and crew canceled their gig here last summer in order to work on a new album, now slated for release Sept. 13. Tickets sold for the original show will be honored.
With Kings of Leon
THURSDAY 7:30 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $67. (813) 301-2500.
Back from Into the Wild, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam play the Forum just before headlining Bonnaroo. From the start, Pearl Jam had melody for mass appeal, but delivered it with enough angst to stir up rebellious feelings among '90s youth (even the kids on Clarissa Explains it All). The newer Life Wasted and World Wide Suicide are more fiery live than on CD and will be first-time plays for Tampa. And while opening acts at the Forum tend to get a little drowned out, Southern rockers Kings of Leon have the power to pull off an upset.
Future Star DJ Weekend Fri., Sat. 9 p.m. Hip Hop Soda Shop, 1241 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 977-1200.
Gaelic Adventure Sat. With Brian Oh-Eachtuigheirn. All day. Kelly's Pub, 206 N Morgan St., Tampa. $5. (813) 228-0870.
The Various Others Sat. 9 p.m. Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave. $5. (727) 736-0606.
The In-Crowd Sat. 8 p.m. The Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor. (813) 248-2356.
Crooked Edge Sat. With Arm the Poor and How Dare You. 9:30 p.m. Big Shots, 2461 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $5-$7. (727) 723-1091.
Stevie Nicks Sun. Ford Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $25-$125. (813) 740-2446.
Colour Revolt Sun. 6:30 p.m. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-9500.
The Duhks Sun. 5 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Via Audio Mon. With Jukebox the Ghost. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 Eighth Ave. E, Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.
Steely Dan Mon. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $75.50-$135. (727) 791-7400.
Matt Costa Wed. With Delta Spirit. 7 p.m. State Theater, 687 Central Ave., St Petersburg. $15-$17. (727) 895-3045.