m Junior Boys
With Woodhands, Soft Rock Renegades
Details: 9 p.m. Friday. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Like kids who spent too much time in the electronics room at Sam Ash, the Junior Boys have struck a terrific balance of digitally soothing and downright spooky electro-pop. Standout songs include an interpretation of downhearted Frank Sinatra standard When No One Cares, ear-pleasing So This Is Goodbye and In the Morning, which evokes a Hot Chip/Cut Copy combo. Bonus: Frontman Jeremy Greenspan loves Halloween almost as much as Michael Myers. "Part of being a young Jewish kid to me was directing all of your excitement that should've been for Christmas towards Halloween," he said in the band's news release. He promises CDs and shirts for attendees in the best costumes.
Steve Vaclavik CD release
With the Woeful Ones, Richard MacLemale
Details: 8 p.m. Friday. Pro Star Recording Studio, 3220 28th St. N, St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 526-0446.
Folk troubadour Steve Vaclavik is a regular presence at coffee shops, festivals and singer-songwriter hangouts (like Tre Amici @ the Bunker) around Tampa Bay. With a deep voice and country-tinged flavor, Vaclavik has a poet's eye for the imagery of the American landscape, as seen through the windows of a dusty windshield. "Heaven may be a place for the just," he sings on Sunset of Gold, "but hell is the place for the rest of us." Vaclavik will throw a CD release party for his newest album, The Roof Needs More, with his new band, the Woeful Ones.
Sarasota Blues Fest
Featuring Little Feat, Duke Robillard, Larry McCray, Bruce Katz and Floyd Miles Allstars, Mojo Myles Band, Fogt's Jr. Allstars
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday. Ed Smith Stadium Complex, 2700 12th St., Sarasota. $20-$25. sarasotabluesfest.com.
For a full day of howling, note-bending blues, head south. Sarasota Blues Fest (which has been host to Buddy Guy and Delbert McClinton) celebrates its 19th year Saturday. Founded by Lowell George (once a Frank Zappa bandmate), headliner Little Feat took country music both blues-ward and bizarre-o in the early '70s. Dreamlike lyrics included, "If you'll be my Dixie chicken, I'll be your Tennessee land." Even after George's death, the band has maintained its rep as a quirky touring act. And thanks to recent collaborations with Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett, Bela Fleck and Phish, younger followers have been trotting to Little Feat shows, too.
Vega Under Fire
Details: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 871-7874.
At least until our term "ponk" catches on, we'll tag Vega Under Fire in the pop-punk genre. The quintet from Naples and its absurdly catchy new single Fabricated Air call to mind a sweeter, smilier Say Anything.
Details: 5 p.m. Sunday. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10. (813) 971-0666.
We've already seen rock supergroups Chickenfoot and Tinted Windows emerge this year. Now Moonalice is making a name for itself as a supergroup of sorts for the hippie set. Comprised of guitarist G.E. Smith (Bob Dylan, the Saturday Night Live Band), Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane), Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship), John Molo (Bruce Hornsby, Phil Lesh) and Roger and Ann McNamee, the group plays lighthearted, organic and improvisational originals that often come off like remastered '60s tunes. They played Bonnaroo earlier this year.
With Flight Patterns, Manic Drive
Details: 9 p.m. Saturday. Bourbon Street Nightclub, 4331 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. $18-$25. (727) 843-0686.
One of the first-ever Christian metal acts, Stryper sought to spread God's word with screeching vocals and some serious riffage — not to mention, towering hairdos and insanely gaudy spandex. Essentially, Stryper brothers Michael and Robert Sweet loved the music of bands like Van Halen, but thought the messages could use improvement. So they formed Stryper, a glam metal group that rocked ballads (Honestly) and handed out Bibles. Ellen Page sports a Stryper T-shirt in Whip It.
Sean Chambers CD release
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $12-$15. (727) 822-3590
Tampa blues guitarist Sean Chambers has been plucking, riffing and shredding away at local bars, blues fests and headlining shows around town since he was a teenager. A regular at venues like the Ringside Cafe, Chambers has opened for the likes of B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy during Florida tour stops, and for five years he toured the world as the musical director and guitarist from Hubert Sumlin of Howlin' Wolf's band. On his new CD, Ten Til Midnight, Chambers' Jimi Hendrix obsession comes through loud and clear.
With the Old Ceremony, Glasgow, Alexander and the Grapes
Details: 8 p.m. Monday. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $8-$10. (813) 241-8600.
Athens, Ga.'s, Modern Skirts does alt-pop like a raggedy Ben Folds or Weezer for indie kids. The band played Tropical Heatwave earlier this year.
Jay Cridlin contributed to this report. Times correspondent Carole Giambalvo can be reached at [email protected]