With Blue Giant
Details: 9 p.m. Saturday. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12. (813) 241-8600.
Influenced by the rural, masterful folk-rock sounds of the Band, sub pop act Fruit Bats provides the perfect soundtrack for an ebullient trot through the wheat fields (see Ruminant Band). The Shins' Eric Johnson writes most of the material (and happens to sound like a countrified version of Shins singer James Mercer). This is smart, sunlit folk with an affirmative vibe.
Matt Pond PA
With Stars of Track and Field, the Pauses
Details: 9 p.m. Saturday. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-4969.
For songs about dim lighting, bitter cold and window smashing, this stuff sticks with you in the best of ways. Matt Pond PA's lush chamber pop songs come with rustic guitar, jangling keys and passionate vocals. Fun facts: Pond has written songs for the Oxygen Network and is terribly allergic to pond water (ironically enough). His last show at New World Brewery in 2008 sold out, so don't sleep on this one.
With Pauly Crush, the Crate Bothers, Heemo Feelya
Details: 7 p.m. Friday. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $12-$17. (813) 247-2664.
Go back in time with Kid Sister to the era of jokey and spandex-clad rap — when neon colors and tacky rhymes encouraged the shameless busting of moves. (And the term "gangster" still referred to mobsters for the most part.) This spunky Chicago artist, whose background includes musical theater and "dorky things," raps about beepers, bass and acrylic nails over '80s-style electro. Kanye West appeared on the Kid Sis single Pro Nails. Fans of Amanda Blank, Rye Rye or Salt-N-Pepa should enjoy.
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at email@example.com.
Details: 9 p.m. Sunday. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $16-$18. (813) 247-2664.
Underground hip-hop king Kool Keith has more aliases than an inmate roster. Since the late '80s, under the names Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom, Black Elvis and so on, Keith has evaded the mainstream rap world with a schizophrenic style and lyrics that could make even 2 Live Crew blush (see Sex Style). In true anti-establishment fashion, he loves sci-fi and creative thinking and hates all things marketing.