m Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
Details: Sunday 7 p.m. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $53-$96. (727) 892-5767.
Beneath a nest of dark hair, the slender and gentlemanly Lyle Lovett provides witty, perceptive music (we're still trying to figure out how he got that pony on the boat), ranging from folk and big-band swing to pop and thinking man's country — stuff that has stood out from formulaic Nashville tunes for more than 25 years. Lovett's 10-member Large Band ("it's not big, it's large") provides oomph to Lovett's Randy Newman-meets-Townes Van Zandt style, one that's full of wry tales and black humor.
m MC Hammer
Details: Wednesday after the Tampa Bay Lightning game. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free with game ticket. (813) 301-2500.
Full disclosure: In the early '90s, while other girls drooled over Joey and Jordan of NKOTB, I was hung up on the Hammer. I sported his backpack. I watched his Saturday morning cartoon show. I drank his Pepsi. And though decades later I'd learn his taste for lavish living did him in financially, I haven't forgotten about one of the few men in history to be defined by a pair of pants. When his debut held strong at No. 1 for 21 straight weeks on the Billboard charts in 1990, rap artists became free to achieve pop superstardom. And for that, they should remember him too.
Little Manatee River Jam
Featuring the Damon Fowler Group, Have Gun, Will Travel, Talk To Mark, Ed Carter, the Grecian Urns
Details: Saturday 2 p.m. The Canoe Outpost, 18001 U.S. 301 S, Wimauma. $15-$20. (813) 238-8001.
We've never been to Wimauma, but the Little Manatee River Jam sounds like the perfect reason to go. The event will feature some of the bay's best local bands, including Blind Pig Records bluesman Damon Fowler, spaghetti Western rock outfit Have Gun, Will Travel and versatile, bar-rock revivalists Talk To Mark.
With Hans Condor, Cassolette
Details: Wednesday 7 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10-$13.
Garage-rock nostalgists the Ettes deliver infectious, estrogen-fueled throwbacks with a punk snicker. Perfect for an evening at the roller derby, the group's sound calls to mind the Yeah Yeah Yeah's or the Kills doing Joan Jett. The Ettes (two vixens, one dude) met in Central Florida before moving out to Los Angeles. Since then, they've opened dates for the Dead Weather and Kings of Leon and played Austin City Limits Music Festival. The band just returned from London where they recorded their fourth album (still tough and fuzzy, but plenty catchy) with Liam Watson (White Stripes, The Kills).
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at email@example.com.