Details: Tonight at 8. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $19.50-$25. (813) 247-2555.
If you see an unlikely mix of club kids and shirtless hippies wandering around Ybor City late tonight, looking like their noodles have just been electrified, fear not: They're just fans of Shpongle, the trippy electro-fusion outfit led by DJ/producer Simon Posford and world-renowned flautist Raja Ram. Shpongle's psychedelic visuals and ambient world-music brew are the perfect backdrop for your next trip to Morocco. Or London. Or Burning Man. Your pick.
With Little Big Town, Eli Young Band, Edens Edge
Details: Friday 7 p.m. 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $30-$80. (813) 740-2446.
Rascal Flatts isn't your Skoal-dippin', Jack-swiggin' outlaw country band. But as polished and harmonious crossover-country acts go, they're tops. The band ranks as country music's bestselling trio with 7 million concert tickets sold, more hit singles than we can count, and a knack for bringing pitch-perfect choruses to any setting. You'll hear those glossy harmonies exemplified on tunes What Hurts the Most and the title track from their new album, Changed.
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $17-$20. (813) 971-0666.
If your ideal Halloween party involves complicated, avant-garde jazz and abstract humor, this one's for you. Fans have been turning out for 16 years to see Jerry Outlaw and his merry band Bogus Pomp — St. Pete's pre-eminent (and quite possibly only) diehard Frank Zappa tribute act — rock the ghoulishly good Zappaween. On the slate this year are cuts like The Torture Never Stops, Zomby Woof, Sinister Footwear and Yo Mama.
The Psychedelic Furs and the Lemonheads
Details: Saturday 8 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $28. (727) 895-3045.
How these bands got together to tour is still a bit of a mystery to us. We suppose both had ways of wooing restless teens in their respective heydays (the Furs in the '80s and the Lemonheads in the '90s). The Furs' Pretty in Pink inspired John Hughes' 1986 classic of the same name and was re-recorded for the platinum-selling soundtrack. The Lemonheads brought kinder, gentler vibes to a market oversaturated with grunge on It's a Shame About Ray (10 months after Nirvana released Nevermind).
Black Moth Super Rainbow
With the Casket Girls, Fortune Howl
Details: Wednesday 8 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $12-$15. (813) 241-8600.
If it takes careful engineering (or drugs) to stage outlandish live performances full of mind-altering electronic pop, consider the costumed crew in Black Moth Super Rainbow MIT professors (or LSD enthusiasts). Whimsical and sugar-coated, the psychedelic pop blend evokes Flaming Lips or an over-the-top Air. Tom Fec, a.k.a. Tobacco, and his masked pranksters should pull out all the stops for this special Halloween date. The group's new album Cobra Juicy was released Tuesday.
With DJ Chris Lake
Details: Friday 8 p.m. USF Meadows Lawn, corner of 50th Street and Holly Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 974-5202.
Following the Running with the Bulls Parade, actor-rapper-cognac endorser Ludacris (a.k.a. Chris Bridges) performs on the Meadows Lawn at USF. Because you can totally see Skip Holtz getting down to some How Low, right? Be warned: The USF site carries the disclaimer "show may not be suitable for children."
Details: Friday 9:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $49.50-$65. (727) 791-7400.
He's the torch bearer of high-octane funk and the guy whose eccentric stage show and light-socket hair have managed to make his idols James Brown and Sly Stone look tame by comparison at times. George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic machine ruled black music during the '70s, charting more than 40 R&B hit singles (including three No 1's).
Times correspondent Carole Liparoto can be reached at [email protected]