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Tampa Bay area's Top 5 November shows

The coolest rock star coming to Tampa Bay this month doesn't sing or shred the guitar or pound the skins. Well, unless they're cailles farcies skins. (The French are doubled over with laughter right now. Trust me.) Anthony Bourdain, 54, is the bad boy of the current kitchen craze, author of foodie tell-all Kitchen Confidential and star of the Travel Channel's wanderlusty No Reservations. I'm a fanboy, so I'll be waiting groupie-like at the Mahaffey Theater on Nov. 19. If his lecture is like his bawdy book, Bourdain's chat will make you hungry — and make you blush. Herewith, five other hot nights in November:

Top 5 November Shows

1. Jamey Johnson: (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Saturday) Country yeti Johnson is hot in Nashville, despite the fact he's a gruff outlaw and nothing like today's pretty twang-pop stars. His new album, The Guitar Song, is a lesson in old-school country storytelling, one of the best records of the year. (rutheckerdhall.com)

2. Fantasia: (David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Nov. 12) There hasn't been a more outlandish act to come from the staid halls of American Idol than Fantasia. She's a free spirit, unloading wicked R&B jams all the while uploading cellphone snaps of her self-described "baby makin' hips." Her helium-high wail gets your attention, too, a kapow vocal that grabs and shakes you. (strazcenter.org)

3. Rick Springfield (Ribfest at Vinoy Park, Nov. 13) Touring behind his new autobiography Late, Late at Night — in which the former Noah Drake reveals a life that's been anything but bubble gum — the 61-year-old Aussie can still make 'em swoon en masse. He's a relentless live performer, and his songbook is richer than you remember: Jessie's Girl, Don't Talk to Strangers, Love Somebody and Human Touch. Plus the guys has arms like cannons — and I say that journalistically. (ribfest.org)

4. Roger Waters: (St. Pete Times Forum, Nov. 16) Performing the entirety of Pink Floyd's head-trip The Wall, the 67-year-old Waters is not just re-creating the album's songs but the visuals that go with the 1979 classic: a 35-foot titular monolith; rafter-high inflatable characters inspired by the creepy album art by Gerald Anthony Scarfe. There will also be empty-eyed zombies representing the gloomy, overbearing themes of isolation — but enough about the crowd! What, not funny? (sptimesforum.com)

5. Diana Ross: (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Nov. 20) Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Sing it, Queen of Motown, guide me to the light! Ross has packed a lot of living into her 66 years: leader of the Supremes, solo icon, actor, civil rights beacon. The diva-est of the divas, Ross is a font of lyrical wisdom and uplift, no matter who you are. So pay your respects to R&B royalty and sing along: I'm coming out! I want the world to know! Got to let it show! (rutheckerdhall.com)

By Sean Daly, Times pop music critic

Suggest a Top 5 at smspears@sptimes.com

Tampa Bay area's Top 5 November shows 10/31/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 10:36am]

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