Curly-haired poperatic heartthrob Josh Groban — he of the octave-soaring pipes and You Raise Me Up grandeur — is not my musical bag. Your aunt, of course, loves him because it's a prerequisite of all aunts everywhere. Me? Not so much. And yet, as a comedian, the Grobster is a hoot! His turn on Glee was wickedly good, and the best YouTube video will forever be Josh Groban's The Best Tweets of Kanye West. ("I make awesome decisions in bike stores.") So although Groban's Oct. 28 gig at the St. Pete Times Forum will not appear on this list of top October shows, it totally would have if Groban were appearing instead at Laffy Larry's Chuckle Hut.
Lindsey Buckingham (Capitol Theatre, today): The high-haired Fleetwood Mac guitar star turned 62 this week. And yet, despite his aging fingers, he remains one of the most furious, and underrated, pickers in the rock pantheon. This sold-out gig couples his own hits (Go Insane, Trouble) with a smattering of Mac gems (Go Your Own Way, Tusk), all of which will be threaded with nimble riffs that blend baroque with bombast. Oh, and he makes some of the best "guitar faces" around. Such anguish! (rutheckerdhall.com)
Chris Brown (1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Friday): Have we ever been more forgiving of our fallen pop stars than right now? Case in point, Chris Brown. Listen, everyone deserves a second chance. We all screw up. But Brown has displayed continued thuggish behavior and a lack of remorse for assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna — and yet, the hip-hop star is once again blistering hot and beloved by a girl-strong audience. He can sing, and he can dance like no one else around, so maybe that's enough these days? (livenation.com)
Duran Duran (Ruth Eckerd Hall, Oct. 10): The still-pretty Brit laddies are touring behind All You Need Is Now, their best album since 1993's Duran Duran. Simon Le Bon & Co. wisely brought in producer Mark Ronson, a retro-minded beatmaker who helped make a Rio redux for the 21st century. This will be a sexy show with sexy middle-aged fans. John Taylor can't woo 'em all, boys, so let's look sharp out there. (rutheckerdhall.com)
Trombone Shorty (Coachman Park, Oct. 13): I've been hearing about Crescent City's Trombone Shorty for so long, and yet I've never seen him live. So this a doubly exciting night: the kickoff to the Clearwater Jazz Holiday — one of the most "purist" lineups in awhile — plus the opportunity to see a genre-smooshing cat who digs old Basin Street stomp, the hip-thrusting goodness of funk plus a fat splash of modern urban soul. (clearwaterjazz.com)
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at tampabay.com/blogs/poplife.
TV on the Radio (Jannus Live, Oct. 22): This Brooklyn art-rock collective is another head-snapping outfit, a group just as comfortable with jazz, funk, punk and the oddball noises in between. It's not for everyone — until they change grooves and everyone can't stop dancing. Led by Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, TVOTR is still getting over the loss of bassist Gerard Smith, but rest assured these guys would rather jam (listen for the ferocity of Wolf Like Me) than wallow. (jannuslive.com)