MONDAY 8 p.m. Tamiami at Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $18-$22. (727) 786-2276.
The "whoop whoops" on Sound of Da Police and the breakdance bump of Step Into a World (Rapture's Delight) are iconic in hip-hop. KRS-One has earned his place as an educator, battle-rap master and supreme MC, and has influenced a generation of rappers. The Jamaican-American continues his quest to decriminalize hip-hop, speaking out to record label heads and the FCC.
SATURDAY 7:30 p.m. Tampa Theatre, 711 N Franklin Street, Tampa. $34.50-$49.50 (813) 274-8981.
On the ultimate, 18-minute, hippie-dippie tale Alice's Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie sings wittily about being arrested for littering in Stockbridge, Mass., dodging the draft and fighting the man. His Woodstock performance of Coming Into Los Angles ("Don't touch my bag if you please, mister customs man") only solidified his place as a counter-culture hero, just like famous folkie and protester papa Woody. Arlo performs his own tunes and covers his father's, which in tough times, should really resonate again with Americans.
With Pulp resident DJs
FRIDAY 10 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $10. (813) 247-2664.
Surely a sign of musical ADD, Diplo championed the mash-up in the early '00s — a free-for-all of '80s pop, rock, electronica, Dirty South hip-hop, Miami bass and more. In fact, the DJ and former Florida resident has helped spur a brightly-outfitted, Wayfarer-wearing, Nike SB-rocking culture by way of unexpected music pairings (i.e. Huey's Pop, Lock and Drop It over Nirvana). Most notably, Diplo wrote and produced the Grammy-nominated Paper Planes with M.I.A. and runs the on-the-rise Mad Decent label.
Steph Taylor and the State Of
With Life Of Pi, Channing Deren
FRIDAY 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N, Ybor City. $6. (813) 241-8600.
South Florida duo Steph Taylor and the State Of likes to keep pop tunes dark but upbeat. The ladies crank eerily pretty arrangements on the keys and back them with big, electronic-like live drums for a Tori Amos-meets-LCD Soundsystem effect. Locals Life of Pi return with slices of Pixies and Superdrag-like rock that's clever but not overcomplicated. And sweet-voiced Channing Deren's acoustic ditties are first-rate.
FRIDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $17. (727) 786-2276.
Toting a Spanglish big-band blend of salsa, rap, reggae and funk, Ozomatli returns to Jannus, this time with founding member and vivacious rhymer Chali 2Na.
With the Pussycat Dolls
SUNDAY 8 p.m. St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $36.75-$750 (813) 301-2500.
Does the ol' saw-the-woman-in-half trick symbolize Brit's big comeback? Spears has been bent and broken by paparazzi, divorce, hair extensions and more, so perhaps it's fitting that she'll be cut up by a magician (strangely played by actor Ed Alonzo, the guy who owned the Max on Saved by the Bell), only to re-emerge shiny, centered and focused. Spears, 27, pulls out all the stops on the Circus Tour, battling "womanizers" and cracking the whip across three rings. If you've followed her on Twitter lately (before the account was hacked, at least) you'd have seen her acting suspiciously in control — watching Kung Fu Panda with her boys and reuniting with friends in her native Louisiana. But $750 (face value!) for what they're calling a "ringside" floor seat — well, that's still crazy.
SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Strawberry Festival, 2202 W Reynolds St., Plant City. $25-$30. (813) 752-9194.
Flashback to 1999 (well before "Chicken of the Sea" or her "Mom jeans" incident): A smiley, young blond snaps and sings to the tune of John Mellencamp's Jack and Diane. That's the Simpson that America fell in love with. So a return to a comfier, less glitzy sound seems smart. The 28-year-old, who got her start on the Christian Youth Conference circuit, has refashioned herself as a country artist. And 2008's Do You Know is as solid as most of the material coming out of Nashville.
With Summerbirds in the Cellar, Giddy-up, Helicopter!
MONDAY 9 p.m. Czar, 1420 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $12. (813) 247-2664.
Though an affliction with Marfan syndrome (a genetic disorder that produces abnormally long and frail-looking limbs) has left Bradford Cox a strikingly skeletal figure, his presence is weighty in indie today. The Deerhunter frontman (who sometimes takes the stage in women's clothing) and crew fire off rounds of moody, distorted experimental rock for a strangely happy experience. Noisy and exhilarating '08 releases Microcastle and Weird Era Continued topped critics' year-end best lists. Orlando's Summerbirds in the Cellar are a great fit for the opener, offering dark synths, psychedelic guitars and telling vocals.
To hear music by these artists, visit tbt.com.