SOUL REBELS: St. Paul and the Broken Bones
For Paul Janeway, a man who almost became a preacher and accountant before settling on life as a rock star, playing Elton John's Oscar party was pretty surreal.
"I've never been in a room with that kind of money, so it was very uncomfortable for me," said the singer for St. Paul and the Broken Bones. "Robert Kraft, who owns the Patriots, was in there. It's culture shock in a lot of ways. Elton is very generous, very kind, and has been very good to us. It really is something that you just kind of go, 'Why are we here? Why did they want us?' "
Catch St. Paul and the Broken Bones live, and the answer is clear. Like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and the Alabama Shakes, the Alabama soul-rock revivalists are renowned for their fiery live performances, in particular Janeway's wild-man antics behind the mic. The group's records, like last year's Sea of Noise, are mighty good — but their concerts are so energetic they've been tapped to open for artists like the Rolling Stones.
"I get bored very easily, so I have to do something that moves me," Janeway said. "If the song doesn't move me, I don't want to sing it. Until that itch isn't scratched anymore, I'm just going to continue to do it."
St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform with Los Colognes at 9 p.m. Friday at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $25 and up. (727) 565-0550. jannuslive.com.
For more with Janeway, see tbtim.es/193z.
POTTERY BOOM: Don't Stop St. Pete
Let's hope clay is soundproof. Because a bunch of really loud bands are coming to the Morean Center for Clay, 420 22nd Ave. S in St. Petersburg, and the last thing anyone wants is a bunch of pots and sculptures left in shards. Assuming the volume is okay, this year's Don't Stop St. Pete festival should be one of its most memorable, thanks to its unconventional setting. More than two dozen bands from St. Petersburg and beyond will perform inside and outside Morean, including post-rock monoliths Set and Setting, raucous punk throwbacks Jensen Serf Co. and Sonic Graffiti, indie synth-pop singer Priest and sludge-punk outfit Drug. 3 p.m. Saturday. $15. dontstopstpete.com.
GOLDEN GRIT: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Fifty years seems like a fine time to celebrate the legacy of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The California band has cut a wide swath of influence through bluegrass, country and Americana music, touring and recording with everyone from Roy Acuff to Johnny Cash to John Denver. Along the way they've scored some hits, including Fishin' in the Dark and a spin on Mr. Bojangles, won Grammys and even a CMA Award for Album of the Year for 1989's Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two. A concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium last fall drew cameos from Vince Gill, Jackson Browne and Alison Krauss. The group's concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., might feel a little like a hometown show, as banjoist John McEuen lives in Manatee County. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. atthecap.com.
AXE MARKS THE SPOT: The Menzingers, Dinosaur Jr.
If you like your guitars loud, fast and fuzzy, spend the next few days camped out at the State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Raucous Pennsylvania punks the Menzingers headline at 7 p.m. Sunday in support of their new album After the Party, a collection of melodic, growled-out bar anthems that skirt the line between emo and pop-punk. Jeff Rosenstock and Rozwell Kid open; $20 and up. Then at 7 p.m. Tuesday you have a bona fide grunge guitar god in J Mascis, right, and Dinosaur Jr., who have been slinging a sludgy mix of freak-rock and shoegaze for more than three decades, influencing lots of bands just like the Menzingers in the process. It's sold out, but if you have tickets, bring earplugs. (727) 845-3045. statetheatreconcerts.com.
THE VOICES: Charlie Wilson, Fantasia
Does Charlie Wilson age? The former singer of the Gap Band doesn't look 64, and he sure as heck doesn't sound like it on his new album In It to Win It, in which he goes toe-to-toe with whippersnappers like Pitbull, Wiz Khalifa and Robin Thicke, and usually comes out on top. Maybe touring with Fantasia will keep his vocal game on point, as the former American Idol winner is as fierce a singer as they come (just spin her incendiary single Sleeping With the One I Love). Here's hoping they share the stage at least once when they sing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $48.50 and up. (813) 974-3004. sundomearena.com.
MISERY BUSINESS: Emo Night Brooklyn
For a while now, Emo Night Tampa has brought plenty of angsty late-'90s/early-2000s vibes to First Chance Last Chance in Ybor City. If you can't wait until the next one in April, head to the Orpheum on Saturday for Emo Night Brooklyn. Ethan Maccoby and Alex Badanes kick-started the emo night movement with their New York shows spinning Brand New, Taking Back Sunday and AFI for hordes of nostalgic hipsters. Now they're taking their original show on the road. So if you've got a fever you can't sweat out, tug on some skinny jeans and dance, dance to the Orpheum, 1915 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. Hands down, it'll be the best date you ever remember. $10 and up. theorpheum.com.
FRIDAY BLOODY FRIDAY: U2charist
Spirituality and worldliness are themes that frequently pop up in the music of U2. So perhaps it's no surprise churches and religious groups worldwide have used long used U2's music and lyrics in communion services dubbed "U2charists." At 7 p.m. Friday, you might just feel a sense of elevation at a U2charist at the Portico, a homeless outreach of Hyde Park United Methodist Church. Lakeland group Fount will perform U2 songs, and volunteers will offer communion to those who want it. It's free, but donations will be accepted for the homeless nonprofit Love, Inc. Find what you're looking for at 1001 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 254-5139. theportico.org.