GREAT APES: The Monkees
The Monkees are no longer everywhere. For a long time it felt that way, from the eponymous NBC sitcom that made them stars to the decades of syndicated reruns that followed — not to mention all those sunny, golden hits like Last Train to Clarksville and Daydream Believer.
But in 2016, is it even possible for young fans to discover the Monkees as the funny young men the world once knew?
"I don't know," said Peter Tork. "There are episodes that are available on YouTube, whole episodes. I haven't watched one from beginning to end on YouTube. I haven't watched a whole episode in years and years."
They're worth seeking out, especially as the band's 50th anniversary tour hits Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday. While only half of the band's classic lineup will be there — Tork and Micky Dolenz will be without Davy Jones, who died in 2012, and Michael Nesmith, who rarely tours — it'll still be a fine reintroduction to a group beloved by many younger artists. This month, they'll drop their first album in 20 years, Good Times, which features songs penned by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, among others.
While Tork and Dolenz couldn't persuade Nesmith to join them on the road ("Over the years, we've discovered that it's not much point in any effort to change his mind"), the three surviving members still seem to be on good terms.
"Michael wrote one song, a lovely song," Tork said. "It's like he shed his skin, and now we have the real Michael underneath. It's very moving to listen to the stuff he did." For more with Tork, see tampabay.com/soundcheck.
The Monkees perform at 8 p.m. Friday at 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $52.50 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
DANCIN' MACHINES: AlunaGeorge
AlunaGeorge has worked with a who's who of electronic producers over the past two years — Disclsoure, Jack U, DJ Snake, Baauer — which leads you to wonder: What does the duo have to offer on its own? Maybe we'll find out when the British EDM-pop duo comes to Crowbar on Sunday. So far in 2016, singer Aluna Francis, right, and producer George Reid have released a trio of intriguing singles from their forthcoming sophomore album — the dancehall-tinged I'm in Control (featuring Popcaan) and the glitchy, downbeat I Remember (featuring Flume) and My Blood (featuring Zhu). The album doesn't have a title or a release date, but maybe they're just waiting to hit us all with a killer Song of Summer contender, like last year's DJ Snake remix of You Know You Like It. Kiiara opens the show at 8 p.m. at Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. (The show was recently moved from the Orpheum.) $17 and up. (813) 248-9500. theorpheum.com.
MASTER SHREDDERS: Screaming Females
The best way to prep for Friday's Screaming Females concert at New World Brewery would be to spin through their 2014 live album Live at the Hideout, produced by Steve Albini. You'll hear the shreddy echoes of many of the New Jersey trio's influences — Black Sabbath, Fugazi, Dinosaur Jr. — but you'll hear them live, which is the best possible setting for all Screaming Females music. Their studio work rocks, too — 2015's Rose Mountain is an eclectic mix of grungy alt-rock and riot-grrl punk, and their collaborative cover with Garbage of Patti Smith's classic Because the Night is an utterly electric ride. But only after seeing and hearing singer-guitarist Marissa Paternoster rip it up live will you become the sort of fan who tosses Screaming Females into any discussion of the greatest guitar bands alive. Cover for the 8 p.m. show starts at a ridiculously low $8; you officially have no excuse not to check 'em out. 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-4969. ticketfly.com.
CITRUS JAM: Orange Blossom Jamboree
The Orange Blossom Jamboree will never be Bonnaroo, but you can bet there are more than a few fans who'd like to see Bonnaroo become more like OBJ — tons of regional jam bands and songwriters camped out in the middle of nowhere, communing over a campfire and playing at all hours of the day for free spirits in need of a break from the rat race. The seventh OBJ, which runs Thursday through Sunday at Sertoma Youth Ranch near Brooksville, once again brings more than 60 Florida bands to four stages, from Tampa Bay favorites like Come Back Alice, Uncle John's Band and the Applebutter Express to statewide acts who feel as familiar as locals, including Suenalo, above, Kaleigh Baker, Bobby Lee Rodgers and Beebs and her Money Makers. The real fun, though, comes when the sun goes down, and acoustic campsite jam sessions can stretch long into the night. Passes start at $77 for three days, $87 for four, with limited two-day and single-day options. Kids 13 and younger get in free. For a schedule and guide to what you can and can't bring, see orangeblossomjamboree.com.