SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $37.50 and up. (727) 791-7400.
From Kid Rock to Darius Rucker, we've seen our share of rockers "go country." But when Aaron Lewis arrived on the Nashville scene, the misgivings were many. How could the man behind mope-metal act Staind, a guy from Massachusetts, mind you, crossover? It took more than a vintage Chevy and a trucker hat for Lewis to prove himself. But he did just that. His debut single Country Boy featuring Charlie Daniels and George Jones sold more than 20,000 digital singles in its first week. This week, Lewis released The Road, "one of the best and most cohesive country releases of the year," says the Chicago Tribune. The best part, though, says Lewis, is the melting-pot crowd. "Goth kids to older couples to rockers to fans in big Stetson hats and silver belt buckles and cowboy boots - they all walk away at the end of the night happy."
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FRIDAY 8 p.m. Cuban Club, 2010 Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. $19.50-$25. (813) 247-3901.
The High Times poster boys of Cypress Hill should help Ybor City's Cuban Club get moving again after the venue's string of cancelled shows. (Increasingly popular hardcore kids Falling In Reverse will follow up with a Saturday night show there). Cypress Hill is notorious for their endorsement of marijuana, but it's worth noting that the group birthed the first major Latino hip-hop superstars and spurred the kind of stoned funk-hop that was highly influential in '90s hip-hop.
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With Jeremy Thomas, Beebs of Beebs and Her Money Makers
SATURDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $23 and up. (727) 565-0551.
That "other" easy-going pro-surfer-turned-slow-groove-rocker hits St. Pete Saturday with soft-rock daydreams and unobtrusive strumming. Much like fellow wave chaser and friend Jack Johnson, Frankenreiter makes patio-chair-type tunes for endless summers. This time around, Frankenreiter is touring in support of Start Livin', which includes the lyric, "I believe the world could be fine if we could all sing the same lullaby." We mentioned easy-going, right?
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SATURDAY 8 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $36.50 and up. (813) 229-7827.
In 1984, Chip Davis decided to make a Christmas album, something typically considered the last-ditch effort in an aging pop star's career. Today, the Grammy winner's Christmas show is an enterprise all its own, boasting innovative interpretations of Yuletide favorites and dazzling multi-media effects. The group's most faithful fans (and there are many) consider Mannheim Steamroller just as much a holiday tradition as decorating the tree.
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TUESDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland Street, Clearwater. $70 and up. (727) 791-7400.
Where were you in '82? (Gen-Y kids, please disregard.) If you weren't exposed to prog-rock supergroup Asia, the logical successor to Yes, ELP and King Crimson, you were one of the few. Asia's self-titled debut was the biggest selling album that year and spawned Top 10 singles Heat of The Moment, Only Time Will Telland Sole Survivor. The original lineup, featuring bassist-vocalist John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer, keyboardist Geoff Downes and guitarist Steve Howe, will play the disc in its entirety Tuesday. Will it be the "coolest" show in town? Well, we'll just leave you with this Paul Rudd gem from The 40-Year-Old Virgin. "You framed an Asia poster? How hard did the people at the frame store laugh when you brought this in?"
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Men Without Hats
With Right the Stars
WEDNESDAY 8 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $8.88. theorpheum.com.
You can dance if you want to when Canadian New Wave group Men Without Hats takes the stage in Ybor City. Characterized by the distinctive baritone of lead singer Ivan Doroschuk as well as the decorative use of synthesizers and electronics, the group won over fans worldwide with The Safety Danceand Pop Goes the World. This Ivan-fronted incarnation, which does not include his brother/original member Stefan Doroschuk, and which Stefan calls a "tribute band" (ouch), plays the Orpheum Wednesday.
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Face to Face
SATURDAY 8 p.m. The Local 662, 662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25 and up. facebook.com/thelocal662.
Not sure about you, but we like our punk bands extra noisy when they're rallying against the establishment. That's why we're a bit bummed that Cali punk act Face to Face will play '99 disc Ignorance Is Bliss all acoustic. Even still, you're likely to come out of the show with plenty of fight-the-man feelings and/or the inclination to skateboard.