With Jo Mersa, Wayne Marshall
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 16 Second St. N, St. Pete. $22 and up. (727) 565-0550.
Stephen "Ragga" Marley is entering the meaty part of a two-album journey that initially found him exploring roots reggae on 2011's Revelations Part I. That album was good enough to win Bob's second-born son a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, but a companion LP, the forthcoming Revelations Part II, will push the boundaries and limits of reggae purists around the world. The recent leaked single Rock Stone is a potent, steamy cut featuring dance hall staples Sizzla and Capleton that unfolds in a mostly traditional manner until it unleashes a dubstep-riddled dance break at the end. The song is part head-scratching and part-genius, but just like the album's lead single (Thorn Or A Rose with the Roots' Black Thought), the cut is a testament to the immense impact that the reggae genre (and the Marley family) has had on every type of music that has come after it.
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With Dead Cat Lounge, The Scurvy, Nerds Raging
SATURDAY 7 p.m. The Brass Mug, 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. $20-$25. (813) 972-8152.
The Dead Milkmen have evolved with the times by adopting Facebook and Twitter accounts, but the nerdy Philly punks have not outgrown the satirical, scathing repertoire and live show that made them famous in the '80s and early '90s. Albums like Big Lizard in My Backyard, Bucky Fellini and Eat Your Paisley! found them using a sharp wit to rant and make fun of pop culture (Instant Club Hit) while also scoring an MTV hit by tongue-in-cheekily lampooning underground culture with their single Punk Rock Girl. The band broke up after mourning the death of bassist Dave Blood in '94, but reunited a decade or so later. More than 30 years after their inception, the Milkmen's swing through Florida will surely address touchy topics like violence and homophobia in a way that only they can.
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SUNDAY 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $35-$55. (727) 791-7400.
Todd Rundgren is the kind of guy whose talent might sadly go unnoticed until someone spends sleepless evenings reading articles and watching documentaries about all the records the 65-year-old singer, songwriter and producer has ever touched. It's easy to fall into hits like Hello It's Me and Can We Still Be Friends. It's fun to get drunk and dance to Bang The Drum All Day and get seduced by the harmonies and screeching lead on Love Is The Answer. But don't forget that underneath all the '80s pomp and occasional cheesiness is a true musical savant who has appeared on Nine Inch Nails-approved remix albums, fronted the Cars and manned the board for Grand Funk Railroad. He probably has Patti Smith and Meat Loaf on speed dial, and even brought Auto-Tune to Rick Derringer (listen to Everything from a 2011's (re)Production). Recent live shows have featured Daft Punk covers while touching on prog-rock, soul, psychedelia and everything in between, so be ready to be delightfully baffled at this one.
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With Carousel, Future Unlimited
MONDAY 7 p.m. Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica De Cuba, Ybor City. Free (but not guaranteed, based on venue capacity) with RSVP at redbullsoundselect.com.
Throughout the year cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin and Miami host Red Bull Sound Select events that bring breaking artists to play unique, mostly free events alongside the specific regions' best emerging talent. Tampa Bay gets its own moment of attention from the energy drink's music curators when the Sound Select Tour Bus (a Back to the Future-esque vessel that transforms into a full-scale stage equipped with venue-quality lights and sound) parks at the Cuban Club to present a show from Cherub. The Nashville electro-pop duo's big single, Doses and Mimosas, is a disco-ready, synthed-out homage to indulgence ("I'm skipping breakfast and drinking a beverage to ignore it all, 'cause ignorance is bliss").
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With Freddie Gibbs, Krizz Kaliko, Jarren Benton, Psych Ward Druggies
TUESDAY 8 p.m. Ritz Ybor, 1503 Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $26.50 and up. (813) 247-2555.
Tech N9ne's brand of horrorcore rap - complete with strange romantic advice (Pillow Talkin') and unthinkably twisted hip-hop murder ballads (Real Killer) - completely goes against the sensibilities of the Midwest he calls home, but all the oddity and his hyper-speed, chopped-up delivery have garnered him a devoted following. He's bringing another of the Midwest's greatest gifts to hip-hop, Freddie Gibbs, to the Ritz for what might be an early contender for show of the year. Gibbs, 31, has been on a rapid rise since the release of a 2009 mixtape, The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, and while he doesn't rap about the macabre, his nonchalantly authentic, almost uncomfortably hard gangsta rap has earned him a reputation for being one of the realest emcees in hip-hop. A new LP, Cocaine Pinata, is the best stuff he's put out in a young but already accomplished career, and this show will probably be the last one he isn't headlining for a while.
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With Moses Sumney
WEDNESDAY 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Pete. $20-$22. (727) 895-3045.
If you're looking for a band whose career path is going swimmingly, look no further than Local Natives. Yeah, the SoCal quintet has endured a few lineup changes over their almost 10-year journey, but their two albums of sometimes lucid, always sweeping and cinematic indie rock is the kind of stuff music nerds listen to in darkened rooms with big headphones on. Their live set - where vocal harmonies, kinetic drums, hand claps and sonic textures come alive in an almost orchestral fashion - is the band's bread and butter, though, as evidenced by the way Local Natives keep graduating to bigger venues every time they blow into town. L.A. crooner Moses Sumney, whose new song Man On The Moon is an irresistibly airy breath of soul-folk, opens the show.
- Contact Ray Roa at SuburbanApologist.com