Next week brings the 35th annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday, with opening-night headliners Earth, Wind and Fire, but there are some big shows coming up between now and then, including USF's Homecoming show with T.I., Porter Robinson (above), Gov't Mule, Young Jeezy, Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin, Richard Marx, the Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel and big anniversary parties for the Emerald Bar and local blog NineBullets.net. Here to walk you through it all is Ray Roa...
Emerald Bar 50th Anniversary
With Florida Kilos, Holiday, Barely Pink, Fowler's Bluff, Pretty Voices, Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes, Article 47, Supercruiser, Boney Fiend, Gino and the Goons, more.
FRIDAY (7 p.m.) and SATURDAY (4 p.m.) Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 898-6054.
Central Avenue has had a lot of different looks over the last half century. Throughout all those years, Emerald Bar has been in the same spot, welcoming denizens and dignitaries alike to relax in the ambience and cigarette smoke of the shotgun-style, all-American dive. For two days, the bar hosts nearly two dozen of the area's most beloved and beleaguered local acts to help celebrate the occasion. Ricky Seelbach is rehashing his shape-shifting project Holiday on Saturday night, and he'll be joined by some punks (Gino and the Goons and Boney Fiend, to name two) as well as a rare appearance by Tampa sonic time-traveling trio Florida Kilos, who will reunite with founding member Ryan Blood for the festivities. It's going to be sweaty, sexy and smoky in the Emerald, and it only costs $5 a night.
FRIDAY 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 974-3004.
Tuition keeps going up at universities across the country, but at least the University of South Florida is doing something to make all the loans somewhat worth it. After a women's soccer game, the school is shutting down part of the Sun Dome's parking lot to welcome the King of the South, and even without the free price tag, this show is guaranteed to be No Mediocre event. Clifford Harris, a.k.a. T.I., has mostly stayed out of trouble since serving time on weapons charges, and new single New National Anthem is a politically charged, bounce-ready cut laced with references to the country's poverty problem and the politicians who may or may not do enough about it. Clifford, 34, has more than a few party songs too (Whatever You Like), but if you need to let completely loose, NYC production duo TWRK's Biggies Bounce and Trippy's Theme will let your brain relax and body let go. Homecoming might be based around students, but this event is open to the public, so don't be scared to go back to school for a night.
SATURDAY 7 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $28.50 and up. (727) 565-0550.
A new southern soul band is born everyday. Nearly all of them are probably trying to be a little like Gov't Mule. The side project turned full-time gig celebrates 20 years on the scene on Saturday, and while covers of classics like the Allman Brothers Band's Soulshine and Neil Young's Cortez The Killer have been pleasing faithful fans for the better part of two decades, material from last year's Shout! proves the band is still propelled by the blues (World Boss), influenced by world music (Scared To Live), and suckers for an extended jam session (Bring On The Music). At the heart of it all are the six-string roots of frontman Warren Haynes, at one point a member of the Allman Brothers Band. A 1998 cover of Gonna Send You Back To Georgia by Chicago bluesman Hound Dog Taylor is all the evidence you'll need to be convinced that Haynes prays to saints B.B., Clapton and Muddy, but if you need real-life proof, then be in the front row at Jannus for this one.
NineBullets.net 8th (and final) Anniversary Party
With American Aquarium; the Takers; Big Shoals; Will Quinlan; Matt Woods; Have Gun, Will Travel
SATURDAY 7 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $10. (813) 248-4969.
A recent email to Bryan Childs' Nine Bullets radio program found a WMNF-88.5 reader lamenting the "guy whining into a mic" and the "super terrible" music. "It's like you want people to shoot themselves in the head," the message said. "Please stop — put on anything other than this." Childs, 41, promptly proceeded to give not one damn, and continued to play the often sad-sack, 100 percent American music he programs week in and week out. On Saturday, he's staging one last party in honor of Nine Bullets' website, and he's making sure to leave a big ol' hole in the hearts of faithful followers. He's reunited Gainesville alt-country outfit the Takers, who'll be joined by a healthy roster of local legends (Have Gun, Will Travel; Will Quinlan) as well as NoFla pickers Big Shoals. A pair of out-of-towners — Tennessee troubadour Matt Woods and Ryan Adams-loving outfit American Aquarium — round out the bill, ensuring that this final anniversary closes the book in grand fashion.
The Black Dahlia Murder
With Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin, Alterbeast
TUESDAY 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $20-$23. (813) 248-9500.
It's been a decade and a half, and the Black Dahlia Murder's metal attack still hasn't grown stale, thanks to the searing leads, exhausting double-bass-drum assault and Trevor Strnad's demonic howl, all hallmarks of the Detroit quintet's sound. What's probably kept them relevant over six LPS (and more than a dozen different members), however, is the band's knack for making games of time signatures and their love of blending the influences of American metal bands like Morbid Angel with overseas icons of the genre like Carcass. They are touring behind a new live LP, and while the 10 tracks on Fool 'Em All are a masochistically enjoyable listen, songs like On Stirring Seas Of Salted Blood, Den of the Picquerist and Phantom Limb Masturbation are probably going to have the Orpheum awash in a swirling circle pit all night.
Clearwater Jazz Holiday (opening night)
With Earth, Wind and Fire; Buster Cooper Quartet, more
THURSDAY 4 p.m. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $15 and up. (727) 562-4800.
Things have really calmed down since the perennially cover charge-free Clearwater Jazz Holiday first started making patrons pay to get in. It's not like the long-running music festival is charging much anyway ($15 a day, and multi-day packages from $25-$50 are a steal, considering the talent), and if you're looking for the perfect way to ease into four days and evenings of music, then opening night is a must-do. Pinellas staple Buster Cooper and his quartet will open the festivities with an afternoon set before Earth, Wind and Fire reminisce on four decades of soul-powered funk, R&B, gospel and rock 'n' roll classics like September, Boogie Wonderland and Got To Get You Into My Life. The rest of the weekend's lineup (Spyro Gyra, Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) are part of set times that go late into the night, but the best part about Thursday is that it all ends early enough for you to be in bed by 11 p.m.
Festival Of Praise Tour
With Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin
THURSDAY 8 p.m. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. $32-$75. (813) 974-3004.
As part of iconic group Commissioned, Fred Hammond spent the '80s playing a huge part in the way gospel music would look and sound in the years to come. The 53-year-old broke out on his own in 1991 and experienced platinum success thanks to a 1998 release with another gospel outfit, Radical For Christ. He wouldn't experience major solo milestones until 2004's Somethin' About Love went gold, and while he racked up Stellar and Dove awards for his work as a singer, guitarist and producer, he finally hit the jackpot with a "Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album" Grammy for 2006's Free To Worship. He headlines this praise music mini-fest, but get there early to hear Donnie McClurkin use his silky smooth baritone to work through gospel classics like We Fall Down, I Call You Faithful and Great Is Your Mercy.
With Giraffage, Lemaitre
THURSDAY 10 p.m. Amphitheatre, 1609 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $31. (813) 873-8368.
Porter Robinson's live rig — complete with keyboards and massive LED light display — is much more organic than the setups of his contemporaries, and while his age (22) would suggest a less sage approach to electronic music, Porter's output is actually pushing the genre to its outermost edges. His long-awaited debut LP, Worlds, dropped in August and will most likely stand out as one of the bravest releases of the year. Lead single Sad Machine is a twinkling, strangely emotive cut simultaneously suitable for bedroom listening as well as the packed club atmosphere. Other songs are textural (Sea Of Voices), adorned by big M83-esque choruses (Hear The Bells, Divinity), and yes, ready to please fans looking for big ol' EDM drops (Lionhearted). It's unclear how much longer rooms like the Amphitheatre can hold Porter, so you might as well see him if you can actually get a ticket.
Stranger Fri. With Holly Miss Molly, Treehouse!, SOL Session, Currentz, Yamadeo. 7 p.m. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-3045.
Jeremy Gloff: Still Feel It Revisited 20th Anniversary Fri. 7:30 p.m. Florida Avenue Brewing, 4101 N Florida Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 347-2101.
Jeezy Fri. 8 p.m. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $45-$100. (727) 565-0550.
Trevor Hall Fri. With Cas Haley. 8 p.m. Ringside Café, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $17 and up. (727) 894-8465.
Come Back Alice Fri. 9 p.m. Ale and The Witch, 111 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 821-2533.
Rob Irie Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Amsterdam, 1049 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 623-4950.
Clayton Steele Fri. With Brian Busto. 10 p.m. Hyde Park Café, 1806 W Platt St., Tampa. $10. (813) 254-2233.
The Lox Sat. With Rival. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $15-$100. (813) 248-9500.
The Reis Brothers and Ella Jet Sat. With Kayla Engberg, Sean McQuiston. 6 p.m. Hideaway Café, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $5. (727) 644-7895.
Tiempo Libre Sat. 7:30 p.m. Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. $10-$40. (813) 229-7827.
Eyes Set to Kill Sat. With Scare Don't Fear, Like Monroe, The Cunningham Wake, Unsung Hero. State Theatre, 687 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 895-3045.
Richard Marx Sat. With 8 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $44.50-$184.50. (727) 791-7400.
Samantha Fish Sat. With Tribe. 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10-$13. (813) 971-0666.
Hello.Invade Sat. With Mushmind, Desert Fisherman, Eliot Mayo. 8 p.m. Tre Amici at the Bunker, 1907 N 19th St., Ybor City. Free. (813) 247-6964.
The Malah Sat. With Future Vintage, DJ Mega. 9 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St., Ybor City. $10-$13. (813) 241-8600.
Johnny Shaw and the Shakedown Sat. 9 p.m. Sacred Grounds, 4819 E Busch Blvd, Tampa. (813) 983-0837.
Classic Albums Live: The White Album Sun. 7 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $25-$50. (727) 791-7400.
Spiritual Rez Wed. 8 p.m. With Shrub, Dropin Pickup. 8 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $8. (813) 248-4969.
Sonata Arctica Wed. With Delain, Xandria, Seven Kingdoms, Archangel, Fathoms Pass. 7 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $17-$20. (813) 248-9500.
Whitechapel Thurs. With Upon a Burning Body, Glass Cloud. 6 p.m. Orpheum, 1915 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. $18-$40. (813) 248-9500.
-- Ray Roa, tbt*