Concert picks

By Julie Garisto
Published November 30, 2007

Nanci Griffith

FRIDAY 8 p.m. Jannus Landing, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. $25, $30. (727) 895-3045.

Nothing fills the air of a cool St. Pete autumn night quite like the delicate and majestic vocals of Ms. Griffith. The princess of "folkabilly" began her career in the '80s and has had hits on Billboard's country and pop charts. She tours in support of her 2006 CD, Ruby's Torch.

Mouse Fire CD release party

With the Dark Romantics; With Hatchet, Pike and Gun; and Brer

FRIDAY Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St.,Ybor City. 18 and older admitted. $7. (813) 241-8600.

Who would have ever thought to relate hot trendy bands with Polk County? Lakeland's Mouse Fire, pictured, celebrates the availability of its CD, Wooden Teeth. The tunes should appeal to indie music lovers weary of aloof and slack-jawed affectations. Joey Bruce's vocals sound earnest and slightly breathy, a delivery that wouldn't be out of place in the late '70s and early '80s. The band's difficult-to-define sound has dance rhythms, Beatles influences and traces of recent bands like No Knife and the Dismemberment Plan. The Dark Romantics, also from Polk County, sounds like its name but not in a tacky Goth way. If you enjoy old alterna-pop bands like the Cure and Bauhaus as well as modern indie pop, you'll dig 'em, for sure. Fort Walton Beach trio With Hatchet, Pike and Gun is a bit heavier and instrumentally frenetic than the Polk headliners. Tampa's Brer is way on the other end of the spectrum, performing accessible and pretty folk pop.

Florida Ska Fest

Featuring Magadog, Skif Dank, Rude Squad, The Cohorts, The Duppies, The Sweet Kings, The Pants!, Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and SoulShaker DJs

SATURDAY 5 p.m. Crowbar, 1812 N 17th St.,Ybor City. All ages. $10. (813) 241-8600.

Ska is a genre of music that evokes strong feelings of love or hate among contemporary music listeners. One thing's for sure, it's not going away, and, if anything, it's making another comeback into the fore of underground pop. Those who wish to indoctrinate themselves into ska's Jamaican-inspired rocksteady beats, or give it another whirl, should sample from this buffet of Florida bands. From longtime, nationally recognized Tampa band Magadog to Gainesville's the Duppies and Daytona's Skif Dank, you get a full range of youth and experience. Orlando's Sweet Kings sports a little bit of old-fashioned first-wave flavor, and St. Pete's Johnny Cakes shows off a distinctively gruff vocal reminiscent of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones - and some pleasant steel drums. Soulshaker DJs Carlos Velez and Ed Lowery, both of Magadog, share their sweet stash of vintage Stax/Motown R&B/Northern Soul rarities.


With Insect Joy, Daily Void and Antique Curtains

SATURDAY 9 p.m. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $5. (813) 248-4969.

A night of ear-bending, brain-twisting rock that's more listenable than you might think. The headliner is an all-star cast of Tampa-St. Pete arty-alternative scene favorites, such as Vacation Bible School, Home and IMA, performing dynamic experimental rock. Insect Joy is a bizarro pop concoction by Dumbwaiters' Brian Repetto and James Bess. Repetto says Chicago's Daily Void is an "art punk/noise flavor that's definitely post-punk-inspired" and Antique Curtains is "a cross between the DIY stylings of Swell Maps meets the surf aura of the Ventures - or something in that realm." Thanks, Brian.

Suncoast Blues Society Holiday Show

Featuring Larry Garner and Julie Black

SATURDAY 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $10, $13. (813) 971-0666.

Garner, from Baton Rouge, has been regarded as one of contemporary blues' finest. He's got a soulful voice that at times recalls Otis Redding, and his backup players infuse jazz and funk. Black is a local songstress with a gutsy, expressive demeanor. The two co-headline a holiday party with contests and prizes galore, including a toy drive that benefits the Spring and a super-cool and unique Secret Santa CD exchange.

Tracy Rice

With Lorna Bracewell and Audrey Lee Johnson

SATURDAY 8 p.m. Pro Star Recording, 3220 28th St. N, St. Petersburg. $15. (727) 526-0446.

Bask in some mighty feminine wiles. Canadian singer Rice has roots in Barbados. She has been praised for her ability to dance the line between rock and country. Fans of Melissa Etheridge will especially like her stuff. Pro Star hall-of-famer Bracewell earned a 2007 Best of the Bay award for Best Contemporary Protest Song (Flowers on the Chains). She's admired for her throaty singing and tough guitar style. Orlando-based singer-songwriter Johnson belts out strong words of gentle poetry.

Also playing

Potato Gun Fri. 10 p.m. Emerald Bar, 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $3. (727) 898-6054.

Tribal Style Fri. 9 p.m. Yeoman's Road Pub, Davis Islands, Tampa. Free. (813) 251-2748.

Chris McCarty Band Fri. With Don Miggs 8 p.m. Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa. $7, $10. (813) 971-0666.

Charlie Daniels Band Sat. With Mark Chesnutt, Chris Cagle, Josh Gracin and Keith Anderson. Ford Amphitheatre, Florida State Fairgrounds, Interstate 4 at U.S. 301, Tampa. $10-$60. (813) 740-2446.

Kelly Clarkson SOLD OUT Sat. With Jon McLaughlin. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $41.50. (727) 791-7400.

Jon Bonamassa Sun. 7:30 p.m. Ferguson Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. $25.50, $39.50. (813) 229-STAR.

Send Out Scuds Sun. With Jay Tea, 69 Fingers, Victims of Circumstance, Sellouts of Ska and CIO 3 p.m. Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa. $7. (813) 382-3477.

Dave Koz Mon. With Kimberly Locke, Jonathan Butler and Wayman Tisdale. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$80. (727) 791-7400.

Tampa Bay Beat Battle Tue. 9 p.m. With judges DJ Knuckles, Deacon and Slick Worthington. $50 entry. Minimum of eight-beat catalog. Sign up at Music Matrix Recording Studio, 11100 Park Village Plaza 66th St., Largo. Event at Smart Alex, 8405 N Himes Ave., Tampa. (813) 447-4702.

Johnny Rawls Tue. 8 p.m. $8 Skipper's Smokehouse, Tampa. $7, $10. (813) 971-0666.

Blind Melon Thur. 8 p.m. $15 State Theatre, St. Petersburg, statetheatreconcerts.com .