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Tha Alkaholiks & Casual w/Cisum Tomorrow/Wes Nyle A few esteemed West Coast hip-hop acts are joined by two fresh game players as part of the “Clash of the Titans” tour. The Alkaholiks from LA (Tash, J-Ro and E-Swift) enjoyed their heyday during hip-hop’s second Golden Era and hit the rap charts with singles like “Make Room” (off 1993 debut, 21 & Over) and “Hip-Hop Drunkies.” Oakland-based Casual is the most renowned member of the Hieroglyphics alt hip-hop crew, likely because he’s done the most without it; currently he backs 2012’s Respect Game or Expect Flames, produced by J. Rawls. Newer-comers Cisum Tomorrow and Wes Nyle open. (Orpheum, Ybor City)—LP
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
Imagine Dragons w/Paper Route/The Neighbourhood The Las Vegas rock group featuring a few bonafide Mormon members — including frontman Dan Reynolds — has experienced an incredible ascension for a band so relatively new to the biz; likely it’s the poignant sincerity imbued in their lyrics paired with compelling hooks and strong, finely-textured instrumentals. Imagine Dragons grabbed ears with the first few singles off 2012 debut full-length Night Visions, Reynolds wailing expressively in the mandolin-plucked, percussive clap-and-stomp ode “It’s Time,” about staying true to who you are, and delivering forceful demands in the harder-hitting crush of “Radioactive” with its dubstep-evocative synths and message of self-empowerment. Both tracks have spent many weeks on the Billboard Top 40 charts — 44 for the former, 54 and counting for the latter, which was certified 5x platinum and stands as the third most-downloaded song in the U.S. this year. Support on the current tour by Nashville’s piano-driven indie rockers Paper Route (“Better Life”) and grooving Cali-based alt rock outfit The Neighbourhood (“Sweater Weather”). (USF Sun Dome, Tampa)—LP
Colin Hay The frontman for the Australian New Wave band Men at Work is now 60 and working the small-venue circuit on the strength of his solo material. In the early ’80s, Men at Work scored the massive hits “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under” (which immortalized the Vegemite sandwich; funny the vile-tasting stuff never took off Stateside). The band won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1983, but to these ears they were little more than a poor man’s rip-off of The Police. (Largo Cultural Center, Largo) —ES
Ra Ra Riot w/Royal Bangs Rambunctious New York outfit Ra Ra Riot hits town promoting 2013 third full-length Beta Love, which marks their first effort since the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn. Her absence likely prompted the stylistic shift away from their earlier chamber tendencies and more towards neon-hued synth pop with meditative, experimental moments and lyrics inspired by futuristic sources, among them, author/keyboard inventor Ray Kurzweil and writer William Gibson. Violin mistress Rebecca Zeller is still adding sophisticated string texture to the infectious keyboards-heavy mix, and frontman Wes Miles continues to wildly yelp and tunefully croon all over it. (Orpheum, Ybor City)—LP
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
The People’s Blues of Richmond w/The Woolly Bushmen PBR, an acronym this band is quite okay with, mixes garage rock, blues and psychedelia — with plenty of neo-hippie vibrations, man. The pop underground has always made room for scruffy, quirky, irreverent goofs; these guys — they’re from Richmond, Va., by the way — call to mind The Fugs, Canned Heat and the like. There’s some good playing buried amid the shenanigans. Orlando’s Woolly Bushmen play ’60s-inspired slop-rock, Farfisa organ and all. It should be mandatory that they cover “Woolly Bully.” (New World Brewery, Ybor City) —ES
STRFKR Another hip indie band skips Tampa Bay in favor of Orlando — Portland-based Polyvinyl-repped synth pop outfit STRFKR, backing fourth full-length Miracle Mile. (The Social, Orlando)—LP
Gramatik Offering up a refreshingly welcome shift away from the dubstep-clogged waves of EDM and into beat-driven groove-saturated low-tempo genre-jumping is Slovenian-born producer and rising star of Pretty Lights Music label Gramtik, his foundation mixing house, breakbeat, techno, electro and drum ’n’ bass aesthetics, and incorporating the cherry-picked sounds of soul, blues, jazz, funk and R&B — sample splices, guests vocalists and instrumental cuts included. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City)—LP
CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.
Where were you sitting? Your review is a bit negative sounding to say the least…
Love that album. It still sounds great and according to this outstanding review, Huey also…
Excellent review, sorry I missed the concert.
I was fortunate to see Bonnie Raitt. Her stage presence was heart warming and her…