This week in Tampa Bay area live music: John Mayer, Hip Hop Palooza, Pepper & more! 

Concerts, Sept. 5-11

Jason Aldean w/Jake Owen/Thomas Rhett If it wasn’t for that danged Blake Shelton … Jason Aldean as nominated for both Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2012 CMA Awards, but that no-hat-wearin’ slickie boy Shelton took both. Aldean, with more of a roughneck persona, incorporates plenty of rock, and even a bit of rap, into his sound, but his lyrics celebrate country livin’ to the core. The bill is deftly balanced out by the feathered-haired crossover act Jake Owen and fresh-faced Thomas Rhett, whose trucker hat is probably older than he is. (MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa)

FARMS w/Vacation Dad/Merlin Monroe/Moon Jelly/Alien House Brokenmold presents a night of idiosyncratic jams from the Midwest. FARMS and Merlin Monroe are two pseudonyms adopted by Ben Larson, a Minneapolis-bred multi-media artist and music maker; Merlin Monroe is ambient experimental electronica while in his other project, FARMS, he produces a noisy sort of post rock/psych pop with effected keys made to sound like guitars and shades of world percussion and resounding rhythms added by drummer Andy Todryk. Todryk is also the musician behind Vacation Dad, and he draws on worldbeat and sparkling chillwave electronics to build dancified odes sometimes marked by his eccentric spoken word-rhyme schemes or disembodied vocal utterances, and featuring titles like "Hemp Scented Body Lotion" and “Dada Trash Collage Remix.”(New World Brewery, Ybor City) –Leilani Polk

Future Vintage “Electro Funk Nasty” is how this Bay area trio has branded its sound, to which my first reaction is: Not all that nasty. The trio — keyboardist Matt Giancola, bassist Trevor McDaniel and drummer D Roc — brings to mind Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, if that ’70s ensemble had had all of today’s digital tools at their disposal. Future Vintage has a jam-band swerve and insistent groovesmanship that results in a sort of studious likeability. (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin)

The Wholetones/MRENC/Macrame Owls Rock the Park, a free concert series on the first Thursday of every month in downtown Tampa, brings The Wholetones up from Marco Island. The group has cobbled together an intriguing hybrid of roots-folk, bluegrass, Celtic and hard rock, with acoustic instrumentation that includes cello, banjo, guitar and harmonica. MRENC, Eric Collins, refuses to slot into a genre — it’s enough to leave an experienced music scribe searching for an apt description. Suffice to say it’s odd, compelling and original rock. Tampa’s Macrame Owls plays big-gesture indie rock that some time ago would probably have fallen under the emo umbrella. 6:30-9 p.m. (Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa)

Blue October The Austin-based alt-pop band’s seventh full-length, Sway, is a redemptive chronicle of leader Justin Furstenfeld’s recovery from substance abuse. It’s actually more about Furstenfeld’s new lease on hope and happiness than a blow-by-blow account of bottoming out and subsequent stint in rehab. The 13 intensely personal songs are still imbued with the kind of epic-meets-intimate resonance that has marked the group’s most fertile material, including medium-sized hits “Hate Me” and “Into the Ocean.” (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Come Back Alice w/Freddy’s Finest A little while back, I was tooling around downtown St. Pete when a local jam band scenetress with discerning taste who I’ve known for many years literally grabbed me and hauled me into the Emerald to see Come Back Alice. The Sarasota quartet has been building up an impressive fanbase here, based on the packed mass of gleeful people getting down to their sounds that night. Singer/guitarist Tony Tyler fronts the Sarasota quartet as joined by his petite flowing-haired partner-in-crime, Dani Jaye, on spirited fiddle and songbird co-vocals that are a lovely counterpart to Tyler’s lower tenor. Her stringwork adds an unexpected level of maturity to arrangements that leave the usual room for improvisation and tendency towards genre-hopping, from bouncy twangy folk rock to more prog-leaning rock forays to grooving hard bass-bumping funkadelia, all colored in shades of reggae, blues jazz. Rumor has it that Come Back Alice is preparing to re-locate to the Tampa Bay area; we’ll keep our fingers crossed. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) --Leilani Polk

Grant Peeples & the Peeples Republic w/Sarah Mac CD Release Party “It’s hard to start a revolution when your face is six feet from your television…” That quote banners across the top of Grant Peeples’ website, so it’s safe to say he’s a singer/songwriter with a purpose. The Tallahassee native mixes sociopolitical messages with folksy humor, most with heavy doses of twang. Peeples and his ensemble will be supported by the Sarah Mac Band, led by the blue-eyed soul and blues belting of their frontwoman. (Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg)

Zulu Wave w/Early Forms/Hussy/Dooms de Pop/Hovering Humanoids Formed in Tampa Bay in 2011, Zulu Wave has made some pretty impressive career progress, having already performed at the CBGB Festival and CMJ Music Marathon in New York. The band builds its hypnotic sound around droning guitar shear. Early Forms favors shards of guitar as well, but with a more garage-y rambunctiousness and well-defined melodies. Dooms de Pop makes a trek north from Broward County, complementing the guitar-heavy alt-rock bill. Tampa’s Hovering Humanoids’ sound is taut and nervous, full of abrupt, jagged instrumental twists and turns. This should be a worthwhile night showcasing newer rock talent held in an out-of-the-way gallery/performance space (a little south of Fifth Avenue S. between 24th and 28th Streets. (The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg)


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