This week in Tampa Bay area live music: The Helio Sequence, Kent Goolsby, Churchill, Southside Johnny & more 

Concerts, Jan. 24-30.

The Helio Sequence w/Shabazz Palaces
Drummer/keyboardist Benjamin Weikel and vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers took a four-year break between releasing 2008’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead and 2012 fifth album Negotiations, likely as much of this time spent recovering from the aftermath of a flooded studio/rehearsal space as it was writing new material. The Helio Sequence twosome eventually landed in new digs in an old industrial building and completely re-tooled their studio. Digital equipment was replaced with vintage and analog gear, which imbues Negotiations with a naturally warmer sound, while its sparse instrumentals and the spaces between melodies lend the songwriting of the Portland experimental alt rock duo a cooler, more airy timbre than previous efforts. CL Writer Scott Harrell called it “an accomplished, accessible and subtly engrossing listen,” and hopefully the duo’s live presentation will prove just as engaging. Warm up set by Shabazz Palaces, the alt hip-hop collective led by Ishmael Butler (aka Butterfly of Digable Planets). (State Theatre, St. Petersburg)--Leilani Polk

Sick/Sea It’s another charming sibling-led indie act! Formed a few years ago by Audrey and Cameron Scott, and rounded out by Miguel Morales, Sick/Sea crafts upbeat alterna-pop rock from the Deep South town of McAllen, Texas. Their 2011 EP, Oh Ship, has a jazzy grooving undertone and sunshine-y beach vibe complete with ukulele strums while last year’s Moral Compass finds the threesome delving into darker sonic waters as with angry ode “Parasite,” though the overall mood is kept light with bee-bopping melodies and Audrey’s girlish-saccharine lead vocals. Microgroove stays open late to welcome Sick/Sea for a free, all-ages performance that kicks off at 9 p.m. sharp. (Microgroove, Tampa) --LP

Mike Pinto A California singer-songwriter whose dulcet high-toned vocals add a rich and velvety R&B-pop note to a languid island rock sound laced heavily with roots reggae, upbeat ska and grooving Latin influences. (Local 662, St. Petersburg) --LP

Freelance Whales w/Hundred Waters After two years and many tours, baroque-lush synth pop outfit Freelance Whales delivered a sophomore album, Diluvia, described as a record about “the possible survival — or peril — of space-faring humans and other arguably fantastical scenarios,” and made up of feel-good odes like “Spitting Image,” its hooky racing melodies carrying boy-girl vocal harmonies and charming ooh-ooh backing choruses. Ethereal folk-tronic outfit Hundred Waters, from Gainesville, opens the Orlando date supporting a much buzzed-about self-titled LP. (The Social, Orlando) --LP

Barb Wire Dolls w/Little Jerks LA-by-way-of-Greece DIY punk trio Barb Wire Dolls drummed up enough funds on to record their 2012 debut, Slit, in Chicago over two days with legendary sound engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Iggy Pop, The Pixies). The result is a grungy first wave punk-influenced rock record as ring-led by fierce and feral frontwoman ‘Isis Queen.’ Video finds the bleached blonde force coiling and springing and thrashing and singing commanding, politically-charged lyrics to the crunchy power chord riffage of ‘Pyn Doll’ and battering-ram rhythms of ‘Krash Doll.’ (Fubar, St. Petersburg) --LP

Paul Van Dyk A Berlin-based trance, house and progressive electronic dance music DJ/producer of global renown who issued his sixth studio album, Evolution, in 2012. Its diversity of guests encompasses contemporary Christian singer Plumb in “I Don’t Deserve You,” a single that peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play charts. Paul van Dyk has earned the No. 1 ranking in DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 DJs” poll twice, a stat less than a handful of DJs can claim. (Amphitheatre, Ybor City) --LP

A Silent Film w/Carousel/Goodnight Neverland
Crafting an anthemic brand of synthy alt rock full of epic choruses and crescendos is A Silent Film, an Oxford, UK foursome that recorded sophomore LP Sand & Snow in El Paso, Texas, and has earned comparisons to Coldplay and The Killers. (Local 662, St. Petersburg) --LP

Roadkill Ghost Choir w/Coyotes/Bootleggers & Baptists A trio of acts rooted in folk and Amerciana but with distinctly original sonic atmospheres. Orlando area sextet Roadkill Ghost Choir builds richly-hued songs with rising organ, trumpet drama, pedal steel and banjo melodies, and haunting four-part vocal harmonies; LA-based Coyotes deliver alt country strut and dusty but bright-glowing folk rock; and Tampa’s two-man Bootleggers & Baptists round out the bill with their dark Southern grooves. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) --LP

Chris Webby
Direct from the Connecticut suburbs, indie rapper sWebby brings his white boy problems to St. Pete, spewing verses about smoking weed, having ADD, being broke and ‘90s nostalgia. His frat-boy party style of hip hop is perfect for playing drinking games like beer pong and new favorite, “Who did Webby sample?” (Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed,” “Fuckin Problems” by A$AP Rocky, and ATC’s “Around the World” are just a few that might make an appearance). Webby’s suburban struggles are relatable to any kid that ever paid with a coupon at a diner, watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or set a high score record on Super Mario Brothers. Video games influence his clever wordplay and fun beats while respected rap artists like Prodigy (Mobb Deep) and Method Man appear in his mixtapes, like 2012 latest, Bars on Me. Understanding the middleclass hustle, he offers this comp along most of his earlier releases for free download at (State Theatre, St. Petersburg) —Shannon Kelly

Gino Vannelli The Canadian singer-songwriter earned his first of two top 10 hits on the U.S. Hot 100 and AC charts with easy breezy 1978 single, “I Just Wanna Stop” (…“And tell you what I feel about you babe … I never wanna live without you babe… I just wanna stop, for your love”). (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) --LP

The Malah w/Sir Charles & DJ Craig Heneveld A night of lights-saturated jams as led by Denver-based three-piece The Malah, which builds electro-grooving soundscapes fusing funk, jazz, world beat, trance and breakbeat textures via a mix of live instrumentation (guitar, bass, percs, drums) and electronics (pedals, laptops, loops, synths and the like). (Crowbar, Ybor City) --LP

Jeff Mangum w/Tall Firs Jeff Mangum stands amid the shadows in the realm of indie rock despite, or perhaps because of, writing what some consider to be one of the greatest — if not the greatest —records of the 1990s and beyond. Neutral Milk Hotel released the surreal yet personal In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998, and disbanded shortly thereafter. Mangum, the band’s fountainhead, turned to reclusion. There were rumors of a nervous breakdown. He refused interviews. The press bandied about comparisons to J.D. Salinger, apt except that after a while, Mangum started making very sporadic appearances. A surge of shows featuring Jeff alone on stage with his guitar and his otherworldly voice have flowed through the last few years, with each new tour carrying more rumors of an end to Jeff’s live excursions. Will this year be Mangum’s last? Maybe, maybe not. I bet even Jeff himself can’t answer that question. Mangum hits Orlando this Saturday with Brooklyn’s Tall Firs, and tickets to the show are already sold out. Find a friend who has a spare. (Beacham Theatre, Orlando) —Shae Krispinsky

Suede The sultry-voiced AC pop, jazz and blues songstress who plays piano, guitar and trumpet in a repertoire of originals and standards entertains at this charity concert to benefit Metro Wellness and Community Centers, a nonprofit committed to providing HIV services, social networking, and other health and wellness programs that enhance the quality of life. Click here to read more about Suede. (Metro Wellness and Community Center, St. Petersburg) --LP

Marshall Crenshaw w/Bottle Rockets A Top 40 charter in the 1980s with upbeat power pop ode “Someday Someway” and roots pop purveyor whose Hollywood claim to fame was his role Buddy Holly in 1987 Richie Havens bio-drama, La Bamba. (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) --LP

Gaelic Storm The annual stop of the indie-folk rock group that incorporates Irish and Scottish tunes into their mix, and hits town with a ninth full-length, Chicken Boxer. (PHCC Performing Arts Center, New Port Richey)

Underoath Farewell Tour w/mewithoutyou/As Cities Burn/LetLive Seminal locally-bred Christian metalcore outfit Underoath announced plans to split after their current tour, issuing a career-spanning compilation in November, Anthology: 1999-2013, and selling out this final hometown show months in advance. In his farewell column to Underoath, CL’s Daniel Cura wrote: “All of a sudden there was this band made up of Christians not preaching to me or commanding me to be or do something. They were singing about real life, about personal flaws and owning up to those flaws. Their music was less of a sermon and more of a confession. Underoath made the teenager in me realize there are others out there actually struggling with their lives and their faith and they weren’t trying to hide it. They were real...” Click here to read it in full. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Meth Dad/Netherfriends/Godsnack/Noctambulo A rather intriguing indie music showcase co-hosted by The Venture Compound and THX Management. Leading the festivities is Meth Dad, experimental posi-electro pop piloted by the idiosyncratic vocals and ADD-crazy sonicscapes of force-of-nature party starter Tyler Walker, from Tennessee; for fans of Dan Deacon. Also of note: Chicago's one-man pedal-loop band Netherfriends, aka Shawn Rosenblatt, whose compositions have a funky, trip-hop soulful appeal, and live rig includes a sampler, loop pedals, a drum pad, keyboard, guitar, and self-made percussion box equipped with pots, metal poles, and wood-blocks. (The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg) --LP

Early Forms w/The Happiness Machine
Vinnie Cosentino (Palantine) presents the live debut of Early Forms, his alt rock project with vet locals Alastair St. Hill (Gentlemen Please) on bass and backing vocals, drummer Andy Stern (Feral Babies), and newer collaborator, guitarist/singer John Smith. The foursome’s Better Broken Houses LP kicks off with the surf-tinged “Compromised,” its echo-chamber vocal harmonies carrying through much of the album, which ranges from the trademark Cosentino reverb and fuzz we all know and love, to more prog-melodic drive and darker, tuneful post-rock meanderings. (The Hub, downtown Tampa) --LP

Pasadena / Offshore Riot Two reggae rock bands — the Bay area’s own pop-melodic Offshore Riot and Maryland-based hip hop and punk-kicking Pasadena — join forces for a night of brassy island vibes and grooves. (Jannus Live, St. Petersburg)

Ol’ Dirty Sundays w/DJ Red Alert Keep it funky fresh at Crowbar for this epic edition of Ol’ Dirty Sundays, which features a special guest known for helping launch the careers of artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, and Black Sheep — world famous hip hop pioneer DJ Red Alert. Also on tap: a birthday celebration in honor of the Bay area’s own DJ Sandman with DJ XCell aka Joey Krash, Deacon and ODS resident DJs, Casper and LeSage, holding down the decks. (Crowbar, Ybor City) —SK

The ContraVerse Another national artist hits the Fubar stage, this one alt hip hop duo The ContraVerse, from Atlanta, which hype a release that drops on Substance Theory Recordings in February. First single “Expect Results” has glitch-funky and groove-warped production with turntable adornments and guest rhymes by Blackalicious staple Gift of Gab. (Fubar, St. Petersburg) --LP

Kent Goolsby The full-time frontman of Tennessee alt country rock outfit The Only Sons, singer/writer/guitarist Kent Goolsby rolls solo on his current tour, playing more laid-back Americana and folk-oriented fare off a forthcoming album, Trophies of Youth, due out sometime this spring and featuring numbers like the rambling “Jesus Is My Landlord.” This Sunday afternoon performance follows his stop at Crum’s in St. Petersburg on Saturday night; both sets will likely also include cuts off Only Sons’ 2012 album, When the New Wears Off. (Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café, Tampa) --LP

The title track on Churchill’s 2012 Change EP and debut on A&M/Octone is a lush, compelling blend of wild west-tinged roots rock that starts slinky and picks up to a commanding swing with mandolin-driven melodies, percussive claps and texture, eerie rising calls and moaning backing harmonies, and the mesmerizing husk-rubbed drawl of keys player Bethany Kelly. She trades off lead vocals in Churchill with rhythm guitarist Tim Bruns, his strong tuneful tenor a nice counterpart to her sweeter higher tone and good for more pop-oriented alt country odes like “Ark in a Flood.” String maestro Mike Morter fleshes out the Denver quintet’s mix with picking, plucking and soloing on mandolin, banjo, guitar and ukulele, while bassist Tyler Rima and drummer Joe Richmond provide strong rhythm section support. (The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City) --LP

Town Mountain An Asheville bluegrass quintet — Phil Barker (mandolin, vocals), Robert Greer (lead vocals, guitar), Jesse Langlais (banjo, vocals), Bobby Britt (fiddle) and Jon Stickley (bass, guitar, vocals) — hits town behind 2012 fourth album Leave the Bottle, produced by Mike Bub (formerly of Del McCoury Band). (Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa) --LP

Mountain Holler/Jun Bustamante/Archaic Interest/Real Live Tigers Black Valley Collective, the most recent mixed-used space to open in the St. Pete Warehouse District, stages this Tuesday night live music shennany featuring three St. Pete acts — Mountain Holler (Black Valley founder/Best of the Bay MVP award-winner Mark Etherington), activist folk-blues songstress Jun Bustamante, and sinuous Doors-droning surf-garage three-piece Archaic Interest — along with one out-of-towner, Real Live Tigers, the experimental folk-blues project of low-voiced Arkansas musician Tony Presley. (Black Valley Collective, St. Petersburg) --LP

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
A comrade-in-arms of that other famous New Jersey singer-songwriter/powerhouse Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny brews up his own brand of R&B-influenced barroom rock n' roll with smoking backing band The Asbury Jukes. Though in his 60s now, Johnny’s raspy soulful vocals haven’t lost any bit of power or guts, and the guy can still out-sing just about anyone around. He’s also a clever and entertaining showman who can jump from cheesy, tongue-in-cheek between-song banter to impromptu barn-burners. While he's never achieved the notoriety or the status of Springsteen, Southside Johnny is a treasure of the Garden State no less adored by the Jersey faithful. His previous performance was a high octane, two-hour trek down the Jersey Turnpike that mixed killer covers from the songbooks of Tom Waits, Wilson Pickett and Sam Cooke with his own staple tunes, including "The Fever," a song both Johnny and Springsteen have recorded. Whether flailing around the stage, blowing furiously into a harmonica or bashing a tambourine, Southside Johnny Lyon is still tearing up stages as he's done for the better part of four decades, and I’m sure this show will be no exception. (Capitol Theatre, Clearwater) —Gabe Echazabal

Wretched w/Abiotic Charlotte, N.C.-based melodic death metal makers Wretched bring their devastating technicality and melodic tendencies to town in support of their third and latest Victory Records release, 2012’s Son of Perdition. (Crowbar, Ybor City)

BBQ Wednesday Acoustic Series w/John Nowicki You likely know Nowicki best for his loose-limbed, jazzy and prog-informed beatwork in Poetry n’ Lotion, or maybe you’ve seen his Morphine tribute project, Pale Orchestra. But he also steps out from behind the kit to do the solo thing, hollering aplenty, playing guitar and two-string slide bass, and throwing in a little of his Zappa wry humor. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) --LP

The Road to the Sphinx More than 20 unsigned bands from the Tampa Bay area and beyond with thrash, deathcore, tech-metal, melodic hardcore and other heavy tendencies gather for a label showcase/band-versus-band throwdown presided over by an A&R rep from DC indie label Sumerian Records (Asking Alexandria, Veil of Maya). At the very end of this multi-tier multi-region contest, there’s the possibility of a record deal with Sumerian, but this first part (spread over Wednesday and Thursday nights at Orpheum) determines the acts worthiest of regional time slots on the Summer Slaughter and All Stars tours. It’s also a chance for all the not-so-worthy ones to get some constructive criticism. See them fly or see them fall and find out what a real life biz rep has to say; judging is based on songwriting, originality, stage presence, crowd reaction and tightness of playing. (Orpheum, Ybor City) --LP

CLICK HERE to see a complete rundown of shows taking place this week and in the coming weeks.

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