sound advice 

Nothing wears me out like the children of speed metal. I'm down with the mad guitars and the heavy beats, but the intentionally ugly, guttural vocals that sound EXACTLY the same from band to band are painful, exhausting, and, to be perfectly honest, flat-out stupid. I don't need help getting my anger on. I need help working it OUT. And so it's with some reluctance that I recommend New Orleans nü-metal innovators Soilent Green. Even if the vocals are monotonous and grating and the psychosexual lyrics are predictable and interesting only to the unlayable adolescent (in all of us?), the band's disregard for traditional song structures makes for an interesting listen. By mixing elements of swamp and grind, with submerged nods to New Orleans funeral jazz, Soilent Green is a unique and frequently surprising band in an otherwise cookie-cutter genre. They're at the Hi-Tone Cafe on Sunday, August 21st, with A Perfect Murder.

Another installment of WEVL's semi-annual Blues on the Bluff has arrived, and I can imagine nothing finer than hanging out on the grounds of the National Ornamental Metal Museum and watching such accomplished local blues artists as DuWayne Burnside, Kenny Brown, and Robert Belfour playing the low-down dirty blues. Okay, I can imagine one thing nicer - watching those same guys play in a refrigerated boxcar. It is August, you know? Blues on the Bluff goes down on Saturday, August 20th.

Now if you're into the polar opposite of screamo metal - gorgeous, gently psychedelic pop with sly, witty, and occasionally even meaningful lyrics - Shabadoo is at the Hi-Tone on Friday, August 19th. Like-minded popsters Walkie Talkie, who bring a laid-back attitude to their bossa-nova beats and Brian Wilsonish arrangements, round out a tuneful evening filled with melody, harmony, and other joyful noises. - Chris Davis

You threw on your parka, purchased some rubber boots, dug that scraggly umbrella out from under your bed, and then braved your way downtown to opening night at the Beale Street Music Festival this year. You had a feeling the weather would be like this. After all, it rains every year and the shows still go on.

Besides, what's a little mud when you get to see Bowling for Soup play that "1985" song you can't get out of your head? But alas, this year's opening-night performance turned out to be the day the music died - at least on the NBA Stage. When the storm knocked out the stage's power, Bowling for Soup was only about four songs into their set. They hadn't even played "1985" yet.

So now's your second chance to catch that overplayed pop-punk ditty, as well as "Girl All the Bad Guys Want," "Almost," and a number of other perky songs from their album A Hangover You Don't Deserve. They'll be playing at the New Daisy Theatre on Sunday, August 21st.

For a true taste of indie, head over to the Visible School on Huff N Puff Road in Lakeland on August 19th for the Indievisible: Music in Headphones CD-release party. The compilation is the first in a series of albums of music written, performed, and produced by the staff and students of the Visible School, a Christian-based music school. The school's house band, Red Letter Diary, will be performing songs from the CD, and some of the students featured on the album are scheduled to appear. - Bianca Phillips

I'm self-conscious about some things, but the music I like is not one of them. So I offer no apologies or ironic qualifiers in stating that inaugural American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson is the best thing to happen to commercial radio this year. I don't know how authentic Clarkson's Pat Benatar/Bonnie Tyler rock move is, and I do not care. Any alchemy of production, voice, and conceptual calculation that can produce something as perfect as Single of the Year candidate "Since U Been Gone" is all right by me. Clarkson plays the Mud Island Amphitheater Wednesday, August 24th. If you think commercial rock music needs to be more tasteful (and more dull), then be sure to show up early for openers The Graham Colton Band. - Chris Herrington

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