Just two weeks into 2011, the Tampa concert climate has picked up immensely with decent lineups for the next two months.
This weekend alone offers Cake, Cheap Girls, Obits, Of Montreal and The Queers at various locations.
The outlook is strong enough that concertgoers should scour the calendar themselves based on their favorite venues and genres.
The Oracle highlights five concerts throughout January and February to get students started.
When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
Where: Transitions Art Gallery
The nearest date is also the cheapest option, as the Lansing, Mich., trio Cheap Girls brings its punk-infused power-pop to Transitions Art Gallery for a $5 show.
The band’s sound recalls The Lemonheads merged with Dinosaur Jr.’s fuzzed-out guitar riffs in tracks like “Parking Lot” and “Ft. Lauderdale” – a song that should play especially well in Florida.
Bassist and singer Ian Graham matches the ’90s-alt appeal with self-deprecating lyrics that reference cigarettes, credit cards and personal stumbles.
From there, the band hits the road for a month-long tour with Against Me! and Fences, starting in Gainesville at Common Grounds on Saturday.
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Ritz Ybor
For students whose idea of a worthwhile concert amounts to what provides the largest spectacle, seeing Of Montreal’s live set for $20 would be hard to beat.
The genre-hopping Athens, Ga. group’s theatrical show has included intricate sets and props, explosions of white feathers and, perhaps most oddly, actress Susan Sarandon spanking men in pig costumes.
What Of Montreal has planned for this last date, before preparing for a revamped spring tour, remains to be seen, but it offers a rare show that could actually benefit from the Ritz Ybor’s lavish surroundings.
Rapper Kid Sister – best known for her single “Pro Nails” featuring Kanye West – will open.
Joan of Arc
When: Jan. 27, 9 p.m.
Where: New World Brewery
If these bands seem too formulaic and you’re looking for something more adventurous, this experimental Chicago collective stands out in the concert crowd.
The brainchild of Cap’n Jazz member Tim Kinsella, Joan of Arc mixes free-association lyrics with music that has alternated between sparse guitar and multi-layered noise throughout the band’s 12 studio albums.
Their newest record, “Oh Brother,” collects four 20-minute instrumental soundscapes featuring 14 musicians, so the concert should see at least one of these on the band’s set list.
However, more traditional tracks like “Shown and Told” may appear as well. The show is 21 and over and costs $10.
When: Feb. 24, 8 p.m.
Where: The Orpheum
For students who can enjoy both acoustic strumming and raucous punk, Richmond, Va.singer-songwriter Tim Barry should offer an ideal mixture of the two.
Formerly the frontman of Avail, Barry has toured solo since 2004, armed with nothing but a guitar and a well-worn voice that sings tales about traveling and the deaths of his close friends.
Equally worth catching is Barry’s banter between songs, which can include rambling stories and praise of freight trains.
Gainesville bluegrass trio Greenland is Melting and rowdy pop-punkers Grabass Charlestons will open, and the whole concert costs $10.
The Get Up Kids
When: Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
Where: State Theatre
Best known for their 1999 album “Something to Write Home About” and songs like “Holiday,” Kansas City second-wave emo outfit The Get Up Kids is making a stop next month at St. Petersburg’s State Theatre.
After breaking up in 2005, the band has since reunited – allowing another generation of fans to catch their poppy, melodic hooks in person.
The band will support last year’s EP “Simple Science” as well as “There Are Rules,” their first new album in seven years.
Opening music includes indie-pop acts Miniature Tigers and Brian Bonz, who have toured with Ben Folds and Kevin Devine, respectively.
For more show dates, check statetheatreconcerts.com, transitionsartgallery.com and newworldbrewery.net.