The lyrics from the 1977 Joan Armatrading hit "Love and Affection" are powerful: "I am not in love/but I'm open to persuasion." And like her lyrics, so is her voice, and so is her ability to offer listeners a little ray of sunshine on a cloudy day or a warm sweater on a cold morning. As one of the few African-American women to break into the '70s folk scene, Armatrading took understated but intricate guitar work and stripped-down rock, reggae, blues, and R&B and stitched them into her signature warm vocals for a completely original tapestry of sound. While inspiring the likes of folkies like Tracy Chapman, Armatrading also managed to stay an underground fixture, releasing numerous albums throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s. She was recently brought into the mainstream when her song "Love and Affection" was featured on the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. But Armatrading's not selling out to the kids. She's way too cool for that. Armatrading performs at Carefree Theatre (2000 S. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach) at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $42.50. Call 561-833-7305. -- Audra Schroeder
Pass the Superjoint
Singing with Pantera must be a nice change of pace for Phil Anselmo these days. In the past several years, the singer has been involved in a heap of side projects. There was the Southern Isolation EP, a sort of goth-alt-country thing he did with his wife. Then there was the long string of metal bands he sang with -- Viking Crown, Necrophagia, and Christ Inversion. But none of Anselmo's side dishes have piqued more interest than Superjoint Ritual, which performs at Culture Room (3074 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) in the latest stop to promote the group's 2003 release, A Lethal Dose of American Hatred, which should be in stores by late July. With Hank Williams III (yes, that Hank Williams III) on bass and three guitarists cranking up the amps to 11, Superjoint Ritual differs from Anselmo's other metal groups by relying less on demonic imagery and more on sheer loudness. Bang your head till your eardrums bleed. Call 954-564-1074. -- Dan Sweeney
The King Is Alive
And crooning at a civic center near you
Chris MacDonald really digs Elvis. In fact, he's been an Elvis fan for as long as he can remember, having studied Elvis' music and mannerisms the way geologists study rocks. While it seems only natural that he got into the business of paying tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, it was by chance that this became his niche. After being discovered one Halloween by an entertainment group that specialized in celebrity look-alikes, MacDonald was asked to perform a lip-syncing show. But he so impressed them with his vocal skill that they asked him to sing live instead. And for the past 11 years, it's been his profession.
MacDonald's "Memories of Elvis" tribute show is meant as a sort of history lesson on Presley. The show spans the King's whole career, from his early days as a leather-clad rock 'n' roller to his later days as a gold-sequined Vegas act (excluding late '50s era "Private Presley," of course).
However, this isn't your average Vegas Elvis-in-a-jumpsuit imitation act, MacDonald notes. "It is a tribute, not like other shows where it's overdone like a comic book," he says. "I start out with the early '50s, with the standup bass, then into the movies with the black leather, '68 comeback, and then into the early '70s." Working directly for Elvis Presley Enterprises, MacDonald regularly performs at the Heartbreak Hotel in Graceland as well as in Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri. You can check him out every Wednesday at Martunie's, 10311 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs. Call 954-752-3227. Thank you. Thank you very much. -- Jason Budjinski
The Bronx in Florida
The Bronx is from Los Angeles. The band plays loud, fast songs that clock in at just under the three-minute mark, and members are known to wear mesh trucker caps. Seventies punk-rock throwback or L.A. pretty boys trying to slum it? Find out when the Bronx opens for Circle Jerks and GBH at the Factory, 2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Show starts at 7 p.m. and costs $18. Call 954-566-6331. -- Audra Schroeder
Bob Marley in West Palm
Put down your pipe and stick your dreads back under your cap. It's not that Bob Marley, somehow risen from the grave. Blessed with a natural sense of humor and a desire early in life to pursue standup as a career, this Marley brings his act to the Improv CityPlace (560 S. Rosemary Ave., CityPlace, West Palm Beach) for a four-day run. It's more than a name. Honest. The set opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, with more shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday; 7, 9, and 11 p.m. Saturday; and 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $12.72 to $18.02. Call 561-833-1812. -- Dan Sweeney