The Round Up Tour: Of all genres, country music is way up there when it comes to needing an update. But as it always does, it's been happening in the underground. This limited tour is a great example and sampler of the queer country movement that's been building long-overdue momentum. Leading this historical charge is pioneering gay country band Lavender Country, whose 1973 debut is widely considered country music's first proudly out album.
The touring bill is further stocked with Paisley Fields, Austin Lucas, Mali Obomsawin, Lizzie No and Jett Holden. Local representation will include Jordan Schneider and the surprising reunion of Double First Cousins, one of the most notable Orlando roots bands of the early 2000s.
It'll be an impressive parade that shows there's so much more to queer country than just Lil Nas X. (9 p.m. Friday, March 25, Will's Pub, $15)
Ward Davis: While it's true that the modern Nashville establishment is a factory of lowest-common-denominator commercial country, not all of its products are soulless pap. Ward Davis rose first as a songwriter, penning songs recorded by artists like Trace Adkins, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, and Cody Jinks. Since emerging on his own, though, he's been serving a classic country sound that walks the line between tradition and edge. (6 p.m. Saturday, March 26, The Social, $20)
Punk for a Purpose: Organizing for a worthy cause is always noble, but doing it with good bands is righteous. That's exactly what Orlando promoter Montgomery Drive is doing here for the Florida chapter of NOW (the National Organization for Women).
The benefit event is a full-on rager with a strong five-band lineup featuring heaviness of all sorts from Jump Ramp, Weak, Zapachi, Dearest and Memento. There'll also be a big raffle loaded with goodies from local independent vendors. Considering the backward social slide that's beginning to happen right now from the Mount Olympus of our SCOTUS, we're already coming from behind. So support causes like these wherever possible. (8 p.m. Saturday, March 27, Will's Pub, $10)
Portrayal of Guilt, World Peace, Royal Graves, Gillian Carter: This studded lineup is a cross-section of heavy music that's high quality and thrillingly diverse. With a sound that's at once hard, grinding and screaming, Austin's Portrayal of Guilt are as varied as they are extreme. The powerviolence punch of Oakland's World Peace is so furiously concentrated that it seldom exceeds the 30-second mark on any given song.
And with post-hardcore stars Gillian Carter and metalgaze contenders Royal Graves, local support will be legit. (8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Will's Pub, $15)