J.T. TOWNSEND FOUNDATION
J.T. Townsend loved competition. He played basketball at Episcopal, and was the Eagles' strong safety in football. It was in that role that J.T. suffered a spinal cord injury in 2004. He died last June. He’s remembered mostly for his smile and, more significantly, for his heart. The respect many Northeast Floridians had for J.T., notably pro golfer Fred Funk, inspired the young man to create the J.T. Townsend Foundation. The foundation continues its work to provide medically approved equipment to children and adults with disabilities. The Checkpoint Challenge, held a day after J.T.’s birthday, pushes competitors to solve clues and race to various Downtown destinations. Check-in at noon Feb. 8, race at 1:30 p.m. (rain or shine), post-race party with awards, music, food and beverages at 4 p.m. at The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown; registration $20 for individuals, $80 for teams, benefiting the foundation.
Dig up that old pizza-stained flannel shirt and skip the haircut: Grunge/indie rock trio Sebadoh is taking the Jack Rabbits stage. Early grunge figureheads of the late ’80s and early ’90s, Sebadoh dropped their eighth studio album, "Defend Yourself" in September. It's a return to form, featuring founder Lou Barlow’s earnest, sublime lyrics over minimalistic guitars and drumming that’s rough around the edges in all the right ways. 8 p.m. Feb. 9 at Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $12-$15.
OF MICE AND MEN
Metal-core kings Of Mice and Men bring venue-shuddering distortion to Northeast Florida. OMAM’s brand-new third album, Restoring Force is a departure from the songwriting of previous efforts, with a new producer at the helm. When it’s heavy, "Restoring Force" has a more direct, punchier sound. Standout single “You’re Not Alone” features huge, radio-friendly guitar riffs and uplifting choruses. Metal-core purists, fear not. The genre's meat-and-potatoes — machine-gun drumming, down-tuned guitars and yin-yang between clean chorus hooks and ardent, cookie-monster growling — are still here, and the recipe still has something to sink your teeth into. They’ve just stretched their skinny-jean-clad legs into pleasantly different territory. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Brewster’s Megaplex, Arlington, $22.50-$100.
Raised in the rough ’hoods of Compton, J Boog began showing interest in reggae at age 9 — an interest his Samoan family encouraged and nurtured. In 2006, J Boog relocated to Hawaii to further hone his craft. The result? Authentic island melodies paired with Boog’s exceptionally smooth voice. Though Boog has the street cred to write about fame, influence and overcoming struggle, just about all of his music follows themes of love and relationships. It’s a theme that works beautifully with his voice and choice in genre and doesn’t feel forced or repetitive. 8 p.m. Feb. 6 at Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $15 in advance.
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
It’s Music Director Fabio Mechetti’s final season, and eight young conductors are vying — at least unofficially — to take his place. We at Folio Weekly suggested a cage match but, surprisingly, the JSO went a different route. (That’s the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, not the cops; of course the cops would’ve been down to scrap.) Before Mechetti passes the baton, he’ll conduct some of his favorites, including Mozart’s comic opera "The Marriage of Figaro." The madness includes suspicion of infidelity, temptation for infidelity and infidelity itself, all wrapped up in humor. 8 p.m. Feb. 8, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown, $35-$95.
Every day, advertisements bombard us with reminders to recycle, eat organic and help polar bears. But do we really understand the importance of it all? The 2009 documentary "Tapped" spells it out with strong storytelling and vivid images, attacking the bottled water industry, examining its effects on the ocean, our health and our natural resources. Most important, the idea of selling bottled water is scrutinized: Should water be a brand-name commodity? Should we actually have to pay to drink clean water? Isn’t access to water a human right? A panel discussion after the film includes retired JEA official Bruce Doueck. 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Sun-Ray Cinema, Riverside, $9.
DUVAL HIP-HOP FEST
Flawda Water’s raw rhymes in “Duval” and the accompanying music video sparked plenty of buzz in, well, Duval. The Jacksonville rapper (pictured) leads a pack of more than 20 hip-hop acts shaking up two stages in Arlington at the third annual Duval Hip-Hop Fest. Other acts are Jerico, Yung Vizzo, Lo Key, Maniac and Dez Nado. Flawda Water performs in support of his 2013 release "New Florida." Doors 9 p.m. Feb. 8, Brewster’s Megaplex, Arlington, $10.