Sound Menu October 17 2007

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows


DAMO SUZUKI, SAN AGUSTIN Former vocalist for legendary Kraut-rock band Can, Damo Suzuki comes to Atlanta to perform with a cast of local musicians, including Chris Case (keyboard) as well as David Daniel (guitar), Andrew Burns (bass) and Brian Fielden (drums) — the latter three of whom make up the usually dormant drone-rock trio San Agustin. A few other players will join in as well. And since San Agustin will be in the house, they will perform as well. $10. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — Chad Radford

FINAL ATLANTA LAPTOP BATTLE 2007 The phrase laptop battle usually conjures up images of a dorm room, World of Warcraft and a high-speed LAN connection, but Lenny’s knows how to do these battles right: with loud music, alcohol and a sweet prize. Computer musicians went head-to-head in two previous elimination rounds, but only one will be crowned champion of this year’s Atlanta event. The winner takes off for Seattle to compete against the rest of the country. $5. 9 p.m. Lenny’s. 404-577-7721. — Jon Ross

MARY GAUTHIER There is no color in the artwork for either of folksinger Gauthier’s two most recent albums, a conscious artistic decision that reflects her bleak country-noir storytelling approach. Lucinda Williams comparisons are inevitable (they once shared a producer), but Gauthier’s music is starker and far less rocking, if just as intensely descriptive. She records for the Lost Highway label whose name invokes the withering dreams of her protagonists who, despite their best intentions, seem to be on an endless road to nowhere. Lynden and Zack Hexum open. $15-$17.50. 8 p.m. Five Spot. 404-223-1100. — Hal Horowitz


5TH ANNUAL JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE Wow, what a great idea! Get “most” of the local country/rockabilly/Americana bands together and do songs by Johnny Cash, then donate part of the proceeds to the American Diabetes Association in his memory. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Such a good cause and undoubtedly it will be a good show. I would hate to miss it. $10. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. — James Kelly

BILLY JOE SHAVER, ANDREW BLACK Shaver has two, count ‘em, two, new CDs out, one a collection of his unique gospel-type songs, and the other a 17-year-old live recording. He’s one of the best of the original Texas songwriter dudes, with a rapier wit and a feisty attitude. Just don’t piss off this honky-tonk hero. Andrew Black opens. $25. 9 p.m. Tavern on the Bridge. 9775 Medlock Bridge Road, Duluth. 770-232-1210. — JK

EARTHA KITT Pop-culture junkies know her as Catwoman from “Batman” in the ’60s, but as Ms. Kitt celebrates 80 years of life, her impressive list of accomplishments should make today’s crop of ego-driven slackers give up and get out of the way. She’s appeared in films since the ’40s, on record and TV since the ’50s and her live show at New York’s Café Carlyle is a popular attraction and well-crafted masterpiece. Tonight the outspoken performer takes over Symphony Hall with her saucy collection of hits, show tunes, standards and anecdotes, all delivered with inimitable sass and vigor. $25-$58. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. — Lee Valentine Smith

FILM SCHOOL Sometimes being a rock group is akin to repaving a well-trodden road. Film School, which is based in San Francisco, plays dreamy, guitar-heavy shoe-gaze rock, a form that peaked in the early ’90s and has been paid homage by ambitious musicians ever since. While not the most original band ever, Film School makes pretty and memorable songs, as evinced by Hideout, its recently released second album. Locals Eulogies and Parade support. $8. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — Mosi Reeves

GOGOL BORDELLO Much more than mere music, this Brooklyn nine-piece puts on a performance. It’s led by colorful Ukranian ex-pat Eugene Hütz, whose breathless comic capering was born for the spotlight. It constructs an engaging mishmash of vibrant gypsy rhythms, ethnic folk music and a punk spirit reminiscent of the Pogues with an Eastern European lilt. In Hütz, it has the perfect leader — as indelible as Dicken’s Fagan and energetic as Richard Simmons. The pair of costume-changing dancing girls are another element in an irrepressible spectacle that defies you to suppress a smile. $17. 8 p.m. Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. 404-233-7699. — Chris Parker

THE ROCKET SUMMER, THE ACADEMY IS ... Emotional confusion drips from pop singer Bryce Avary’s voice, an affectation highlighted in the Rocket Summer’s songs. Don’t be confused by the band’s name; like solo-band projects before him, Avary is the driving, and only, force behind the band. MtvU darling The Academy Is... gives Avary the opening slot, a fitting juxtaposition to the band’s layered indie rock. $20. 7:30 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. — JR


GERI ALLEN With “For the Healing of the Nations,” a two-movement suite dedicated to the survivors and the victims of Sept. 11, jazz pianist Allen joins the ranks of composer John Adams and a slew of pop singers as artists who use music to overcome tragedy. A barrage of musicians join Allen, who is performing her work for the first time since its 2006 premiere. $39-$65. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts, Georgia State University. 404-413-9849. — JR

INGRID MICHAELSON, MATT NATHANSON, MELEE You’ve probably heard Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” in those darn Old Navy ads. That exposure, along with a high-profile placement on the recently released “Gray’s Anatomy” soundtrack album, has certainly helped her indie release Girls and Boys rise on several national charts. Her quietly intense live show is also worthy of the current blitz of interest. Gentle singer/songwriter Nathanson headlines with songs from his latest, Some Mad Hope. Melee opens. $15. 9 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. — LVS

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT It hasn’t taken long for ex-Drive-By Trucker Isbell to graduate from playing clubs to small theaters supporting his terrific debut of a few months back. Less guitar-centric but more soulful than his old band, he’s tapped into a Southern-rock zeitgeist that’s timeless yet rooted in the region’s deep R&B lineage. He shares the bill with fellow Athens buddies, indie rockers the Whigs, who will debut material from their long-awaited sophomore effort on Dave Matthews’ label. Atlanta’s up-and-coming Trances Arc also appears. $15. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. — HH

ORCHESTER DER KLANGVERWALTUNG MÜNCHEN Alternatively known as “Bavarian Philharmonic” (more appealing than the literal translation “Orchestra of the Sound Administration Munich,” though “KlangVerwaltung” does sound more Euro-crunk), the OKVM draws its players from a handful of top German orchestras. Enoch zu Guttenberg leads the program of classics from “TheVIE” (aka Vienna, Austria): “Overture to Don Giovanni” by Mozart, the “Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor)” by Beethoven — featuring pianist Orion Weiss as soloist — and the “Symphony No. 9 (Great)” of Franz Schubert. Student discount tix available. $30-$40. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Tech. 404-894-9600. — Mark Gresham

VIC CHESNUTT The gifted Athens songwriter says filmmaker Jem Cohen (Benjamin Smoke, Instrument) hated his last couple records, and, being a friend, wanted to remedy the situation. Mission accomplished. Chesnutt’s 11th album, North Star Deserter, has to stand among his best. Overseen by amateur producer Cohen and backed by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, members of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Godspeed! You Black Emperor, it’s a triumph from songs to accompaniment. The graceful, textured atmospheres are ideally suited to the tone of this wonderful, somewhat philosophical album. $12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CP


ATLANTA CHAMBER PLAYERS The musical centerpiece is a reprise of the ACP’s 2004 commission, “Songs America Loves to Sing” by John Harbison, more than coincidentally the title work of the group’s most recent CD from last spring. Oboist Elizabeth Koch makes her first ACP appearance in the “Quartet for Oboe & Strings” by W.A. Mozart, and the program concludes with the luminously sensual “Piano Quartet in C Minor” by Gabriel Fauré. Student discounts available. $25. 3 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200. — MG

HOLLY GOLIGHTLY AND THE BROKEOFFS, GENTLEMAN JESSE AND HIS MEN From the turbulent, Headcoated world of Billy Childish to various projects and performances with Mudhoney, the Greenhornes, the White Stripes and the Woggles, among others, the vivacious Golightly goes boldly to the outer edges of lopsided pop. Her massive collection of releases is currently topped by the fairly recent You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying, a breezy batch of her typically skewed missives featuring her friend and frequent collaborator Lawyer Dave and associates as the Brokeoffs. Jesse and his blokes will open with a quick and quite rockin’ lot of brittle confections. $10. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — LVS

MAGIK MARKERS, SUITCASES, SEVENTH RING OF SATURN Magik Markers may have established a reputation of a fiery and sexually charged merger of noise, hardcore and feedback, but its latest release, Boss (Ecstatic Peace!) bears the mark of maturity. The Sonic Youth influence is undeniable and refreshing in its push toward a more considered balance of chaos and coherency. Local noise-act suitcases and psych rockers Seventh Ring of Saturn open. $7. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. — CR

RICHARD STOLTZMAN Currently the world’s most celebrated classical clarinetist, Stoltzman is joined by violinist Cecylia Arzewski, cellist Christopher Rex, pianist Laura Gordy, and the Vega String Quartet for performances of “Quartet for the End of Time” by Olivier Messiaen, written while the composer was a prisoner of war in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, and W.A. Mozart’s exceptionally popular “Clarinet Quintet.” The concert is part of Stoltzman’s six-day residence at Emory from Oct. 17-22. Senior/student discounts available. $20. 4 p.m. Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center. 404-727-5050. — MG


BORIS, DAMON & NAOMI W/ MICHIO KURIHARA, NOOT D’ NOOT Boris is a Japanese cousin to American art-metal luminaries Sunn O))), Melvins, Thrones, Pelican and so many others. Tonight’s show will be a long, extended musical extravaganza as Boris joins forces with dreamy indie-pop darlings Damon & Naomi, and Kurihara of Ghost. Local polyfunk yuksters Noot d’ Noot open with a set of Africanized electro beats. $12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CR

OVER THE RHINE She sings, he plays (mostly piano, some guitar), and together the married couple of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist construct a cabaret, torch-folk jazz that is as unique as it is compelling. Fifteen years and still working under the popular radar, every release threatens to push them into a wider spotlight, especially with the recognition enjoyed by Norah Jones and the Dresden Dolls, both of whom work somewhat similar territory. Edgy and intimate, Eddie’s is the perfect environment to best absorb OTR’s poetic lyrics, subtle dynamics and Bergquist’s sumptuous, tear-stained voice. Rosie Thomas opens. $20-$23. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — HH


PO’ GIRL Those young folks, they love to play that old-time music, but Po’ Girl’s acoustic sound is quite unique. It is puzzling how they seem to mix so many styles — jazz, blues, folk and a little bluegrass. It can be a bit overwrought in large doses, but these gals are having a contagiously good time. $12. 8 p.m. The Five Spot. 404-223-1100. — JK

GEORGIE JAMES Punk musicians don’t die ... they just turn into folk singers. John Davis, former drummer for beloved Dischord Records band Q & Not U, hasn’t exactly neutered himself with Georgie James, his new band with Laura Burhenn. But Places, their second album for Saddle Creek, is softer and more melodic than the angular Q & Not U was; it’s full of jangling songs, not angular dance-punk workouts. Fellow D.C. export Le Loup and Tallahassee, Fla.’s Look Mexico open. $8. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. — MR


JENNIFER O’CONNOR, DARREN JESSE One-time Atlanta undergrad O’Connor (of local ’90s rockers Violet) has a brash, understated vocal sneer reminiscent of early Liz Phair, and nicely captured in her track, “Ready to Go,” in which she dully offers, “I’m ready for pain, if you want to shame me, it’s a pretty easy game.” The forthright lyrics and unaffected style of her first two releases earned her a deal with Phair’s old label, Matador. Opener Darren Jesse once drummed for Ben Folds, and now forges dreamy, folk-pop brilliance with his band Hotel Lights. $5. 7 p.m. The Melting Point, Athens. 706-254-6909. — CP


TOOTS & THE MAYTALS Reggae doesn’t get any more roots than the music of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert. He was there from the beginning, predating even Bob Marley’s earliest sides, with an explosive blend of ska, reggae and R&B that remains riveting. Hibbert’s raw vocals are gripping even if his slick new guest-star-studded albums aren’t as intoxicating as the self-descriptive anthem “Reggae Got Soul” and the immortal “Pressure Drop.” Do the “reggay” with one of the undisputed living legends of the genre. $22.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. — HH

Bands/performers/venues wishing to be included in Sound Menu’s noted-acts boxes may send recordings, press material and schedules two weeks in advance to Creative Loafing c/o Rodney Carmichael, 384 Northyards Blvd., Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30313, or e-mail information to: To be included in the listings only, e-mail venue and band schedules by Friday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Thursday) to