Sound Menu November 28 2007

CL's picks for the week's best shows


ALASDAIR ROBERTS, CHARALAMBIDES, MAGIC APRON Roberts is a Scottish songwriter who channels the storytelling M.O. of his motherland into the desolation of indie Americana. Roberts is an artistic cousin to Will Oldham, Simon Joyner and Smog, but his distinctively Scottish accent, applied to haunting songcraft, places him in a league of his own. Charlambides plays a slow and ethereal morphine-folk ambience. Like-minded local act Magic Apron opens. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — Chad Radford

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Roberto Minczuk guest conducts Sergei Rachmaninoff's ever-popular "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," featuring Cuban-born pianist Horacio Gutierrez as soloist. The prelude to Richard Wagner's heroic final opera, "Parsifal," includes the rich, idiomatic harmonic sound painting "Lontano" ("Far away") by Hungarian composer György Ligeti (a musical parallel to the "polyphonic paintings" of Paul Klee), and selections from Sergei Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo and Juliet." Program repeats Fri., Nov. 30, and Sat., Dec. 1. $16-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. — Mark Gresham

BEN LEE He chafed somewhat under the yoke of youth wunderkind after the left-field success of his high school band Noise Addict and their Evan Dando paean, "I Wish I Were Him." Now Lee knows what it's like to be a songwriter with a great past and a somewhat indifferent present. Like Dando, Lee has a vulnerable singer/songwriter style without the spice of a bad-boy drug addiction. At his best the fey boy next door gives way to gutsy, devil-may-care daring and honesty. $15. 7 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. www.theloftatl.com. — Chris Parker

JUCIFER, ATTRACTIVE EIGHTIES WOMEN, ZOROASTER, SCARS The nomadic Jucifer headlines tonight's long, low rumble. The formerly Athens-based duo features Amber's shockingly sensual, metallic grind, aided by Ed's sweat-soaked pummel — making an amp-rattling racket that will thunder in and around the assembled followers, and out to the band's well-worn RV. Be sure to check out their cool, low-fi live DVD at the merch table after the show. Attractive Eighties Women, Zoroaster and Scars are also scheduled to perform. $10. 9 p.m. Lenny's Bar. www.lennysbar.com. — Lee Valentine Smith


ATLANTA'S BURNING: DEERHUNTER, SELMANAIRES, SNOWDEN, BLACK LIPS Stomp and Stammer, the best music publication in the Southeast if not the entire US o' A, is a magazine written by — and for — people who truly love real music. (That was a totally unsolicited testimonial, by the way.) Tonight, as the always enjoyable barometer of hipness and humor celebrates its 11th anniversary, editor (and yes, former CL music critic, back in the good old days) Jeff Clark will preside over an impressive slate of the best-known batch of Atlanta's current big-deal indie bands (no Atlantis asswipes here, friends) for one big show. A veritable Caravan Of Stars or a Whitman's Sampler of independent delights, all with delicious caramel filling, in one evening. Go, see and be seen. $15. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. www.variety-playhouse.com. — LVS

BYRD'S AUTO PARTS Byrd is a former Atlantan who has made a mark in Music City as both a B-Bender-slingin' sideman and with his incredible self-titled CD. This is real country music, folks. Get there early for a great deal on the tasty beer, and stick around to refill that glass with teardrops, and the tip jar with some folding money. $6 for beer. 6 p.m. Atlanta Brewing Company. 404-355-5558. www.atlantabrewing.com. — James Kelly

INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS, WELL STRUNG One listen to the 'Dusters and you will understand why they won three International Bluegrass Music Association awards on the strength of their debut album. It is hard to identify any other bluegrass band with so much individual talent that meshes into such a cohesive unit. These guys are gonna be big, mark my words. $9. 8 p.m. Red Light Café. 404-874-7828. www.redlightcafe.com. — JK

KEVIN DUNN, VIETNAM, KING RAT In the late '70s and early '80s Kevin Dunn was an Atlanta music fixture, playing in the then much-lauded post-punk/new-wave acts the Fans and later fronting his own group, the Regiment of Women. After a decades-long hiatus he returns to the stage with his new group, Common Article III. Fellow bastions of '80s Atlanta art rock Vietnam also perform. King Rat opens. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. — CR

THE LEE BOYS Robert Randolph may have taken the sanctified sacred-steel sound to crossover recognition that only playing with Eric Clapton can provide, but the Lee Boys, who work similar territory, are just as exciting, fiery and vital. Live, the funk, R&B and gospel grenade is an explosive reminder that religious music can be an emotionally fulfilling and physically uplifting experience. Even the club's miniscule Atlanta Room stage and limited sound system can't contain music this exuberant and roof-raising. $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — Hal Horowitz

STACY EPPS Since returning to her native Atlanta from Los Angeles this fall, true-school MC and vocalist Stacy Epps has been on her grind, performing spot dates around the city and finishing an album, The Awaking, for release next spring. Tonight, she'll headline a showcase featuring ATL hip-hop prospects Mojo Swagger, the Dreamer (who just released a self-titled album) and Gripplyaz. $10. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — Mosi Reeves


FRINGE ATLANTA Promising a classical concert experience geared to the MTV generation, this Fringe Atlanta performance features NYC-based harpist Bridget Kibbey and flutist Julietta Curenton (together aka Duo L'Esperance), violinist and Fringe music director Fia Durrett, with Atlanta DJ "Little Jen" (also a closet composer/trombonist) spinning ambient electronica in between the live segments, plus docu-video interludes of the performers and a short film. Student discount tix available. $12. 8 p.m. Church of the Redeemer (PCA-Dunwoody). 877-725-8849. www.fringeatlanta.org. — MG

HANGAR 18, GLUE Sometimes Hangar 18 issues po-faced battle raps atypical of the indie-rap scene; other times it pours out drunken club raps to get the party sparked. The New York duo isn't easily pigeonholed, and its new album, Sweep the Leg, is stylistically all over the place. Opening act Glue, a group molded in the Atmosphere tradition, makes personal, diarylike songs. The Midwest band continues to tour behind last year's Catch as Catch Can. $8. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — MR

JANELLE MONÁE Next week, Janelle Monáe commemorates her birthday party with a concert at Lenny's Bar, and she has particular reasons to celebrate this year. She's reportedly sold more than 10,000 copies of her debut EP, The Chase, and if the rumors are true, has just inked a major-label deal with Bad Boy Entertainment. Deep Cotton, a punky soul-rock band comprised of members who worked on the EP, opens. Ticket price includes free CD. $10. 10 p.m. Lenny's Bar. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. — MR

THE KING'S SINGERS Britain's enduringly remarkable male vocal sextet, the King's Singers, presents a program of Christmas music from Catalonia and Renaissance-era Germany, including works by Heinrich Schütz, Michael Praetorius, and the Munich period of Orlande di Lassus. The program also includes "House of Winter" by contemporary Brit icon Sir Peter ("Max") Maxwell Davies and the "Serenade d'Hiver" by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. A clutch of the KS' signature close-harmony selections are the show closers. $50. 8:15 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200. www.spiveyhall.org. — MG

NINE POUND HAMMER, LIZARDMEN The mighty Hammer and the Mod Lizardmen might seem to be an odd pairing at first; well OK, it is an odd bill, but it's in the collage-type spirit of the 'Men's annual holiday show. Other performers and ticket price were TBA at press time, but these two venerable acts should draw a diverse cross-section of fans, all joined as one in the spirit of the season and rock 'n' roll in general. Ah, don't you feel an inner glow about mankind right about now? Me neither, and this is no Band-Aid, but it should be a festive time for all, anyway. Where's Bob Geldolf when ya need him? 9 p.m. Star Bar. www.starbaratlanta.com. — LVS

TOMMY WOMACK, MALCOLM HOLCOMB, DAVID OLNEY The terrific triple bill features three left-of-center eccentrics who only marginally slot into the generic singer/songwriter genre. All three revel in dry, nuanced, often dark humor that illuminates facets of their lives, and ours, through songs too sharp and edgy to ever hear on the radio. So, despite their acoustic guitars and strummy tunes, these guys rip apart the typical boundaries of folk with veteran voices and irony-infested tunes that'll make you smirk and ponder simultaneously. $18. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 770-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — HH

TURTLE ISLAND STRING QUARTET W/ LEO KOTTKE The venue's motto of "we can all use a little culture" might frighten away the uninitiated, but this night of offbeat, often obscure holiday music is just the ticket to relieve the overwhelming Christmas commercialism. Turtle Island's strings mesh classical, jazz, bluegrass, world music and avant-garde pop in ways that sound like none of those genres. Combined with Leo Kottke's innovative acoustic-guitar stylings, the result will be mind-blowing seasonal sounds unlike anything you'll hear in the mall. And a little culture never hurt anyone. $20-$45. 8 p.m. Ferst Center. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu. — HH

WILL KIMBROUGH As if his reputation from fronting the legendary Will & the Bushmen wasn't enough, Kimbrough is one of the most sought-after guitarists and producers in Nashville. Helping everyone else out may have kept him from hitting the big time, but he's kept on writing and recording his own material. Good rocking music, both fun and intelligent. $20. 10 p.m. Shorty's II. 3701 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. 770-414-6999. www.myspace.com/shortys_pizza. — JK


PINK REASON, PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT, PONY BONES, CLUB OF ROME Songwriter Kevin Failure's Columbus, Ohio-based outfit Pink Reason is an oppressive and slow-skulking harbinger of dread-afflicted indie rock that navigates a sea of existential pop tragedy and simple, low-fi fuzz and clang. Fellow Columbus residents and Siltbreeze label mates Psychedelic Horseshit play a fiery, tin-can throb of shoegaze and noise rock. Locals Pony Bones and Club of Rome open. $8. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. — CR

STRANGER MALONE In a rare early-afternoon show, friends and associates of the late Kasper "Stranger" Malone honor the music and memories of the beloved musician with the official release party for the DVD Who's That Stranger? Much-lauded documentarian George King's featurette about the man and his music will be shown and music from Mick Kinney & Elise Witt, Vollie McKenzie, Jack Spence, Little Country Giants, Berne "Frenchy" Poliakoff (Cowboy Envy) and other special guests. $10-$25 (with DVD). 3:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. For more information and clips from the film, visit www.filmbaby.com/films/2003. — LVS


DINOSAUR JR. Their amazing first three albums helped herald the shoegazers, as J. Mascis and company constructed loping Neil Young-ish ballads whose bright melodies bled distortion like a hemophiliac with an open wound. With his heart on his sleeve but an odd detachment ("I feel the pain of everyone, then again I feel nothing," he sings on "Feel the Pain"), Mascis fashioned songs that ached folk-country but roared indie rock. After breaking up the band in 2000, Mascis reunited the founding lineup for last year's return to form Beyond. $15. 9 p.m. 40 Watt Club, Athens. 706-549-7871. www.40watt.com. — CP

BLACK COBRA, THE SWORD Resin-caked amplifiers throb with Wagnerian bottom-end, deep, dramatic thunder to collapse your chest cavity and ignite the lizard brain. These stoner-metal acolytes light long-burning spliffs of discursive jamming against a backdrop of ominous rumble. The Sword likes to boogie a bit more, particularly on last year's Age of Winters, which could be subtitled Allman Sabbath. Black Cobra is more theatrical, employing builds and textural art-rock prolix to complement the primordial din. $10. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — CP

FICTION PLANE Joe Sumner, son of Sting, is an accomplished musician and singer/songwriter, inspired more by Nirvana, U2 and Smashing Pumpkins than his dad's solo work or group hits. He's responsible for the literate and insistent compositions on Fiction Plane's enjoyable second album, Left Side of the Brain. The disc is a spiraling fall into the best of noisy, '90s-informed aggression, wisely tempered with a bookish '60s pop sensibility. Openers: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, Midwives. $10. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — LVS


MOBIUS BAND Forward but never straight could describe this Brooklyn indie-pop trio. It follows up 2005's atmospheric, rather laconic debut, The Loving Sounds of Static, with the confident Heaven, upping the tempos and tightening the songwriting. The electronic elements that dominated its somnambulant debut retreat behind churning, nervy rhythms. Everything crackles with energy and benefits from a far more sophisticated, dynamic approach including a wonderfully seamless application of electronics. Synthesized and live beats merge with slashing guitar, bubbling bass and glimmering washes of keys. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — CP

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: rodney.carmichael@creativeloafing.com. 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 soundboard@creativeloafing.com.