Sound Menu December 05 2007

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows

THURS/06

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS Norman Mackenzie conducts the ASO&C with special guests Morehouse College Glee Club and Gwinnett Young Singers. Based on the beloved annual Christmas program created by the late, legendary Robert Shaw, it is unquestionably Atlanta’s signature musical tradition for the holiday season. Four performances of the powerful, inspiring, life-affirming program are scheduled, with repeats Fri., Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 8, at 2 and 8 p.m. $18-$50. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. — Mark Gresham

FRI/07

ATLANTA GAY MEN’S CHORUS “Bells, Brass and Beyond” is the holiday theme, as Kevin Robison makes his debut as the AGMC’s first full-time artistic director. Local handbell ensemble the Atlanta Concert Ringers chime in along with a bevy of brass players for a program abounding in time-honored traditions of male choral music, favorite seasonal classics and general joyful gamboling. Repeat performances Sat., Dec. 8, at 2 and 8 p.m. $15-$45. 8 p.m. Cathedral of St. Philip. 404-320-1030. www.agmchorus.org. — MG

CHARLES WALKER & THE DYNAMITES, THE BOOZE If you were around in the ’60s and snuck into the downtown’s Royal Peacock, chances are you would have seen a few acts like the Dynamites. And Charles Walker is a pioneer, not an imitator. He was there. This is Deep Soul, baby, the kind that Otis, the Godfather and wicked Mr. Pickett made. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — James Kelly

GEORGE JONES We have lost some good ones this year — Del Reeves, Porter Wagoner, Hank Thompson, and at 76 one has to wonder how much longer the Possum is going to be able to stay on the road. His voice cracks a bit more these days, and the high notes are a lot harder to reach, but George Jones is still the greatest country singer alive. $43.50. 8 p.m. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 770-916-2800. www.cobbenergycentre.com. — JK

JETHRO TULL Ian Anderson’s prog/folk/world/rock outfit might be dismissed as dinosaurs, but the band has persevered for four decades through sheer talent and is still regarded as a top-notch live act. The guy who brought the flute to rock leads his merry men through a myriad of styles and genres, often updating the old songs and introducing the audience — who likely came to play air guitar to “Aqualung” — to the many hidden gems in the group’s bulging, fertile and underappreciated catalog. $60.50-$72.50. 8 p.m. Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.tabernacleatl.com. — Hal Horowitz

PYLON, SUPERCLUSTER, HUGO BURNHAM, THE NEW SOUND OF NUMBERS Tonight, Athens’ new-music pioneer Pylon plays its first Athens show since the well-received (its first pressing is already sold out) reissue of Gyrate Plus. The all-star bill includes Vanessa Hay’s side-project/supergroup Supercluster and hot new Athenians the New Sound of Numbers, now featuring Pylon’s Randy Bewley on guitar. A late addition to the bill and an exciting component of the evening will be special DJ sets from Gang of Four drummer Hugo Burnham, playing stuff from his massive and obscure (but danceable) record collection. $10. 9 p.m. 40 Watt, Athens. 706-353-1666. www.40watt.com. — Lee Valentine Smith

THE WOOD BROTHERS Although neither was raised in Atlanta, Oliver Wood became a fixture here for many years as frontman/guitarist for the late eclectic blues/soul/world music outfit King Johnson. Bassist Chris forged his way through New York City’s jazz trenches, ultimately finding a home as one third of Medeski, Martin and Wood. Somewhat unexpectedly, the resulting folk/blues duo sounds like neither brother’s previous work. Regardless, their debut recording as a unit was widely hailed as one of the finest traditional acoustic albums of 2006. This intimate venue is the best way to appreciate the music’s subtleties featuring Chris’ inventive bass lines and Oliver’s supple guitar work. $17. 9:30 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 770-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — HH

SAT/08

DAN ZANES & FRIENDS The former Del Fuego has found a pretty lucrative cottage industry in children’s and family music. With his very broad appreciation and understanding of the power of sounds and words, Zanes doesn’t simply “dumb down” for the kids. He gives them what works at their level, all the time keeping it entertaining for Mom and Dad. $20, $65 for family four-pack. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — JK

GENTLEMAN JESSE, THE HOWLIES, DOUBLE DYNAMITE, KNIFE AND THE FOURTH WARD DAGGERS OK, pop and garage-rock fans. Go see this show and stop complaining about the death of such events. You know the muscular jangle of Gentleman Jesse, and the Howlies are formerly Moresight, so you’ve probably seen them at some point. Knife and the pointy Daggers are no strangers. Double Dynamite is an Athens/Atlanta split duo. Drummer Nate Mitchell is a Classic City denizen and Atlantan Matt Kiesner (the Cherry Splits, Thee Crucials) screams and pumps the organ. A loud and primal affair with plenty of ’60s hooks. Be friendly with them all. Gentlemen Jesse (www.myspace.com/gentlemenjesse), the Howlies (www.myspace.com/thehowlies), Double Dynamite (www.myspace.com/doubledynamiteduo), and Knife and the Fourth Ward Daggers (www.myspace.com/4thwarddaggers). $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. www.starbaratlanta.com. — LVS

NEKROMANTIX, KOFFIN KATS Eighteen years since leaving the Danish navy, Kim Nekroman’s psychobilly trio still burns like a garbage-can fire in the slums of hell. The guitar bites like a rabid hellhound with a thirst for reverb and surf strut. Nekroman’s signature double-coffin bass adds to the ghoulish B-movie embrace, leavened with a touch of gothic humor (“Horny in a Hearse”). Motor City counterparts Koffin Kats aren’t as tight or stylish, but compensate juicing their psychobilly raves with ragged garage-punk grit. $12. 7 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. — Chris Parker

SUN/09

WE DO HALLELU! Brainchild of the Bet Tov outreach center, which aims to reconnect unaffiliated Jews with Jewish traditions, this program of “contemporary Jewish music and dance” offers a fresh alternative to typical musical fare of the season. Featured performers include singer/songwriters Michael Levine and Eric Litwin, cantor Joel Fox, Shir Harmony, the Baal Shem Tones, the Moody Jews, and the Chorus of Congregation Bet Haverim. Free admission for ages 17 and younger. $12. 7 p.m. Ahavath Achim Synagogue. 404-441-9475. www.bettov.org. — MG

WHITE MAGIC, SOILED MATTRESS AND THE SPRINGS, FUR ELISE Brooklyn trio White Magic plays dark, indie-pop songs that build around a constant rhythmic plod that morphs from lush and very ornate orchestrations and focuses on the piano before shrinking into more straight-ahead, albeit morose, rock arrangements. Fellow New Yorkers Soiled Mattress and the Springs play smooth and spaced-out jazz. Atlanta’s Fur Elsie opens with a dreary, piano-driven postgoth dirge. $7. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — Chad Radford

mon/10

CHIMAIRA After a tumultuous couple years that witnessed intraband strife and its departure from Roadrunner for rising indie Ferrett, the decade-old Cleveland sextet sounds re-energized on this year’s aptly titled fourth release, Resurrection. It mixes majesty with haunting electronic backgrounds and a turbo-charged, black-hearted hardcore/metal churn that creates a tense ebb and flow across the album. Few match Chimaira for its intensity or foreboding atmospheres, which rely on detailed, fully fleshed arrangements instead of overdriven, monochromatic, malevolent roar. $16. 7:30 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com.cp

TUES/11

HALF NORMAL, SELF INFLICT West Coast noise composer Half Normal (aka Bob Bellerue) revels in the resonance and possibilities of electronics, sound installation and field recordings meshed with an element of stage performance. His background is rooted in punk and various strains of ethnic music and psychedelic rock, which manifest themselves in extreme sonic experiences that are crafted to evoke a deep spiritual response. Local noise and power-electronics artist Self Inflict opens. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. — CR

UNWED SAILOR, THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, SEALIONS Unwed Sailor is the ethereal, instrumental songwriting vehicle manned by Johnathon Ford, leading a constantly changing crew of musicians through a murky, bass-heavy blend of intimate pop dreamscapes. Like-minded Texans This Will Destroy wade in a similar pool of introspective rock. Atlanta trio Sealions plays fragile and ’90s-inspired alt rock in the vein of the Pixies, early Radiohead and the like. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — CR

wed/12

CHEMLAB, USSA, SKELETON KEY Consider the percussion, as all three acts deliver propulsive bottom end. Chemlab came of age in the ’90s industrial scene of Ministry and NIN, a sound they continue to refine. Middle act USSA features former Ministry programmer Paul Barker, keying a supple, grooving hard-rock attack buttressed by ex-Jesus Lizard bassist Duane Dennison. Its debut, The Spoils, sounds like a rumbling, thudding synthesis of the two bands. Opener Skeleton Key forges eclectic, ramshackle rock and skronk backed by a clanging garbage-can kit. $14. 8 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com — CP

“REVENGE OF THE NERDS” PARTY That darn Patrick A of PAB Booking and Can Can is at it again. This time, the sinewy siren has cooked up a wacky party for nerds. Music will be provided by scheduled guests El Scorcho, the Weezer tribute band Can Can (featuring Mary Collins, formerly of the Motolitas) and, how appropriate, the Nerd Parade. Nerdy hijinks will surely ensue, including a trivia contest and other equally geeky surprises. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. www.starbaratlanta.com. — LVS

thurs/13

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND The New Orleans natives’ recent post-Katrina disc covering Marvin Gaye’s entire What’s Going On album was an undiscovered gem that channeled the soul man’s classy words of protest through the horn-propelled jazz/funk at the heart of the Dirty Dozen’s sound. Even after the hurricane’s dour result — which displaced the band’s members — the resilient group still comes to party. Anyone who hasn’t experienced one of their festive live shows doesn’t fully understand the vibrant exuberance of New Orleans music at its finest. Repeat show Fri., Dec. 14. $10. 8 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — 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: 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.