Sound Menu December 26 2007

CL's picks for the week's best shows


DEAD CONFEDERATE, ALL THE SAINTS Rising from the ashes of the jam-driven Redbelly Band, this Athens quintet graduated to a shadowy keen, suffused of arid drone. The sultry thrum spikes in noisy spasms of roar, then recedes into a sturdy pulse colored in shimmering swaths of distortion and reverb. The insistent narcotized sound insinuates itself slyly, like a well-lit barroom lothario. All the Saints' chunky garage psych lingers like stoned window-shoppers as the bubbling rumble slowly accumulates like storm clouds haunted by the incipient spectre of release. $7. 9 p.m. Lenny's Bar. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. — Chris Parker

SWINGING CAESARS, BACKYARDBIRDS The Christmas season is a great time for recalling warm memories, and tonight the Swinging Caesars will bring back the best moments of the Swinging Richards and Caesar Speaks, a couple of once-popular Atlanta bands. With Chris Edmonds, Peter Stroud (staying busy with these reunion side projects while off the road from his Sheryl Crow duties), Kenny Creswell and Bruce Smith. The Backyardbirds open, continuing their Yardbirds tribute shows. $5 plus two cans of food. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — Lee Valentine Smith


CHRIS KNIGHT, SONIA LEIGH Once again, it's a night of deep listening. Simmer in the post-holiday blues with one of the best, darkest, gothiest folk-rock songwriters in the biz. Chris Knight is everything Steve Earle used to be. Opener Sonia Leigh has quite a task on her plate to prime this crowd, but she hasn't failed yet. $15 advance plus two cans of food, 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — James Kelly

RANDALL BRAMBLETT BAND Bramblett spent 20 years backing artists such as Warren Hayes, Steve Winwood and Gregg Allman, as well as playing in Allman's offshoot Sea Level, before returning to a solo career he abandoned in the '70s. Though the first two albums echoed Winwood's jazzy blues fusion, his latest, Rich Someday, plies a swampy, organ-driven Southern blues/rock tone, and Bramblett's voice strikes a gruffer, impatient note. Featuring some of the liveliest tracks he's written yet, the album benefits from Bramblett's increasing embrace of his country roots. $12. 8:30 p.m. The Melting Point. 706-254-6909. www.meltingpointathens.com. — CP

TIGER! TIGER!, THE HOLLAND DUTCH, SHANGHAI GESTURE It's a Pajama Dance Party, so get those jammies on and come shake off that lingering holiday malaise with Buffi Aguero's coolly mysterious Tiger! Tiger!. Shanghai Gesture holds down the middle slot. Celebrating the release of Mojo Pagoda, the Gesture's great new album was released just under the wire of 2007, no doubt for Grammy consideration. No, wait, those clueless Recording Academy fucks would never recognize anything like this: It's actually good and totally indie — and that's a much better honor than a useless golden gramophone statue. The Holland Dutch opens the show at 9:30, with scheduled guest, wisecrackin' record producer Rob Gal on guitar. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. — LVS


THE EVERYBODYFIELDS Calling this Tennessee band "alt-country" doesn't adequately convey the sumptuous harmonies and shimmering songs of singers/songwriters Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews. Their rustic sound is grounded yet heavenly with achingly beautiful tunes that float and weave around mournful vocals. This year's release, their third, was an unqualified success, combining the duo's Americana influences with charm, grace and an easy-flowing groove that got under your skin and stayed there. Atlanta-raised, now Rhode Island-based folksinger Brian Webb also appears. $12-$16. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 770-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — Hal Horowitz

SKI CLUB, TWIN TIGER, ELIOT LIPP, TELEPATHE This show is divided into two sets. Local indie rockers Ski Club kick off the evening, with a show of dense and dreamy pop stylings. Twin Tiger is the rebirth of Athens' goth-afflicted pop trio Psychic Hearts. For the latter half of the night, Brooklyn-based electronic/experimental acts and Prefuse 73 cohorts Eliot Lipp and Telepathe perform. $7-$10. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. — Chad Radford

TINSLEY ELLIS Veteran Atlanta blues rocker Ellis and his band return from touring "up North" earlier this month to close their 2007 concert year back in the 'hood where it all started. Fans can expect consistently excellent vintage Ellis, plus new songs from his summer Alligator release Moment of Truth, a CD that captures the energy of his aggressively guitar-driven live shows. Rootsy guitarist and former bandmate Oliver Wood shares the bill along with legendary Southern drummer Donnie McCormick. $15. 8:30 p.m., Variety Playhouse. 404-521-1786. www.variety-playhouse.com. — Mark Gresham


BAND OF HORSES Ache courses through the ringing twang as the guitars disembark in soaring blasts. Like encroaching fog, singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell is enveloped in shimmering melodic warmth. Melancholy, agilely lilting indie pop tracks (such as "No One's Gonna Love You" and "Detlef Schrempf," off their latest, Cease to Begin) betray the band's Pacific Northwest origins, which it balances with rollicking roots served over discursive psych-rock moodiness. Founded four years ago from the ashes of Carissa's Wierd by Bridwell and Mat Brooke, Brooke's since left and they've relocated to South Carolina. $20. 9:30 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 28-29; $20. 7:30 p.m.; $25. 9:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — CP

MICHELLE MALONE & DRAG THE RIVER Malone's two-night stand at her favorite Atlanta haunt kicks off with the reformation of her early '90s band Drag the River. Things might be a little rusty since this is the first they have reconvened since 1991, but the energy level is sure to be contagious. It'll be like old home week for recent fans who likely haven't heard songs from the band's lone studio album Relentless played live. Malone's Molotov cocktail of country, rock and folk has improved over the years, but this possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience should be a blast. $20. 7 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 770-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — HH

WIDESPREAD PANIC Its Tunes for Tots benefit show at the Roxy Sat., Dec. 29, has been sold out for a while, but at press time some surprisingly affordable tickets remain for the arena — both tonight and New Year's Eve. Panic's year-end shows are a long-standing Atlanta tradition for their hardcore fan base, and these two groovin' performances should offer more of the signature celebrations of jam-based blues rock and lengthy improvs. The set lists may even feature a few tastes of the band's upcoming album, scheduled for release this coming spring. $49.50. 8 p.m. (Sunday), 9 p.m. (Monday). Philips Arena. 404-249-6400.www.ticketmaster.com. — LVS


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Guest pops conductor Michael Krajewski leads the ASO in an early-evening program of entertaining "classics lite" and bubbly champagne standards to give 2007 the "Auld Lang Syne" on its way out the proverbial door. The musical toast cheerfully ends early enough to continue to party down elsewhere way past "pumpkin time," or to make it home well before the Big Peach dumps its fermented fruity goodness on your head. $30-$65. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. — MG

THE BLACK LIPS If any group can help channel all those personal demons from the last year and clean the slate for 2008, it's the Black Lips. Ring in the new year with a bang and see why Creative Loafing named this group the best rock 'n' roll band in Atlanta. The opening acts are to be announced. For more up-to-date information, look on www.tightbros.net. $10. 10 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — CR

DEREK TRUCKS & SUSAN TEDESCHI Since they got married in 2001, fans long anticipated a joint project from slide-guitar prodigy Trucks and bluesy soul songstress Tedeschi. Well, here it is. Their new "Soul Stew Revival" tour show promises well-chosen blues classics, feel-good originals and monster, turbo-charged jams. The entire Derek Trucks Band takes part, plus Tedeschi's saxophonist Ron Holloway and Derek's younger brother Duane Trucks on second drum set. The North Mississippi Allstars are billed as special guests. $35-$45. 9 p.m. Fox Theatre. 404-880-8212. www.foxtheatre.org. — MG

DRIVIN' N' CRYIN' Its eclectic mix of southern-fried garage-psych fury and effervescing folk jangle may have been hard to market, but it's never been difficult to enjoy. From acoustic ballads to rugged rockers, Drivin' N' Cryin' has covered a panoply of styles and tones with panache for 20 years. If the last decade hasn't seen a new studio album, it hasn't stopped evolving, as witnessed by the creativity and energy the band brings to its roof-raising live performances. $25-$30. 8 p.m. Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. 404-233-7699. www.livenation.com. — CP

MIRANDA LAMBERT, LADY ANTEBELLUM, MARK SCOTT, 7 SHARP 9 The city's annual Peach Drop takes on a rockin' twang tonight with Texas' darling Miranda Lambert. She is the most successful (and the best) of the "Nashville Star" alumni. But there's not a lot of musical diversity on the bill; what are they saying with that? Free. 7 p.m. Underground Atlanta. 404-523-2311. www.peachdrop.com. — JK

NEW YEAR'S EVE EXTRAVAGANZA Perhaps the most economical of the typically overpriced New Year's Eve blowouts around town is tonight's multiact Star Bar fiesta. Headliners the Forty-Fives have close ties to the Bar, since co-founder Bryan Malone also books the place — and is doing a great job, by the way. He's keepin' the garage rock goin' strong, and this show is a perfect example of his golden touch. In addition to the rare Forty-Fives reunion, the bill features Gringo Star (dubiously noted by the Onion's "AV Club" as one of the worst band names of the year), mod fun from the Booze (who still haven't sent me their album, dammit), surf-punked rascals El Capitan and the Scallywags, and Grinder Nova. $10. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. — LVS

POCO At what point do you say "Enough already!"? Yeah, New Year's Eve is a cash cow for clubs because folks are willing to pay for the right to party, but a C note? For the shell of a country-rock band (albeit a good one)? As much as I respect what SATH does in the music scene throughout the year, this is milking it a bit too much. $100. 10 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.). The Swallow at the Hollow. 678-352-1975. www.theswallowatthehollow.com. — JK


JON BYRD & BYRD'S AUTO PARTS As a seminal player in Atlanta's Redneck Underground movement of the early '90s, Byrd's been flying around as a quality country sideman for a few decades, so his terrific 2007 debut was a long time coming. He's the real deal, mixing honky-tonk, folk and Americana twang with the effortless swagger of someone who can't do it any other way. Comparisons to Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are relevant, but Byrd carves his own melancholy groove and writes rugged yet wistful songs that are classics in waiting. Folk-singing thrush Amy Loftus opens. $10. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 770-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.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.