Sound Menu January 23 2008

CL's picks for the week's best shows


CAN CAN, THE HOLLAND DUTCH, WIGHAT Bare-bones garage-punk duo Can Can is releasing its first studio album tonight, following a well-received series of live EPs. Produced by former Mondo Generator drummer Josh Lamar, the new collection features songs from the original release with bonus material. Wild, rollicking and stark, the brainchild of Patrick A. (Love Drunks) and Mary Collins (Moto-Litas) is always an unexpected, unscripted delight. Courtney King and Erin Dangar, also formerly of the Moto-Litas, anchor the new and especially promising pop project the Holland Dutch. New garage-rock outfit Wighat will be there, too. A night for people who remember the pre-Coathangers days but crave something new. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — Lee Valentine Smith

PHAROAHE MONCH, ORGONE Queens, N.Y., rapper Pharoahe Monch has been spinning linguistic twisters for intellectually inclined rap fans since the early '90s, first as one-half of the mighty Organized Konfusion, and then as a solo artist who did that Godzilla song (aka "Simon Says"). For this show, which promotes his recent effort, Desire, he'll join L.A. deep-funk combo Orgone. It's a Live Metro show sponsored by car manufacturer Scion Toyota, so it's free, but you have to RSVP at www.scion.com/livemetro. Free with RSVP. 9 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. www.theloftatl.com. — Mosi Reeves

STICKFIGURE RECORDS SHOWCASE PT. 1 Atlanta purveyor of outsider, oddball, electro, post-hardcore, etc., Stickfigure Records hosts its annual label showcase. For the opening performance of the four-day festival, Music for People, Sorry No Ferrari, Big Penguin and Zandosis bring a solid cross-section of just how far-reaching the label's palette stretches. The roster covers everything from dreamy electronics to intricate and uptight post-screamo rock to white-hot percolating noise. $7. 9:30 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — Chad Radford


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Roberto Abbado guest conducts the ASO in a performance of Mozart's "Piano Concerto No. 15," featuring Andreas Haefliger as piano soloist. Lusciously lyrical soprano Heidi Grant Murphy is guest soloist for both the evocative "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," by Samuel Barber and the "Symphony No. 4," of Gutav Mahler, his shortest symphony (relatively speaking, as it is nearly an hour long.) Program repeats Sat., Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. $15-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. — Mark Gresham

THE EL CAMINOS, THE LUCHAGORS, COURTESY MURDER Expect a lot of leather and tattoos tonight, as Atlanta's swaggering and legendary El Caminos return for a big, loud bash. The Luchagors feature a former pro wrestler and a spook-show host, so what's not to like? Their '80s post-punk sound is as authentic as their snarl. Openers Courtesy Murder mix a bit of punk and ska, and rock hard. Free. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. — James Kelly

GRAYSON CAPPS Steeped in the Delta tradition and with a weathered voice that belies his youth, Capps is as close to the real deal bluesman as we are gonna get these days. Tonight's show is a CD-release party for Capps' Songbones, a 2002 recording that has been waiting to see the light. It's a limited release, and well worth a listen. $8. 8 p.m. Atlanta Room at Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — JK

INDIGO GIRLS, BRANDI CARLILE The lucky few of us who saw the very first "Indigo Girls" show by the now internationally known and loved folk-rock duo in 1985 truly know the power of two. Today, the talent, honesty and overwhelming sincerity of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers remains undeniable proof of their value as iconic treasures of any scene. Thankfully, they're just as active and relevant now as then. Well worth the trip to Athens, and the venue isn't far from the site of their beloved Live at the Uptown Lounge video. Talented singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile opens the show. $25. 8 p.m. Classic Center, Athens. 1-800-918-6393. www.classiccenter.com. — LVS

JERRY JOSEPH, LETICIA WOLF Busy Portland, Ore., artist Joseph is no stranger to the South or to fans of gritty rock or jam genres. As a regular contributor to the Widespread Panic catalog, he's in the enviable position of being a modern-day Robert Hunter — and if you don't know who that is, you should check him out — but don't limit or label J.J. to any certain bin. He's equally proficient in blistering rock, evocative folk and soulful, jazzy improvs. Tonight, he's celebrating the release of a new CD from his funky new project, the Denmark Veseys, recorded with David Barbe in Athens. He'll probably include new and old songs from many of his other phases as well, and maybe even a special guest. Striking Chattanooga-based songwriter Leticia Wolf opens the evening with a batch of her equally provocative and evocative songs, so get there early for a change. $10 in advance. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — LVS


EMORY CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY W/ MIKA YOSHIDA Japanese marimbist Mika Yoshida joins members of the Emory Chamber Music Society as guest artist in a program of music by Steve Reich, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. A self-described "late bloomer" as a performer, she has nonetheless played two solo recitals at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with such wide-ranging musical luminaries as minimalist composer Reich, versatile classical clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and esteemed Ghanan gyil player Kakraba Lobi. $20. 8 p.m. Emerson Concert Hall. Schwartz Center. 404-727-5050. www.arts.emory.edu. — MG

FIRST ANNUAL PSYCHOBILLY FREAKOUT SHOWCASE Ah, rock 'n' roll. Remember that antiquated art form? Pre producers and DJs and modern trickery, it was the vital, dominate shape of music at some point, way back in the stone age. A few people still like it. It's alive and roaring at tonight's gathering of wild disciples. Scheduled activities include music from the Psycho Devilles, the Hot Rods, Rocket 350, the Kings of Hell, the Flat Tires and probably more. Also contests for best Elvis impersonator, hottest pin-up girl and best tattoo. Should be a real, rockin' rumble, daddy-o! $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — LVS

LUPE FIASCO Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco has touted himself as hip-hop's next superstar, but it hasn't come true yet. Instead, he seems to be the inheritor of the Roots' legacy, scoring critically acclaimed albums that seemingly can't catch fire with mainstream audiences. With his complex rhyme schemes and orchestral production reminiscent of Kanye West's Late Registration, he's worth a listen. Laid-back California rap-rocker Optimus opens for this tour promoting Lupe Fiasco's the Cool. $26.50. 9 p.m. Roxy Theatre. 404-233-7699. — MR

THE WHIGS, THE SAMMIES Local headliners the Whigs celebrate the release of their second album, Mission Control, whose anxious pop pulse is even more infectious than on their debut. The writhing power-pop hooks of tracks such as "Production City" and "Hot Bed" suggest the Plimsouls putting lighter to Spoon, while others such as "I Never Want to Go Home," and "Right Hand on my Heart" surf swooning, textured riffage, spreading hooks in their wake like so much chum. Charlotte openers the Sammies can be counted on for ringing hooks as well, though they are more often submerged in raucous rumble. $10-$12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — Chris Parker

WYCLEF JEAN, LYFE JENNINGS The former Fugees star's new album, The Carnival, Volume II (Memoirs of an Immigrant), has been somewhat overshadowed by his name's link to an ongoing steroids investigation. Suffused with interesting guests (System of a Down's Serj Tankian, Chamillionaire, Paul Simon) and nicely crafted pop, it's nonetheless Jean's strong writing that makes the album a career milestone. Lyfe Jennings doesn't have a classic soul voice, but this R&B man's gritty backstory adds well-trafficked poignancy to gone-wrong confessionals such as "Stick Up Kid." $30-$75. 10 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com. — CP


CADILLAC SKY, LITTLE COUNTRY GIANTS Finding a comfort zone between hippie-type jamming and the precision and order of bluegrass is a task, but Cadillac Sky hits the mark. It manages to blend genres and make the fans of both quite happy. Rome's LCG suffered a theft of some instruments recently, and could use the fan support tonight. Plus, they are fantastic. $15 in advance. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — JK

RAHBI For most performers, it doesn't make sense to turn your debut into a live album. Why not take the time to refine your material and release a proper effort? But local soul dynamo Rahbi may be the exception. His strength is his live show, which incorporates all kinds of haberdashery, from crazy props and stage antics to ovation-inducing Eurythmics covers. He captures that energy on his first full-length, Rahbi Raw, which was originally recorded at Apache Café and will be unveiled tonight. $10-$15. 9 p.m. Apache Café. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info. — MR

THE SELMANAIRES, ANNA KRAMER & THE LOST CAUSE Despite its worldly name, Atlanta's International Hits label releases some of the city's finest music. This double CD-release gig features two of Atlanta's most promising acts, both of whom sport impressive, if quite dissimilar, styles on their new IH albums. The Selmanaires' rhythmic, percussive indie rock and Kramer's twangy Americana revel in a feisty approach defined by energy, emotion and a fiercely DIY esthetic. Other International Hits signees the Roy Owens Jr. and Noot D' Noot also appear at this eclectic label showcase, which is also a terrific bargain. $10. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 770-377-4976. www.badearl.com. — Hal Horowitz


IRVIN MAYFIELD AND THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ORCHESTRA The official cultural ambassador for the city of New Orleans, 30-year-old trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra draw their stuff from the great jazz, blues, swing and spirituals of the Big Easy, showcasing musicians of a younger jazz generation while giving them hands-on mentoring from the best of the city's old-time pros. NOJO sports music by jazz legends such as Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet with a suave "money clip and cufflinks" sense of style. $34-$44. 5 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.org. — MG


GREYBOY ALLSTARS The funk runs deep in a Meters-meet-James Brown style for this jam/jazz-fusion supergroup of sorts. Both reed veteran Karl Denson and keyboardist Robert Walter lead their own successful bands, so their sporadic tours under the Greyboy moniker — along with guitarist Elgin Park and a crackling rhythm section — are a particularly juicy treat. The intimate setting of Smith's provides the perfect atmosphere to wallow in the group's rousing, get-on-the-goodfoot groove. The group performs again Tues., Jan. 29. $25. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — HH

MATCHBOX TWENTY, ALANIS MORISETTE, MUTE MATH Safe, predictable Top 40 radio-favorite Matchbox Twenty is touring to support its recent Exile on Mainstream, a greatest-hits collection. The openers on this odd bill are far more interesting. Middle-slot tourmate Alanis Morissette is previewing new material from her upcoming album (to be released this spring) along with her more familiar songs. And it might just be worth the price of admission to see how the intricate cleverness of crafty openers Mute Math fares in the big, cavernous sports arena. $45-$75. 7 p.m. Philips Arena. 404-249-6400. www.philipsarena.com. ­-- LVS


WEEN Even Dean and Gene Ween likely never expected to still be slinging out their snarky musical surrealist pastiche/satire nearly 25 years after first creating primitive tapes out of their Pennsylvania homes. But the unrelated duo has proven to be as resilient as the titular insect to the new La Cucaracha. They have persevered long enough to be considered veterans of an idiosyncratic genre they alone inhabit. Fiercely indie-minded and wildly ambitious in a slacker way, Ween shows are typically three-hour-plus affairs as sprawling, unpredictable and hilarious as their albums. See Vibes, p. 70, for more on Ween. $30. 8 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.tabernacleatl.com. — HH


SCOTT BIRAM He's a one-man wrecking machine sharing a loose wild spirit with Hasil Adkins, and a raspy, vocal howl. Biram wreaks dirty garage and country-blues havoc with his hands while his feet pound out the mean beat. Nearly pulverized in a collision with a semi, Biram continues undaunted. While he prefers rollicking thunder, he's not above a lighthearted ballad, such as "Wreck My Car," which he proffers as preferable to a breaking his heart. $10. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. — CR

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, FIERY FURNACES, HOLY FUCK The headliner on this indie-rock jamboree is Super Furry Animals, the Welsh psych-pop group best-known for sing-along anthems such as "Juxtaposed with U." The band's new album, Hey Venus!, finds it going through a somewhat successful glam-rock phase. The Fiery Furnaces, a group led by brother-sister duo Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, has a well-established avant-pop pedigree, while the ramshackle Holy Fuck has just released its first self-titled album. $15. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — MR

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 Thursday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Wednesday) to soundboard@creativeloafing.com.