Sound Menu January 30 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows


SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, FIERY FURNACES, HOLY F**K Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals combine punk, prog and power-pop tendencies to craft quirky melodies. Siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are the backbone of Fiery Furnaces. With a lineup that also features Jason Lownestein of Sebadoh, the group plays short blasts of asymmetrical pop that is jarring in its brevity and pleasant in majestic tones. Holy F**k also performs. $15. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — Chad Radford


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Robert Spano leads a youthful all-Russian program of tried-and-true solidarity, all written when the composers were twentysomethings. It opens with the fantasy overture “Romeo and Juliet” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Yefim Bronfman is piano soloist for the brilliant “Piano Concerto No. 2” of Sergei Prokofiev, and the show closes with Sergei Rachmaninov’s “Symphony No. 1.” Program repeats Fri.-Sat., Jan. 1-2. $15-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. — Mark Gresham

BRASS CASTLE, UNGDOMSKULEN, THY MIGHTY CONTRACT Brass Castle worships the riff with deranged irreverence. The group’s PBR/trucker speed-fueled dirges draw strength from Southern boogie while ruthlessly and comically reinventing metal girth. Think Black Sabbath on speed, or Motorhead on too many energy drinks and you’re in the right ballpark. Norwegian rock act Ungdomskulen and Atlanta’s purveyors of pop and black metal, Thy Mighty Contract, open the show. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CR

ERIC LINDELL Frequent Atlanta visitor Lindell brings his sunshiney West Coast-by-way-of-New-Orleans blues/soul/funk back to town to play a CD release party at this somewhat unlikely venue. His new album is a crackling set of originals (and a terrific Gil Scott-Heron cover) that sound like R&B classics, all propelled by Lindell’s sweet and sour vocals and a band that’s as in the pocket as they come. It’s all about groove and Lindell exudes it with effortless nonchalance. Swing Set opens. $10. 9:30 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. — Hal Horowitz

JEFF & VIDA, BARRELL HOUSE MAMAS Former New Orleans residents Jeff & Vida have taken their rootsy twang to Nashville, but continue to tour across Dixie. A mix of honky-tonk and old-time country, they have a lot of fun with the genre while showing proper respect. The Mamas are from Asheville, N.C., and throw a pop twist into their Appalachian balladry. $10-$13. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — James Kelly

THE WRIGHTS, STEPHEN SIMMONS, JASON EADY The American Songwriter Tour brings our hometown favorites the Wrights back to town, this time with a sweet new CD/EP for sale. With eight great progressive country tunes, it’s as good as their stunning debut album, but a little shorter, dangit. Simmons and Eady are singer/songwriters each with an atypical style all their own, and worth catching. $10. 7 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — JK

ZOROASTER, SOURVEIN, ALL THE SAINTS Zoroaster creates an atmosphere of sensory overload as it churns out massive metal rhythms, shrouded in feedback, flood lights and drones, blasted at ear-splitting volumes. The slow and low pace at which each song unfolds shakes the earth with celestial power. Cape Fear, N.C., hardcore band Sourvein and the Atlanta-based psychedelic art-rock trio All the Saints are also on the bill. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. — CR


FRANCINE REED, ANTHONY DAVID This intriguing entry into the six-day Georgia Music Concert Series of local showcases features the gutsy voice of blues/jazz diva Reed combined with David’s Marvin Gaye-influenced neo-soul. They are two of Atlanta’s finest and most forceful vocal stylists, with diverse approaches that share a soulful, emotionally stirring aesthetic. Reed is best known through her work with Lyle Lovett, but her roaring, gospel-inspired voice has been blowing the roof off Atlanta joints for years. David apprenticed with India.Arie and brings a sociopolitical stance to his acoustic-based folk-soul. Jaspects also play. $5. 8:30 p.m. Vinyl. 404-885-1365. — HH

PETER SCHICKELE Yield right-of-way to humor as Schickele’s “What’s Your Sign?” Tour crashes into Atlanta’s funnybone, featuring the “Twelve Quite Heavenly Songs” — predictably based on the signs of the Zodiac — by his alter ego P.D.Q. Bach. P.D.Q.’s “Allegro Gabinetto,” for plumber and keyboarder, is piped in, as well as a round of songs to round off the show. Shickele’s frequent co-conspirators, singers Michèle Eaton (soprano) and David Düsing (tenor), are both on tap along with keyboardist Peggy Kampmeier. $26-$36. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts. 404-894-9600. — MG

SOLE AND THE SKYRIDER BAND, TELEPHONE JIM JESUS Nearly a decade ago, rapper and firebrand Tim “Sole” Holland helped launch Anticon Records, perhaps the strangest and most experimental hip-hop label in history. He spent years tweaking the powers that be with albums such as Bottle of Humans and Selling Live Water, but his new work, Sole and the Skyrider Band, achieves a tenuous state of grace, albeit with plenty of sociopolitical commentary. Anticon alum Telephone Jim Jesus opens. $10. 9 p.m. Lenny’s Bar. 404-577-7721. — Mosi Reeves

WE VERSUS THE SHARK If this Athens quartet’s shuddering rumble were a car, it’d possess a clanging muffler, intermittently stuck accelerator, a steering wheel that prefers right angles, and a continuously buzzing radio stuck between stations. It’s post-apocalyptic dance-punk. The moody, swirling cacophony is not without charm, as the throttling, squealing attack suggests the Fall cold-cocking Gang of Four in the corner of a Detroit disco, and partying the night away on their victims’ stolen cards. Call for price. 10 p.m. Tasty World. 706-543-0797. — Chris Parker


ERIC TAYLOR, THE KENNEDYS Gifted and refreshingly humble singer/songwriter Taylor spent his early years in Atlanta, but ambled into the Houston music scene amid the scattered acoustic causalities of the early ’70s. He’s recently added to his impressive but relatively small body of work with the release of Hollywood Pocketknife last month. His catalog of finely crafted, sun-baked stories has inspired several of folk-rock’s finest. Lauded lyricist Nanci Griffith calls Taylor “the William Faulkner of songwriting in our current time,” and, making this a Faulkner-sized sentence, her former associates the Kennedys will share the well-crafted bill tonight. $15-$18. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — Lee Valentine Smith

JJ GREY & MOFRO This Jacksonville quartet moved songwriter JJ Grey’s name out front for last year’s third album, Country Ghetto, a testament both to Grey’s central role and growing confidence. Formerly known simply as Mofro, the change hasn’t changed too much despite a move to blues label Alligator for their latest. They play greasy Southern-fried rock and blues that blends swamp boogie and R&B swagger in rootsy front-porch arrangements highlighting Grey’s white-soul vocals. $16. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — CP

NEON CHRIST, THE CARBONAS, DOUBLE NEGATIVE Neon Christ virtually defined the Atlanta hardcore scene in the ’80s, but parenthood and responsibility have taken over their quest to change the world at 110 decibels. They are giving it one more (final) shot, then passing the torch to the youngsters before yelling at them to “Get out of my yard!” $7. 3 p.m. The Treehouse. 678-983-0494. — JK

RIZZUDO, BEAT THE DEVIL The moody, occasionally atmospheric prog/indie rock of the three brothers known as Rizzudo returns after taking a hiatus during 2007. The trio creates a subtly subversive sound, both driving and hypnotic. Although there hasn’t been any new music lately, Rizzudo’s mature, somewhat arty approach is timeless enough to encourage the guys to pick up where they left off. For more on Rizzudo, see Vibes, p. 69. NYC’s organ-fronted, guitar-free Beat the Devil revels in a gooey, voodoo swamp noir that is part Doors, part Velvet Underground and all darkly compelling. Atlanta’s Liverhearts also appear on this uncompromising triple bill. $8. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 770-377-4976. — HH


WHITE WILLIAMS, RINGS Last October as an opening act for Girl Talk, White Williams impressed the crowd with melodic, slightly modulated synth-rock songs such as “New Violence.” With the release of his debut album, Smoke, he returns to Atlanta for a headlining engagement. Animal Collective-approved Rings, formerly known as First Nation, presents a more challenging form of pop electronics. $8. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. — MR


DEX ROMWEBER DUO The guitarist/vocalist/founder of legendary ’80s garage/psychobilly/soul/folk art/punk outfit the Flat Duo Jets continues his abbreviated band concept, now touring with his sister Sara (Let’s Active, Snatches of Pink) on drums as the complete lineup. But be warned, this is no White Stripes. This is the guy who inspired the tame-by-comparison imitators. Dex and Sara are well-equipped to make plenty of noise within the framework of sparse concepts and the true spirit of DIY. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of music and can perform just about any song you can think of — and plenty you’ve never heard. Give them a stage, a crowd, a well-worn suit and a scruffy Silvertone, stand close by and watch ‘em rock. $6. 9:30 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. — LVS

JUCIFER, THE DUMPS The perpetually touring duo returns to its former home tonight as it continues to circumvent the globe with vintage amps, guitars, drums, assorted knickknacks, pop culture doodads and beloved pets in tow. This show should be extra-juci because it’s the last area performance before the release of the twosome’s new double album L’autrichienne, a 21-track sonic experience to be issued by Relapse Records March 18. Expect to hear some of it, all of it, or none of it. Expect to hear whatever the hell Ed and Amber want to do, which is how they’ve always done it. And it seems to work just fine. Loud, soft, loud, explosive and then back to a sensual coo, all within the framework of intense volume, tempered with pop and metal-balanced melody. One of the most original, challenging and exciting bands since the advent of recreational vehicles. The heavy-rockin’, non-jangling bruisers called the Dumps open the show. $7-$10. 9:30 p.m. Georgia Theater. 706-549-9918. — LVS

MANDO SAENZ Like many Texans, Saenz relocated to Nashville several years ago, looking to score a break for his alt-country style. His high, crisp tenor lingers over rootsy twang as he surveys a gallery of folks haunted by broken dreams and misgivings. He initially self-released his debut, Watertown, in 2002, so he’s been waiting to release the forthcoming Bucket for a while. It’s more of a Nashville album, replacing the parched amble with a little more polished warmth. Free. 6 p.m. Atlanta Brewing Company. 404-355-5558. — 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: 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