Sound Menu February 06 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows

Rob Felt


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 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. — Lee Valentine Smith

HADAG NACHASH Atlanta’s melting pot of cultures teems with much more than hip-hop, rock and soul; there are numerous immigrant communities here as well. How else could Israeli funk group Hadag Nachash play in a cavernous hall such as Center Stage Atlanta? The band sings and raps over a blend of ska, hip-hop, jazz and electronics, and sounds similar to Incubus or the Roots. It is also a vehicle for religious and cultural tolerance, and a reflection of cosmopolitan Israeli life different from the terrorism-stricken region shown on American television. $20. 8 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. — Mosi Reeves


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS The ASO reprises the controversial choral milestone “On the Transmigration of Souls” by San Francisco composer John Adams. Adams is noted for his approachable style and reputation for contemporary, socially relevant themes in his operas. Similarly, “On the Transmigration of Souls” ponders our human and spiritual relationships to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Robert Spano conducts the elegiac program, which also includes music by Corigliano, Barber and Beethoven. Program repeats Sat., Feb. 9. $15-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. — Mark Gresham

THE BREAKS Dedicated to the four elements of hip-hop, the Breaks hip-hop party will bring together B-boys and B-girls, graff writers, MCs and DJs. Performers on hand include groups Expatriots, Clan Destined and Nuberry Jam; DJs Mr. JDKNS and Spytek; and award-winning breakdance team Burn Unit. ISTO and CLEER will create special illustrations for the occasion, and hungry MCs can compete for $100 in a cipher battle. $5. 10 p.m. Five Spot Café. 404-223-1100. — MR

DOUGIE MACLEAN Scottish folk music is the primary root of bluegrass and country, and in its pure form there is nothing better. MacLean’s soft lilt and sincere delivery is world-renowned, making him the current king of the genre. Mixing traditional tunes with his true-to-form originals, this is bound to be a “wild mountain thyme.” $25. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — James Kelly

JASON RICCI & NEW BLOOD The most exciting and revolutionary new harp player in the often stale blues-rock genre lists the Pixies and Sun Ra (whom he covers on his sizzling recent release) along with Little Walter as influences, but that only scratches the surface of his driving, eclectic style. He truly is pushing the once-lowly “Mississippi saxophone” to Hendrix-like dimensions, combining blues, psychedelia, hard rock and jazz in dynamic, colorful directions that are guaranteed to blow the roof off this intimate OTP venue. Ticket price TBA. 9 p.m. Darwin’s. 770-578-6872. — Hal Horowitz

LONELY H Northwestern pop-rockers Lonely H aren’t old enough to drink, let alone remember album-oriented rock, but that doesn’t prevent them from conjuring it. With craftsmanship and poise that outstrips their tender age, they’ve recorded a pair of albums since high school, blending prog-rock drama, varied instrumentation, rich backing harmonies and doses of shambling twang into an alluring mesh. Retro fetish aside, the arrangements are imaginative and well-played, veering from baroque to boogie with surprising assurance. $8. 8 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — Chris Parker

MIKE FARRIS The former lead singer of the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies has found the Lord and made a darn good gospel album called Salvation in Lights. Its Deep South bluesy sound is still proselytizing but without the guilt factor, and tonight’s show will be an interesting change from the madness that was once the Wheelies. $10 in advance. 8 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — JK

NOTHIN’ BUT THE BLUES: MUDDY WATERS REUNION Three generations of Muddy-associated artists — his son Big Bill Morganfield, ex-alumni guitarist Bob Margolin and 95-year-old pianist Pinetop Perkins — are sure to do the blues legend proud as they perform separately and together to honor his legacy. Waters’ catalog is deep and influential, but these guys are as qualified as any to give it a whirl. The closing jam alone should be wicked cool. The group performs again Thurs., Feb. 7. Ticket price TBA. 7 p.m. Atlanta History Center. 404-814-4150. — HH


GARETH ASHER, THE BELLEVILLE OUTFIT Local boy Asher is a fairly generic soft-pop singer who wears his influences on his sleeve in his nonthreatening and fairly unadventurous songs. It’s nice background music. Austin’s Belleville Outfit brings a potpourri of esoteric sounds to the stage, and somehow makes something new and intriguing out of the blend. $10-$50. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. --JK

IMANI WINDS Taking their name from the Swahili word for “faith,” NYC’s famed African-American woodwind quintet premieres “Through It All” by Atlanta composer Alvin Singleton, written in celebration of the group’s 10th anniversary season. Spivey Hall initiated the commission from Singleton, complemented with major support from the ASCAP Foundation. The program also includes freshly modern music by Paquito D’Rivera, Dana Wilson, Julio Medaglia and Imani’s own flutist, Valerie Coleman. Free. 8:15 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200. — MG


GENTLEMAN JESSE & HIS MEN, THE HISS, OCHA LA ROCHA, BOBBY & THE SOFTSPOTS Atlanta’s power-pop ambassador Gentleman Jesse headlines this bill of local rock characters. The Hiss plays a cocky, rock strut that borrows from the Who, the Rolling Stones et. al. Ocha La Rocha gives a sharp edge to sultry Southern rock. Bobby and the Softspots play shotgun blasts of messy but fun garage-rock pop songs. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — Chad Radford


ATLANTA 4TH WARD ENSEMBLE AND THE DOUG DANK PROJECT The Atlanta 4th Ward Ensemble is a free-form jazz group that features Gold Sparkle Band co-founder Roger Ruzow (trumpet) leading a procession of local jazz stalwarts. For this performance the 4th Ward Ensemble joins forces with the Doug Dank Project, which is a gathering of improv actors from Dad’s Garage and PushPush Theatre, to create an atmosphere of all-encompassing improv theater. $5. 7 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — CR


BEAT CIRCUS Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter is the nucleus behind Beat Circus’ twisted take of weirdo art-goth storytelling through songs that tap into the darkest parts of primitive European and early American motifs. The nine-piece ensemble churns out an Edgar-Allen-Poe-skulk-meets-Coney-Island-at-turn-of-the-century brand of horrific narratives that could make for good children’s stories if they weren’t so disturbing. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — CR

SONIC GENERATOR Atlanta’s own “Sonic G” opens its show with the world premiere of “Kaleidoscope I” by Atlanta composer Chris Arrell, featuring real-time electronic processing of live sounds from flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The program also features “Fast Break” by Birmingham composer Charles Mason, the Zappa-esque “Rain on a Frail Cutie” by guitarist Nick Didkovsky of the NYC avant-rock band Doctor Nerve, and other forward-leaning music by Jonathan Harvey, Ingram Marshall and Belinda Reynolds. Free. 8 p.m. Georgia Tech Alumni House. 404-385-7257. — MG


BONERAMA This New Orleans seven-piece featuring four trombones and a sousaphone (with guitar and drums) applies its big-brass swing to such rock classics as “Whipping Post,” “War Pigs” and “The Ocean,” delivering fence-busting renditions. Its eclecticism is highlighted, as it’s ranging easily from Thelonious Monk to Jimi Hendrix, producing both what you’d expect from a Big Easy brass band and plenty of what you wouldn’t — such as its lively cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” $12. 8 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — CP

FROM THE JAM, HUGH CORNWELL That faintly acrid smell is the scent of the bassist and drummer from the Jam, once one of Britain’s finest punk acts, scuffling for cash by touring without singer/songwriter/guitarist and auteur Paul Weller. It may not be a total loss, because Weller wrote so many great songs, but it’s somewhat sad nonetheless. Also, since the group never connected stateside, the ticket price seems unrealistically inflated. Conversely, opener Cornwell fronted the Stranglers during the band’s salad years and has unassailable rights to play that material without the rest of the band in tow. $25. 8 p.m. The Roxy. 404-233-7699. — HH

ILL INSANITY Ill Insanity, a supergroup consisting of DJs Rob Swift and Total Eclipse (formerly of the Xecutioners), and Precision seek to bring back innovation to the long-dormant turntablism genre. It releases a new album this month, Ground Xero. The trio is promoting it with a handful of performances at Guitar Center stores around the country, where vinyl fetishists and studio geeks can watch turntable tricks by three of the world’s best DJs. Jaycee from the Aphilliates welcomes the crew to Atlanta. Free. 6 p.m. Guitar Center. 404-320-7255. — MR

M.O.D. Formed during the mid-’80s, in the wake of Anthrax side project Stormtroopers of Death, Methods of Destruction was led by S.O.D. singer Billy Milano. Its thrash-core blend has retained its essential character for 20 years, melding agit-prop, metal breakdowns, slow-motion build-outs and classic breakneck hardcore. The accent is on the latter with its latest, Red, White & Screwed, which effectively resurrects the blistering intensity and outraged politics of pioneers such as M.D.C., Suicidal Tendencies and Black Flag. $10. 8 p.m. Lenny’s Bar. 404-577-7721. — 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