Sound Menu February 20 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows


ELIOT GATTEGNO Boston-based multi-instrumentalist Eliot Gattegno has spent a lifetime developing an impressive résumé as a modern jazz luminary with a palette for electroacoustic music. He is a virtuoso amid the avant-garde and has performed with groups such as Second Instrumental Unit and the Radnofsky Quartet. For this solo show Gattegno wields a saxophone as he peels through the early works of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Terry Riley. $7. 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — Chad Radford

FUGGIN AWESOME WITH YELAWOLF, THE BEAT CHEFS Atlanta’s underground hip-hop scene has been on fire lately. Its prime players are organizing concerts and parties on a weekly basis, giving everyone a chance to see what the hype’s all about. “Fuggin Awesome,” co-sponsored by local producers the Beat Chefs, is yet another showcase. Yelawolf, the Alabama MC who raps about trailer-park pimpin’, headlines along with Miami DJ Ideal. Minneapolis group Prof and Rahzwell, and local dudes the Wheeler Boys, Chapter 13 and Dres tha Beatnik add flavor to the mix. $7. 10 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. — Mosi Reeves

SHANNON WRIGHT With last year’s Let in the Light, Shannon Wright reached a new level. The stark, angular haunt of early albums has bloomed into a tangy, bittersweet fruit. Her tense, terse songs are more potent and concentrated, whether the dark, arresting cabaret of “Steadfast and True,” or the delicate opening of “St. Pete” exploding into full-fledged rock ode to a fight-drained parting. These more sonically inviting songs seem an even better medium for Wright’s evocative vocals and material. $8-$10. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — Chris Parker


ACE FREHLEY The Kiss Army will turn out in full regalia tonight as guitarist Frehley, who released the best solo projects of the original Kiss members (1978’s thumping “New York Groove” still gets airplay) churns through his hard-rocking past. Now clean and sober, he has a new album ready for release, but will concentrate on the explosive glitter rawk and lighter-waving fan favorites that made him a star behind all that makeup. Arrive early to hear the Trews: exciting, brash, Canadian crunch rockers who connect like prime Humble Pie. Rock City Dropouts also appear. $29. 9 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. — Hal Horowitz

THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA A delight for all adults who have not lost their sense of childlike wonder, Oliver Knussen is guest composer/conductor for this ASO program featuring a concert performance of his opera “Where the Wild Things Are.” The libretto by illustrator/author Maurice Sendak is based on his own picture book of the same name. The theme is complemented by the concert opener, the “Mother Goose Suite” by 20th-century French composer Maurice Ravel. Program repeats Sun., Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. $15-$65. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. — Mark Gresham

NO COUNT GARAGE THROWDOWN FESTIVAL Garage rock as a lifestyle choice is alive and well and kicking at the Star Bar for this festival of down-and-dirty homespun rock. Local bands Knife & the 4th Ward Daggers and Thee Crucials serve as ambassadors to the sounds that are keeping Atlanta on punk-rock radar. Philadelphia quartet Mondo Topless and central Florida strip-club sleaze-rock creeps the Delusionaires also perform. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. — CR

SNOWDEN, CONSTELLATIONS, TWIN TIGERS Snowden’s brand of melancholy pop balances the wintry gloom of Joy Division with black-clad melodies that balance insular drama and passive sentimental catharsis with its songs. Culled from the ashes of Athens’ paranoid post-goth trio Psychic Hearts, Twin Tigers revels in clouds of psychedelic guitar wash and divergent pop tones that swim in clouds of noise and melody. Constellations from Denver also performs. $10. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CR


GSU PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE AND NEOPHONIA Lovers of avant-classical music will have been wallowing in it since Wednesday thanks to the 2008 National Conference of the Society of Composers downtown at Georgia State University. Of the conference’s 13 concerts in all, these two final free performances on Saturday evening alone showcase works by 15 living composers, performed by the GSU Percussion Ensemble with guest percussionist Scott Deal (at 4 p.m.), and new music ensemble neoPhonia (at 8 p.m.) The latter concert features the “Piano Quartet No. 3” by guest of honor George Tsontakis. Free. 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Kopleff Recital Hall. 404-413-5901. — MG

MOVE WITH J. ROCC, EGON, DAZ-I-KUE Classic L.A. imprint Stones Throw Records is hosting a regular club jam in the A for the first time in more than two years. The party, titled “Move,” will occur bimonthly, with the inaugural edition happening at Django. Beat Junkie J. Rocc, Stones Throw label manager/crate diggin’ expert Egon, Daz-I-Kue from Bugz in the Attic, and Atlanta’s Karl Injex will make the crowd jump. For more on Daz-I-Kue, see Show Preview in Vibes. $10. 9 p.m. Django. 404-347-8648. — MR

TOMMY EMMANUEL, GREENCARDS Tonight is an international event, as guitarist extraordinaire Emmanuel is often called the “Australian Chet Atkins,” and the title is well-deserved. The Greencards consist of two Aussies and a Brit, but their sound is steeped in contemporary Americana. You don’t hear great acoustic music like this on commercial radio, which is shameful. $22.50-$25. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — James Kelly

WEBB WILDER, THE BACKYARDBIRDS Wilder is a Nashville underground icon, and consistently puts out great albums that hardly anybody hears. His music is twangy and rocking, witty and funny, and all his own. The Backyardbirds are a local tribute to the Yardbirds, and do a decent job of it. $15. 6 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — JK


LORI McKENNA McKenna is a real mother. Seriously, she has five kids, but still finds time to write decent contemporary country hits for folks such as Faith Hill and Mandy Moore. But when she sings her own material, it’s obvious she’s saying what she believes. Exceptional talent from an unusual source. $17-$85. 6:30 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — JK


BABY DEE A colorful transgender artist who has worked with Current 93 and Antony and the Johnsons, and for a time would ride around lower Manhattan on a giant tricycle in a bee costume carting her harp, Baby Dee’s cabaret-ready sound is as odd as her character. Her voice goes from ringing falsetto to low, broad basso over music ranging from dark Weimar piano ballads to willowy moments of operatic delicacy. Her latest, Safe Inside the Day, produced by Bonnie Prince Billy, is highlighted by the eerie “The Earlie King.” For more on Baby Dee, see Vibes. $10. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — Chris Parker

BILL CALLAHAN You might know him better as Smog for the past two decades, but Callahan has finally stepped out from behind that alter ego for a solo career under his own name. His mopey indie-folk and spoken/sung vocals are well-served on a new album that manages to be lovely, soulful, introspective, melancholy and obtuse, often in the same song. Sparse instrumentation and a somewhat unlikely country tinge have been added to his decidedly low-fi aesthetic. That makes his new music slightly more upbeat than much of the subdued, some might say depressing, catalog of naked musings under the Smog moniker. $15. 8 p.m. Red Light Cafe. 404-874-7828. — HH

DEAN & BRITTA New Zealand native Dean Wareham founded influential atmospheric-rock acts Galaxie 500 and Luna. Britta Phillips joined Luna in 2000, with she and Wareham becoming a couple, and then a duo with 2003’s L’Avventura. Luna bowed out a couple years later, and last year they released the follow-up, Back Numbers, with Phillips’ vocals moving even more to the forefront. Their jazzy, space-age bachelor-pad chamber pop effervesces like a soft drink, abetted by understated guitar from Peter Kember (Spacemen 3, Spectrum). $20. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — CP


ATLANTA SINGERS For 30 years, the Atlanta Singers have been a steady, noteworthy presence in the city’s choral scene, having built their reputation through solid, though often innovative, programming rather than fluff, drawn from a wide range of repertoire from Renaissance times to our own era. David Morrow leads the 18-voice chamber chorus in music by William Byrd, Claude Debussy, Moses Hogan and Morrow himself. $15. 7:30 p.m. Cathedral of St. Philip. 404-365-1052. — MG


BEAR COLONY Hailing from Little Rock, Ark., Bear Colony makes a sweet stew of indie pop. The band’s music is light and winsome, and tinged with sadness, electronic textures and the occasional careening guitar. Its debut, We Came Here to Die, is inspired by the specter of death; Vince Griffin wrote the album’s songs while bedridden under a misdiagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Tallahassee, Fla.’s Look Mexico and Atlanta’s O’Brother also perform. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — MR

THE REFUGEES It’s three under-the-radar journeywomen songwriters — major-label refugees, if you will — for the price of one as rocker Cindy Bullens, witty folkie Deborah Holland and noted ’70s troubadour Wendy Waldman combine their talents for a casual evening of crisp harmonies and sharp, funny and poignant songs. These multi-instrumentalists have released melodic, often heartfelt yet inexplicably ignored music through the years and each is a club headliner on her own, making this impressive meeting of the minds lots of bang for the buck. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 770-377-4976. — 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: 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