Sound Menu February 27 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows


BEAR COLONY Hailing from Little Rock, 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’s Look Mexico and Atlanta’s O’Brother also perform. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — Mosi Reeves

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. — Hal Horowitz


CARRIE NEWCOMER, KATHLEEN HASKARD Combining Newcomer’s sweet blend of folk sensibility and gentle country twang with Haskard’s moody and political sound may create a bit of cognitive dissonance tonight, or it may be just an evening of great acoustic music. Newcomer has been making great albums for years, and Haskard’s upcoming release was produced by Chuck Prophet. Impressive. $15-$75. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — James Kelly


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CHAMBER CHORUS In one of its rare performances without the orchestra, the ASO Chamber Chorus reprises a work with which it inaugurated Spivey Hall’s massive Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ in 1992: the meditative, otherworldly “Requiem” by French composer/organist Maurice Duruflé, plus Duruflé’s lusciously textured, unaccompanied “Gregorian Motets.” ASOC director Norman Mackenzie conducts the 60 select voices; Peter Marshall is organist. $30. 8:15 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200. — Mark Gresham

THE DYNAMITES FEATURING CHARLES WALKER, CORDERO Now this is an interesting double bill. The Dynamites are a full-blown old-school soul revue, hot as a firecracker and funky to the bone. Dancing will be required. Cordero tends to be a bit more esoteric, and features former Atlantan Chris Verene on drums. Their unique and quirky sound will set up an interesting juncture for the evening. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — JK

DELBERT MCCLINTON Now pushing 70, this well-traveled Americana journeyman has been there, done that and has the catalog — and wrinkles — to prove it. McClinton’s solo recordings date back to 1972, but he was touring and recording way before that. It’s a long run during which he has carved out a unique, often rowdy, always freewheeling blues, country, Tex-Mex, honky-tonk and roots-rock style combined with killer harmonica work and a distinctively ragged, soulful voice. He’s a Texas icon and probably doesn’t have many more miles on his odometer, so catch him now before he decides to only perform on his pricey yearly cruises. Brian Ashley Jones opens. $27.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. — HH

REGINA SPEKTOR There’s an indomitable spirit and quirky, self-conscious charm in Spektor’s skittering piano and guitar-driven tunes that could make her Norah Jones’ bohemian, boy-bereft-but-about-to-bloom BFF in their as-yet-unwritten buddy movie. Her demonstrable talent is disguised behind a shy, smirking veneer, but her transit through the NYC anti-folk scene readied her to survive the coming spotlight with her eclectic, idiosyncratic style intact. The Russian-born songstress is a very charismatic performer, and her last album, 2006’s Begin to Hope, was one of the finest major-label releases of that year. 8 p.m. $22.50-$25. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. — Chris Parker


ANGELIQUE KIDJO Few artists have done more to bring Afro-pop to the mainstream. Kidjo epitomizes “crossover,” as her mastery of both the music of her country and contemporary popular songs makes her concerts a joy to experience. She has a lot to say, and a lot more to sing about. $49-$65. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts. 404-413-9849. — JK

JOE LALLY EDIE SEDGEWICK The Fugazi bassist has kept busy with various projects — Ataxia with John Frusciante, Decahedron with ex-Frodus members — during the band’s ongoing hiatus, and in 2006 Lally released his solo debut, There to Here. Last year’s follow-up, Nothing Is Underrated, features more fully sketched arrangements across an eclectic range of sounds from slinky soul-tinged tracks like “Skin & Bone” to the understated loping pop and taut post-punk. Sedgewick’s creepy/cool, celebrity-obsessed electro funk and dance punk is the drag alter ego of Justin Moyer (Supersystem/El Gaupo). $8-$10. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. — CP


ALBERT AHLSTROM Atlanta composer/organist Ahlstrom plays one of his own raucously revelatory compositions for the kist o’ whistles: “The Vision of St. John,” a dramatic three-part work that explores musical sonorities and textures in the tradition of the great French cathedrals, while building intensity with cumulative rhythmic and coloristic elements of American minimalism. Free. 3:15 p.m. Cathedral of St. Philip. 404-365-1052. — MG

ATLANTA CHAMBER PLAYERS In a program celebrating classical composers of old Vienna, Austria, ACP plays the “Piano Trio in E Minor” by Franz Joseph Haydn, “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings” by Carl Maria von Weber, and the “Trio in Eb Major” by Johannes Brahms. (I think we’re turning Viennese.) Donations accepted. 3 p.m. Srochi Hall, Ahavath Achim Synagogue. 770-242-2227. — MG

JONATHAN RICHMAN & TOMMY LARKIN, VIC CHESTNUTT Over the last decade former Modern Lovers frontman Richman and drummer Larkin have fused an erratic rock ‘n’ roll sound that balances Richman’s wistfully precise and iconic presence over Larkin’s sparse crash and rattle. Longtime Athens fixture singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt also performs a set of austere and contemporary folk songs that are riddled with the human condition. $15. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — Chad Radford


ANNA KRAMER & THE LOST CAUSE, DAN SARTAIN, BOBBY & THE SOFTSPOTS As a songwriter, Kramer has a lot in common with the likes of the Kinks, Gram Parsons and the Rolling Stones, yet she invariably drifts toward the realm of love-damaged country music. Birmingham’s rockabilly troubadour Sartain adds true Southern grit to the lineup. Bobby & the Softspots play loud, frazzled and unapologetically loose garage rock. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CR

CHIMAIRA Dark enough to be in league with Sauron, Chimaira’s blast-furnace heat is fueled by the skin-tight rhythm section’s black-hearted hardcore/metal churn, grim, shadowy atmospheres, and Mark Hunter’s tortured growl. The hammering percussion, eerie electronic/synth backing, and molten sparks thrown off by the alternately plodding and soaring guitar lines combine for a majestic malevolence of impressive scope. They sound re-energized on their latest, Resurrection, bringing more nuance, melody and modulation to their thunderous roar. $15 in advance. 7:30 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. — CP

WORKSHOP IN BRAZILIAN PERCUSSION The South Brazilian duo featuring percussionist Marcelo Fruet and composer João Marcelo Selhane presents a workshop in Brazilian percussion, a crucial aspect of Brazilian music. The workshop is designed to introduce musicians and nonmusicians alike to the various rhythms and instruments of Brazilian percussion. The workshop is set up as an educational event that precedes the group’s first American performance, which takes place at Eyedrum the following Friday night (March 7). $5. 7 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — CR


ROBIN TROWER Unfortunately, Cream’s Jack Bruce won’t be along to re-create the vocals from the duo’s impressive new collaborative album, but much of the bluesy rock guitarist’s set typically features Trower’s still mind-expanding, Hendrix-inspired Bridge of Sighs (mid-late-’70s) era hits. Balding air guitarists will be out in force as Trower whips off the spacey/psychedelic leads that provided the backdrop for many a dorm party when Ford and Carter were presidents. But Trower’s new material is nearly as powerful as the Stratocaster-driven warhorses that get the fiftysomethings off the sofa and ready to rock down memory lane. $25. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. — Hal Horowitz

WARM IN THE WAKE, HOOTS & HELLMOUTH, GIANT BEAR This reasonably priced triple bill features an impressive and eclectic trio of up-and-coming bands from a wide range of East Coast locales. Headlining is Decatur’s Warm in the Wake, who doesn’t have far to drive to deliver an intriguing combination of folksy strum combined with a fuzzy ’60s psychedelia somewhat atypical of Eddie’s usual fare. Hoots’ rousing, gospel-tinged, strummy rockabilly hails from Philadelphia, and be sure to arrive early for Giant Bear. This highly touted Memphis-based quintet throws big band, bluegrass, country and Bob Dylan into a blender with unpredictable and exhilarating results. $10. 8:30 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 770-377-4976. — Hal Horowitz

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