Sound Menu March 26 2008

CL's picks for the week's best shows


RISING APPALACHIA, BITCH & THE EXCITING CONCLUSION Candler Park's Rising Appalachia has been traveling all over the world, sharing its primitive take on hillbilly music. Enchanting for a while, it can quickly wear thin. The Bitch is quite experimental, and seems to do whatever floats her boat — minimalism, post-punk, whatever. $10-$50. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — James Kelly

STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS, JOHN VANDERSLICE Former Pavement frontman Malkmus returns in support of his latest album, Real Emotional Trash (Matador). This latest work finds the '90s indie rock icon moving deeper into the realms of long and somewhat languid jams with Sleater-Kinney/Quasi drummer Janet Weiss behind the drums. Weiss gives both grit and direction to the otherwise meandering numbers. John Vanderslice opens. $20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — Chad Radford


ERIC SARDINAS Blues-rocking slide-guitar shenanigans by this lanky, Steve Vai-approved axe slinger keep the blues at arm's distance and the rock ratcheted into the red zone. Loud, proud and hot, Sardinas and his Big Motor duo tour behind a solid new outing that takes the often frenzied, blitzkrieg approach of Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher and ups the volume and energy. If that's your bag, he's your dude. The Two Timers also appear. $12. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — Hal Horowitz

STEVE MACKAY & RADON COLLECTIVE, TENTH TO THE MOON, FEEDING FINGERS MacKay's the saxophone player who laid down the manic skronk and wail on the Stooges' 1970 debut album, Fun House. With the Radon Collective he leads a procession of free jazz and postindustrial clatter through short, sharp blasts of avant-garde noise and dirge. Atlanta industrial art terrorists Tenth to the Moon and gothic rock trio Feeding Fingers open. $8. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. — CR

WAYBACKS, INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS The Waybacks' esoteric acoustic jamming is a bit of an acquired taste, but they are incredibly talented and can pretty much play whatever they want. The 'Dusters broke some ground with their debut CD, which tied to win the International Bluegrass Music Association's Best Album award in 2007. With a great new one on the way, they can definitely impress on stage. $12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — JK


DAVID GRISMAN QUINTET He's played with some of the best acoustic pickers in the world, from Earl Scruggs to Jerry Garcia, and drifts in a number of eclectic directions. But no matter which way Grisman wanders, he always amazes with his virtuosity on the mandolin, and his broad repertoire. The DGQ's VP shows never disappoint. $25. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — JK

GIRL TALK Laptop musician extraordinaire Greg Gillis dices and slices like Wesley Snipe's Blade on a pop music bender. Snippets of familiar tracks run over and bleed into each other on mashups that coin strange bedfellows like Boston and Ludacris or Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix. Trafficking in pop confections gives Gillis' compositions a populist sample-spotting appeal, and while his set is necessarily heavily scripted — by nature of its thick, seamless weave — Gillis always slips recent hits, almost surreptitiously into the mix. The live show is surprisingly off-the-hook. $15. 10 p.m. Georgia Theatre, Athens. 706-549-9918. www.georgiatheatre.com. — Chris Parker

KATE ROYAL Very, very English soprano Kate Royal makes her U.S. recital debut, singing music by Spanish composers Joaquín Rodrigo ("Amatorios madrigals") and Enrique Granados ("La maya y el ruisegnor"), a coquettish bouquet of French songs by Joseph Canteloube and Claude Debussy, leading up to German lieder by Richard Strauss ("Madchenblumen" Op. 22; and others) — Royal herself and distinguished collaborative pianist Roger Vignoles are the only English angles. Preconcert talk at 7:15 p.m. $35. 8:15 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200. www.spiveyhall.org. — Mark Gresham


ATLANTA GAY MEN'S CHORUS Artistic director Kevin Robison leads AGMC in Divas and Dilemmas: Opera Our Way with John Wesley Wright (tenor) and WABE-FM's Wanda Yang Temko (soprano) as guest solo artists. The program features classic opera choruses and arias, including the prisoners' chorus "O welche Lust" from Beethoven's liberty-inspired opera "Fidelio," the "Chorus of Pilgrims" from Richard Wagner's "Tannhäuser," and "Zitti, zitti, muoviamo a vendetta" from the politically provocative "Rigoletto" by Giuseppe Verdi. $15-$45. 8 p.m. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 404-320-1030. www.agmchorus.org. — MG

JASON RICCI & NEW BLOOD Those who caught Ricci and his incredible band blowing the roof off this small but friendly club last month are sure to return for another dose as the harmonica man takes that little instrument and wields it with heavy metal styled fireworks. He's the blues-rock harp-playing equivalent of a guitar shredder, except he's got crazy cool taste in music — the last gig featured covers of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and Cheech and Chong's "Earache My Eye" — and he really knows and loves his blues history. Ticket price TBA. 9 p.m. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. www.darwinsblues.com. — HH

MIKE DOUGHTY'S BAND Former frontman of '90s jazzy, genre-splicing hipsters Soul Coughing, Doughty isn't going in "Circles" anymore, nor is he playing the skittery, ramshackle folk that characterized his early solo material. Since 2005's Haughty Melodic, Doughty's had a full band backing his keen lyrical sketches. Whether contemplating the dull ache of success on "White Lexus," or the branded rebellion of the bohemian shuffle, "Busting Up A Starbucks," Doughty's vision has wizened and widened with age. He's supporting his new album, Golden Delicious. $17.50-$20. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404 524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — CP

RICKY SKAGGS & BRUCE HORNSBY This is an interesting pairing — one of the biggest artists in '90s pop teaming with the reigning king of bluegrass. Whatever cosmic event created this mutual admiration society, fans of both genres are in for a special evening of distinct yet well-blended musical styles. You can tell they're having fun, and it's contagious. $36-$55. 8 p.m. Ferst Center at Georgia Tech. 404-494-9600. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu. — JK

WREK'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECTACULAR To celebrate 40 years of diverse college radio programming, Georgia Tech's student-run radio station, WREK-FM (91.1), hosts an afternoon/evening extravaganza of Atlanta bands from all over the musical map. The lineup includes performances by Andy Ditzler, No River City, the Subliminator, Zandosis, Orquesta MaCuba, Judi Chicago and more. A complete schedule of performances is available at www.wrek.org. More bands to be announced. $5. 4 p.m. The Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. — CR


ATLANTA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA John Hsu conducts the ABO in a concert of music entirely by J.S. Bach: the extremely popular third and fifth "Brandenburg" concertos, plus his "Concerto in D minor for Two Violins" and the solo cantata No. 82, "Ich habe genug" ("I have enough"), featuring guest basso vocalist Richard Lalli from Yale. It's a chance to wallow in ABO's period-instrument renditions of "Daddy Bach" until you've had enough, too. Senior/student discount tix available, children under 11 free. $25. 3 p.m. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. 770-537-3974. www.atlantabaroque.org. — MG

GARAJ MAHAL This oddly named, jam-approved jazz-fusion quartet used to be a frequent Atlanta visitor but hasn't been back for a while. Each show is different but all are filled with eye-popping musicianship that incorporates world beat, funk and rock into a seamless combination somewhat reminiscent of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in its '70s prime. The musicians blend with effortless precision, although nobody hogs the spotlight, the solos are stunning and there is never a dull or even clichéd moment. $12. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — HH


CLIVE DRISKILL-SMITH "Royal College of Organists' Performer of the Year" in 2000 and winner of the Calgary International Organ Competition in 2002, organist Clive Driskill-Smith splits his time between concert touring and regular duties as sub-organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England. The 30-year-old is noted for a blazing technique and intensity of performance. Student discount tix available. $10. 7:30 p.m. All Saints' Episcopal Church. 404-881-0835. www.allsaintsatlanta.org. — MG

DAVID DONDERO He's this generation's Townes Van Zandt, a peripatetic tumbleweed casting across the country's highways and dirt roads searching for truth and love. His reedy tenor shuffles through clever verbal forays, over ragamuffin folk, brightened by Dondero's road-wizened stoicism. His latest, Simple Love, features his characteristic wit and unexpected sonic complexity thanks to a full backing band, which joins him on the road. The former Sunbrain frontman's decade solo hasn't brought fame, but the endless road's flint honing his craft to Ginsu sharpness. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — CP


THE DIRTBOMBS Like the steel-coated V-8 monsters Detroit used to turn out, Motown's Dirtbombs are much more particle than wave, forging a concussive momentum that collides garage, punk and soul in a fire-breathing boogie. Frontman Mick Collin's capable of R&B croon on ragged, ornery covers of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, or a rabid howl for grit-soaked, wall-rattling rumble like "Stuck in Thee Garage." Their irreverent racket is grimier and noisier than usual on their punky new album, We Have You Surrounded. $10-$12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — CP

THE HILL COUNTRY REVUE With Luther Dickinson on the road for the foreseeable future with the Black Crowes, fellow North Mississippi Allstars' bassist Chris Chew and drummer Cody Dickinson invite guitarist Garry Burnside and singer Chris Smithhart along for a month of Wednesday night performances. Not surprisingly the sound is similar to the NMAS, i.e., lots of funky blues-rock jamming, so any fan should relish the chance to catch two-thirds of the band in the intimate confines of Smith's. With four more return gigs in as many weeks, the improv factor should be extreme. $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — HH

RJD2, DÄLEK, HAPPY HAPPY CHICHESTER RJD2 comes to pop music from an intelligent hip-hop background (a la Def Jux). His cross-fade into non hip-hop is unorthodox and even a little uncomfortable, but the songs are full of hooks and intrigue. New Jersey masters of bombastic, postapocalyptic hip-hop Dälek churn out rumbling beats and bottom-end noise. Happy Chichester opens with a set of piano and acoustic guitar numbers from his debut, Lovers Come Back. $20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — CR

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.