Sound Menu June 04 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best local shows


CARBONAS, PETS, MAMMALS Atlanta’s favorite punk-rock emissaries Carbonas play a set of short, sharp shotgun blasts of bare-knuckle punk songs. Bay Area trio and Douche Master Records affiliate the Pets come all the way from the Left Coast to play classic, razor-sharp guitar rock that leans tastefully but heavily on the angles of circa ‘79 post-punk. Austell trio Mammals open the show with a primitive garage-rock plod, strum and dang. Free. 9 p.m. The Drunken Unicorn. — Chad Radford

THE LONG SHADOWS, THE BLACK HOLLIES, SO SO DEATH, JOHNNY BUFFALO & THE MUTINOUS NOISE From out of left field Atlanta folk-punk outfit the Long Shadows emerged with a catchy and ramshackle punk strum that channels the spirits of Firehose, Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü. To celebrate the release of their debut 7-inch, the group headlines a bill with fellow locals the Black Hollies, So So Death and Johnny Buffalo & the Mutinous Noise. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CR

MAC McANALLY The recent inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame makes it a point to perform in town when he has a day off from Jimmy Buffett’s tour. He’s a pleasant and easygoing performer, delivering comfortable and thoughtful tunes just the way the boomers like them. $21. 8 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. — James Kelly


OAKLEY HALL In 2001, guitarist Pat Sullivan left psych experimentalists Oneida to start the more country-inclined Oakley Hall. The rootsy vibe combines the swampy sway of the Band and Neil Young’s more homespun tendencies in slow, strolling numbers over a light crackle of rock distortion. While last year’s fourth album, I’ll Follow You, features some of that, there’s also a more expansive quality that echoes Sullivan’s old band, with saturated arrangements that wind and wander. $10. 9 p.m. Lenny’s Bar. 404-577-7721. — Chris Parker

SWERVEDRIVER While hailed as a shoegazer band, Swervedriver was more supple than simply wavering sheets of noise and sing-song melodies. While its undulating arrangements definitely feature plenty of overdriven amperage, the rhythms rumble like a garage-punk act, the guitar echoes scratchy late ’80s SST bands, and there are more hooks than your typical textural rockers. The British quartet broke up in ‘99, bedeviled by label difficulties, with Adam Franklin engaging in a variety of projects including Toshak Highway and solo before announcing the reunion late last year. $17. 7:30 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. — CP


DIXIE BEE-LINERS, THE CHAPMANS The Bee-Liners play a pure form of traditional bluegrass, without any modern variations. That’s good. And so are they. Tonight’s show is a celebration of their new CD Ripe, so bring a little extra scratch. The Chapmans are a family band, with great harmonies and decent tunes. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — JK


ALL DAY PICKING AND DINNER ON THE GROUND I’m not sure what this event is a benefit for, but there’s no doubt it will be a good time, just like the old days. You can bet on five to six little bluegrass and classic country jam sessions all going on at the same time outside and in the house, and bands playing on the main stage in the barn. There’s a dress code and a “no alcohol” rule, but if the music doesn’t keep you happy, you have no business being there. $15 donation. 8 p.m. Everett’s Music Barn. 770-945-5628. — JK

MIKE ZITO It takes talent and persistence to succeed in the rough-and-tumble blues grind, and even though the Texas-based Zito has just released his impressive debut, he’s been at it for years. His is a smoother, more soulful blues made more riveting by strong originals, committed singing, soul-searching lyrics derived from hard-bitten experience and powerful guitar solos that never overwhelm the material. He’s talented, hungry and ready to take on the big boys. Catch him on the way up. $8-$12. 9 p.m. Darwin’s. 770-578-6872. — Hal Horowitz

ZZ TOP “That Lil’ Ol’ Band from Texas” hasn’t released a new album since 2003 and for all its fans care, it’ll never release another. No one, probably including the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers themselves, expects them to improve upon the hits that’ll keep ‘em playing concert sheds until it’s time to finally toss in the towel. That said, those songs are surprisingly resilient and sound as rocking today as ever, due in part to Top’s undeniable chops and that they really seem to enjoy churning them out 20-30 years after the fact. It’s a great show guaranteed not to disappoint their three generations of fans. $38-$63. 8 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 404-233-2227. — HH


DON DIXON In the ’80s, Dixon was an überproducer for most of the great North Carolina guitar-driven bands and put out several truly great albums of his own. He has a new one to show off, a duet of lullabies with his wife, Marti Jones. Hopefully it won’t put anyone to sleep, but you can still expect a lot of great melodies and witty wordplay from the back catalog. $12-$60. 8:30 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — JK


RICK FOWLER For now he’s stuck in the middle of a 3-for-$5 Monday night showcase, but veteran Athens guitarist Fowler’s terrific new blues-rock album Back on My Good Foot should have him headlining clubs on weekends soon. His lyrically and melodically sharp, swampy songs are sung with a dusky, husky edge and his guitar solos stay taut and sharp. He sounds infected with the blues, as one of his tunes is titled, and he’s ready to spread the disease. Mighty Orq and Quadrosonic also appear. $5. 7 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — HH


DILATED PEOPLES, ACEYALONE The crew came together 16 years ago, building enough of an underground West Coast hip-hop following to attract the majors. But despite several fine albums and a hit Kanye West collaboration (“This Way”), the label got preoccupied with other things, and barely promoted their 2006 fourth album, 20/20. A backpacker favorite, they aren’t as heady as Native Tongues, busting a slightly earthier groove offering some banging with their science. Freestyle Fellowship founder Aceyalone’s limber tongue is among the West Coast’s most revered. He toasts dancehall on his latest, Lightning Strikes. $20. 8 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. — CP

TIM McGRAW, JASON ALDEAN, HALFWAY TO HAZARD Over the years, McGraw has proven he has the staying power in the fickle world of mainstream country music. Partly a function of his honesty (“I’m not that good a singer” — true) and his charisma (the ladies love to molest him), he delivers what’s expected. Aldean is from Macon, and has made a big impression over the last few years with catchy tunes. $29.75-$59.75. 7:30 p.m. Lakewood Amphitheater. 404-443-5000. — JK

MUDHONEY Too unapologetically raw to appeal to the masses that lapped up flannel-clad contemporaries Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Mudhoney nonetheless was, and to some extent remains, the heart and soul of the ’80s Seattle grunge scene. The band tours behind a terrific and somewhat retro new album that retains all of singer Mark Arm’s sneering vitriol and guitarist Steve Turner’s psycho, fuzzed-out leads. Call ‘em the Northwest’s answer to the Stooges, but the band is as vital now as ever. Birds of Avalon and Anna Kramer & the Lost Cause also appear on this impressive triple bill. $16-$18. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — HH

VAMPIRE WEEKEND Boasting a steadier buzz than an army of cicadas, this Big Apple crew’s odes to collegiate heartbreak (“Campus”) and punctuation (“Oxford Comma”) introduce the Talking Heads to Belle & Sebastian. Precocious pop and bubbling baroque lilt twirl about bongo-driven Afro-pop and skittering polyrhythms. The toast of the blogosphere with their self-titled full-length January debut, there’s plenty of inventiveness, bon mots and crisp harmonies making them coyly irresistible. $18. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — 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