Sound Menu June 11 2008

CL’s picks for the week’s best shows


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 and 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. — Chris Parker

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 Amphitheatre. 404-443-5000. — James Kelly

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. — Hal Horowitz

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 January debut full-length, 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


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Robert Spano conducts the ASO season finale, featuring guest clarinetist Todd Palmer in Osvaldo Golijov’s klezmer-infused “Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind,” inspired by 12th-century Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Saggi Nehor. It’s paired with the orchestral suite from The Firebird ballet by Igor Stravinsky, which tells the story of a large, luminous bird that proves both blessing and curse to the person who captures it. Program repeats Friday and Saturday. $18-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. — Mark Gresham

COLOUR REVOLT Probably the least rootsy act on the Fat Possum label, Mississippi-based Colour Revolt’s shoe-gazing indie rock is torn from the Brit handbook, right down to the spelling of the group’s name. The five piece’s moody music falls on the generic side but tight playing and dusky, emotional vocals provide splashes of color to the gray palette. Like bluesier labelmates, CR finds a deep, dark groove with murky, intertwining guitars and rides it with impressive results. Atlanta’s Gringo Star opens. $9-$10. 9 p.m. Vinyl. 404-885-1365. — HH

TAB BENOIT The Louisiana swamp rocker comes through town so frequently (he was just here six weeks ago), even fans might take him for granted. But once he tears into that banged-up Telecaster, and his tight duo kicks into gear and he unleashes his whisky-tinged voice, you realize how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy his ruggedly soulful blues rocking so often. Benoit’s one of the next generation of bluesmen. He tours endlessly and delivers consistently sizzling, sweat-soaked shows that never disappoint. The Shane Pruitt Band also appears. $15. 9 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. — HH

UNWED SAILOR Located in the shimmering ether between math rock and dream pop, Unwed Sailor’s languid post-rock instrumentals eschew predictable soft-loud epics or showy, shifting time signatures in favor of supple droning beauty on its latest, Little Wars. Taken and expanded from an unreleased 2002 EP, it’s a suitably succinct (just two of the nine tracks break the five-minute mark) and hook-lined treat that unfolds like origami, the many miniature manipulations yielding cunningly crafted splendor. $8. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CP

ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA The tribute band thing can be sublime or ridiculous, but when it’s fronted by the son of the honoree, it takes on a different perspective. Dweezil and his band deliver a near perfect sampling of Frank’s finest work, and the inclusion of former FZ vocalist Ray White this time around adds a new twist. $38-$40. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. — JK


CAROLYN WONDERLAND, BRYAN WRIGHT & THE WACO TRAGEDIES, SALLY JAYE Austin, Texas-based singer Wonderland channels Janis Joplin through a country filter, and her rich voice and varied material makes for good listening from this contemporary blues mama. Wright’s band wraps a little twang around its rock influences, and former Georgian Jaye opens with her pleasant and gentle Americana tunes. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — JK

GEORGIA MOUNTAIN ROOTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL Spend a nice weekend in the (cooler) North Georgia mountains with two evenings of great music. Friday’s headliners are Larry Sparks and Cherryholmes, and Saturday’s bands include the Lovell Sisters, the Greencards, Tim O’Brien and the Infamous Stringdusters. Jamming will happen. Saturday’s show starts at 1 p.m. $18-$26. 6 p.m. Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. 706-896-4191. — JK

MOTHGUTS, CORIMA, TENTH TO THE MOON Brooklyn-based four-piece Mothguts play a dirty, boiling, skronking and totally grotesque blend of noise, black metal and dark and antagonistic jazz that culminates in a sound that can only accurately be described as “free-grind.” Corima comes all the way from El Paso, Texas, to deliver a spacey, bass-heavy and operatic prog-rock show that’s delivered in a made-up language. Atlanta’s Tenth to the Moon opens. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. — Chad Radford

NICK LONGO BAND Expect an “on the lawn” concert of high-energy original jazz from this Atlanta-based seven-piece band, featuring Longo’s funky-to-screaming alto and baritone saxes backed by a rhythmically tight ensemble. Not only that, the initial public release of Longo’s debut CD, This Is, takes place at this concert, literally hot off the presses. $12-$15. 7:30 p.m. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. 404-872-5338. — MG

NICK MOSS & THE FLIP TOPS Guitarist/vocalist Moss isn’t out to reinvent the blues wheel. On the contrary, he prides himself on being a traditional torchbearer by delivering the kind of blistering shows veterans like his old boss Jimmy Rogers were known for. His timing is impeccable, his searing, primal leads are reminiscent of Mike Bloomfield and Hubert Sumlin, and his multitalented band is sharp and tight. Unlike other Chicago traditionalists, he specializes in original material and his new double album even features a disc of acoustic tunes, a style not typically associated with the Windy City. $10-$12. 9 p.m. Darwin’s. 770-578-6872. — HH


BLOCK PARTIE Whistle while you work! Jody Miller, Jonathan Deloach, Joann Nunemaker and Claire Rottembourg play music for recorder (a sophisticated form of fipple flute) from the early Renaissance era through the instrument’s 20th-century revival. Of additional interest to early music fans, the quartet will also debut a new consort of recorders built by Dutch recorder maker Adriana Breukink. Donations accepted. Free. 8 p.m. St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church. 404-634-3336. — MG

FIREWATER After Dubya’s coronation in ‘04, Firewater frontman Tod A went on an extended sojourn across southeast Asia, and the musicians he met on the way help inform the group’s first studio album since then, Golden Hour. Produced and backed by Balkan Beat Box drummer Tamir Muskrat, as well as a raft of others on a variety of exotic Eastern instruments, its confluence of anger, and infectious melodies in service to nomadic skittering pan-global road songs feels like Gogol Bordello on a sultry summer night, after several cervezas and a big fattie, talking idly of revolution. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — CP


CAT POWER An evocative artist with unsettling bared-wire emotionality, Chan Marshall’s notoriously shaky live performance has matched her studio skill and intensity the past couple years. Her fine backing band (featuring Dirty Three’s Jim White) provides plenty of support and contributes mightily to Marshall’s terrific new album, Jukebox. As with 2000’s fine Covers Record, Marshall dramatically reworks most tracks, feminizing Hank Williams’ “Rambling Man” with jazzy swing, and instilling the Highwayman’s “Silver Stallion” with a smoky wanton ache. $26.50. 8 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. — CP


THE BAND OF HEATHENS Ignore the deceptively metalish name for some good ol’ boy soulful roots rocking by this Austin, Texas-based collective, voted the city’s Best New Band in 2007. While there is little unique here, the five-piece writes smart, hooky strummers and grinds them out with the sharp proficiency of the veterans they are. Three strong vocalists add variety and excellent harmonies to hummable melodies. The playing nails a swampy, twangy vibe somewhat like a countrified Little Feat. Fellow Texan and self-described “wanderlusty” songwriter Abi Tapia opens. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic. 404-377-4976. — HH

GRAND ARCHIVES Formed two years ago by former Carissa’s Wierd/Band of Horses guitarist Mat Brooke, his new quintet echoes some of Carissa’s folk-rock baroque. But with its soaring harmonies and glimmering lilt, it’s a lot sunnier, drawing as much inspiration from the Mamas & the Pappas or Crosby, Stills & Nash as cloudy Northwestern pop slackerdom. Tracks like the bubbly “Louis Riel” is near twee in its airy, fluttering shimmer. $10. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. — 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