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GIRL TALK (OCT. 16)
Girl Talk's Greg Gillis doesn't shy away from mashing up Busta Rhymes, Dido and the Jackson 5. The Baltimore DJ's Feed The Animals was digitally released in June via Illegal Art in a name-your-price format – yes, $0 is an option – but the hard copy doesn't hit stores until Sept. 23. Flirting with the fair-use policy to make his own genre, Girl Talk's fourth full length spins more than 300 samples from popular songs to make the ultra dance-party remix. Toss that with his seizure-inducing performances that routinely end with him half-naked, and it's likely the Variety Playhouse will implode from all the mayhem. $15-$17. 8 p.m. 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com.
W. (OPENS OCT. 17)
Less than a month before the presidential election, politically contentious director Oliver Stone fires a parting shot at President George W. Bush, played by No Country for Old Men's Josh Brolin. W. offers a fall-and-rise biopic of an alcoholic and failed businessman turned the world's most powerful man, with a parade of familiar political figures played by familiar character actors, including the previous President Bush (James Cromwell), Laura Bush (Elizabeth Banks), Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton), Karl Rove (Toby Jones) and Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss). Stone's Nixon biopic proved more even-handed than most people expected, but W. may be significantly more scathing.
ABIGAIL WASHBURN & SPARROW QUARTET (OCT. 17)
Allied with banjoist Bela Fleck, cellist Ben Sollee and fiddler Casey Driessen, Abigal Washburn leads the quartet on its first major U.S. tour, which follows the success of the group's self-titled debut released last May. Each member is remarkably talented individually, but when combined, they form a folk supergroup plucking an exquisite blend of Chinese folk tunes and American Appalachian music. $32-$42. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts, 349 Ferst Drive. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu.
LITTLE FIVE POINTS HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL AND PARADE
The folks in Little Five let their freak flags fly even higher than usual for the annual Halloween festival and parade. One of the city's most popular neighborhood events, the fest features live music, undead revelers, local nosh and one wacky parade drenched in blood and guts. Festival: Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat., noon-10 p.m. Parade: Sat., 4 p.m. Moreland and Euclid avenues. 404-577-4212. www.l5phalloween.com.
WIDESPREAD PANIC (OCT. 17-18)
It's no surprise when the Athens-bred jam band returns home, but this year the timing's a bit off. After 17 consecutive sold-out New Year's Eve shows, Widespread Panic swaps higher capacity for an outdoor arena. The group's 10 studio albums deep but mostly relies on its 20-plus years of touring a max of 250 shows per year. Widespread Panic has a free-lovin', cultlike following that helped earn the band its induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on Sept. 20. $31-$54.50. 7 p.m. Lakewood Amphitheatre, 2002 Lakewood Ave. 404-443-5000. www.livenation.com.
AIDS WALK (OCT. 19)
According to AID Atlanta, metro Atlanta has the sixth highest number of AIDS cases nationwide. Each year thousands of people help raise money for research and support by participating in AIDS Walk, a 10K walk (or 5K run) through Midtown. So don a red ribbon, find a sponsor, take a stroll and make a difference. Walk: Free. Run: $25. Noon. Piedmont Park, Piedmont Avenue and 14th Street. 404-875-7275. www.aidswalkatlanta.com.
ATLANTA HORRORFEST (OCT. 23-26)
Like the zombies it celebrates, Horrorfest is back again. The four-day gathering of monsters and the macabre comes to the Masquerade this year. There'll be films, live music, costume contests and the Buried Alive Film Festival, featuring independent horror films from around the country. The weekend's highlight? The ever-popular 1.5-mile zombie walk. Three-day pass: $40. Times vary. 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.atlantahorrorfest.com.
SWAN LAKE (OCT. 23-NOV. 2)
The Atlanta Ballet opens its 2008-09 season with Tchaikovsky's classic Swan Lake, an ethereal romance about star-crossed lovers. The company expands its international résumé with a performance of the standard in Mexico this October before returning stateside for a series of shows at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. $15-$115. Times vary. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 404-817-8700. www.atlantaballet.com.
LE FLASH (OCT. 24)
Castleberry Hill takes its fourth Friday Art Stroll to a new level this fall with Le Flash, a series of light, sound and performance art installations. Le Flash was conceptualized with annual public art events such as Paris’ Nuit Blanche in mind and also includes film screenings, poetry, spoken word and more. Artist Jeffrey Loy will create fire- and solar-powered light sculptures, Bubba Carr and Lee Blalock will perform conceptual light-based choreography, and French artist Kristina Solomoukha will unveil her temporary public art project, which will remain on view through Dec. 12. Free. 7 p.m.-midnight. Peters and Walker streets. www.acpinfo.org/leflash.
CHASE FOR THE SPRINT CUP (OCT. 26)
The seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup is 500 miles of speed, collisions and strategy. It will be a key event for points leader Kyle Bush and the rest of the field of 13 vying for the championship, and a turning point in the final run for the points title and racing supremacy. $19-$39. 2 p.m. Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1500 U.S. 41. 770-946-4211. www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
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