There's a chill in the air, leaves are fading into autumnal hues of red, orange, and yellow, and black cat and pumpkin decorations adorn front porches and storefronts at nearly every turn. The signs can mean only one thing: The season of the witch is upon us. Halloween comes but once a year, and if you're dead set on taking in a night of music while showing off your costume, here are eight must-see Halloween shows for raising spirits at local haunts across the city.
Chelsea Light Moving undeniably proves that Thurston Moore is forever obsessed with the more esoteric corners of New York's avant-garde, whether it be '60s beat poets, modern classical composers, or experimental rock. By design, Moore's post-Sonic Youth quartet boasts a supporting cast of players that includes some of the top names in guitar-based noise north of the Mason-Dixon: Samara Lubelski (bass), John Moloney of Sunburned Hand of the Man (drums), and Hush Arbors' Keith Wood (guitar). Thematically, the group calls out underground poets such as William S. Burroughs and Frank O'Hara while taking its name directly from an actual moving company once ran by Philip Glass. All of these ephemeral cues culminate in the project's self-titled debut, a 10-track suite of dissonant art rock that out-noises Sonic Youth's trademark squall. With Merchandise, Georges Bataille Battle Cry. $15. 8:30 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — Bobby Power
Nosferatu film screening with Felipe Barral live score
Oh, the German expressionist horror! Experience F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent classic (and unauthorized Dracula adaptation) with a live performance of Chilean composer Felipe Barral's original score. Barral composed the score in '99 to be performed with several acoustic guitars, but he's since modified it to include electric guitars and bass, percussion, and a female singer for this performance. Catch Barral and the original Edward Cullen on Halloween night. $5. 8:30 p.m. The Rodriguez Room at the Goat Farm, 1200 Foster St. facebook.com/TheGoatFarmArtsCenter. — Sonam Vashi
Fusing psychedelic rock and the ambient and minimalist sounds of such composers as Brian Eno and Steve Reich, the Orb — the shifting U.K. ensemble helmed by Dr. Alex Paterson and a revolving cast of characters — has charted the oceanic expanses and twisting tributaries of ambient house (a genre that Paterson pretty much created) for 25 years. That's a long time to work any stretch of ground, but the Orb has kept listeners and live audiences alike engaged with a prolific catalog of singles, albums, and remixes, a stage show packed with fever-dream visual projections, and recent collaborations with Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour and reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, both formative influences. The Orb arrives for a Halloween night performances that's sure to draw heavily from its quarter-century career, as explored on this year's History of the Future retrospective box set. $20-$22. 9 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com. — Kevin Forest Moreau
The darkly afflicted electronic duo delivers a melancholy trip-hop set to Atlanta on All Hallow's Eve. After releasing its second LP, Nightlife, in 2011, the New York-based act is touring behind its latest EP, Phantogram, after garnering attention with featured spots on recent records from Big Boi and the Flaming Lips. With electro-pop opener Giraffage, Phantogram takes the stage in Heaven for a night of heavily glitched beats and ghostly synth-infused pop. $18. 8 p.m. Masquerade, 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. — SV
For this year's Halloween Blowout, Little Five Point's favorite haunt presents a seriously spooky lineup that includes acts such as electro-pop headliner Cousin Dan, indie folk band Little Tybee, Cute Boots, Shantih Shantih, and Salts. In addition to the locals, Brooklyn-based synth act Conveyor and Baltimore punks Hollywood join the 23rd anniversary show. Expect some terrifying (and ridiculous) costumes as well as a night of killer music. Free. 8 p.m. Star Bar, 437 Moreland Ave. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. — SV
Spend Halloween in East Atlanta Village with the eerie experimental beats of two noteworthy electronic artists. Los Angeles-based Shlohmo headlines the night with his dark brand of avant-garde hip-hop, following a set of fractured and trippy beats that come courtesy of young ambient producer XXYYXX. Atlanta's own Taste Tester and Fortune open the spectral show. $15-$18. 10 p.m. The Basement, 1245 Glenwood Ave. 404-662-8686. www.basementatl.com. — SV
It just wouldn't be Halloween in Atlanta without a grip of cover bands taking the stage. Most of these acts feature a gang of record collectors, musicians, and the likes paying homage to a group or genre that made its members fall in love with music in the first place. But they can be heart-felt tributes as well. Promising local rapper Boy Jones, known to most as Young Dirty Bastard (YDB), son of the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, performs hits from his father's solo career, and probably a few key Wu-Tang joints as well. Supporting acts include Lucifer Samantha (members of deadCAT, Vegan Coke, and A. Grimes) covering Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Dreamweapon, a Spacemen 3 tribute featuring members of Cassandras and Nobra Noma, also performs. Last but not least, a Can tribute band, featuring members of the Ruination, closes out the night with a set of rhythm-heavy numbers spanning the albums Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi. $7. 9 p.m. 529, 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769. www.529atl.com. — Bobby Moore
Places to Hide
Atlanta's Places to Hide traffics in fitfully strummed guitars, hyperactive drums, and scrappy melodies that are eerily evocative of '90s indie-rock. Expect this Halloween night show to conjure exuberant echoes of the rollicking heyday of such forebears as Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. With the Sidekicks, Summer Salt, Man Up, Yancey, Jesse Nighswonger. $5. 9:30 p.m. WonderRoot, 982 Memorial Drive. 404-254-5955. www.wonderroot.org. — KFM
Beck and Alabama Shakes...that's about it. I'm sure there's an unknown or two I would…
Well, this years Music Midtown sucks!
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.