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Beautiful Losers 

Dedicated to the ones they love

Let's be frank. Only Vincent van Gogh could paint "The Starry Night" with such profound effect. Only Pablo Picasso could pull off "Guernica," and only Salvador Dalí could make "The Persistence of Memory" tick. As songwriters, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen are equally distinctive characters whose songs are singular to them alone.

So what could three local acts plus one guy who used to be in the Squirrel Nut Zippers hope to accomplish with a Cave, Cohen and Waits tribute night, dubbed Beautiful Losers?

Jeffrey Butzer of the band Midwives organized the tribute after learning a few of Waits' songs, and the idea blossomed from there. For Beautiful Losers, Midwives will feature guest vocals from Butzer's wife Melissa, as well as former Squirrel Nut Zipper Tom Maxwell and Jim Stacey (Greasepaint). Antic Clay vocalist Michael Bradley fronts Sinners and Songriders, and newcomers Feeding Fingers open.

The groups will perform songs spanning Cave's pre-Bad Seeds outfit the Birthday Party, on up through Waits' 2006 masterpiece, Orphans. Butzer makes no bones that the tribute will do more than just butcher everyone's favorite Tom Waits songs. "I'm aware that there's a risk of that," he adds. "I wouldn't do this if I didn't have faith in our group as well as the other bands. ... We have been very thoughtful on the arrangements."

Midwives, Feeding Fingers, and Sinners and Songriders play the Earl Fri., Sept. 28. $8. 9 p.m. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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