CL's picks for the week's best shows 

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Commander Cody, Imogen Heap

THURS/16

... AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, BLOOD BROTHERS Sometimes fans have unrealistic expectations. Nas acolytes are still waiting for a proper follow-up to Illmatic, even though he made that masterpiece 12 years ago. (Wasn't Stillmatic enough?) Austin, Texas' ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead faces the same quandary. People want another album from the band that sounds like Source Tags & Codes, the 2002 epic that put it on the map. But they've moved on to new sounds, such as the orchestral rock-pop of So Divided. Can you love Trail of Dead for what it's become instead of what it was? Cast your vote when it hits town with screamo-junkies Blood Brothers. $15. 7 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- Mosi Reeves

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Itzhak Perlman may be the world's best-known violinist, but he is less known as a conductor. With violin in hand as soloist, Perlman leads Vivaldi's "Spring" and "Winter" concerti from "The Four Seasons." He then trades fiddle for baton to conduct two other "safe-bet" traditional crowd-pleasers: the very "Academic Festival Overture" of Johannes Brahms and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's colorful "Symphony No. 5," with its prominent horn solo and march-dominated conclusion, ending the program with a bang. $49--$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

THE BLUE HOUR, LOLITA BRAS, THE ORPHINS, ARMA SECRETA, THE COUCH AND FOUR Atlanta trio the Blue Hour carves out lush and vivid drone-pop via emotionally charged lyrics and swelling guitars. New York City four-piece Lolita Bras plays smooth and forlorn indie rock. The Orphins channel artfully manic post-punk through a swirl of Pixies/Eno-esque pop tones and chiming rhythms. Arma Secreta and the Couch and Four also perform. $5. 9 p.m. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- Chad Radford

FRI/17

BABY ANNE I've said it before and I'll say it again: Florida's Baby Anne, the "Bass Queen," is a party starter, a speaker tweaker, a filter fiend and a bass-bin dominator. She rides funky Florida electro breaks deep, penetrating and unrelenting -- like a porn star doing another porn star. The seismic pleasure is like the aural equivalent of T&A from a D&J. Kre-8, Jonathan Allyn, JK and Sharc also rock prog and pounding like the '70s did handlebar mustaches -- keepin' it equally slick and sleazy. $10; free before 11 p.m. 10 p.m. Hush. 404-875-7473.

www.HushVIPLounge.com. -- Tony Ware

GSU OPERA Georgia State University's increasingly vital opera program, directed by Dwight Coleman, presents scenes from a handful of American operas: Menotti's "Ahmal and the Night Visitors," Ned Rorem's "Our Town," Carlisle Floyd's "Cold Sassy Tree," and the most recent complete scene from a new opera in progress, "The Anarchists," by Atlanta composer Curtis Bryant. The program is presented in the midst of another work-in-progress: Kopleff Recital Hall, which has just reopened last month after completing phase one of a $3 million renovation. Free. 7:30 p.m. Kopleff Recital Hall. 404-651-4636. www.music.gsu.edu. -- MG

VEGA STRING QUARTET The Vega Quartet's third installment in a series focusing on the music of J.S. Bach and Béla Bartók features Bach's very popular "Cello Suite No. 3," his "Violin Sonata No. 2," and Bartók's adventurous, contrapuntally complex "String Quartet No. 3." Although there is an admission price, students can get in for free. $20. 8 p.m.

Schwartz Center, Emerson Concert Hall. 404-727-5050. www.arts.emory.edu. -- MG

SAT/18

ANONYMOUS 4 W/ DAROL ANGER & SCOTT NYGAARD The female vocal quartet that rocked the vocal-ensemble world with its stunning renditions of medieval and contemporary works is back with "Long Time Traveling." The program, drawn from the American music legacy of 19th-century Southern shape-note books, spiritual and gospel hymns, is deployed in Anonymous 4's pure, sometimes haunting, often incisively clear vocal style. They are joined by progressive fiddler Anger and bluegrass-newgrass guitarist Nygaard. $40. 8:15 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200.

www.spiveyhall.org. -- MG

COMMANDER CODY You never know exactly what the Commander will bring to the party, but it's a guaranteed boogie-woogie good time. The years of hard living have taken their toll, but Cody's love of playing music and that "Hot Rod Lincoln" keep him on the road. $12. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's.

404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com. -- James Kelly

THE DESPISED AND FRIENDS Tonight the Vaginas, the Hose Harkonnen, Whiskey Shit Vomit and Broomfiller fill the bill on a long evening of chaos headlined by the Despised. I bet if you ask nicely, you can purchase a copy of the Despised's Punk: It's Not For Rich Kids Anymore! before the official CD release party next month. Hard. Core. Punk. $7. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. -- Lee Valentine Smith

(LITTLE) JEN MITCHELL Contrary to popular belief, life does not begin (and end) at the hop and it doesn't always take a DJ to save your life. But it is true that music sounds better with you. You're invited to hear the compositions of longtime scene fixture Little Jen, a DJ and composition student at GSU who is staging her graduate recital as casual and open to the public. On the program are works from brass, marimba, double bass, woodwinds and solo soprano, as well as ambient, introspective soundscapes for DJ and percussion (in the vein of the London Sinfonietta), piano and a mixed-media-illustrated ensemble. Come see Mitchell's range, from a "Celebration Fanfare" to "Dark Stories for a Sunny Day." Added bonus: No Red Bull needed. Free. 3 p.m. Florence Kopleff Recital Hall,

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