CL's picks for the week's best shows 

Wed/21

STICKFIGURE RECORDS SHOWCASE Sorry No Ferrari, the Subliminator and Harken the Hands Askew kick off the first of four nights during the annual Stickfigure Records showcase of oddball and outsider punk, post-hardcore and otherwise hard-to-classify bands. This year's festival runs from Wed.-Sat., Jan. 21-24. See the Drunken Unicorn's website for a complete schedule of bands. $5-$8 each night. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

Thur/22

YO MAJESTY, NATALIE STEWART, SOCIAL STUDIES Hot-blooded rapping lesbian electro-pop duo Yo Majesty's bravado and uninhibited attitude along with their incendiary performances made them an underground sensation. Unfortunately, Shaunda K will have to go it alone as Jewel B will not be along for the tour. $8-$10. 9 p.m. Apache Café. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info. -- Chris Parker

ABBY GO GO, THE LONG SHADOWS, THE ELECTRIC CYCLES, MACK MESSIAH Thursday Night Freakouts continue. Abby Go Go plays morphine, rock and roll, shoe-gaze fodder. The Long Shadows bring a more energetic '80s alt/punk-damaged sound. The Electric Cycles come from more of a garage-rock place, and no one is really sure where Mack Messiah is coming from. Free. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- CR

Fri/23

THE TRAVELIN' McCOURYS, THE LEE BOYS Taking a break from the bluegrass circuit this winter, a few members of the Del McCoury Band team up with the sacred steel-loving Lee Boys. Guaranteed to be different, it should also be a lot of fun. $12. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- James Kelly

VIGILANTES OF LOVE, MIEKA PAULEY, DEAN FIELDS If you like the jangly pop side of Americana, Bill Mallonee's VOL are the band for you. This is a rare reunion gig. Award-winning songwriter Pauley and TV-friendly artist Fields open. $10-$50. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- JK

sat/24

LES YEUX NOIRS, CEDRIC WATSON Erik and Olivier Slabiak's expressive violins lead French act "Dark Eyes" through jazzy gypsy and klezmer paces. From racing, hot-stepping melodies to minor-chord elegies, they've keyed their rousing modern/traditional blend for 15 years. $35-$59. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts. 404-413-9849. www.rialtocenter.org. -- CP

ERIC TAYLOR, JUSTIN ROSOLINO Taylor may not have the same name recognition of his Texas peers (Townes, Guy Clark, etc.) but his songs sneak up on you and linger, long after the lights go down. Justin Rosolino opens. $20-$100. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- JK

ENGLISH BEAT, BAD MANNERS In the early '80s, British ska made a small but significant impact on pop. Along with Madness and the Specials, these two acts epitomized the music's colorful, dancehall style, and together create a fizzy retro blast from the past. $20. 9 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. www.theloftatl.com. -- Hal Horowitz

THE GOURDS, RAMSAY MIDWOOD Austin, Texas-based Americana veterans the Gourds have been slinging their good-time mix of country, rock, Tex-Mex and soul for a decade without a lot to show for it except the grins on the faces of fans who return for every packed gig. $15. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- HH

Sun/25

THE VIRGINS, LISSY TRULLIE, ANYA MARINA Predictable enough to be store-bought, these hook-heavy New York dance-punks cop jagged Gang of Four guitar, new wave synth shimmer, and power pop melodies to split the difference between Phantom Planet and the Editors on their self-titled debut. $10-$12. 10 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CP

FUCKED UP, CARBONAS, BUKKAKE BOYS, AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER Stylistically adventurous and prolific, Toronto's Fucked Up redefine hardcore punk. While frontman Pink Eyes growls a classic hardcore scream, these eclectic noisemakers defy genre conventions, from extended jams to baroque instrumentation and shimmery instrumentals. $10-$12. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CP

RANDALL BRAMBLETT, CAROLINE AIKEN, GEOFF ACHISON This unplugged singer/songwriter in-the-round show combines Bramblett's haunting poetic musings with Aiken's confessional folk and Achison's soul-blues for a rare one-off that promises to reveal the best in each artist, individually and together. $15-$75. 7:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- HH

MON/26

BEATRIX*JAR Minneapolis sound-art duo Beatrix*JAR makes oddball sound collages using recycled toys. After the show, they're giving a workshop on the art of circuit bending, as well as a hands-on performance. $7. 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

Tues/27

COLOURMUSIC Drawing inspiration from Issac Newton's color theory, Colourmusic combines inventive stage shows and strong personalities with catchy melodies for a refined style of indie jams that pave the way for a new brand of Oklahoma sex rock. $8. 8:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Alicia Wages

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: rodney.carmichael@creativeloafing.com. 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 soundboard@creativeloafing.com.

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