CL's picks for the week's best shows 

WED/1
DRIVE BY TRUCKERS, BOOKER T. Both acts pull double duty tonight, with DBTs accompanying Booker T. on his opening instrumental slot, followed by Mr. MG returning the favor by adding his trademarked greasy, soulful, “green onions” keyboards to their roaring headlining set.  $25-27.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. www.variety-playhouse.com. — Hal Horowitz

JENNY LIN  Atlanta composer Jason Freeman's “Piano Etudes” are among the adventurous modern repertoire performed by pianist Lin, a charismatic performer with spectacular keyboard technique.  Music by Unsuk Chin, Dai Fujikura, György Ligeti, Gabriela Ortiz and more.  FREE.  7:30 p.m. Spivey Hall. 678-466-4200.  www.spiveyhall.org. — Mark Gresham

THURS/2
NEKO CASE, CROOKED FINGERS Supporting her latest wonderful opus, Middle Cyclone, Case is getting the bigtime media attention, and tix disappeared in two shakes. That voice is to die for, and the songs just get better. She’s a treasure. SOLD OUT. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. — James Kelly

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA  World-premiere of “Symphony” by Christopher Theofanidis, “Second Essay for Orchestra” by Samuel Barber, and a divergent personal reinterpretation of George Gershwin's “Concerto in F” by jazz pianist Marcus Roberts. Repeats FRI/3 & SAT/4. $16-$73. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. — MG

PAPA MALI, LEFTY WILLAIMS Mali got his start with American reggae pioneers The Killer Bees before branching off into his own brand of swampy blues-funk. He’s a mean slide player with a sometimes gruff soulful baritone and lightning licks. $12. 8 p.m. Smiths Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — Chris Parker

FRI/3
RANDOM RABBIT, MR. LUCKY, UPRISE Friday Flow continues to showcase dubstep in Atlanta with the electro-glitch band Random Rabbit. A Nophi laptop battle to be hosted by Threv Simpson. $10. 9 p.m. Apache Café. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info. — RC


SAT/4
AFRO-CUBAN ALLSTARS This multi-generational collective fully lives up to its boastful name. You don’t need to understand the words to get caught up in the picante combination of jazzy polyrhythms, jittery horns and fiery percussion that will cram the venue’s dance space. $25-30. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. www.variety-playhouse.com. — HH

33RD ANNUAL PEACHBLOSSOM BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Once again, WRFG pulls out all the stops and delivers a fine collection of the state’s finest bands, including Tucker Station String Band, Whoa Nelly, Counterpoint, The Nashvillian Family Band, and The Vinson Mountain Boys. $5-$12. 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Clarkston Community Center. 404-523-3471. www.wrfg.org. — JK

CHARLES MINGUS BIG BAND Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the late bassist Mingus’ influential “Ah Um” and “Blues and Roots”, the 14 member band does much more than a tribute. They are preserving the legacy of one of the best. Ever. $49-$65. 8 p.m.. Rialto Center for the Arts. 404-413-9849. www.rialto.com. — JK

MICHELLE MALONE  Atlanta singer-songwriter Malone promotes her new CD, Debris, featuring 11 tracks of Southern-drenched emotion that both rends and mends the heart.  Malone shares the second show bill with Nathan Beaver and Ryan Rockitt. $18-$22 6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. — MG

OMAR U.K. soul icon Omar brings his bitching brew of new songs to Atlanta. $25. 9:30 p.m. Sugarhill. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com. — RC

IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK Dumpstaphunk deliver a funky, horn-fueled gumbo hotter than habañeros. Following in the tradition of their respective fathers Aaron and Art Neville, keyboardist Ivan and guitarist Ian Neville breed Big Easy hustle into their limber blues-rock bustle. $15. 8 p.m. Smiths Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — CP

THE STRANGE BOYS This quartet of teens from Austin, TX sound like some long lost garage rock band from the '60s. Fans of Roky Ericson or the Nuggets compilations should take note — this is the future of yesterday. $8. 8:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. — Wyatt Williams

TUES/7
ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 Since 1976 dozens of albums have chronicled Hitchcock’s impressive knack for incorporating often bizarre lyrics into hummable if skewed melodies. Rabid cult fans ensued, most of whom relish his unpredictable/oddball between-song banter as much as his jaunty and ringing folk-rock. $17.50-20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. www.variety-playhouse.com. — HH

JIMMIE’S CHICKEN SHACK, THE APOSTLES JCS hit the charts with funk-metal anthem “High,” and the power pop “Do Right,” on their first two albums. Never content to sit still stylistically, their seventh and latest, Fail on Cue, offers beefy mid-tempo indie rock. $12. 8 p.m. Smiths Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. — CP

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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