CL's picks to the week's best shows 

Snowden, Subculture, Toys for Tots Spectacular

THURS/14

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS ASO Chorus director Norman Mackenzie ascends the podium again to lead the ASO&C in another seasonal tradition: the Christmas portion of G.F. Handel's best-known oratorio, "Messiah," plus the almost-as-frequently performed "Gloria" in D major of Antonio Vivaldi. After these two familiar Baroque classics, you might be inclined to shout "Hallelujah" or something similar. $19--$57. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

SNOWDEN, ¡FORWARD, RUSSIA!, SLOW MOTION CRASH Slow Motion Crash (formerly Creve Coeur) plays slow and dramatic goth-pop. ¡Forward, Russia! comes all the way from Leeds, U.K., with a high and anxious blend of dark Brit rock under the influence of plastic American new hardcore production. Snowden's emotionally indifferent pop aesthetic evokes the distance of Joy Division and the spaciousness of Spiritualized driven by melancholy tones and guttural passion. $12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chad Radford

THOMAS DOLBY, BT Two giants of the electronica movement will share the stage tonight. Dolby is best known for his quirky "She Blinded Me With Science" and his amazing and strange pop-music videos of the '80s, but did you know he created the "Beatnik" software used in many cell phones? He hasn't made an album of new material since '92 but his new CD and DVD, The Sole Inhabitant, revisits his past glories with the fresh perspective of modern technology. Don't expect new tunes, though he's been busy working on them. Tonight, it's the songs of his past, presented with a series of computers, vintage oscilloscopes and live visual effects. BT will perform music from his two-disc CD/DVD, This Binary Universe. $24. 8 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

Fri/15

ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS, BLIND CORN LIQUOR PICKERS Combining old time, ragtime and underground parlor music into an authentic and unique sound, the Spankers continue to delight crowds all over the country. There are only a few singers who can belt it out like Christina Marrs. The openers, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, better be good. $12 plus two cans of food. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- James Kelly

BOYS OF THE LOUGH Ireland-based band Boys of the Lough offer seasonal music from around the British Isles. One of traditional folk music's most influential groups, the band infuses its concerts with stories about the music's history and a bit o' Celtic fun. Discount admission for "youth" is available. $20-$37. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Performing Arts. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.org. -- MG

HOPE FOR AGOLDENSUMMER, DANIEL CLAY, THEATER FIRE Hope For Agoldensummer revels in slow-burning acoustic, indie-folk songs. The group's sound is a humid and homespun affair that unfolds with spectral and Southern surrealism. Clay is a singer/songwriter who blends the stark and inward voice of bleak Americana with long, sustained bouts of acoustic strumming and shimmering minimalism. Fort Worth, Texas, outsider folkies Theatre Fire also perform. $5. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

I SELF DIVINE, CX KIDTRONIK A few years ago, I Self Divine lived and thrived in Atlanta as part of the Micranots, a duo that emphasized black metaphysics and inner consciousness. The group has since moved back to its native Minneapolis, probably to be closer to its record label, Rhymesayers. But the pair are still fondly remembered here, and old friends will undoubtedly come out to see him perform cuts from Obelisk Movements as well as solo material from last year's album, Self Destruction. Another former Atlantan, ass fetishist and punk-rap weirdo CX Kidtronik (author of this year's Krak Attack, as in booty crack), will be there, too. Budah Tye, Muja Messiah and DJ Wesu open; and Metalface Academy members Mobonix and Killa K serve as hosts. $10. 9:30 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Mosi Reeves

KRS-ONE Last July, KRS-One killed it at the Loft, giving one of the best shows Atlanta hip-hop fans have seen all year. He must have enjoyed the experience, too, because he's coming back for an encore. Those who missed him (or spent more time at the Needle to the Record turntablist competition next door at Vinyl) can get familiar; Dropbombz, Rising Sons, Mr. SOS and Riot Squad lend local support. $15. 9 p.m. Lenny's Bar. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- MR

10TH ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS SPECTACULAR The 10th annual holiday event features Bitch, J.J. and the Hustlers and the Deciders tonight. See Sound Menu for Sat., Dec. 16. $10 or free admission with a new toy donation. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. -- LVS

Sat/16

ANGIE APARO Touring to support his latest release, Praise Be, part two of an independently released trilogy of albums, is hometown-boy-gone-major-and-back-again. The oft-touring Aparo brings his cache of great songs and angelic voice back to town for an intimate evening of music. $17. 7 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com. -- LVS

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