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Music: Grupo Fantasma 

Fri., July 31

When Austin, Texas' 11-piece Latin funk ensemble GRUPO FANTASMA fires up its instruments, the crowd moves like a freight train. The group's fiery, south-of-the-border grooves and explosive performances turn any concert into a sultry and spontaneous fiesta that's driven by funk, mambo, meringue and cumbia, all led by the kind of horn section you thought only existed in movies. When the group passes through town, Atlanta's Batata Doce opens the show with a heavy dose of tropicalia and Brazilian sounds that are filled with rhythmic complexities but sewn together in a patchwork of smooth, upbeat and steamy pop tones. $15. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com.

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