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Music in the stars 

A horoscope guide to fall concerts and local releases

Recent planetary demotions will work in Atlanta's favor this fall. As the universe realigns itself, more artists venture through town multiple times a year. So if you missed an act on a bloated summer festival bill, there's a second chance. Some predictions about local album releases are a little hazy, such as when Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz will drop their anticipated Crunk Rock, or when Hope For Agoldensummer will finish its second album, but the stars still say some time this fall.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

We find the sun midway through Virgo's chart, but concerts are bountiful. On Sept. 12, the pop charts take over as Latin pop diva Shakira's hips wiggle into Philips Arena with Wyclef Jean. Across town, television comes to life as former "American Idol" contestants perform at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. ... One-time Atlanta resident Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, also appears the 12th with the Memphis Band at Variety Playhouse. Though Cat Power's reputation for intense stage fright precedes her, so do accolades for her recent performances. ... The Tabernacle hosts psychedelic alternative rockers the Flaming Lips on the 13th. Though the Lips were in town earlier this summer as part of the Southern Comfort Music Experience, continue to expect the unexpected (and some Plushies) on stage. ... Japanese turntablist and producer DJ Krush performs his largely instrumental hip-hop at the Loft on the 15th. ... On Sept. 18, Aussie prog trio Wolfmother rocks Center Stage with songs about thieves, unicorns and other favorite topics of Renaissance fair-goers, and apparently, MTV watchers. ... On the 19th, the White Stripes' Jack White appears in something other than red and white -- the garage-rocking Raconteurs -- at the Tabernacle, and the ironic art punks of Art Brut gig at the Roxy. ... Virgos thrive on organization, and Paste magazine's Rock'N'Reel Festival is responsible for the mind-boggling influx of quality indie rock from Sept. 15-24. Band of Horses, Modern Skirts, Supersystem, Magnolia Electric Co., Beirut and many more appear at various venues. Paste's VIP package includes the Fox Theatre performance of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sujfan Stevens on Sept. 20, but tickets to individual shows are also available. ... Downtown will see more cowboy hats than usual when country-music chart-topper Brad Paisley appears with "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood at Philips Arena on the 22nd. ... Also on the 22nd, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers continue to enjoy the success of Highway Companion at HiFi Buys Amphitheatre with openers the Strokes.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Many astrologers regard Libras as the most desirable sign to be, as it occurs at a seasonal high point. Libras reap the benefits of the harvest, and this season is no different as early conscious hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest bounces into a Sept. 23 show at the Tabernacle (and then a Sol-Fusion after-party at Django). ... Ludacris drops Release Therapy on Sept. 26, the same day the Black Crowes unleash previously unreleased material as The Lost Crowes. ... Well-regarded member of Atlanta's soul community Anthony David celebrates his new album, The Red Clay Chronicles, with a Sept. 27 concert at Center Stage. ... Also on the 27th, Variety Playhouse hosts Little Steven's Underground Garage A Go-Go, bringing the E Street Band member's Underground Garage radio program to the stage with the Zombies, the Mooney Suzuki, the Forty Fives and more. ... One of hip-hop's greatest MCs, Rakim, drops into Eleven50 on the 28th, along with the DJ skills of Kid Capri. On the 29th, Swayze's, the all-ages club in Marietta, releases its first compilation of punk and metal tracks.

October welcomes more local releases, including longtime Dungeon Family member Sleepy Brown's solo debut, Mr. Brown; singer/songwriter Michelle Malone's Sugarfoot; and Lil Scrappy's debut full-length album. ... At the Earl on Oct. 4, rockers the Hold Steady and Sean Na Na make the acts of getting fucked up and shot down seem like noble, anthemic pursuits, while DJ Shadow experiments with hip-hop at the Tabernacle. ... For three days, Atlantis Music Conference consumes most of the city's clubs as 300-some bands perform in hopes of getting signed. Good luck standing out in that. ... Off a major label, and now back on, the Indigo Girls release Despite Our Differences in September, followed by a two-night stand Oct. 5-6 at the Tabernacle. ... Hometown heavy-metal hero Mastodon makes its major-label debut with its fourth album, Blood Mountain, and a sure-to-be club-shaking performance happens at the Masquerade on the 7th. ... Also on the 7th, Southern rock meets country swagger when Lynyrd Skynrd and Big & Rich play HiFi Buys Amphitheatre. ... The Tabernacle hosts a series of hot-ticket shows in mid-October with art-punk ball busters Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the 14th, genre- and gender-bending quintet Scissor Sisters on the 18th, dance-pop pioneers Pet Shop Boys on the 19th, and the ex-Mr. Simpson himself, Nick Lachey on the 20th. ... Broken Social Scene, the nebulous collective of Canadian indie-rockers, will appear at the Variety on Oct. 20. ... In Mexico, traditional ranchera legend Vincente Fernández is as recognizable as Elvis. Look for his signature moustache on the 21st at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

One of Scorpio's most prominent features is intensity -- not a predisposal to evil, as some who cross a scorpion's path may think. Late fall's shows include some tour veterans known for intense performances, including the enduring and constantly chart-topping Red Hot Chili Peppers, who sold out the Arena at Gwinnett Center for their Oct. 26 show. ... On the 26th, indie record shop Criminal Records celebrates its 15th anniversary with Athens earth-friendly Elf Power, while Alejandro Escovedo presents his poignant country-rock at the Earl (which will probably sell out). ... Many credit Col. Bruce Hampton as the father of Atlanta's rock scene. For two nights, the colonel reunites with the long defunct Aquarium Rescue Unit on Oct. 27-28 at Variety Playhouse. In the words of Shelley Duvall in Annie Hall, it may just be transplendid. ... Atlanta Civic Center pulls the grown and sexy crowd with the '70s Soul Jam featuring the Stylistics, Delfonics, Manhattans and more on the 27th, followed by the gospel stylings of Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans on the 28th. ... Relative newcomers Tapes N' Tapes perform classic indie rock on the 29th at the Loft. ... Barbra Streisand appears at Philips Arena with Il Divo on Nov. 2, and with cheap tickets starting at $152 and the good seats going for $752, expect a few verklempt folks who had to send their kids to college rather than attend the show. ... One-time Adult Swim contributor and longtime nerd MC Chris raps about storm troopers and Boba Fett at the Loft on Nov. 4. ... Indie-pop group Death Cab for Cutie soft-rocks the Fox on Nov. 17. Expect swooning girls, disaffected boys and very little eye contact as everyone really feels the emotion. ... And just about the perfect show to end the fall, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Eagles of Death Metal rock the Roxy Theatre on Nov. 18. Both groups exude the same trait that makes Scorpios so notorious and rock shows so good: mesmerizing, sexual presence.

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