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CL's opinionated guide to the fest


Listings preceded by a star () are acts recommended for their time slot

Budweiser/99X Stage

AMERICAN HI-FI -- Crunchy Cheap Trick as heard by Weezer, these alterna-popsters are fronted by the ex-Letters To Cleo/Veruca Salt drummer who pulls a Dave Grohl by strapping on a guitar and stepping up to the mic. It's nothing we haven't heard before, but "Flavor of the Weak" sure is a catchy sumbitch. 6:45-7:15 p.m. (Horowitz)

OUR LADY PEACE -- This band is the latest in a long, proud tradition of Canadian prog-rockers (Rush, um, Triumph, uhh). They bring artsy pretension to mid-'90s grunge, but if you ignore the high concepts behind their music (think Yes, only sillier), they're at least as good as every other band ripping off Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. 7:45-8:30 p.m. (Peisner)

OFFSPRING -- Their tendency to rewrite the same crappy song over and over ("Come Out And Play," "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)") notwithstanding, the Offspring's recent album, Conspiracy of One, is actually pretty damn good. Sure, it's just radio-ready meathead-rock, but if you don't think too hard about it, you won't feel bad about liking it. 9-10 p.m. (Peisner)

Black crowes -- When not busy posing as the world's "most rock 'n' roll rock 'n'roll band," the Black Crowes are actually a damn good rock 'n' roll band. Their upcoming album, Lions, proves as much, ditching the hippy-dippy trappings they've occasionally succumbed to and concentrating on the searing, soulful sounds that have always been their strength. 10:30 p.m.-12 a.m. (Peisner)

Coca-Cola/ V103/WB36! Stage

TALIB KWELI -- Talib Kweli has established himself as one of the leaders of the new school, helming the current conscious-rap movement along with sometime partner Mos Def. His latest single, "Move Somethin'," recently hit No.1 on the rap charts. 7:10-7:55 p.m. (Whitaker)

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT -- One of Atlanta's first hip-hop acts to hit it big, Speech and his organic-rap-and-good-times gang are back, still riffing pop and rap together into a down-home, Southern-fried version of the Fat Albert crew's band. Honestly though, we're still waiting for another "Mr. Wendel." 8:35-9:35 p.m. (Whitaker)

ERYKAH BADU -- New-school soul diva Badu returns to the city her son calls part-time home for her third Atlanta show in just over two months. Her voice is an aquired taste for some, but her style and mix of sass and grace make her among the most likable R&B stars to emerge in recent years. 10:15-11:45 p.m. (Sarig)

Ford Focus/Fox 5 Stage

BEAUSOLEIL -- Hands down the best and most revered Cajun band in the world, Beausoleil prove why at every show. Almost a religious experience for fans, the acoustic band is celebrating their 25th anniversary and has never sounded better. Get on those dancin' shoes and two-step into heaven. 7-8 p.m. (Horowitz)

SHOLA LEWIS -- Ghanaian native and Atlanta resident Shola Lewis' most recent release, I Don't Understand on Roots & Culture Records, features original straight-up reggae that's both catchy and classy despite the drum-machine-and-synth production values. He's a notable, if undersung, member of the local music community. 8:30-9:30 p.m. (Sarig)

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND -- When seeing the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's raucous displays of second-line jazz, you're witnessing a slice of authentic New Orleans heritage that began decades ago. Just don't be upset if security guards happen to confiscate your parasol at the gates. 10-11:30 p.m. (Arieh)

Jose Cuervo/96 Rock Stage

PETE YORN -- Don't hold it against Pete Yorn that his music was featured on the "Dawson's Creek" soundtrack. The New Jersey rocker's debut, musicforthemorningafter, is more than three-chord power-pop for the thinking man; it's finely-crafted, dark romanticism a la Joseph Arthurs. But Yorn knows something Arthurs doesn't: how to crank up the volume on those vintage guitars. 6-6:30 p.m. (York)

DRIVIN N CRYIN -- Atlanta's own country-folk-punkers can't buy a break anywhere else in the country, yet keep the locals flocking to their energetic gigs as if they were as popular as the Black Crowes -- which they shoulda been. Loud, brash and unpredictable, they still put on a great show. 7-8 p.m. (Horowitz)

PATTI SMITH -- She's a freaking legend, what else do you need to know? While her recent recordings have been more interesting than compelling, she remains a thrilling and gifted performer. If you're setting up an itinerary for the weekend, file this one under "do not miss." 8:30-9:30 p.m. (Robertson)

BOB DYLAN -- Bob Dylan's never retired to the oldies circuit. It's as if the idea of cranking out crowd-pleasing versions of his classics to yuppies and boomers willing to pony up heavy dough to be in his presence has never occurred to him. Instead he keeps meddling and reinventing, both himself and his songs. 10-11:30 p.m. (Peisner)

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