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CL's opinionated festival guide

BellSouth/Z93 Stage

THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE -- With Primus on extended hiatus, Claypool's wigged-out, post-funk Zappa-isms continue on his new Purple Onion solo project. Fun, frisky and often infuriating, he's an inventive, exciting bass player whose eccentricities veer from charming to aggravating. Fans will love it, others might find this an occasionally fascinating if tiresome hour. 7-8 p.m. (Horowitz)

STEVE WINWOOD -- Talk about a varied career. Winwood started with the Spencer Davis Group as an accomplished 16-year-old soul shouter, did the supergroup thing with Blind Faith, spent much of the late '60s and '70s in Traffic and staged an improbable comeback as a smooth, adult contemporary crooner in the '80s. But unlike many of his contemporaries, his raw talent and voice remain intact. 8:30-10 p.m. (Robertson)

THE B-52'S -- Now in their 26th year, the B's are still in fine form, offering up a greatest hits show and a major dance party marathon. 10:30 p.m.-midnight (Smith)

Dodge/96 Rock/UPN Atlanta Stage

CRACKER -- Cracker's latest, Oh Cracker, Where Art Thou?, is a rustic re-imagining of the band's more familiar tunes backed by bluegrass/kitchen-sink fusionists Leftover Salmon. Amusing? Yes. Necessary? Hardly. But Cracker's David Lowery will do just about anything to keep busy -- and that includes reuniting his old outfit, post-punk eccentrics Camper Van Beethoven, for a full-fledged reunion tour that continues this month. So which will it be, Camper or Cracker? And where the hell is Bill? 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Rowland)

SHERYL CROW -- Speculations (have you seen that bikini? did she have a facelift?) aside, and associations with Amex, Michael Jackson and Kid Rock notwithstanding, Sheryl Crow occasionally rocks in a good way, keeping it real with her own piano and guitar playing. Be on the lookout for Atlantan and former Jellyfish-er Tim Smith on bass. 8-9:30 p.m. (York)

BOB DYLAN -- Thirty-nine years after the release of his first album, Bob Dylan proved that his enduring legacy isn't all past-tense on the moody Love and Theft, a shaded and haunting effort released Sept. 11, 2001. His oft-derided vocal cords are almost completely shot, reduced to a wistfully angry rasp, but Dylan's pop-cultural voice has seldom been louder or more assured. 10-11:30 p.m. (Moreau)

Ford/Fox 5/WABE Stage

VHS OR BETA -- This Louisville, Ky., house/disco hybrid outfit jettisoned the city's trademark metallic angularities for the compelling choreography of stomping synth beats, kaleidoscopic locked grooves and French-fried fretwork. The resulting Daft Punk-inspired Le Funk is more deserving of the title Le Punk considering the five-piece's brazen willingness to go it live. 6-6:50 p.m. (Ware)

GENE CARBONELL -- A local master of dark, driving, slowly unfolding progressive house, DJ Gene Carbonell will have to lean toward bumping over building in this small slot. But we have complete faith in Carbonell's ability to bring his brand of Seks-tual excitement into the light -- so to speak. 6:50-7:20 p.m. (Ware)

PARTICLE -- These West Coast jammers label their instrumental music "space-porn-funk," which is an apt description of their retro, synth-enhanced noodling. Like much of this stuff, a little goes a long way, and since the songs all sound similar, the group provides appropriately trippy visuals to enhance the mood. Far out. 7:20-8:20 p.m. (Horowitz)

MING + FS -- Pioneers of the "junkyard" sound -- throwing in everything but the Hell's Kitchen sink -- Madhattan duo Ming + FS offer a mashing, gnashing, gritty beat collage equally informed by hip-hop, electro, drum 'n' bass, dub, tribal and disco. Live, they incorporate four turntables, various effects and live instrumentation for an inspired trade-off. 8:20-8:50 p.m. (Ware)

DISCO BISCUITS -- It's not every outfit that can draw on oft-mocked musical touchstones from decades past (disco and classic rock) and weave them into credible -- even admirable -- free-range jazz-funk excursions. The Biscuits' extended jams don't always work -- guitar noodling and strobe-lit dance-floor anthems aren't chocolate and peanut butter, after all. But when they do work, they rise above the level of gimmicky novelty into the realm of serious groovin'. 8:50-10 p.m. (Moreau)

MING + FS -- See above. 10-10:30 p.m. (Ware)

SOUND TRIBE SECTOR NINE -- This Georgia-bred combo has enjoyed some crossover success with the jam-band demographic, even if its layered, repetitive groove sandwiches suggest closer kinship with the less-populist techno-electro crowd. Whatever. This outfit's soundscapes are a satisfying hybrid of urgent dance-jazz and ethereal, New Agey diffusion. 10:30-midnight (Moreau)

Miller Lite/99X Stage

AMERICAN HI-FI -- Featuring a veteran of Letters to Cleo and Veruca Salt, American Hi-Fi wraps alt-rock earnestness in arena rock ambition. A jagged, metallic buzz passed down from the Pixies and Husker Du is joined with a love of Cheap Trick for more a digestible sound a la Weezer, Sum 41, etc. 7:30-8:15 p.m. (Ware)


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