Leapin' lizards! It's that time again ...
Plastic slipcovers and acetate backing are selling out everywhere as diehard fans prepare their ceremonial garb and retrieve their first editions from airtight vaults in preparation for DRAGON*CON. This enormous event is once again unleashed on Atlanta AUG. 28-SEPT. 1, catering to distributors and fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, comics and art, gaming and animation. Those who fail to attend all four days must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons, or risk losing three constitution points. (These guys don't play.) $75 (four-day pass); one-, two- and three-day passes available at door. Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree St., and Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Ave. 770-909-0115. www.dragoncon.org.-- SY
Shake your can
Despite its unashamedly corporate packaging, the SPRITE LIQUID MIX TOUR is packed with legitimate big-name hip-hop acts and jam bands, all performing AUG. 29 for the low-low ticket price of $10. The hottest artist on the bill is the trend-shattering N.E.R.D., touring in support of their much-hyped new album, In Search of .... Two-thirds of the trio, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, already have made their mark as the Neptunes, providing beats for Britney and other recent hit-makers. One of hip-hop's most organic ensembles, the ROOTS offer the full-band experience, rock-star showmanship and all. TALIB KWELI, ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND and O.A.R. also perform. $10. 3:30 p.m. (doors). HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, 2002 Lakewood Way. 404-443-5090. www.hob.com.
-- Heather Kuldell
Live the dream
Forty years ago this week, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I HAVE A DREAM" speech in front of Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial helped usher in historic civil rights legislation. To commemorate the AUG. 28 date, supporters march from Woodruff Park down Auburn Avenue to the King Historic Site, which then becomes the focal point for a remembrance rally. 11 a.m. (assembly at Woodruff Park); noon (march); 1 p.m. (rally at MLK Jr. Historic Site). 450 Auburn Ave. 404-584-0303. www.mlkmarchaaar.org.
Aug 28 Thursday
Everyone is looking for ... no, needing the WORLD DOMINATION COMEDY IMPROV TOURNAMENT. In theory, teams from around the world valiantly wage an ongoing battle to make audiences laugh. In practice, it's just plain fun. $12-$50. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Dad's Garage Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. (SY)
Aug 29 Friday
Pop culture is always setting itself up for someone to knock it down -- and funnyman PABLO FRANCISCO tears it up beautifully. His impressions include a dead-on imitation of the man who would be governor of California, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger. $18.50. Fri. 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Sat. 9 and 11 p.m.; Sun. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The Punchline, 280 Hilderbrand Drive. 404-252-5233. www.punchline.com. (HK)
Aug 30 Saturday
To celebrate LeFont Plaza's 20th anniversary, the theater presents THE BIG LEBOWSKI WHAT-HAVE-YOU MIDNIGHT MADNESS. Management actually encourages the audience to shout out lines, dress up and otherwise be obnoxious. Trivia and costume contest. $6.50-$8. Midnight. LeFont Plaza, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.lefonttheaters.com. (HK)
Aug 31 Sunday
Why so sad, blues fan? HARVEST MOON BLUESFEST returns for the eighth year with a lineup that includes TAB BENOIT, DELTA MOON, the KEN RHYNE BAND and many others. $20-$160. Fri. 4 p.m.; Sat. noon; Sun. 12:30 p.m. Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, Conyers. 404-249-6400. www.harvestmoonblues.com. (HK)
Sept 1 Monday
The ivories should take a serious pounding when TORI AMOS and BEN FOLDS team up at Chastain for the LOTTAPIANOS SUMMER TOUR. Folds opens with an hour-long set; then Amos takes the stage in support of her 2002 release, Scarlet's Walk. $28.50-$43.50. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Stella Drive. www.ticketmaster.com. (SY)
Sept 2 Tuesday
In a summer of strange lineups, here's another mishmash of genres. Quirky alt-rockers CAKE share a bill with flashy '70s/'80s rockers CHEAP TRICK. CHARLIE LOUVIN and the HACKENSAW BOYS provide alt-country seasoning, while the DETROIT COBRAS offer consolation for lonely garage-rockers. $35. 7:30 p.m. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.atlantaconcerts.com. (HK)
Sept 3 Wednesday
Mid-week indiscretion is the rule at WICKED, where DJ and lounge lighting combine to help facilitate the perfect pick-up vibe. Now, if only the stars would align. ... The Living Room, 3069 Peachtree Road. 404-816-1116. www.livingroomatlanta.com. (SY)