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Luba Lukova, Dragon*Con and more

AUGUST 30 THURSDAY

New York-based graphic designer LUBA LUKOVA's work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. Some of her work recalls Picasso's war and peace drawings, but rather than simply stopping with lines, she fills her designs with telling images that are rich with symbolism. She speaks tonight about her craft at the Portfolio Center. $10-$20. 6:30 p.m. Los Angeles Room, 125 Bennett St. 404-351-5055. www.portfoliocenter.com. (Debbie Michaud)

AUGUST 31 FRIDAY

For many, Labor Day weekend is a final opportunity to get the hell out of Atlanta before the end of summer. For aficionados of gaming, fantasy and sci-fi, it's the best time to be here. The reason, of course, is DRAGON*CON, now celebrating 20 years of filling up downtown's hotels with ersatz Hans Solos, counterfeit Chewbaccas, simulated stormtroopers, and hot, nerdy women in corsets. Always with the corsets! For more on Dragon*Con, click here. Parade: Free. Sat., 10 a.m., starting at Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue. Convention: Through Sept. 3. $25-$85. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St. 770-909-0115. www.dragoncon.org. (Andisheh Nouraee)

SEPTEMBER 1 SATURDAY

Earlier this month THE RENTALS (pictured), a supergroup led by ex-Weezer guitarist Matt Sharp, issued The Last Little Life EP, its first new recording in eight years. For other bands, that wouldn't be a big deal. But the Rentals, through their classic 1995 single "Friends of P," pioneered indie-tronica, the ever-popular subgenre where people sing in light, falsetto voices over winsome synthesizer melodies and melancholy beats. A 2006 reunion precipitated the band's return to concert stages like the Masquerade. $17. 7 p.m. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. (Mosi Reeves)

SEPT. 8 THE NATIONAL Returns to Atlanta to perform at Variety Playhouse with the Rosebuds and Doveman. www.variety-playhouse.com.

SEPT. 8 GRANT PARK CRITERIUM A high-noon bike race through the park. www.aaronscycling.com.

SEPT. 10 RODIN: IN HIS OWN WORDS Thirty-six of the artist's sculptures paired with his writings at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. museum.oglethorpe.edu.

SEPT. 12 CROWDED HOUSE Plays the Tabernacle with Pete Yorn. www.ticketmaster.com.

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