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THU/SEPTEMBER 28

NOTED ACTS
ALTAN -- With so much contemporary Irish music sounding like rejected "Riverdance" routines, it's awfully reaffirming to have groups like Altan around. Employing the traditional instrumentation typically associated with the genre (fiddles, pennywhistles, bouzouki, etc.) their reels, jigs and moody ballads ooze authenticity. They aren't just musty revivalists though, as their recent, beguiling cover of Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" (featuring Bonnie Raitt by the way) handily proves. Presser Hall, Decatur (Robertson)

BILLY RAY CYRUS -- Billy Ray Cyrus burst on to the wrestling scene as a top contender for the championship belt in the late '80s. His trademark hairdo made him a ratings hit on various wrestling shows, and every redneck teen boy knew his name. But in 1992, Cyrus decided to become a singer, and while his hit song "Achy, Breaky Heart" became a line-dancing anthem, Cyrus' wrestling career was pinned for the count. In a desperate comeback attempt, he'll appear at the North Georgia State Fair, wrestling himself for the pleasure of sadistic fans. (He'll play music, too.) North Georgia State Fair (Allen)

JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY -- Recalling the spaced-out, jazz-funk fusion of Medeski, Martin & Wood, JFJO are firmly ensconced in the burgeoning, jazz-inflected improv scene currently seducing hipster-types everywhere. Their nimble, loose-limbed jams (centered around a core trio of bass, drums and Rhodes piano) definitely work up a full head of steam, even if it often feels like they aren't really going anywhere. Still, that's not to say the trip isn't enjoyable and well worth taking. Smith's Olde Bar (Robertson)

KICKSTAND, CRICKET, MODLETONES -- Kickstand is Ray Dafrico's trio of scruffy punks out to kick up some dust and rock the joint. They are joined by the undiscovered treasure Cricket, who serves up a pleasing mix of Liz Phair's confessional soul-cleansing mixed with the angular arrangements of a more sober Breeders. The Modletones are the missing link of tonight's music history class, mixing traditional '60s jangle with a contemporary worldview and packing a good-natured wallop. Echo Lounge (Smith)

SEVEN NATIONS -- Handsome young rockers who use traditional Celtic instruments -- including bagpipes and fiddles -- in their spritely power-pop presentation. They even recruited some native Nova Scotians for their latest CD. This is an 8 p.m. show. Variety Playhouse (Nicoll)

16 HORSEPOWER, SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB -- Headliners 16 Horsepower are a fascinatingly twisted cross between a Civil War camp band and some Byronic goth-punk whimsy. Just as weird is Denver's Cessna, a country/punk/bluegrass band whose admirers include Jello Biafra. See also Slim Cessna's Auto Club review, p. 105. Cotton Club (Nicoll)

THE WHO, UNAMERICAN -- At this rate I get the feeling that I might die before they get old, or at least before they quit touring. Still, as far as stadium-generated nostalgia acts go (and don't kid yourself that they are anything else at this point) you could do far worse than the Who. Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle maintain a remarkable amount of enthusiasm for their material, still play with unfeigned zeal and certainly seem less parodic than say, the Stones. Unamerican, a London-based outfit that would love to be Son Volt, have the thankless task of opening up. See also Flashback column, p. 86. Philips Arena (Robertson)

ALSO Performing
9 LIVES SALOON: Smugface, Laughing House, Bitch

40 WATT CLUB-ATHENS: Man or Astro Man?, Je Uis France

AFTER DARK CABARET: The Hooplas

BILLY'S: Brian Jones

BLIND WILLIE'S: Francine Reed and the Shadows

BLUE RACCOON: Open mic with Frankie Moates

BRANDYHOUSE: Ancient Harmony with Fat Apple

BRIDGES: Paula Harris with Doug Jervey

THE CHAMBER: Club Fetish

CHECKERED PARROT: Dave Williams

CHURCHILL GROUNDS JAZZ CAFÉ: Latin jazz with Jerry Fields and Vecinos del Mundo

CJ'S LANDING: Mike and Hank

COTTON CLUB: 16 Horsepower, Slim Cessna's Auto Club

CRESCENT ROOM: The Soul Lounge

DARK HORSE TAVERN : Dying Myth, Blindspot, Something 5

DARWIN'S: Liz Melendez

THE DERBY-NESBIT FERRY: Derek St. Holmes

DUNWOODY TAVERN: Ian Schumacher

THE EARL: Osaka, The Varsity Orange, Faith Kepplinger

ECHO LOUNGE: Cricket, Wonderlust

ECLIPSE DI LUNA: Aura

EDDIE'S ATTIC: The Fountains, Adam Payne, Diana Jones

EYEDRUM: Oval

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK: Chicken Shack

FRONT PAGE NEWS: Kevin Lewis

FUEL: Fete with DJs Marc-Alan Gray, Levi, Alex King and Justin

FUZZY'S: Donnie McCormick

KILLER CREEK: Showtyme Jazz Duo

MARY'S: Music Videos with DJ Jigsaw

MASQUERADE: Pretty Vacant, American Psycho

NORTHSIDE TAVERN: The Breeze Kings

OPERA HOUSE: The Velcro Pygmies

PEACHTREE CENTER: Rita Graham and the Jazz Disciples

PHILIP'S ARENA: The Who

POPPERS: Steve Hawkins

RAY'S ON THE RIVER: Mina

RIVIERA: Potluck, Seemless, Amanda Jones

SAMBUCA JAZZ CAFÉ: Salsa Thursday

THE SHACK: Phoenix

SMITH'S OLDE BAR: Yonrico Scott Band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

STAR BAR-L5P: Transmitter, Squeezebucket

SYMPHONY HALL: Atlanta Symphony with guest conductor, Paavo Jarvi

TASTY WORLD-ATHENS: Flood City Shootout, Polline, Observatory

VARIETY PLAYHOUSE: Seven Nations

WHISKER'S-DUNWOODY: Mr. Moonlight

WOODEN NICKLE: Furious George

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