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Noted acts
AERIAL, BILLIONAIRE, CRICKET, JANAH, METROSCENE -- Wanna go around the world tonight for $5, sailor? Continuing the Echo's Mardi Gras celebration, the club offers a very varied and challenging line-up. The sterile modern technology favored by Aerial stands in direct contrast to Billionaire's pummeling '70s-style Les-Paul-and-Marshall-stacks rock assault. Metroscene offer their clean Brit-pop sensibility, while Cricket's lo-fi trio humbly goes where the early indie '90s once trod. Janah span the globe for World Music influences and instrumentation. Hope they all share a drum kit, as that stage is gonna be packed with instruments. Echo Lounge (Smith)

BERNARD LINNETTE'S INTERACTIVE SEXTET -- See listing for Dec. 29. Churchill Grounds (Powell)

BLOODKIN -- Dude, after the 'Panic show, spin on over to Smith's to check out this long-running Athens rock band. Several of Bloodkin's songs have been recorded by Widespread Panic, and who knows what kind of late-night jamming will ensue. Check with the club to see if taping is allowed. Admission's $7 and two cans of food; $2 off with a Widespread Panic ticket stub. Smith's Olde Bar (Smith)

DR. DAN -- After years of collaboration with Colonel Bruce Hampton, keyboard wizard Dr. Dan set out on his own earlier this year with his debut solo release, Dan on the Moon. Rich in the prog-groove tradition, Dan's style is a tour of jazz fusion from the early cosmic grit of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, to the more polished virtuosity of the contemporary Flecktones/Aquarium Rescue Unit school of jam. Opening act Ominous Seapods, the New York self-labeled "jam/rock/psychedelic/funk/bluegrass" act, earns the dubious distinction of naming a song "Bong Hits & Porn." Unless you've had a steady diet of both, the Pods might be a tough act to swallow. Brandyhouse (Hutchinson)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, SHINERS -- Rock 'n' roll doesn't come any more deeply Southern-fried than this. The Truckers serve it up country-style, with a heaping helping of Skynyrd on the side, while the Shiners (formerly known as Dirt Ball) mix a lot of Johnny & June in the batter and cook it up much more slowly. Star Bar (Nicoll)

GRAN TORINO -- A horny Knoxville show band, combining elements of Blood, Sweat & Tears with Earth, Wind & Fire, two drummers and an R&B-style vocalist. The frat boys love 'em, beer sales soar and pretty girls are plentiful at the gigs. Hardly heady art-rock, but definitely music for getting laid. And there's an art to that, evidently. Gruvinhi open. PlanetJam Cotton Club (Smith)

LEE GRIFFIN BAND -- See listing for Dec. 29. Northside Tavern (Powell)

GUIDED BY VOICES, THE GLANDS -- Lo-fi arena rock may sound like an oxymoron but Guided By Voices' Bob Pollard has been championing his melodic post-classic rock hooks prolifically for the length of the '90s. And whatever Athens' the Glands are pumping, their sweet, skewed pop is sure to only add to this adrenalized show. 40 Watt-Athens (Ware)

MATTHEW KAHLER -- Mellow Kahler has had a very good year. His co-write with Shawn Mullins, "Everywhere I Go," received national airplay, and Mullins' SMG label released his album Out of the Blue recently. Tonight, expect some "special guests" and choice cover tunes. Singer/songwriter Daniel Lee opens. Eddie's Attic (Smith)

KUDZU KINGS -- Satisfy those post-Panic munchies for more good music with the Texas-style blues of the Kudzu Kings. Blueground Undergrass also perform. 11 p.m. show, $2 off with Widespread Panic stub. Variety Playhouse (Ware)

MOTO-LITAS, HELGAS, MODEL CITIZEN -- This is the official release party for the all-girl Litas' debut CD, Talk Your Way Out of This, a refreshingly energetic blast of pop/rock/New Wave/instro mania whose sound harkens back to the early heydey of the Athens scene (think Pylon, Drastics, Side Effects, etc.). They've got able support from the mighty Helgas (think 17 Years minus Lara) and the upright rawk of Alabama-based trio Model Citizen, a potent, three-minute Pixies-style punk filtering of the Stones and the Boss. The Earl (Nicoll/Ware)

NORMALTOWN FLYERS, STOLEN BONES -- The 'Flyers, those Athens roots-rockers, will be rockin' a bit harder tonight as they morph into their alter-ego Rolling Stones cover band, Stolen Bones. Shambling, drunken hijinks will surely ensue. And the band will be rowdy, too. Chips-Winder (Smith)

3 DOORS DOWN -- See listing for Dec. 29. Center Stage (Ware)

WIDESPREAD PANIC -- If ushering in the new year with a 30-minute jam session is your idea of releasing that millennium tension, Widespread Panic provide two nights in a row. You may think you know Panic songs, but in concert Panic swap the "real songs" on their albums for full-on improvisation with occasional lyrics. Unlike the title of one of their near radio hits, you can't help but get high as an airplane from this crowd's contact buzz. Philips Arena (Ware)

Also performing

9 LIVES SALOON: Bowfinger, Alien Spys

40 WATT CLUB-ATHENS: Guided By Voices, the Glands

BASIL'S CAFÉ: Steven Charles

BAYOU ROOM: Rythem Nation

BILLY'S : Ed and Rick

BLIND WILLIE'S: Houserocker Johnson


BLUE RACCOON: New Year's Eve warm-up party with Bill Sheffield & the Ringtail Rounders

BRANDYHOUSE: Dr. Dan & Shock Treatment, Ominous Seapods

BRIDGES: Jazz with the Sharp Four, local artists


CENTER STAGE: 3 Doors Down, Days of the New, Dust for Life

THE CHAMBER: Europa with Gene Carbonell


CHIP'S-WINDER: The Normaltown Flyers, Stolen Bones

CHURCHILL GROUNDS JAZZ CAFÉ: Bernard Linnette's Interactive Sextet

CJ'S LANDING: Cravin' Melon, Eddie Bush

COMEAUX'S: Lee Griffin Band

COPELAND'S: Pharris Scott & Swingtyme

DARK HORSE TAVERN: Brighter Shade, Persona

DARWIN'S: Patrick Vining

DOTTIE'S: Translu.cent, Atomsplit

THE EARL: Motolitas CD release, the Helgas, Model Citizen

ECHO LOUNGE: Aerial, Billionaire, Metroscene, Cricket,Janah

EDDIE'S ATTIC: Matthew Kahler, Daniel Lee

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK: Buddy + the Rhinos

FUZZY'S: Barry Richman


JAKE'S ROADHOUSE: "Chicago Bob" Nelson & the J-Birds

JAVA HOUSE: The Freightliners

KILLER CREEK: Showtyme Jazz Duo


LUBY'S: Stuart Sullivan Band

MASQUERADE: Junkman's Attic Showcase with Low Z, 9 from 10, Liquid Jungle, Section Eight

MURPHY'S LAW: Dixie Blues


PHILIP'S ARENA: Widespread Panic

PLANETJAM COTTON CLUB: Gran Torino, Gruvinhi

THE PUB: The Naked Truth

ROXY: Charity Bash featuring Mother's Finest and Christian Durand


STAR BAR-L5P: Drive-By Truckers, Shiners

SWISSOTEL: Graham Jackson, Jr.

VARIETY PLAYHOUSE: Post Panic Party with Kudzu Kings, Blueground Undergrass

THE VAULT: Cyberia - electronica's dark side with DJ OMAC

WILD WING CAFÉ: Flux Capacitors

WOODEN NICKEL: Vagrant Justice


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