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FRI/MARCH 30
ACOUSTIC JAZZ IS DEAD -- Dubbed the "Workingman's Beauty Tour" ('cause they're playing the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead and American Beauty in their entirety), this collusion of two ex-Dixie Dregs push the Garcia/Hunter songbook in unplugged directions. Arguably the most talented Dead cover band, these musicians use songs as reference points to expand into unusual jazzy realms. Twirl dancing not recommended. Variety Playhouse (Horowitz)

BILLY PILGRIM -- Though they frequently promise to stop such nostalgia, Andrew Hyra and Kristian Bush still perform as Billy Pilgrim. Lucky for Eddie's patrons, they soldier on in pleasing harmony with a strummy old folkie determination. They're playing twice, and Talia Paul opens the late show. Eddie's Attic (Smith)

CIGAR STORE INDIANS -- They're rolling tape for a live CD, so come whoop and holler extra loud when Big Chief Ben leads his mighty braves along the rumbling rockabilly warpath. Smith's Olde Bar (Nicoll)

SOPHIE DARCELL -- Rather than waiting around for some producer to mold her toward stardom, local R&B singer Sophie Darcell takes the road less traveled with her D-I-Y CD, Love = Pain. Producing and writing her own songs, Darcell falls short of the immaculate production value required for mainstream radio play these days, but her songs -- low-key and cool with plenty of hooks and nylon guitar stringing -- come across just fine. Hard Rock Café (Sarig)

DRILL 187 -- Chainsaw guitars collide against lumbering stegosaurus rhythms, with vocals that alternately resemble gargling, vomiting and yawning. When it comes to delivering a deep-throated alt-rock roar, Drill 187 frontman Jason Lilley is no shrinking violet. The show starts as soon as Pantera finishes upstairs in the Tabernacle. PlanetJam Cotton Club (Nicoll)

ELF POWER -- Witnessing Elfin Andrew Rieger's quirky pop live is always a treat. Tonight the heir to Mitch Easter brings his angular Athens-based band to the Earl for a magically delicious set. Space Crime Quintet opens. The Earl (Smith)

FLASH TO BANG TIME, ALASTOR, YUM YUM TREE -- A self-contained study in contrasts, Flash to Bang Time plays eerie pop with prominent cello and viola. Their bandleader is Lynda Stipe, of Georgia's renowned artistic/musical Stipe clan (see Earshot). Opening the show is Elizabeth Elkins' energetic poetry/rock trio Alastor, along with Yum Yum Tree, who offer breathy grrrl rock that's equal parts bitter, sweet and bittersweet. Star Bar (Nicoll)

TONY FURTADO -- An acoustic musician's musician, banjo/slide guitar ace brings his jammy-jazz inflected post-bluegrass dazzle back to town. Brandyhouse (Sarig)

MARY CLEERE HARAN -- Top New York cabaret singer performs the show that inspired her recent Crazy Rhythm: Manhattan in the '20s CD, a tribute to Tin Pan Alley's greatest songwriters. Rialto Center (Sarig)

JO DEE MESSINA -- The double-platinum redhead, Jo Dee Messina, headlines in support of her recent Burn album. Messina's signature song style has created a niche for her. She knows about life and isn't afraid to sing about it. Fox Theatre (Forrest)

MINAMINA GOODSONG -- The local rap duo prepare for the release of the new CD with tonight's hip-hop jam, also featuring Psyche Origami, DJ Dainja, live groove band Fumbata. Somber Reptile (Sarig)

PANTERA, SOULFLY, MORBID ANGEL -- While alcohol-soaked Texas terrors Pantera haven't offered much since last spring's largely uninspired Reinventing the Steel, Pantera still rules the roost live. No one out there can match the crisp, crushing power. With Soulfly, Max Calavera takes the Sepultura's soul and brings a tribal stomp to which even Pantera fans can happily mosh. Hardcore death-metal rockers Morbid Angel might have a name in the world of death, but their presence here may leave many scratching their heads. Tabernacle (Kohler)

PH BALANCE, TRIA DI LUNA -- Pam Howe continues to reign supreme as the Queen of Soul-Scrubbing. Tonight, she rub-a-dub-dubs in the tub with the Balance crew and leaves the inner light on for ya. Tria Di Luna glow like a halo as their jazzy funk eclipses the Echo. Echo Lounge (Smith)

POSH DIGS, ROCK COACHES, ANNE-MARIE PERRY, PAUL MELANCON -- Reviving an early-'80s tradition of live music at the Nexus Gallery, the Contemporary presents its first "Local Salad" monthly showcase, curated by CL contributor Lee Smith. Posh Digs play their last show before the all-female quartet goes off to cut a debut album. The sweetly subversive Rock Coaches may give away toys and wreck part of the gallery. Anne-Marie Perry (of literate rock act Jane Ivy) performs some Ayn Rand-inspired tunes and Paul Melancon presents ultra-catchy too-pop-for-folk/too-folk-for-pop tunes. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Nicoll)

U2 -- Call it a comeback if you will, but with All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 becomes a group legendary enough to be congratulated for making a merely decent album. No longer bent of grand conceptual missions -- trilogies, road movies, "electronica" albums -- U2 has settled on making a straightforward album of good, thoroughly unambitious, songs. Think of it as Tattoo YouToo. Canadian pop It-Girl Nelly Furtado has replaced PJ Harvey as opening act. Philips Arena (Sarig)

X-IMPOSSIBLES, JUCIFER, SYRUP -- Three colorful purveyors of extra-loud sound collide. The Florida cowboys of Syrup pump out molten-hot rock while performing dance-steps worthy of the Four Tops. Athens-based noise-rock duo Jucifer follows, while Atlanta's X-Impossibles crush the evening into total oblivion with Stooge-style punk. Masquerade (Nicoll)

BILLY'S: Dave D

BLUE RACCOON: Bill Sheffield and the Ringtail Rounders

BORDERS-ATHENS: Carla Ulbrich

BORDERS-AUSTELL: Eddie Rhoades

BORDERS-BUCKHEAD: Brian Messler

BORDERS-COBB PARKWAY: John Gregory

BORDERS-DULUTH: Night Flight

BORDERS-DUNWOODY: The G-Force Trio featuring Rebecca Windham

BORDERS-EAST COBB: Ariel Williams

BORDERS-KENNESAW: Sean Smith

BORDERS-MIDTOWN: Matthew Kahler

BORDERS-SNELLVILLE: Rock-a-Billy

BRANDYHOUSE: Tony Furtado, Ghost Trane

BRIDGES: Jazz with the Sharp Four

BUFFALO'S-AKERS MILL: Karen Lepo

THE CHAMBER: Alabaster - progressive hits

CHECKERED PARROT: Lous Jr.

CLUB VENUS: DJ Gary B.

THE CONTEMPORARY: The Rock Coaches, Posh Digs, Jane Ivy, Paul Melancon

COSMOPOLITAN: Jeff Montleone Acoustic Duo

DARK HORSE TAVERN : Supafuzz, Drednot, Sing Sing Prison

DARWIN'S: Women of Rock in the Round with Caroline Aiken, Donna Hopkins, Diane Durrett, Liz Melendez

THE DERBY-NESBIT FERRY: Mike Veal

THE EARL: Elf Power, Space Crime Quintet

ECHO LOUNGE: pH balance, Tria Di Luna

ECLIPSE DI LUNA: Kim Rushing Band Jazz Quartet

EDDIE'S ATTIC: Billy Pilgrim, Talia Paul

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK: Ron Cooley & the Hard Times

FIREHOUSE FOOD & SPIRITS: Storm Warning

40 WATT CLUB-ATHENS: Rock*A*Teens, Ashley Stove

FRONT PAGE NEWS: Lachez Les

FUZZY'S: Barry Richman

HEMINGWAY'S TROPICAL BAR & GRILL: Time Machine

JAKE'S ROADHOUSE: Cathy Carllile

KAYA: Northern Exposure with V-103's Frank Ski, DJ Kemit, Buddy and J-Nice playing house and hip-hop plus soul/funk

KAZOO'S: Paradise Radio

KLASSICS-ATHENS: Alien

LAZY DOG TAVERN-LILBURN: Work In Progress

THE LIBRARY GRILL & BAR: Ingram Hill

LUBY'S: Lubypalooza - 13 Bands

MARY'S: Music videos with DJ Jigsaw

MASQUERADE: Jucifer, X-Impossibles, Syrup

MELLOW MUSHROOM-BUFORD: Randy Harper

9 LIVES SALOON: Leadfoot, the Unsatisfied, Jennifer Strip, Puddin'

NOMENCLATURE MUSEUM: SoCo Audio Fridays - DJs Michael Scott and Marcos Pieras host DJ Garth

NORTHSIDE TAVERN: Mudcat

PECKERHEAD BREWERY-DOUGLASVILLE: Anthony Gomes

PHILIP'S ARENA: U2, Nelly Furtado

PHUNKY PHISH: Ruben

PIPER'S PUB: Dead Dog Blues

POOR RICHARDS' PUB: Nothing Simple

POPPERS: Reddog

RAY'S ON THE RIVER: Mina

SMITH'S OLDE BAR: Cigar Store Indians live recording

STAR BAR-L5P: Flash To Bang Time, Alastor, Yum Yum tree

SWISSOTEL: Graham Jackson, Jr.

THE TABERNACLE: Pantera, Soulfly, Nothingface, Morbid Angel

UGLY MUG PUB: Big Royal

VARIETY PLAYHOUSE: Acoustic/Electric Jazz Is Dead

THE VAULT: Retro Wave with DJ Caz10

WHISKER'S TAVERN-DUNWOODY: The New Educators

WILD WING CAFE: 7 Sharp 9

WOODEN NICKEL: Version

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