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CL's picks for the week's best shows

THURS/3

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Laura Jackson conducts classics by Verdi, Brahms, Gershwin, de Falla, Chopin and von Suppé, plus film music from Pirates of the Caribbean, Mission Impossible, and ET: Adventures on Earth in this free outdoor concert OTP southwest of Atlanta. Free. 7:30 p.m. Hutcheson Ferry Park, Palmetto. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

BATTLECAT, GOD'S AMERICA, THIS SONG IS A MESS BUT SO AM I, EMPEROR X, DRY LUNGS Battlecat is an Atlanta post-screamo supergroup featuring Jeff Burgoon (Airoes), Mike Keenan (Airoes, Electrosleep Int'l), Sean Fitzgerald (Electrosleep Int'l) and Pat Clarici (Portrait). The group's dual-bass pummel is reminiscent of its members' not-so-branched family tree, while moving into new realms of recklessness. A marathon of noisy and experimental post-hardcore acts opens. $6. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

FRI/4

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO The CGT emerged from one of Robert Fripp's guitar workshops in the late '80s and initially went on to enjoy a modicum of fame as the League of Crafty Guitarists, with Fripp at the helm. Combining a variety of musical styles, the band is amazing technically, but there is also a nice underriding sense of soul in their sound. $20. 8:30 p.m. The Five Spot. 404-223-1100. www.ticketmaster.com. -- James Kelly

VICTOR GOINES Clarinetist/saxophonist Victor Goines is artistic director of jazz studies at the Juilliard School in NYC and a jazz veteran who has performed with such notables as Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Bo Diddley, Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie. $15 cover/$10 min. 7:30 p.m. Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe. 404-876-3030. www.churchillgrounds.com. -- MG

SAT/5

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA See Sound Menu for Thurs., Aug. 3.

THE SELMANAIRES, FORGET CASSETTES, EL HUB Atlanta's indie-pop saviors, the Selmanaires, craft a sound that falls somewhere between the Talking Heads and Toots and the Maytals. Jangling guitars bristle over sharp, angular rhythms that graft post-punk's white-funk personality and metrical tension with a bounding and eclectic pop sensibility. Nashville's dark pop trio Forget Cassettes and high volume guitar-drum rock duo El Hub open the show. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

VICTOR GOINES See Sound Menu for Fri., Aug. 4.

SUN/6

THE CLIENTELE, GREAT LAKES, SNOWDEN The Clientele bears the torch of London's alterna-pop forefathers, New Order, and even a bit of the Beatles, but with a touch of melancholy indie rock. The group is making its second go-around in support of Strange Geometry (Merge Records). Athens' psychedelic rock combo Great Lakes and Atlanta's own Joy Division-esque gloom-pop outfit Snowden are also on the bill. $8. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

MON/7

EELS Despite so-so record sales, pop-rock songwriter Mark Oliver "E" Everett and his band Eels has functioned successfully for well over a decade, building a cult of fans and critics who follow their every release. The group's 2005 album, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, elicited great reviews, and their tour appearances frequently draw capacity crowds. $15-$17.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Mosi Reeves

THE RENTALS It may seem hard to imagine, but there was a time when indie dudes didn't all seem to dress like sissy bike messengers, and chicks didn't all seem to dress like either their grandmothers or like boys dressed like silly bike messengers. There was a time when new wave didn't feel retread. There was a time when "emo" and "weeping vagina" were not synonyms. There was a time when every band did not have synths, and during this time (1995) was the Moog-driven, hook-laden band the Rentals -- the side project of then-Weezer bassist Matt Sharp, That Dog's Petra Hayden and, briefly, SNL's Maya Rudolph, among others. This is power pop without the need to overpower, wistful bubblegum without unnecessary bombast (a lesson for the "bike messengers," surely). It's everything you loved about initial Weezer, minus the neurotic missteps, and a group trainspotters should have been extolling for years. Ozma also performs. $15. 7 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- Tony Ware

SANDI THOM Sandi Thom's first single, "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in my Hair)" dislodged Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" at number one on the UK charts. Her debut album Smile ... It Confuses People also went to number one. But so what? That's over there. In America, the bluesy pop-rocker is relatively unknown with much to prove. An appearance at Vinyl should indicate whether she's worth the hype. $10. 9 p.m. Vinyl. 404-885-1365. www.vinylatlanta.com. -- MR

STEELY DAN Steely Dan is that band you like that you didn't know you liked. And the songs you know by heart but not by name are about a life you wish you had but wouldn't know what to do with if you did. Just as Los Angeles was being flooded in the early '70s with cocaine and casual sex, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were there to capture the excess in music that is anything but excessive. Studio rats more into jazz and blues than rock, Fagen and Becker composed meticulous and melodic jams whose breezy grooves -- later sampled repeatedly in hip-hop -- made Steely Dan seem like ideal and accessible lifestyle accompaniment. When times get tough, you've always got Steely Dan, the Cuervo Gold and the fine Columbian making tonight a wonderful thing. Michael McDonald also performs. $69.50-$88.50. 7:30 p.m. Chastain Amphitheatre. 404-233-2227. www.chastainseries.com. -- TW

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