Sound Menu 

CL's picks for the week's best shows

THURS/31

AMY AND EMILY When Amy Ray and Emily Saliers play Eddie's, it's a big deal, and tonight and tomorrow are no exception. With a brand-new album on the way and a host of new projects, the duo is doing a two-night stand to benefit Janet McLaughlin and the Georgia Network To End Sexual Assault. The event sold out in minutes, but some patio seating may be available. Sold Out. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

BIRDMONSTER The San Francisco Bay Area has a great reputation for surly, washed-out barroom punks (think Jawbreaker and American Music Club's Mark Eitzel). Birdmonster's Peter Arcuni aspires to that tradition on his band's No Midnight, a rambling collection of songs unclassifiable by genre and defined by attitude. The group is supported by Charlotte band the Sammies and local group Dust Rabbit, the latter of which sticks to an instrumentals-only diet. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Mosi Reeves

BRUCE COCKBURN Calling Cockburn a cult figure is a bit of a misnomer; better to say his audience is very selective. One of the most prolific and socially conscious folkies of the late 20th century, his newest album delivers more of his subtle but powerful observations, this time with a heartfelt look at what's going on in Iraq. And America. $22.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- James Kelly

SPIRIT The UK's drum 'n' bass in the '90s was the sound of pre-millennium tensions. What would the future hold? Urban warfare or poignant tone poems? Unfortunately, our future of complete-nutrition pills, fluid-recycling all-terrain fabrics and celestial harmony went the way of soy lattes and SUVs. The Y2K bug wiping out the tenuous-at-best structure of our civilization might have been preferable (at least for MY credit). Boy, are we screwed. So there's never been a better time than the present to don your hoodie, some flood pants and enjoy some rolling bass, percolating beats, canine synths, feral strings and ominous space spooks. Locals supporting the bill include Double Nil, Sonar and Subliminal, plus Soundwave. $10; free for ladies. 10 p.m. The Mark. 678-904-0050. www.themarkatlanta.com. -- Tony Ware

FRI/1

AMY AND EMILY See Sound Menu for Thurs., Aug. 31.

BRENDA EARLE A singer/pianist/composer with four indie CDs to her credit, Canadian-born jazzwoman Brenda Earle studied jazz piano in Toronto, then at Manhattan School of Music in New York City where she also studied with hot Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza. Earle gracefully bridges jazz and pop with vocal finesse and a blues-tinted pianistic touch. $10 cover, and $10 minimum. 8:30 p.m. Churchill Grounds. 404-894-9600. www.churchillgrounds.com.

-- Mark Gresham

DRAGON*CON Dragon*Con is ground zero for people-watching on Labor Day weekend. Sure, you know about the hardcore sci-fi fans who dress up and get way into the fun, but did you know that a nice selection of bands also perform at the yearly event? This year, the music schedule features the Worm Quartet, the Cogburns, Voltaire, Throwing Toasters, Mauldin Ash, the Cruxshadows and Emerald Rose. Literally something for everyone this year. $25-$85. Hyatt Regency Atlanta. 404-577-1234. www.dragoncon.com. -- LVS

JEAN-LUC PONTY Versatile, legendary French jazz violinist and composer Jean-Luc Ponty was trained as a classical violinist but was propelled into jazz by the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Back in the '70s, Ponty pioneered the five-string electric violin and was among the first to play violin through electric guitar effects. With tracks on over 70 recordings, he's worked with such notables as Stephane Grappelli, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa. $25. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-521-1786. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- MG

SAT/2

BRENDA EARLE See Sound Menu listing for Fri., Sept. 1.

BUSTA RHYMES, CIARA No one who raved over Busta Rhymes back in the early Nineties -- remember "Case of the P.T.A." and "The Scenario"? -- could have anticipated he'd become the poster child for hip-hop's unctuous "Stop Snitchin'" campaign. But unless those steroids went to his brain, he can still deliver an amazing live show and rip through over a decade of hits, from "What's Next" to "I Love My Bitch." Atlanta crunk/R&B chanteuse Ciara will lighten the evening, but methinks you best leave the kids at home for this one. $58-$63. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 404-233-2227. www.ticketmaster.com. -- MR

DIE SLAUGHTERFEST 2006 It's time once again for Die Slaughterhaus Records' annual three-day Die Slaughterfest, in which Atlanta's noisiest, gnarliest and most reckless garage and punk bands celebrate with a show of drunken folly and abandon. Day one includes performances from Bumble Beats (Austria), Kiwis, Beat Beat Beat and Carbonas. The schedule is subject to frequent and unpredictable changes. For more up-to-the-minute information, look online at www.dieslaughterhausrecords.com. $5. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

DRAGON*CON See Sound Menu listing for Fri., Sept. 1.

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