Sound Menu 

CL's picks for the week's best shows

THU/26

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Two prim "Pomp and Circumstance" marches by Sir Edward Elgar (Nos. 4 and 1 respectively) open and close this concert of music from Great Britain, homeland of ASO principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles, who leads the evening's show. In contrast, "Three Screaming Popes" by Mark-Anthony Turnage takes paintings by Francis Bacon as its inspiration, followed by the bagpipes-encrusted "An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise" by Peter Maxwell-Davies, and "Britannia" by young Scot composer James MacMillan. Benjamin Brittan's intimately personal anti-war "Sinfonia da Requiem" completes the musical tour. $16-$63. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

CHRIS KNIGHT Knight is a true poet with a clear vision of his characters and their follies. His bare-bones, emotional storytelling has never sounded better than on the recently (finally) released The Trailer Tapes. These 10-year-old solo acoustic demos have been the stuff of legend, now you can hear them live and own them. $15. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- James Kelly

GORE GORE GIRLS, THEE CRUCIALS, THE COATHANGERS Detroit's Gore Gore Girls were forerunners of the Michigan-bred garage-rock revival that capped the '90s. The group's sound is a blend of sweet, girl-group melodies layered over a gritty, sexy punk swagger. Thee Crucials play retro-garage-rock party anthems. The Coathangers play a primitive and playful girly punk set that culminates in bratty anthems about bad boyfriends and boobies. $8. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chad Radford

FRI/27

EMORY CONCERT CHOIR In anticipation of the choir's May 2007 tour to Italy, ECC director Eric Nelson conducts music by Giovanni Gabrieli, Giovanni Palestrina, Lodovico Viadana, Claudio Monteverdi and other composers who defined the late days of the Italian Renaissance and the transitions into the musical styles of the Baroque era. Free. 8 p.m. Schwartz Center, Emerson Concert Hall. 404-727-5050. www.arts.emory.edu. -- MG

JOE NICHOLS One of the hot new country guys who can actually sing and can actually sing country, Nichols has had a decent stream of hits over the last few years. Sometimes he's a little corny ("Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off") but he definitely brings on the twang. $16-$100. 9 p.m. Wild Bill's. 678-473-1000. www.wildbillsatlanta.com. -- JK

SILENT KIDS, THE PREAKNESS, MARY O. HARRISON Silent Kids are one of the best-kept secrets of Atlanta's indie-music community. The group plays a colorful blend of psychedelic pop songs that draw from influences ranging from Revolver-era Beatles to Guided by Voices. The Preakness crafts smooth and amiable indie-pop harmonies. Mary O. Harrison opens. $7. 8 p.m. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- CR

SAT/28

STEPHEN STILLS, JAY BOY ADAMS Stills, the "S" in the middle of C, S and N (and sometimes Y) returns to town with his solo band and decades of classic-rock history. As a member of Buffalo Springfield, he explored '60s country-rock and -- along with his like-minded and harmonious pals David Crosby, Graham Nash and Neil Young -- produced some of the finest folk-rock of his generation. Texas singer/songwriter Adams will open the show with a set including songs from his new release The Shoe Box; then he'll join Stills and company as the evening unfolds. $36.50. 8 p.m. The Roxy. 404-233-7699. www.ticketmaster.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

POCO No, it's not the original lineup, sorry. Actually, only one member from the seminal country-rock groundbreaking band is still there (Rusty Young), although early recruit Paul Cotton will be participating as well. This show will be done as an acoustic trio, and you can bet you will hear all the hits. $48.50. 10 p.m. The Swallow at the Hollow. 678-352-1975. www.theswallowatthehollow.com. -- JK

VAN MORRISON The chameleonic Irish soul/jazz/blues singer is also a notorious curmudgeon on stage, and likely to charge through an inspired set of his classics and phone in a performance so uninspired you wish he never even bothered. His recent country album finds him in better spirits and his band is always top-notch, so in case Morrison can't find his muse -- and at these ticket prices, he should be trying to -- at least you can enjoy some of the finest talent in the business backing him up. $55-128. 7:30 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheatre. 404-233-2227. www.ticketmaster.com/venue/114766. -- Hal Horowitz

SUN/29

COMMON W/ ALEX THOMAS, RUSSELL TAYLOR Fresh off Oprah's couch where he discussed rap music's raucous lyrics in the ongoing finger-pointing aftermath of former radio host Don Imus' dick-headed comments, Common hits the stage at Morehouse College's Forbes Arena to serve up some real hip-hop. He's likely to give a sneak preview of tracks from his upcoming album, Finding Forever, due in stores July 10. Comedian Alex Thomas and singer Russell Taylor open for the Luv Lounge Concert Series. $37.50. 7 p.m. Forbes Arena at Morehouse College. www.theluvloungelive.net. -- Rodney Carmichael

MON/30

KRISTIN HERSH The enigmatic ex-Throwing Muses leader is the definition of an indie artist. Her scratchy, almost childlike voice, esoteric lyrics and songs that range from lovely to angry to cathartic are the stuff from which cult acts are made. Her newest is a strong return to form, adding strings -- which will accompany her tonight -- and electric guitar to quirky, often abrasive but always emotional folk-rock. The McCarricks open and then return as Hersh's band. Dolorean also appears. $12. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- HH

TUES/1

STEEL PULSE Less a band than a backing unit for founder/frontman David Hinds, Steel Pulse's sleek yet incisive and always tuneful reggae has persevered for nearly three decades. Although the group has flirted with hip-hop and commercial crossover, Hinds returned to his more politically and musically aggressive roots on 2004's stunning African Holocaust release. Kelly Love Jones opens. $25. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- HH

WED/2

AMINA FIGAROVA SEXTET Azerbaijan-born Euro-jazz composer/pianist Amina Figarova plays her jazz, reggae and Latin-spiced mix of funk, fusion and R&B in cahoots with her sextet-entourage from the Netherlands: flutist Bart Platteau, trumpeter Nico Schepers, saxophonist Kurt van Herck, bassist Wiro Mahieu and drummer Chris "Buckshot" Strik. $25. 7:30 p.m. Oglethorpe Museum of Art. Skylight Gallery. 404-364-8555. museum.oglethorpe.edu/programs.htm . -- MG

UNCLE MONK, ANNA KRAMER, GEORGIA FIREFLIES Uncle Monk is the rootsy bluegrass duo featuring the last surviving original member of the iconic punk-rock band the Ramones. Here, Tommy Ramone, also known as Tommy Erdelyi, is featured on vocals and dobro, joined by Claudia Tienan. Don't expect any punk attitude or any Ramones songs, but do expect a straightforward take on the old-timey, back-porch string-band model. Anna Kramer and the Georgia Fireflies open. $7. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- LVS

THU/3

AN EVENING WITH TODD RUNDGREN The last time the mercurial, multimedia multi-instrumentalist was in town, he led the thoroughly enjoyable new lineup of the Cars. This spring, before he hits the road with the 2007 New Cars tour, Rundgren is playing smaller theaters with a supergroup of his own, an intimate and intensely rockin' little combo with internationally vaulted players Tony Levin, Jesse Gress and Jerry Marotta. $26.50. 8 p.m. The Roxy. 404-233-7699. www.ticketmaster.com. --LVS

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Guest pianist Shai Wosner brings his intellectual, poetic approach to the "Piano Concerto No. 1" of Ludwig van Beethoven. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles leads the ASO in this program. $16-$60. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- MG

LISA GERRARD As one half of Dead Can Dance, vocalist Lisa Gerrard established a legacy of ghostly and otherworldly elegance with her often-wordless vocalizations. For her Variety Playhouse stop she makes a rare solo appearance, performing songs from her most recent release, The Silver Tree (4AD). Expect nothing short of an arsenal of ethnic instrumentation churning out a somber and dramatic show of elaborate beauty and surreal emotions. $35. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- CR

Bands/performers/venues wishing to be included in Sound Menu's noted-acts boxes may send recordings, press material and schedules two weeks in advance to Creative Loafing c/o Rodney Carmichael, 384 Northyards Blvd., Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30313, or e-mail information to: rodney.carmichael@creativeloafing.com. To be included in the listings only, e-mail venue and band schedules by Friday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Thursday) to soundboard@creativeloafing.com.

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