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CL's picks for the week's best shows

THURS/7

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS The season-closing ASO subscription concert, conducted by Robert Spano, combines a lesser-known work with a proven crowd pleaser. The "Symphony No. 3" of Karol Szymanowski, subtitled "Song of the Night," gets its first ASO performance. The incredibly popular "Carmina Burana" by imperial atavist Carl Orff, the second half of the program, viscerally celebrates triumph of the human spirit through sexual and holistic balance. $23-$73. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB Reuniting with its old drummer also brought back the rain-drenched Jesus and Mary Chain-styled Goth that the BMRC had abandoned for more tranquil, rootsy Americana seas on its last album. The trio creates a lot of racket, but the songs beneath the reverRebelReb shimmer with a garagy psychedelic esthetic that feels both retro and oddly contemporary. Philly's the Cobbs, who open, swim in similarly dark waters. $21. 8 p.m. Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. 404-233-7699. www.livenation.com. -- Hal Horowitz

JON CLEARY & THE ABSOLUTE MONSTER GENTLEMEN It took a move to New Orleans to unleash Cleary's deep soul and funk, but once he got there he became one of the city's most respected keyboardists, despite his U.K. upbringing. Best known as Bonnie Raitt's longtime sideman, Cleary's own four-disc catalog is an impressive mix of Dr. John-inspired wiry R&B, groove-oriented jazz and a tough Crescent City vibe. His band is lean and mean, but when he pounds those keys harder as the set progresses, it'll make you forget that Mardi Gras was over a few months ago. $15. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- HH

THE SOUL OF JOHN BLACK John "JB" Bigham's alter ego spins his unique style of soul blues with a contemporary twist. Equal parts Prince, Al Green and John Lee Hooker, Bigham references gospel, field hollers, juke joints and Stax, writing songs with memorable, even hummable hooks. Alternately sexy, lively and darkly intense, he brings a fresh, unpretentious persona to a genre desperately in need of a face-lift. $7. 8 p.m. The Five Spot. 404-223-1100. www.fivespot-atl.com. -- HH

FRI/8

LITTLE RIVER BAND, LIBERTY JONES The touring version of Little River Band is currently anchored by guitarist Stephen Housden and Wayne Nelson, bridging Australian and American harmonies while revisiting the bands' considerable backlog of pop hits. Liberty Jones, an Atlanta-area country-rock hybrid, opens the evening with tunes from its new, self-titled disc released on the local Indian Proud Entertainment label. The wide-ranging collection includes covers of Beatles, Steve Earle and Jimi Hendrix tunes interspersed with a fistful of equally diverse originals. Table of four: $70; individual tickets: $15-$45. 8 p.m. Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, Mableton. 770-819-7765. www.mablehouseamphitheatre.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

RAINN BENEFIT W/ KATE EARL RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), an organization based in Washington, D.C., helps victims of sexual assault through a 24-hour hotline as well as various other programs and education initiatives. To raise awareness of its efforts and recruit Atlanta volunteers, the organization is holding a benefit concert headlined by Kate Earl, a dreamy Alaskan folk singer whose songs have appeared on "Grey's Anatomy." Jupiter Watts, Alan Yates Band and Nathan Beaver open. Proceeds from the show benefit RAINN and the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center. $15. 8 p.m. The Loft. 404-885-1365. www.theloftatl.com. -- Mosi Reeves

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM They take their name from a Dadaist happening, and are informed by a similar rejection of objectification or categorization. A track may pass through more stages than a septuagenarian, including anything from prog-metal thunder to dark, industrial experimentalism, from folky ambience to no-wave jazz skronk. The live show's earned them a loyal following, playing effectively into their sense of theatricality and their desire to upset expectations. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chris Parker

SAT/9

ALL-NIGHT DRUG PROWLING WOLVES, GENTLEMAN JESSE AND HIS MEN, TEL AVIV Little Rock's Tel Aviv filters pensive melodies and post-punk coos and caterwauls through various spectral hues. Gentleman Jesse plays pub-punk rockers that show no allegiance to punk's sneer over rock's swagger. Drug Wolves play whiskey/amphetamine sweat-soaked punk anthems. The show begins with a screening of Richard Matson's Towncraft, a documentary film about the Little Rock punk scene. $7. 8 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- Chad Radford

ALOE BLACC, EUGENE IV, DILLON Aloe Blacc is an artist of range and versatility, someone who can rap, make beats and sing (as opposed to the offbeat harmonizing that most "singing" rappers do). On his acclaimed 2006 album Shine Through, he flips reggae and Afro-Cuban styles, interprets John Legend's "Ordinary People" in Spanish, and even hearkens to Sam Cooke. While not as well-known as Aloe Blacc, Atlanta's Eugene IV aspires to the same fusion of hip-hop and soul through his album Starving Artist. Dillon, formerly of Intellekt and Dirty Digits, opens. $10. 10 p.m. Apache Café. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info. -- MR

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