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CL's picks for the week's best shows

THURS/25

DOYLE/WILCOX/HARRAR, PROJEXORCISM, 9J Arthur Doyle is an Alabama wildman who has been wailing on his tenor sax since the '70s on his own and in the fringe free-jazz/no-wave ensemble Blue Humans. This time around Doyle fronts a trio that features Temple of Bon Matin drummer Ed Wilcox and multimedia artist James Harrar. Experimental film/sound artists Projexorcism and 9J also perform. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- Chad Radford

PONYS, KNIFE AND THE FOURTH WARD DAGGERS, CARBONAS, ROYAL THUNDER, THY MIGHTY CONTRACT Chicago's Ponys play catchy and melodic songs that thrive at the intersection of garage rock, post-punk and just plain solid songwriting. Knife and Daggers play fast and trebly Beach Boys-inspired punk rock that's all about hanging out with girls, listening to records and having fun. Atlanta punk-rock favorites Carbonas, plus Royal Thunder and Thy Mighty Contract, also perform. $7. 9 p.m. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- CR

TOOTS & THE MAYTALS Reggae doesn't get any more roots than the music of Frederick "Toots" Hibbert. He was there from the beginning, predating even Bob Marley's earliest sides, with an explosive blend of ska, reggae and R&B that remains riveting even today. Hibbert's raw vocals are gripping even if his slick new guest-star-studded albums aren't as intoxicating as the self-descriptive anthem "Reggae Got Soul" and the immortal "Pressure Drop." Do the "reggay" with one of the undisputed living legends of the genre. $22.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Hal Horowitz

FRI/26

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Oh Milhaud my! Robert Spano leads a dance-oriented musical postcard of early 20th-century Paris, opening with the "La Création du Monde" by Darius Milhaud, a 20-minute ballet based on creation stories of African folk mythology. ASO principal harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson is featured in Claude Debussy's "Danses sacrée et profane." "La Valse" and "Valses nobles et sentimentales" by Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin's jaunty tone poem "An American in Paris" (which inspired the 1951 MGM dance flick starring Gene Kelly) bring the excursion de Paris to a close. $16-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

SASHA, SPOOKY If Paul van Dyk is celebrated for his technical prowess and Tiesto for his showmanship, then British DJ star Alexander "Sasha" Coe is known for his impeccable song selection. Sasha's inclusion of obscure British pop band Grand National on his 2004 mix CD Involver helped the group land U.S. distribution; he's worked similar wonders for Charlie "Spooky" May, a frequent musical collaborator. Both Sasha and Spooky are coming to Atlanta courtesy of hard-working promotions company Liquified. $30. 9 p.m. Wetbar. 404-745-9494. www.wetbaratlanta.com. -- Mosi Reeves

SAT/27

JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO The Concrete Blonde founder, singer and songwriter is back in Atlanta tonight, still touring behind her recently issued, moody solo debut Scarred. Fans who witnessed her steamy Park Tavern show this summer will surely testify to the power of the mercurial performer, armed only with her guitar and that powerful voice. Call for prices. 8 p.m. Five Spot. 404-223-1100. www.fivespot-atl.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith.

PAULO NUTINI, SARA BARIELLES This former Scottish chippy is milking his 15 minutes for all it's worth, and having a grand time in the process. His music is catchy, fun, danceable, and ultimately trendy. You will recognize a few of the hits, and will be intrigued by the less familiar material. Chick singer Sara Barielles opens with her typical chick songs. $25. 8 p.m. Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com. -- James Kelly

STARS They fly on the strength of frontman Torquil Campbell and guitarist Amy Milans's boy/girl vocals, which glide over luminous baroque pop arrangements of trilling strings, chilly new-wave synth and bustling percussion. The beatific sound camouflages dark, moribund lyricism and Morrissey-like theatricality. Their latest (released digitally two months before retail), In Our Bedroom After the War, reveals a more political vent, highlighted by the vibrant, chiming "Take Me to the Riot." $17.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Chris Parker

MV + EE w/ THE GOLDEN ROAD, DQE, TREE CREATURE, 1THOUSAND HOLY SHARDS Matt Valentine (MV) + Erica Elder (EE) and the Golden Road dwell in the frilly areas between hippie campfire folk songs and the avant-garde. One moment they're singing about smoking grass on mountain roads. The next they're lost in the ether of blissful tonal resonance. Locals acts DQE, Tree Creature and 1thousand Holy Shards open. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

THERMOS GREENWOOD AND THE COLORED PEOPLE The multicolored members of Thermos Greenwood's gradient gang grandly return tonight, as Halloween tradition dictates. Once a staple of rock clubs across the South, the veteran scenesters, including leader "Thermos" aka Tommy Dean (League of Decency), only gather annually -- so check 'em out tonight or you'll have to wait another year. The band is planning two long sets of music and fun, highlighted with plenty of Zappa/Beefheart-esque dada moments. Bring your camera, a loopy sense of humor and dress outrageously to become part of the costumed frivolity. Call for prices. 8 p.m. Club 29. 404-633-8090. www.club29atl.com. -- LVS

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