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CL's picks for the week's best shows

ernesto

THURS/15

LICHENS, JANA HUNTER, MATTEAH BAIM Chicago's Lichens is the sometimes-solo, sometimes-full-band project of former 90 Day Men bassist Robert Lowe. As Lichens, Lowe dwells on the subtle elements of drone music and avant-garde folk pickery, relying on the microtones and the imperfections of sound to craft songs. Jana Hunter sings and strums a set of beautifully sparse and melancholy folk songs. Matteah Baim opens. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

REGINA SPEKTOR The Russian-born Spektor slowly filtered through the East Village's anti-folk scene, developing a quirky, effusive style, adding guitar to her bluesy, piano-driven compositions. Her major-label debut, Begin to Hope, is polished and less idiosyncratic than her prior work, but no less charming. She's got a spunky, especially honest manner, epitomized by the perky "Fidelity," where she confesses, "I've never loved anyone fully, always one foot on the ground." $25. 8 p.m. Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com. -- Chad Parker

SCOTT MILLER, THE GOUGERS Miller is one of the hardest-working musicians in the land, always touring, cranking out albums and giving it his all. He's a songwriter with an eye for the details, and a witty sense of injustice in the world. The Gougers from Austin open the show. I think they are Americana, whatever that is this week. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- James Kelly

FRI/16

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Raised in Trinidad, Canadian-born conductor Kwamé Ryan, who recently became music director of Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine (France), makes his Atlanta debut with the ASO with the uplifting "Symphony No. 2" of Robert Schumann, and the solitary, challenging "Violin Concerto" of Ludwig van Beethoven with radiant violinist Leila Josefowicz as guest soloist. $16-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

DOC WATSON, LOVELL SISTERS What goes around comes around. Watson is in his 80s and has a thriving career as one of the living masters of traditional music. There are few people half his age who can put on as energetic and accomplished a show as the doctor. Joining him are the youthful Lovell Sisters, who bring a rich vitality and enthusiasm to the age-old music they love. What a wonderful musical complement. $28.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- JK

EUROS CHILDS, DAVID KILGOUR It's a psychedelic folk-pop world party tonight as Welshman and ex-Gorky's Zygotic Mynci founder Childs joins New Zealand's Kilgour, previously of the Clean, for a night of edgy, eccentric strumming. Both expand their genre's boundaries with Child's whimsical visions playing off Kilgour's more trippy, atmospheric, Velvets vibe. The addition of Jeffrey Butzer, who just headlined a few weeks ago with a program of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave covers, makes a terrific triple bill. $10. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- HH

JENS LEKMAN There's a chilly sweep and a wry atmosphere enveloping this Swedish singer/songwriter's sweet, majestic pop that suggests the Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt channeling Burt Bacharach. Lekman's crooning tenor conveys a tender innocence on many songs (such as the snuggling snowbound strangers of "The Cold Swedish Winter"), leavened by a lighthearted whimsy evident on the clever, shuffling, horn-fueled ode to an exciting "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo," the single off his latest, Night Falls Over Kortedala. $10. 8:30 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CP

ZEPUBICLE, TATSUYA NAKATANI, GREY DATURAS, LESLIE KEFFER Zepubicle is a good-ol'-boy network of mostly Southern improvisers. The group plays a swirling and hulking mass of grooves and textures that are bound by every subtle, incidental and totally agro sound they kick up. Melbourne, Australia, trio Grey Daturas crafts on-the-spot loud and noisy rock. Nashville's first lady of knob-twiddling drone doom and gloom Leslie Keffer also performs. $8. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- Chad Radford

SAT/17

JAMES HALL, THE EMPTIES The ill winds of Katrina helped Hall relocate to Atlanta and tonight, he continues to explore the finer points of glam and basic rock 'n' roll -- with able backing from some familiar faces: Chris Piskun (guitar), Bruce Butkovich (bass) and Ali Warren (drums). The Empties open the show. $10. 9 p.m. Star Bar. www.starbar.net. -- Lee Valentine Smith

THE POLICE The biggest band of the early '80s -- before U2 ascended to the top of the pile -- Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland have reunited after more than 20 years for an ever-expanding greatest-hits tour. While rumors of a new album continue to trail the trio, one thing is certain: The iconic blond gods have an enviable catalog of hits, so just enjoy the classics and see what happens. For music and pop-culture historians, the Police are one of the most documented bands this side of the Beatles, with a new tome from Sting, mixed media from Copeland and the continuing success of Summers' One Train Later, perhaps the definitive story of the band and its origins. Fiction Plane opens Saturday night with material from its latest release on Florida's Bieler Brothers Records. The band features Joe Sumner, son of Gordon Sumner, better known the world over as Sting. $52-$227. 8 p.m. Philips Arena. 404-249-6400. www.ticketmaster.com. -- LVS

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