Sound Menu 

CL's picks for the week's best shows

THURS/10

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Donald Runnicles returns to the podium as the ASO goes transcendentally nostalgic with "My Father Knew Charles Ives" by Berkeley, Calif., composer John Adams. Adam Golka is guest piano soloist for Maurice Ravel's "Piano Concerto for the Left Hand." The program concludes on an ecstatic peak with the flamboyant "Symphonie Fantastique" by Hector Berlioz. Program repeats Fri.-Sat., Jan. 11-12. $16-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

THE BOOZE, TRES BIEN, THE NOBILITY Southern Soul Sound Systems is throwing another one of its internationally anticipated music happenings and tonight, of course, the theme is mod, the location is the Star Bar and the bands will be poppin'. Pop-rockin', that is. The propulsive, '60s-inspired lineup is anchored by the Booze, the rapidly ascending mod boys of the lively underground scene. Tres Bien means "very good," and the unassuming but hook-proffering Florida-based combo lives up to its moniker. The return of Nashville's the Nobility rounds out the Southern bill with plenty o' Anglo-janglo. And best of all, it's a free show. Free. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. -- Lee Valentine Smith

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS A turbulent but prolific year for the Truckers as guitarists Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley settle into home life. A few extra months off the road produced a rich vein of songwriting gold from Cooley, Hood, and even bassist Shonna Tucker, who wrote her first two DBT songs. (Tucker stayed on this year, while ex-hubby/Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell left to release his solo debut.) Road-tested on last summer's Dirt Underneath Tour and performed each night in its entirety, the new album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark, isn't their best; it's their best so far. Proceeds from Thursday's show benefit Nuçi's Space. Repeat shows Jan. 11-12. $20. 8 p.m. 40 Watt Club. 706-549-7871. www.40watt.com -- Chris Parker

DUET FOR THEREMIN AND LAP STEEL Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel might sound self-explanatory until you hear the sonic landscapes created by Scott Burland and Frank Shultz, who over the past year or so have added a stunning new component to Atlanta's "noise music" scene. Each improvisation blurs the line between ambient and live-music experience. (The Duet will perform at Creative Loafing's annual Fiction Contest Party. (Check out the podcast interview by visiting atlanta.creativeloafing.com and clicking on "News.") Free. 7-9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. (See the cover story on p. 28 of this issue.) -- David Lee Simmons

LIQUID JUNGLE Despite little media recognition, prog rock is alive and well. Young, talented bands such as Atlanta's Liquid Jungle are as influenced by King Crimson's jagged attack as U2's grander arena-rock tendencies and, most importantly, have the chops to pull off that dynamic mix. Add some funk along with a sack of twisty riffs and quirky time changes for a head-spinning set that gets more intense as the evening unfolds. Sex in Cars, whose distinctive sound incorporates elements of gypsy music and avant rock, also appears. $8. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- Hal Horowitz

VILLAGE PIZZA PARTY BENEFIT Help keep the pizza dream alive. After a shake-up in ownership, the future of Cabbagetown's best and pretty much only pizza joint, Village Pizza, is cloudy. To raise funds to keep the doors open, thereby ensuring that lots of people keep their jobs, local garage punks Mourdella, country/rockabilly troubadours the Broken Spokes and punk band Carbonas lend their talents to further the cause. $7. 9 p.m. Lenny's, 486 Decatur St. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- Chad Radford

FRI/11

A CONTRAIL TO FOLLOW, DWARF STAR Rural Georgia shoe-gazer outfit helmed by brothers Matthew and Ethan McCarthy, A Contrail to Follow crafts dreamy and drone-afflicted 4 a.m. washes of candlelit guitar and reverberation. The group's sound gives a slow and psychedelic nod to the cannon of morphine music and emotions inspired by the likes of Low, Mazzy Star and Galaxie 500. Dwarf Star also performs. $5. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CR

CLAIRE LYNCH, LONESOME REDWING Multi-award-winning vocalist Claire Lynch brings her wonderful bluegrass band to town, which also features the amazing Missy Raines on bass and Jim Hurt on guitar. It is a real treat to have so much talent on stage at one time. Georgia band Lonesome Redwing opens. $20. 8:30 p.m. Red Light Café. 404-874-7828. www.redlightcafe.com. -- James Kelly

DRESDEN DOLLS, TWO TON BOA "This Is The Punk Cabaret" proclaims the cover of the Dolls' July-issued live DVD, recorded in London in 2006. As 2008 arrives, the band continues to raise the bar on its already lofty, ever-evolving vaudeville/burlesque revue. Charismatic singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer, known for her often unsettling rock stance, off-kilter carnival camp and challenging Euro glam, will be featured on her own solo release later this year after the band's current tour concludes. Washington's Two Ton Boa, featuring delightfully disquieting multi-instrumentalist Sherry Fraser, is the perfect opener for tonight's twisted circus. $22.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-521-1786. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- LVS

EDITORS, HOT HOT HEAT Editors surfed in with fellow British retro-wavers in '05. Their debut, The Back Room, mixed jagged, rubbery postpunk rhythms with gloomy, '80s synth pop owing a debt to New Order and Cure. In ratcheting back the tension a notch and turning up the ambition, their latest, An End Has a Start, winds up Coldplay in a black turtleneck. Canadians Hot Hot Heat never relinquished the nervy pulse as it went from the frantic rumble of 2002's debut EP to the polished but still jittery sashay of last fall's Happiness Ltd. $24. 7:30 p.m. Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. 404-233-7699. www.livenation.com. -- CP

SAT/12

BOBBY YANG The sizzling strings of Yang's classic rock guitar-inspired violin return to his favorite Decatur haunt, with his Unrivaled Players band in tow for two back-to-back shows. Finger-pickin' guitarist Shaun Hooper opens the later show, which is billed as ages 21-plus-only -- teen fans welcomed at the early show. $12 advance online, $15 at the door. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- MG

OLIVIER MESSIAEN CENTENNIAL Emory University organist Timothy Albrecht organized this organ concert as the conclusion to a day full of events celebrating the 100th birth anniversary year of French Catholic mystic composer, organist and ornithologist Olivier Messiaen, who suffered synesthesia and seized sonic inspiration from birdsong. The panoply of performers include pipe organists pilfered from Emory Graduate alumni and the Emory organ studio. Free. 4 p.m. Emerson Concert Hall. Schwartz Center. 404-727-5050. www.arts.emory.edu -- MG

STEEP CANYON RANGERS Every year it becomes more apparent that the future of bluegrass lies in the hands of the young guns, and Chapel Hill's Rangers are capable carriers of the torch. Their energetic performances and finely honed tunes breathe new life into the genre, while maintaining the charm of the tradition. And if you have never been to Everett's Barn, it is a "must do." $12 donation. 8 p.m. Everett's Music Barn. 770-945-5628. 4065 Stoneycypher Road, Suwanee. www.everettbrothers.com. -- JK

YO LA TENGO Dubbed "The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo" for this outing, the veteran New Jersey trio isn't touring behind a recent album, but will instead perform a mix of material from its extensive 20-year catalog in a predominantly unplugged setting. Expect storyteller-styled banter and interaction with the audience, which seems to be the ultimate way to experience, or even be introduced to, this critics' darling band often compared to the Velvet Underground. It promises to be an intimate evening of acoustic indie rock stripped of pretense and enlivened by the group's dry humor. Kurt Wagner opens. $20-22.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. variety-playhouse.com -- HH

SUN/13

FIVE EIGHT, YOUNG ANTIQUES, THE DREXLERS A strong triple play of melody and volume with three consistently big draws on one show. Five Eight is one of the longest-running Athens bands, continuing to mix raw punk aggression with intelligent, self-depreciating/analyzing lyrics. The Young Antiques continue to progress their take on folk-fueled Midwestern Americana, presented with a New Wave urgency and hi-watt pulse. The Drexlers' decibels aren't as high as the other groups tonight, but the mellow insurgency of Annie Drexler and company is equally arresting. $12. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta Room. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- LVS

RANDOM RECONSTRUCTIONISM The Atlanta 4th Ward Improvisational Ensemble is a pool of ATL jazz players convening for spontaneous bouts of musical chaos and catharsis. Titled Random Reconstructionist Policy-o-matic: (A non-Tribute to Southern Civic Planning), the theme for the night is to randomly assemble groups and have them work out their frustrations over the tangled mess of Atlanta's cityscape and street design. Performers include: Roger Ruzow (trumpet), Ben Gettys (bass), Rob Mallard (sax) and several others. $5. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

tues/15

THE BRIDGE This Baltimore-based quintet is starting to make noise on the national jam radar with its third, self-titled release. More soulful and funky than many in its genre, the band writes gutsy yet melodic songs infused with a Southern, red-clay spirit that fills the slot between the grinding, blues-based North Mississippi All Stars, the New Orleans R&B tinge of the Radiators and Little Feat's gruff, expressive groove. Mandolin adds a dollop of bluegrass roots to the steaming stew, and Cris Jacobs' husky, drawling vocals top it off with a special sauce as tasty as it is pungent. $8. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- HH

MARC COHN Like most Grammy winners for Best New Artist, Cohn hasn't fulfilled the promise inherent in the title of that award. His impressive new album, Join the Parade, comes nine long years after his last release, yet somewhat validates the faith people once had in him. It's a set of dusky songs long on moody, poetic, "Walking in Memphis"-styled singer/songwriter grit that is dark, tuneful and edgy enough to inspire Tom Waits comparisons. Nonetheless, one wonders, considering his sporadic one-hit career, how he feels justified charging the rather inflated ticket price of this show. $35. 8 p.m. Center Stage. 770-377-4976. www.vinylatlanta.com. -- HH

wed/16

DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN Like King Kong in his enraged paparazzi-induced frenzy, Dillinger Escape Plan breaks the stylistic bonds that hold the herd to their genres. While hardly the only band to attempt new syntheses of hardcore, metal, prog and electronics, their latest, Ire Works, expertly blends intricate, jarring arrangements, thunderstorms of noise and melodic oases. It veers from delicate atmospherics ("Mouth of Ghosts") to prog/hardcore-inspired cacophony ("Nong Eye Gong"), furious glitch-ridden electro-industrial ("When Acting As a Wave") and catchy hard rock that recalls Faith No More ("Black Bubblegum"). $23-$27. 7 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com. -- CP

THE MOTET, UNDER THE PORCH The Motet is one of those rare bands led by a drummer, but it is clear that its sound is an integrated collaboration of five individuals who create a dark, funky, jazz-influenced sound that is greater than the sum of the parts. This is funk for the thinker, jazz for the mover, and music for the lover of unique music. $10 advance. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- JK

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 Thursday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Wednesday) to soundboard@creativeloafing.com.

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