Sound Menu 

CL's picks for the week's best shows

WED/30

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, FIERY FURNACES, HOLY F**K Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals combine punk, prog and power-pop tendencies to craft quirky melodies. Siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are the backbone of Fiery Furnaces. With a lineup that also features Jason Lownestein of Sebadoh, the group plays short blasts of asymmetrical pop that is jarring in its brevity and pleasant in majestic tones. Holy F**k also performs. $15. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Chad Radford

THURS/31

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Robert Spano leads a youthful all-Russian program of tried-and-true solidarity, all written when the composers were twentysomethings. It opens with the fantasy overture "Romeo and Juliet" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Yefim Bronfman is piano soloist for the brilliant "Piano Concerto No. 2" of Sergei Prokofiev, and the show closes with Sergei Rachmaninov's "Symphony No. 1." Program repeats Fri.-Sat., Jan. 1-2. $15-$70. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

BRASS CASTLE, UNGDOMSKULEN, THY MIGHTY CONTRACT Brass Castle worships the riff with deranged irreverence. The group's PBR/trucker speed-fueled dirges draw strength from Southern boogie while ruthlessly and comically reinventing metal girth. Think Black Sabbath on speed, or Motorhead on too many energy drinks and you're in the right ballpark. Norwegian rock act Ungdomskulen and Atlanta's purveyors of pop and black metal, Thy Mighty Contract, open the show. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

ERIC LINDELL Frequent Atlanta visitor Lindell brings his sunshiney West Coast-by-way-of-New-Orleans blues/soul/funk back to town to play a CD release party at this somewhat unlikely venue. His new album is a crackling set of originals (and a terrific Gil Scott-Heron cover) that sound like R&B classics, all propelled by Lindell's sweet and sour vocals and a band that's as in the pocket as they come. It's all about groove and Lindell exudes it with effortless nonchalance. Swing Set opens. $10. 9:30 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- Hal Horowitz

JEFF & VIDA, BARRELL HOUSE MAMAS Former New Orleans residents Jeff & Vida have taken their rootsy twang to Nashville, but continue to tour across Dixie. A mix of honky-tonk and old-time country, they have a lot of fun with the genre while showing proper respect. The Mamas are from Asheville, N.C., and throw a pop twist into their Appalachian balladry. $10-$13. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- James Kelly

THE WRIGHTS, STEPHEN SIMMONS, JASON EADY The American Songwriter Tour brings our hometown favorites the Wrights back to town, this time with a sweet new CD/EP for sale. With eight great progressive country tunes, it's as good as their stunning debut album, but a little shorter, dangit. Simmons and Eady are singer/songwriters each with an atypical style all their own, and worth catching. $10. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- JK

ZOROASTER, SOURVEIN, ALL THE SAINTS Zoroaster creates an atmosphere of sensory overload as it churns out massive metal rhythms, shrouded in feedback, flood lights and drones, blasted at ear-splitting volumes. The slow and low pace at which each song unfolds shakes the earth with celestial power. Cape Fear, N.C., hardcore band Sourvein and the Atlanta-based psychedelic art-rock trio All the Saints are also on the bill. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CR

FRI/1

FRANCINE REED, ANTHONY DAVID This intriguing entry into the six-day Georgia Music Concert Series of local showcases features the gutsy voice of blues/jazz diva Reed combined with David's Marvin Gaye-influenced neo-soul. They are two of Atlanta's finest and most forceful vocal stylists, with diverse approaches that share a soulful, emotionally stirring aesthetic. Reed is best known through her work with Lyle Lovett, but her roaring, gospel-inspired voice has been blowing the roof off Atlanta joints for years. David apprenticed with India.Arie and brings a sociopolitical stance to his acoustic-based folk-soul. Jaspects also play. $5. 8:30 p.m. Vinyl. 404-885-1365. www.vinylatlanta.com. -- HH

PETER SCHICKELE Yield right-of-way to humor as Schickele's "What's Your Sign?" Tour crashes into Atlanta's funnybone, featuring the "Twelve Quite Heavenly Songs" -- predictably based on the signs of the Zodiac -- by his alter ego P.D.Q. Bach. P.D.Q.'s "Allegro Gabinetto," for plumber and keyboarder, is piped in, as well as a round of songs to round off the show. Shickele's frequent co-conspirators, singers Michèle Eaton (soprano) and David Düsing (tenor), are both on tap along with keyboardist Peggy Kampmeier. $26-$36. 8 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.org. -- MG

SOLE AND THE SKYRIDER BAND, TELEPHONE JIM JESUS Nearly a decade ago, rapper and firebrand Tim "Sole" Holland helped launch Anticon Records, perhaps the strangest and most experimental hip-hop label in history. He spent years tweaking the powers that be with albums such as Bottle of Humans and Selling Live Water, but his new work, Sole and the Skyrider Band, achieves a tenuous state of grace, albeit with plenty of sociopolitical commentary. Anticon alum Telephone Jim Jesus opens. $10. 9 p.m. Lenny's Bar. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- Mosi Reeves

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