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CL's picks for the week's best shows

WED/2

THE DIRTBOMBS Like the steel-coated V-8 monsters Detroit used to turn out, Motown's Dirtbombs are much more particle than wave, forging a concussive momentum that collides garage, punk and soul in a fire-breathing boogie. Frontman Mick Collins' capable of R&B croon on ragged, ornery covers of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, or a rabid howl for grit-soaked, wall-rattling rumble like "Stuck in Thee Garage." Their irreverent racket is grimier and noisier than usual on their punky new album, We Have You Surrounded. $10-$12. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chris Parker

THE HILL COUNTRY REVUE With Luther Dickinson on the road for the foreseeable future with the Black Crowes, fellow North Mississippi Allstars' bassist Chris Chew and drummer Cody Dickinson invite guitarist Garry Burnside and singer Chris Smithhart along for a month of Wednesday night performances. Not surprisingly the sound is similar to the NMAS, i.e., lots of funky blues-rock jamming, so any fan should relish the chance to catch two-thirds of the band in the intimate confines of Smith's. With four more return gigs in as many weeks, the improv factor should be extreme. $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- Hal Horowitz

RJD2, DÄLEK, HAPPY CHICHESTER RJD2 comes to pop music from an intelligent hip-hop background (a la Def Jux). His cross-fade into non hip-hop is unorthodox and even a little uncomfortable, but the songs are full of hooks and intrigue. New Jersey masters of bombastic, postapocalyptic hip-hop Dälek churn out rumbling beats and bottom-end noise. Happy Chichester opens with a set of piano and acoustic guitar numbers from his debut, Lovers Come Back. $20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Chad Radford

THURS/3

DAVID DONDERO The former Sunbrain frontman has enjoyed a decade-long affair with the road since going solo, releasing a half-dozen studio albums characterized by clever, soul-bearing music. Like Sebadoh without the harsh veneer, Dondero traces the weakness and the ache of lost souls, and he'd probably count himself among them. While not a confessional-style songwriter, he nonetheless conveys a genuine, unsparing honesty in his sketches, whether extending the "you break it, you bought it" sentiment to the heart, or considering a "Hwy Death Shrine." He's backed on this tour by a full band. $6-$7. 10 p.m. Caledonia Lounge, Athens. 706-549-5577. www.caledonialounge.com. -- CP

INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONFERENCE This touring maelstrom of art-noise-terror proudly boasts the motto, "No Laptops! No Droning! No Mixers!" As such, one can expect an evening of sounds that hem and haw between shimmering, head-cleansing tones and gratuitously violent and unapologetic noise, all twittering in defiance of traditional songwriting. The lineup includes 15-minute performances from Wilson & Heath, Clang Quartet, Subliminator, Self Inflict, Autistic Mother, Angry Arabs and many more. $7. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404.522.0655 www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

SONIC GENERATOR Compositions by Eric Chasalow, Nick Demos, Eric Moe, Nico Muhly, Henrik Strindberg, Karen Tanaka and Randall Woolf are featured in Sonic G's final concert of the season, which explores the various ways composers are inspired by technology, or were influenced by other technology-wielding artists from Boulez to Björk and beyond. Free. 8 p.m. Georgia Tech Alumni House. 678-466-4200. www.sonicgenerator.gatech.edu. -- Mark Gresham

TOM PRINCIPATO It's difficult to understand why this blues-rocking Telecaster master isn't a major contemporary blues/roots star. Principato is sure talented enough and he's been leaving mouths agape with his classy yet searing guitar pyrotechnics over the United States and Europe for the better part of four decades. A solid new album, appropriately titled Raising the Roof, might help spread the word, but he's most at home when peeling the paint from Blind Willie's walls with his slashing solos. This two-night stand allows him plenty of room to stretch out. Repeat show Fri., April 4. $12. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com. -- HH

SUGARLAND, ZAC BROWN BAND Decatur's hot new country darlings kick off their first headline tour at the fabulous Fox. It will be a very special night for them and their fans, as they have worked hard to get where they are. They found the formula, and have ridden it to the top of the charts. Zac Brown opens with his generic brand of music for people who talk at concerts. Repeat show Fri., April 4. $35-$45. 7:30 p.m. on Thurs., 8 p.m. on Fri. Fox Theatre. 404-817-8700. www.foxtheatre.org. -- James Kelly

FRI/4

WILLIE NELSON TRIBUTE AND CABBAGETOWN TORNADO RELIEF BENEFIT Local country musicians gather to celebrate singer, songwriter and country music icon Willie Nelson's 75th birthday. Various acts, including Slim Chance & the Convicts, the Blacktop Rockets, Jon Byrd, Caroline Engel, National Grain, the Downer Brothers and more play two sets of Nelson's most popular songs. The show also doubles as a benefit to help aid Cabbagetown residents who were affected by tornado damage. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbar.net. -- CR

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