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CL's picks for the week's best shows

WED/28

OPETH, DREAM THEATRE, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME These heavy-hitting trios head metal's progressive wing, infusing melodicism and intricate passages into their dark metal throb, creating an alternately menacing and majestic sound. For almost two decades Sweden's Opeth has been pushing boundaries, finding room for acoustic folk and piano within its 10-minute epics. Berklee College grads Dream Theatre feature the elegant, pyrotechnic guitarist John Petrucci, and expansive, slow-building tracks that suggest Rush with a dash of Marillion. Between the Buried and Me meld screamo with oddly shaped prog passages that arrive out of nowhere and disappear as quickly. $35-$39.50. 7 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. www.livenation.com. -- Chris Parker

THURS/29

ADRIAN BELEW, ELLIOT HOLDEN Belew is a prog-rock backdoor man who charmed his way into performing on stages the world over, in bands with Frank Zappa, David Bowie and the Talking Heads. But he's best-known for breathing a refreshing new life into King Crimson in the early '80s, whose best albums were a decade behind it when he joined the group. Holden opens. $25. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- Chad Radford

X, DETROIT COBRAS It's hard to think of another band that had the melodic ferocity of X, and after 30 years its edge is as sharp as ever. John Doe, Exene, DJ Bonebrake and Billy Zoom carry the torch loudly into their fourth decade. Openers the Detroit Cobras spit hard rock with a venom of their own, and will definitely prime the pump tonight. $25. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- James Kelly

FRI/30

BELLRAYS, ARCHITECTS There are few bands that capture the explosive combination of raw soul with thundering rock as effectively as the BellRays. The four-piece has been churning out its hard-charging R&B dynamite for more than a decade, but the recent Hard Sweet and Sticky album nails a sound that has accurately been compared to Aretha Franklin fronting the Stooges. Irrepressible lead singer Lisa Kekaula is a hurricane-fueled force of nature pushed to the edge by a great band. The Architects build stomping hard-rock/punk edifices with pile-driving riffs and a no-frills, thundering attack. $10. 9 p.m. The Earl. www.badearl.com. -- Hal Horowitz

BUDDY GUY Electric blues pioneer and exponent of the west-side Chicago sound, guitarist Buddy Guy greatly inspired Jimi Hendrix and other blues and rock guitar legends of the '60s. Finally, with the enthusiastic support of Eric Clapton, Guy hit his own stride in the public light during the big blues revival of the '80s and '90s. Guy is joined by the Mike Lowry Band as special guests. On the Great Lawn. Note: Blankets OK, but no coolers allowed. $35. 8 p.m. Atlanta Botanical Garden. 404-876-5859. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org. -- Mark Gresham

JOSH JOPLIN Like the high school baseball star who bypasses college for the long developmental slog through the minors, Joplin quit school a few weeks into 10th grade to become a folk singer. More than a phase, he plowed ahead until he'd scored a minor AAA hit with the Danny Elfman-produced "Camera One," only to realize making himself happy was job No. 1. His next album, 2005's Jaywalker, is his best lyrically and musically, with a folk-inflected warmth that rides Joplin's sauntering, Stipe-like vocals through well-crafted arrangements that never get too busy or prissy. Repeat show Sun., June 1, at 7 p.m. $20-$100. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- CP

NADA SURF There's a gentle moping grace to Nada Surf's arrangements, like a partly sunny day with big, magnificent clouds. Similar in tone to Death Cab for Cutie, frontman Matthew Caws' introspective, soul-searching lyrical fascinations are wedded to buoyant, bobbing hooks that leaven the mood. Capping a string of fine releases since 2002's surprise third-album (Let Go) comeback from one-hit wonder status, their latest, Lucky, is brighter, finding the perfect titration of restless hope. $16. 9 p.m. Center Stage. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com. -- CP

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS Guitarist Luther Dickinson has been a busy dude lately between his stint with the Black Crowes and ongoing work with the Allstars, the blues-funk-jam trio he founded with his brother/drummer more than a decade ago. The three-piece is supporting Hernando, a stripped down affair that fuses simmering swamp rock with Cream-styled psychedelic blues rock without shortchanging either. Ragged, rugged and raw, this is powerful American roots music played by guys who understand and honor their Delta heritage but aren't shackled to it. $20-$22.50. 9 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354.variety-playhouse.com. -- HH

THE PREAKNESS, YUM YUM TREE The Preakness' jangling melodies meander effortlessly as if it'd hit the lotto, and Brandon Arnold's breathy vocals are the shy, whispered confession. The chewy rhythms provide a firm foundation, while the hooks bob across the surface, calling with an insistence like static cling. Yum Yum Tree frontwoman Andy Gish's swaggering, swooning rock recalls alt-rock's pre-grunge heyday when Velocity Girl, the Breeders and Lush fashioned muscular yet sweet-toothed guitar rock to clothe a sultry vocal coo. $8. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- CP

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