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RICHARD BICKNELL, LISE LIDELL, ALEX BRENNER It may be politically incorrect, but I have to say that Bicknell is my favorite gay country singer in Georgia. What's so great about him is that he has never exploited this to promote his music, and has always let his work stand on its own. Do yourself a favor and check out one of his great and emotionally powerful performances. Lidell is a fairly forgettable Texas singer/songwriter, and Brenner is best known as the frontman for Sodajerk. $15-$75. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- JK
CERBERUS PERCUSSION TRIO Atlanta percussionists Ellery Trafford, Caleb Herron and Isaac Anderson, who formed Cerberus Trio last year, are joined by percussionists Olivia Keiffer, Drew Dolan and Renuccio Dominicci for an evening of cutting-edge music. Among selections on the program are "Rain Tree" by Toru Takemitsu, where changing illumination of the three performers plays a significant role in the evocatively sparkling, drip-drop music, and "Chakra" by Kevin Volans, a virtuoso piece where speed of the drumming blurs rhythms into curving planes of sound. $7. 8 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- MG
RAHBI PRESENTS STRANGE FRUIT III FEAT. PURPLE ST. JAMES, SHANELL, TORI ALAMAZE, JAHI KEARSE, PHACE ORICALZ, TRE ACE, MADAM CJ One can never predict what kind of surprises Rahbi will unveil onstage. But if this performance is anything like his two prior Strange Fruit showcases, it'll climax with an orgiastic mix of glam soul covers (the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams"), original material ("Edge of My Life") and tantalizing performance art. V-103's Miss Sophia makes a guest appearance. Hosted by poets Ratsack, Goldie, Cola Rum and Georgia M.E. $10-$15. 9 p.m. Sugarhill. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com.
-- Rodney Carmichael
ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Two young, up-and-coming musicians of minority heritage are featured in this closing concert of the National Black Arts Festival. Atlanta cellist Khari Joyner, principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, performs music from Haydn's "Cello Concerto." California violinist Danielle Belen Nesmith, winner of the 2008 Sphinx Competition (an award highlighting accomplishments of African-Americans and Hispanics in classical music), performs "Polonaise Brillante" by Henryk Wieniaswki and "Mother and Child" by William Grant Still. Robert Spano conducts. Free. 7 p.m. Ebenezer Baptist Church. 404-688-7300.
www.historicebenezer.org. -- MG
WILLIE NELSON, B.B. KING These two grizzled yet tireless road-warrior icons from disparate genres have more in common than you might expect. Both are living legends that have dabbled in a variety of styles -- blues ambassador King flirts with jazz and pop, outlaw cowboy Nelson is all over the map but leans more toward jazz, standards and blues -- to expand and diversify their own horizons. Both are obviously beloved headliners who appeal to a wide demographic, but the real sparks should fly when/if they share the stage, and hopefully a few songs, together. $38.50-$90.50. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 4469 Stella Drive. 404-233-2227.
www.livenation.com. -- HH
WOLF PARADE When not fiddling with intriguing side projects, Spencer Krug (Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown) and Dan Boeckner (Handsome Furs) split the songwriting for prog-wavers Wolf Parade. They blend quirky, winding arrangements and percolating synth-driven melodies, whose oblique, drifty grandeur suggests Modest Mouse propositioning Supertramp in the Arcade Fire. Their second album, At Mount Zoomer, lets out some of the air and turns up the production, creating something equally idiosyncratic with thicker brushstrokes and darker colors. $18-$20. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354.
www.variety-playhouse.com. -- CP
MARK KNOPFLER From Dire Straits to his recent solo recordings, Knopfler has proven himself time and time again. A masterful guitarist as well as a highly respected singer and songwriter, he has shared stages with the best and stood his ground. Even his movie soundtracks are awesome. Seeing a Mark Knopfler concert is like going to your favorite restaurant -- you know exactly what you'll get, and you know it'll be great. $41.50-$81.50. 8 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 4469 Stella Drive. 404-233-2227. www.livenation.com. -- JK
SHE & HIM It's unlikely this duo would be performing its amiable if somewhat slight girl-group-influenced folk-pop-lounge at a venue this large if one of the participants wasn't a photogenic movie star named Zooey Deschanel. That said, her low-key vocals are delightful in that shoop-shoop innocent way that's retro without being pretentious, and partner/guitarist M. Ward provides the indie cred. It's never less than pleasant and a charming side project, but not much more, either. Arrive early for alt-folkie mainstays Freakwater, who open. $18-$20. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. variety-playhouse.com. -- HH
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: email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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