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THURS/22

EDDIE SHAW & THE WOLF GANG Old-school tenor saxophonist Shaw is a big man with a big honkin' horn. Best known for his years as band leader behind Howlin' Wolf, much of his set is comprised of Wolf classics, which is as close as you'll get to hearing the real thing. A terrific entertainer, Shaw typically gets hotter as the evening wears on. Stay for both sets. Call for price. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz

HIVE Drum and bass cats always talk about how hard their sound is. But L.A. producer Hive really is the No. 1 hard-stepper. After all, he knows his hip-hop -- and everyone knows hip-hop is the hardest music there is -- having once co-owned Celestial Recordings, one of the most experimental rap labels ever. I mean, his current venture is called Violence Recordings, for Pete's sake. Vicious Circle, Riot Squad and D:RC help perpetuate the madness. $10. 10 p.m. The Mark. 678-904-0500. www.themarkatlanta.com. -- Mosi Reeves

FRI/23

BLACKBERRY SMOKE, BETTY REBEL, THE CHASERS There are reasons why Southern rock will never die, it's damn good and a lot of fun to drink to. Newcomers Blackberry Smoke keep it deep in Dixie, just like .38 Special, Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker. Local occasional rockers Betty Rebel pull together again for a fun time. Yeehaw!!! $10 advance, plus two cans of food. 9 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- James Kelly

CASSAVETES, THE PRESS, TORA TORA TORA, IN VITRO Cassavetes occupies a dreary indie rock din that falls between Modest Mouse and Dinosaur Jr. The Press plays a blend of awkward pop tones that resonate with a rich sense of irony, but never at the expense of solid songwriting. Tora Tora Tora's London Fog/meets gloomy math rock rhythms give 1979 a 2005 makeover. In Vitro opens. $5. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chad Radford

COUNT KELLAM AND THE KINGS, ELECTA VILLAIN, FROM JUNE FORWARD Stepping out of the shadows of his old pals Bain Mattox and Hope For AGoldenSummer, Count and his royal family offer an often-mesmerizing vocal and lyric-driven take on the modern rock formula. The keyboard-centric easy-pop of Electa Villain and the seasonal sway of From June Forward complete the night. $7. 9 p.m. 10 High. 404-873-3607. www.tenhighclub.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

KIRK WHALUM Raised as a Baptist preacher's kid in Memphis, saxophonist Kirk Whalum built his reputation as a sideman in the jazz clubs of Houston and has been around the world as Whitney Houston's sax guy. As a headline jazzman, he plays out his own musical roots, soul and spirit, and his especially deep feelings for the Christmas season. $25. 9 and 11 p.m. Churchill Grounds. 404-876-3030. www.churchillgrounds.com. -- Mark Gresham

SEAN COSTELLO Gun-slinging facial grimaces aside, Costello is turning into an exceptional soul-bluesman whose occasional hot shot guitar solos only add to the package. His overlooked 2004 album should have escalated his status into theaters rather than the roadhouses and bars he continues to play, but he's a talented journeyman and a class act whose best years are ahead of him. $15. 9 p.m. Chip's Bar & Grill, Winder. 770-307-2840. www.chipsbarandgrill.com. -- HH

SUN/25

PATTERSON HOOD, AMY PIKE & THE LAST COLD BEER Y'all are all familiar with Patterson's solo material by now -- deep fried Southern gothic soul with a dash of anger thrown in. The real holiday treat tonight is a rare homecoming by songbird Amy Pike, who revives the Last Cold Beer to close up the honky-tonk once more. $10. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- JK

MON/26

BRIAN PARKS & KEITH LESLIE Brian Parks and Keith Leslie perform piano and drum duets as part of a six-night residency. Together they examine the role of the performer/composer through spontaneous compositions informed by the relationships between performer and audience, the audience to weather, audience to politics and much more. Robert Cheatham (saxophone), Ben Davis (reeds), Daniel Clay (guitar) and others will make guest appearances. $10. 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

TUES/27

BRIAN PARKS & KEITH LESLIE See Sound Menu listing for Mon., Dec. 26. $9. 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND It takes more than a hurricane, broken levees and a flooded hometown to squash the spirit of New Orleans. For proof, look no further than this classic funk-jazz ensemble, whose thumping horns and tensile rhythm section has kept audiences dancing for the past 30 years. Dirty Dozen's guitarist Jamie McLean opens the show with original, soulful singer/songwriter material. $15. 9 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- HH

GWEN HUGHES AND THE RUSTIC JAZZ TRIO, DREW YOUNG Swingin' siren Hughes saunters back up to the Attic tonight for a sure-to-be steamy soiree. Her friend and frequent collaborator, ex-Georgia resident and Ruben Kincaid co-founder Young, guest stars with a set of his own delightfully acerbic, observational pop tunes. $10. 7 p.m. (doors). Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- LVS

SURLYPOP, BENJAMIN PRICE The once Atlanta-based Surlypop pits members of Twittering Machine in collaboration with producer Benjamin Price (Dead Pan Alley), and various electronic musicians. The group combines modern electronic pop with cinematic, orchestral arrangements. Surlypop's personnel is now scattered around the globe as far away as India, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Athens, Ga. But all return to Atlanta for this one-off early performance. Price opens the show. $5. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

WED/28

BRIAN PARKS & KEITH LESLIE See Sound Menu listing for Mon., Dec. 26. $9. 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND See Sound Menu listing for Tues., Dec. 27. $15. 9 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- HH

HOPE FOR AGOLDENSUMMER, THE PACKWAY HANDLE BAND, LINDSEY HINKLE One never knows what sort of wacky and/or organic instruments the Campbell sisters and pals are gonna drag onstage. Whatever they use, their harmonies will soar above and around the din to create a heavenly, rustic cacophony. The Packway pickers take traditional bluegrass and add enough extended jam elements to please even the most discriminating spinning hippie. Lindsey Hinkle is a stunningly beautiful and talented singer/songwriter and guitarist. $10. 7 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- LVS

NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS & WILL HOGE With bona fide credentials and a musical bloodline straight out of the delta, NMAS have proven they are the real deal -- a modernized version of the cold hard truth. Rocker Will Hoge kicks off the evening with his edgy but accessible sound. $17.50. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- JK

THURS/29

BRIAN PARKS & KEITH LESLIE See Sound Menu listing for Mon., Dec. 26. $9. 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. -- CR

· Check out our website at atlanta.creativeloafing.com. Click the "Music" category for a full selection of Soundboard events. CL online provides the address, a map and directions from your location.

· 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 Heather Kuldell, P.O. Box 54223, Atlanta, GA 30308, or e-mail information to: heather.kuldell@creativeloafing.com. To be included in the listings only, e-mail venue and band schedules by Friday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Thursday) to soundboard@creativeloafing.com

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