ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS The annual "Christmas with the ASO" program is directed by Norman Mackenzie, ASO director of choruses. This year, Mackenzie has restored the powerful opening and closing of the program as Robert Shaw initiated it, and some new pieces have been added, promising a show with even more emotional impact. Gwinnett Young Singers return as featured guests. $19-$58. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. -- Mark Gresham

JIMBO MATHUS Having drifted quite a distance from the derivative Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mathus has been exploring his Mississippi roots in depth, and brings some rather contemporary influences into the mix. Interesting stuff -- I wonder what the Blues Nazis will think? Call for ticket prices. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. -- James Kelly

XIU XIU, THE DEAD SCIENCE, WS BURN, THE BLUE HOUR Churning out a cluttered mess of lo-fi noise and frazzled pop, Xiu Xiu's thread-bare din is a sonic quagmire of misery and loneliness that is at once brittle, beautiful and broken down. Xiu Xiu spin-off group the Dead Science plays a set of jazz-tinged indie rock. Knoxville duo WS Burn sprinkles stark and minimal avant-garde folk music with an aura of haunted Appalachia. Baroque indie-pop act the Blue Hour opens the show. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. -- Chad Radford


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS See Sound Menu listing for Thurs., Dec. 8. $19-$58. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. -- MG

DELBERT McCLINTON A harp-playing, genre-jumping, all-around entertainer, McClinton is an institution whose fan base includes rock, country and blues aficionados. He always puts on a great show, and loads the night with humor and damn good music. $25, plus two cans of food. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. -- JK

JIMMY HALL As the founding member of Wet Willie and the band's singing/harp-sax-playing/songwriting frontman, Hall was responsible for some of the most electrifying R&B-based, '70s Southern rock. His solo career since has been erratic, but he's always working and remains a dynamic performer who never seems to tire of singing the classic, crowd-pleasing "Keep on Smilin'." $8-$12. 10 p.m. and midnight. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. -- Hal Horowitz

MARCO V If you think about it, a "v" is like the alphabetical equivalent of two outstretched arms, reaching heavenward to offer angelic reacharounds. And isn't that what the driving melodies of progressive trance also strive to do? Somewhere in a mix of pumping murk, banging beats and distorted low-end speaker tweaks, the Netherlands' Marco V never forgets to inject the goosebump-inducing soft pads that are dreamy and creamy. Accompanying DJ Jonathan Allyn, too. This is tech-trance for hippies, sexy hippies. $20. 10 p.m. Eleven50. 404-874-0428. -- Tony Ware

A PETER WHITE CHRISTMAS Guitarist White brings his smooth-jazz sounds to seasonal holiday songs in this annual touring show. Trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair are among the musicians sharing the stage. $30-$40. 8 p.m. Ferst Center. 404-894-9600. -- MG


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS See Sound Menu listing for Thurs., Dec. 8. $19-$58. 2 and 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. -- MG

DJ DAN Since emerging as a favorite of West Coast candy ravers in the late 1990s, DJ Dan Wherrett has been a good barometer for mainstream dance music trends. Just a few years ago, he was spinning a lot of dark yet funky tribal and progressive house; if his new mix CD, Lift, is any indication, he's now incorporating more soulful records into his repertoire. However, it all depends on the mood of the crowd, so the records you'll hear when DJ Dan plays at the Compound are anyone's guess. Call for price. 10 p.m. The Compound. 404-872-4621. -- Mosi Reeves

HOLIDAY FUNK DJ Starboy has the funk. We don't know where he caught it, but Starboy and his Men With 12 Inches crew invite you to deck their halls with balls, um, boughs ... of holly? DJ Y, J-Luv, Kevin O and Prince Presto help Liquified ring in them holidays while putting a ringin' in them ears. All I can say is watch out for the mistletoe, because Starboy is known to like it "hard & funky until the end." Wait; was I supposed to write about Starboy's lifestyle or house music? Whoops. $10. 9 p.m. Eleven50. 404-874-0428. -- TW

LIVING COLOUR, DANIELIA COTTON, HEAVY MOJO Vernon Reid, Corey Glover and company return to Atlanta with the hard-charging band that helped break a few racial barriers way back in the color-coded 1980s. The band released one great album (Vivid) and a pretty impressive string of solid but usually overlooked releases over the years. The band regrouped in 2001 and now is here again. Cotton and Heavy Mojo open. $16. 7 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. -- LVS

MAGICICADA, HUBCAP CITY, DEERHUNTER, LARVAE Celebrating the release of Everyone Is Everyone, the second full-length from Chris White, aka Magicicada, tonight's show is an amalgamation of Atlanta's most artfully experimental anti-rock sound sculptors. Hubcap City fashions unhinged junkyard folk ballads. Deerhunter plays a patchwork of blurred pop and droning guitar chords that butt heads with glistening electronic textures and power house art punk. Larvae spins menacing electro soundscapes between sets. $5. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. -- CR

RAY LAMONTAGNE, BRANDIE CARLIE One of the few singer/songwriter success stories to emerge from the major labels in the past few years, LaMontagne's gritty folk-soul debut does sound like the great lost Van Morrison album most critics compare it to. He's been on the road, sharpening his act for the past year-and-a-half, and earning his audience with powerful performances that leave even newcomers as fans. Youngster Carlie is a talented up-and-comer with an impressively rootsy debut. $25. 8 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. -- HH

RONNIE SPECTOR, THE ROSEBUDS, ANNA KRAMER An absolutely legendary performer who has worked with many of music's greatest talents, including all four Beatles and Joey Ramone, and her vocals have remained a staple of radio since the '60s. Even if you don't know her name, you've heard her biggest hits, including "Be My Baby," and her duet with Eddie Money, "Take Me Home Tonight." She'll revisit songs recorded with the Ronettes and offer a few Christmas favorites, too. $15. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- LVS


BONNIE RAITT, MARC BROUSSARD Those who followed Raitt before she became an adult alternative icon know she's a slide-guitar-slingin', blues-lovin' mama at heart. Although those aspects often get glossed over on her slick, studio-processed albums, she returns to her scruffy roots on stage, making her live shows dynamic and revelatory. Louisiana-based Broussard's swampy, soulful rock makes him a terrific opener. $35-$45. 8 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. -- HH


MODEY LEMON, THE APES Hipster alert! Modey Lemon, garage rockers supreme, is descending from Pittsburgh to provide you with noise and entertainment. Joining them are the Apes, an equally cool band from Washington, D.C. who sound like Iggy Pop and Ian Curtis' love child (now there's a thought). Toss in local stallion Deerhunter, and you have a guaranteed jamboree. $10. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- MR

PHIL LESH & FRIENDS Well, the rest of the Grateful Dead had to do something after Garcia clocked out, so now bassist Lesh brings a roving band of all-star gypsies to jam into the night. Look for Goldie Hawn's son-in-law to make an appearance, without his Crowes. $39.50. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre. 404-881-2100. -- JK


ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS This ensemble is a throwback to the days of gutbucket blues and bawdy parlor ballads. They can be a bit cantankerous to audience members who don't pay attention, to the point where it often distracts from the performance. Either plug in or let them chat, y'all ain't all that. $12, plus two cans of food. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. -- JK

PHIL LESH & FRIENDS See Sound Menu listing for Mon., Dec. 12. $39.50. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre. 404-881-2100. -- JK


H.R. & DUBB AGENTS, JACK RUBY JR., CARRY-ONS, BEAT BEAT BEAT Former Bad Brains crazy-man vocalist H.R. (Paul Hudson) is back fronting a new group, Dubb Agents. With this outing, H.R. sheds the trademark falsetto bark of his early days for a much deeper, baritone howl. The vibe is a mystical dub strut that is full of complexities, echoes and soul swimming in reverb. Jack Ruby Jr. (formerly of the Toasters), Carry-Ons and Beat Beat Beat are also on the bill. $8. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. -- CR

ZAC BROWN, DAVID CHILDERS AND THE MODERN DON JUANS, DUMUS NEWGROUND Frenzied pickin' will ensue as Brown attacks the nylon strings of his battered guitar. Childers and his boys aren't pretty, but their music (a pleasing mix of rootsy Americana and real rock 'n' roll) makes up for it. Newground opens. $10, plus two cans of food. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. -- LVS


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS That revered tradition of the season, the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah," is conducted by Norman Mackenzie. Yeah, lots of people do it each year, but nobody in the Southeast does it as well. $19-$55. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. -- MG

GUY Nowadays, if you rock the high-top fade that Guy used to sport back in the day, you won't even hear about a hot club, much less get in. But in the early '90s, Aaron Hall, Damien Hall, and Teddy Riley had the game on lock, all the way from "Groove Me" to their last big hit, "Let's Chill." The new jack days are over, but you can relive that era when Guy take center stage at the Sol Fusion party and perform their greatest hits. Just don't wear any funny haircuts. Call for price. 10 p.m. Vision. 404-874-4460. -- MR

M.A.N.D.Y. German DJ/production duo M.A.N.D.Y. represents for the Berlin-based, Frankfurt-bred Get Physical label. You know this right off the bat because of how physically consuming the act of typing five periods in to the damn name every time is. But past that the music of M.A.N.D.Y. and the label is physical in its own right, a brand of anthemic minimal electro-house that respires a ravenous and ragged pulse and at its best grips you for some rude rutting like a Vulcan mindmeld fueled by bloodlust. Forget those cheesy sitcoms ads, because this is a very special episode of "Cleaning Up the Dirty South." Call for admission. 10 p.m. The Mark. 678-904-0050. -- TW

SUNN 0))) Sunn 0))) consists of guitarists Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson. The duo plays music that is both ominously strained and wondrously atmospheric; even without vocals, the impression it leaves is more powerful than traditional metal and its hordes of banshees screaming about Satan. Those qualities have attracted mainstream attention, and their upcoming appearance at Drunken Unicorn should draw plenty of indie kids as well as the usual metalheads. Local purveyors of doom Zoroaster opens. $8. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. -- MR

· 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: 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


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