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THURS/25

GRACE BRAUN, SCOTT ROBERTS, WHOA NELLY The high priestess of the Dairy Queen Empire deftly blends garage rock, punk, folk and blues with well-crafted, often disturbing imagery, illuminated by brilliant flashes of sly wickedness. $8. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

RAINER MARIA, HAIL SOCIAL, PSYCHIC HEARTS Only an emo band from a college town like Madison, Wis., would call itself Rainer Maria. But rather than penning stuffy and pretentious lyrics culled from English Literature 101 notes, the group's terse and bittersweet art-rock style pits a smart pop sensibility with reserved, anti-pop presence. $8-$10. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

RUSSELL GUNN'S BIONIC Born in East St. Louis, Ill., trumpeter/composer Russell Gunn applies the intellectual rage, energy and spirit of hip-hop to the jazz idiom, resulting in a contemporary synthesis of styles. $7 cover/$5 minimum. 9 p.m. Churchill Grounds. 404-876-3030. www.churchillgrounds.com. -- Mark Gresham

FRI/26

A FIR JU-WELL, DE NOVO DAHL, CHARM SCHOOL Local psych-rock mavericks A Fir Ju-Well make a much welcomed hometown appearance after a lengthy string of out of town dates. Nashville's chamber-pop six-piece De Novo Dahl play a set artfully funky light tones that evoke everyone from Beach Boy Brian Wilson to Stevie Wonder. Charm School opens with a set of catchy, guitar-driven folk-alternative rock. $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CR

ALICE COOPER, CHEAP TRICK This classic-rock double bill should shake up the Chastain tables. Both acts have 30-plus years of road miles logged on their ever tightening pants, yet despite some gray hairs, Trick's crackling power pop and Cooper's rugged, if no longer shocking, garage-glam still packs a punch more reliable than artists half their age. $27.84-$58.08. 8 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheatre. 404-733-5000. www.classicchastain.org. -- Hal Horowitz

COBB SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Although the summer season is ending for most ensembles, this pops-flavored concert of light classics and Broadway show tunes opens the 2005-'06 season for Cobb Symphony Orchestra. Music Director Michael Alexander conducts. $5-$15. 8 p.m. Mable House Amphitheatre. 800-595-4849. www.mablehouseamphitheatre.com. -- MG

JOSH JOPLIN, THE CRAFTIES Joplin returns to his old stompin' grounds tonight and tomorrow to celebrate the release of his new album, Jaywalker. With a disarming sense of humor and a wonderfully skewed world-view, Joplin continues to produce catchy and, most importantly, uncommonly interesting songs. Gerard McHugh, an interesting character himself, opens the 9:30 show Saturday with his band the Crafties. $12-$15. 9 p.m. Saturday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- LVS

SAT/27

B.B. KING, JOE BONAMASSA, KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD On his 80th birthday celebration tour, the undisputed king of the blues is revisiting his past and schooling all who will listen. Expect a gloriously redemptive, soul-shouting, jazz-tinged, blues-drenched history lesson. Bonamassa and Shepherd, fellow blues guitarists of a more recent vintage, open the show. $34.32-$87.24. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheater. 404-253-5931. www.classicchastain.com. -- LVS

CHERRY SPLITS, SELMANAIRES, CASPER AND THE COOKIES, HOT GRITS In mod, underground circles, the Cherry Splits are known for their wonderful, '60s-style psychedelic "happenings" at a top secret location in metro Atlanta. At their previous visit to Lenny's, they brought part of the "happening" with 'em -- a couple of black lights and posters. Apparently, the Lenny's folks enjoyed the decor improvement and asked if they could do that again tonight. So they are going all out with psychedelia galore as they share the bill with Casper and the Cookies, Hot Grits and the minimalist psychotic reactions of the Selmanaires. Deck the walls, y'all. $6. 8 p.m. Lenny's. 404-577-7721. www.lennysbar.com. -- LVS

CHRISTIAN MICHAEL, DARRYL WINDHAM It's local DJ/pundit Christian Michael's birthday, and Darryl Windham of Red Shift and Liquified are contributing to the party. What that means is prog/trance so chunky and pounding, the speakers themselves will blow out the candles. And if your adrenal gland hasn't weathered enough, J-Luv, Kevin O and Prince Presto lay it down heaving and quivery in Eden. $10. 9 p.m. Eleven50. 404-874-0428. www.eleven50.com. -- Tony Ware

THE FEATURES, PINE AM All the trips to Atlanta have finally paid off for Tennessee band the Features. Seems like just yesterday the guys were playing down here every few weeks. Now they have a fine, proper debut album, (Exhibit A), and are turning new pop-loving fans on to their music daily. Catchy and instantly likeable, the cute Japanese trio Pine Am open. $8. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- LVS

GEORGE JONES, RICKY LYNN GREGG The best voice in country music is getting up in years, and may be losing a little magic as time rages on. But George Jones' onstage charisma and legacy still shine brightly, and attendance is mandatory for those who love the real deal. Opener Gregg was almost a "one-hit wonder" 15 years ago, but is still plugging away. $25. 7:30 p.m. Lanierland Music Park. 770-887-7464. www.lanierland.com. -- James Kelly

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