AZURE RAY, OWEN -- Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor, formerly of Little Red Rocket, are two of the busiest musicians in Athens. Besides touring nationally with underground supergroup Now It's Overhead, these low-key singer/songwriters have popped up on a number of recent local records. Tonight they perform their intense and mesmerizing songs as the duo Azure Ray. Be quiet and listen for once, and your silence will be rewarded. Owen -- aka Mike Kinsella from Chicago bands American Football and Owls (among others) -- creates a musical mood that's comfortably vulnerable, crafting songs as spare and delicate as an elderly couple's finest dinnerware. He's joined by Rainer Maria's Kyle Fischer and Caithlin De Marrais. Echo Lounge (Smith/Hutchinson)

CAREY BELL BLUES BAND -- One of the last of the old school Chicago harpists who learned from Little as well as Big Walter and honed his phenomenal skills behind Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, Bell plays the lickin' stick with precision and intensity. In concert, his affable personality and bug-eyed lip gymnastics make him a show-stopping performer. Blind Willie's (Horowitz)

MIDNIGHT OIL, WILLHOGE -- See Midnight Oil in Show 'n' Tell, p. 91. Opener Hoge offers anthemic songs, a tough yet facile band and a rugged arena-ready act. EarthLink Live (Horowitz)

MOTOR CITY JOSH & THE BIG THREE -- See listing for Fri., Nov. 2. The Bayou Room/Marietta (Powell)

GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS, DAVID RYAN HARRIS -- The former Grant Lee Buffalo frontman makes good on a previous obligation after a planned September stop was thwarted by the 9-11 tragedy. After a few years spent strumming his acoustic guitar for anyone who'd listen (including those who watch the WB's Gilmore Girls, where he has a recurring role as the town troubadour), Phillips has found himself a new band that may just rival his Buffalo years. His latest CD, Mobilize, has all the quaint attributes of a self-made solo affair, but its drum-machine beats and self-imposed coziness open up a bit when set against renditions from his '90s catalog. Atlanta rock regular and Brand New Immortals member David Ryan Harris opens. Smith's Olde Bar (Rowland)

RATT -- Once upon a time, these hirsute pop-metallists and their damnably catchy single "Round and Round" were ubiquitous MTV habituates. These days, it can only be pure hubris that keeps the band hoping for another dip into the pop-culture continuum's general consciousness. Masquerade (Robertson)

AUDREY SHAKIR, KENNY BANKS -- Look for a spontaneous set of Shakir's favorites in a highly supportive venue, with a probable emphasis on ballads and Miles Davis. The lineup, in addition to pianist Banks, includes Kermit Walker (drums) and Don Dean (bass). Sisters Chapel/Spelman College (Powell)

THE SOUL LOUNGE -- New-soul singer/songwriter Jonz headlines tonight's return of GrooveNation's Soul Lounge. Eddie Oliver and the Soul Lounge Acid Jazz Trio, as well as the Digital DJs, provide further sounds. Fuel (Sarig)

JENNY TOOMEY, THE IVORY COAST, CARLOS -- See Jenny Toomey article, p. 85. Boston's Ivory Coast play twitching synth-laden indie rock that fits in nicely with many of your favorites -- from their labelmates Rainer Maria to several of the Chapel Hill scenesters. They do a good job stretching rhythm and riffs into infectious emo territory without the darkside that plagues many similar bands. Jumpy power-pop veterans from the Bay Area, the loveable Carlos kicks out hooks with the reckless abandon of a clumsy fisherman in a cramped tackle shop. The Earl (Ware/Hutchinson)

ANDALUZ: Flamenco Company of Atlanta

APACHE CAF: Al Smith and Friends

BILLY'S: Spencer Rush

BLIND WILLIE'S: Carey Bell Blues Band

BLUE RACCOON: Acoustic Open Mic with Doug Morton

BRANDYHOUSE: Waybacks with Nothing Simple

BRIDGES: Piano with Bruce


CHURCHILL GROUNDS JAZZ CAF: Pursuance with Lee Hogan & Dan Furman

CLUB GENO'S: The Brethern

COWBOYS: Darrin Robbins, Kickback

DARK HORSE TAVERN: King's Indian CD Release, Smooth Finger, Tragically Undecided

DARWIN'S: Open Blues Jam with Joel Williams

THE EARL: Jenny Toomey, Ivory Coast

EARTHLINK LIVE: Midnight Oil, Will Hoge

ECHO LOUNGE: Azure Ray, Owen

ECLIPSE DI LUNA: Bonaventure Quartet

EDDIE'S ATTIC: Kimberly McCarver, Eric Zwieg, Mike Willis

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK: The Electromatics

40 WATT CLUB-ATHENS: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

FUEL: Jonz, Poets Corner with Eddie Oliver and the SL Acid Jazz Trio

KARMA: Cream

KAYA: Wind Down Wednesday - live jazz, spoken word, poetry

LIBBY: Bill Anschell Trio

THE LIVING ROOM: R & B, Funk, Acid Jazz, House

LUBY'S: Stuart Sullivan


MASQUERADE: RATT featuring Stephen Pearcy and John Corabi

METROPOLITAN PIZZA: Metropolitan Wednesdays

NOMENCLATURE MUSEUM: Reunion - featuring dark wave, ether pop and trance

NORTHSIDE TAVERN: Daniel "Mudcat" Dudeck


THE POETRY PLANET: Bare Soul Wednesday

RAY'S ON THE RIVER: Waveform with Doc Samuels, Larry Jackson, Tom Woodruff


SMITH'S OLDE BAR: Grant-Lee Phillips, David Ryan Harris

STAR BAR-L5P: JJ-180, DJ Swivel, DJ Quiz

SWEET DEVIL MOON: Mauricio Manza

TASTY WORLD-ATHENS: Robert Walter's 20th Congress

VIOLETTE RESTAURANT: Jus Jazz featuring Dave Wallis, Eddie Taylor, Dan Coy, Shack Lewis, Rita Graham


Contributors to this week's Menu are Keely Brown, Tray Butler, Mitchell Foy, Jason Hatcher, Hal Horrowitz, Matt Hutchinson, Omar Khalid, Kevin Madigan, Gregory Nicoll, Bryan Powell, Todd Prusin, Justin Robertson, Hobart Rowland, Roni Sarig, Lee Smith, Jane St. John, Tony Ware.


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