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CL's picks for the week's best shows 

WED/29

SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS, BACKYARD TIRE FIRE The Zippers opened the door to another era of music, and exposed hypnotized and over-sedated grunge fans to the classic jump blues and boogie woogie sounds of the '20s and '30s. A long hiatus comes to an end, and they are swinging and jiving once again with most of the original members. Backyard Tire Fire opens. $22.50-$25. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- James Kelly

THURS/30

CARBONAS, MUNICIPAL WASTE, BUKKAKE BOYS Carbonas are the reigning kings of the local punk rock scene. The group plays fast, razor-sharp, classic amphetamine dirges that strike with stark, fast energy. Richmond, Va., thrash monsters Municipal Waste unleash chugga-chugga speed metal that could have been lifted straight out of a Santa Cruz, Calif., skate video circa 1987. Atlanta's Bukkake Boys wax nostalgic by cranking out a classic hardcore sound that, when played out in the here and now, is more refreshing than ever. $10. 7 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

JASPECTS, RAHBI, IYANA Could CL's favorite jazz band, Jaspects, be calling it quits? The six-man group has been promoting its Halloween show as a possible last fling with a reconfigured lineup, the Spects, to take its place. Hopefully, that's little more than a marketing ploy -- as if they need one. We do know that the group plans to release a new single at the show, though the band hadn't decided by press time which song out of six new tracks would make the cut. Expect something radically different from the Jaspects' three album catalog. R&B wildman Rahbi and petite MC Iyana open. $10-$15. 9 p.m. Sugarhill. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com. -- Rodney Carmichael

MATTHEW SWEET The singer/songwriter's local ties to Athens' Oh-OK, and to a lesser extent Shawn Mullins via the short-lived Thorns make it a homecoming of sorts. Sweet's touring behind a fine new set that captures the ragged power pop he's best known for. His yin-yang of lovely chiming melodies ruffled by scraggly, pointed, occasionally psychedelic guitar and minor key intrusions is in fine form and his ever youthful vocals have seldom sounded better. The predominantly female Bridges, who seem like a more commercially palatable Bangles, also appear. $20. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Hal Horowitz

SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS America's favorite eight-piece chicken box eatin', dirt track lovin', double-wide livin' trio returns to deliver another greasy meal full of trashy, low-brow, high-energy swamp rock, countrypolitan and garage pop. By now you're either on the SCOTS bus or you have decided to take a higher-class form of transportation, but for longtime fans every show over the past 17 years is a ruckus-raising hoot that never seems phoned in, no matter how many times you've heard these songs. Repeat show Friday. $15. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- HH

FRI/31

COLLECTIVE EFFORTS, SUN TOUCHER, CAPTAIN MUDFISH Atlanta hip-hop trio Collective Efforts' recently released EP, Time for Hope, is a proper shot in the arm for those seeking vaccination from Atlanta's brain-gorging, zombie rap of the moment. Perhaps that's why costumes are optional at this Halloween jam. Instead, CE and dubtronica group Sun Toucher will provide aural treats. Producer/DJ Captain Mudfish opens. $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522 www.smithsoldebar.com. -- RC

DEERHUNTER, PYLON, JAY REATARD, TIMES NEW VIKING Jay Reatard's a garage-punk madman maintaining a prolific release schedule focused on 7-inches of late. Inspired by Memphis, Tenn., punk legends the Oblivians, Reatard makes grimy, lo-fi garage arrayed in simple, foot-tapping hooks. Like a street corner poet, it's revelatory to realize that beneath his scruffy exterior lies enormous talent. He's supporting a collection of singles released this year on Matador. The ragged crunch of fellow opener Times New Viking pays homage to the fuzzed-out rumble of Dinosaur and the noise pop of the Swirlies with a wavering feedback-heavy lilt. Local faves Deerhunter and a reunited Pylon headline. $16-$18. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404 524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Chris Parker

NOOT D'NOOT, JUDI CHICAGO, ILE TAMBOR, COZY AND RICO If there was a costume competition among the members of every band playing in Atlanta on Halloween, it would be safe to say the daft-dance/electro duo Judi Chicago and large ensemble funk explorers Noot d'Noot would come out on the tip-top. Though that's only if JC can keep its shirts on long enough to be judged. Nevertheless, would you really trust a night of mischief, excess and skimpy nurse outfits with anyone else? $7. 8 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Scott Irvine

SAT/1

DAR WILLIAMS, LUKE BRINDLEY A rare club performance from the rootsy chanteuse is the best way to experience her husky voice -- somewhat similar to the U.K.'s Sandy Denny -- and introspective yet universally pertinent lyrics generally concerning matters of the heart. She's supporting a terrific new album, her eighth, of shimmering, chiming melodies and sharp, always intelligent lyrics that neatly balance her pop and folk impulses. Despite the disc's elaborate production, Williams is at her finest in concert, where her engaging stories and endearing personality can connect directly with listeners. $25. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- HH

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