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CL's picks for the week's best music shows in Atlanta

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WED/5

SAMMY KERSHAW, DEAN DOLLAR BAND Kershaw has lived a life that sounds like a country song, and he has the pipes to make you believe every word. With a ton of hits in his pocket, he can fill the night with great tunes. It's been a tough road over the years, but he keeps on working the circuit as if his life depended on it. It might. Dean Dollar Band opens the first of Andrew's new "Country Nights." $10. 10 p.m. Andrew's Upstairs. 404-869-1132. www.eastandrews.com. -- James Kelly

THURS/6

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This second installment of the ASO's "American Originals" series opens with the crowd-pleasing suite from "Appalachian Spring" by Aaron Copland. Violinist Joshua Bell is guest soloist for the lyrical but challenging "Violin Concerto" of Samuel Barber. Bela Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra," written in New York, closes the program with its Hungarian folk-influenced rhythms and melodies with modernist displays of virtuosity for the whole orchestra. Rollicking Robert Spano conducts. Program repeats Friday. $16-$73. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

MAGIC SLIM He's surely not slim, at least anymore, but the journeyman guitarist lays into some greasy, high-calorie Chicago blues with the muscular assurance of an Olympic swimmer. His is pure old-school, hard-edged, down and dirty boogie performed with no frills and enough energy to power Willie's for a year. There aren't many of his generation left who hew so close to the raucous, electrified sound of Muddy, the Wolf and Elmore James, so catch him now and take a trip back to the tough Windy City blues of the '60s. Call for price. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz

FRI/7

JAMES MCMURTRY Hailed by critics and high-profile fans like Stephen King as a great Americana artist, Larry McMurtry's son comes by his insightful lyrics about the rugged working class and the struggles of the blue collar populace naturally. His dark, talk-sung vocals are an acquired taste but serve to perfectly complement his swampy, strummy rockers. McMurtry's finely wrought character studies are often sturdier than his melodies, but when the two connect, such as on his 2006 classic "We Can't Make it Here," the combination makes for brilliant music from a songwriter unjustly flying under the radar. $16-$18. 8:30 p.m. Red Light Cafe. 404-874-7828. www.redlightcafe.com. -- HH

JANIVA MAGNESS, WOOD BROTHERS Even the finest roots musicians need a break -- that extra push to move them to the next level they've toiled so long and hard to achieve. That describes singer Magness this year when high-profile blues label Alligator's promotional department exposed her road-tested talents to the people on her debut release for the imprint. Her husky, soul drenched vocals and sassy, saucy persona epitomize the essence of tough yet tender soul/blues women, while her live show is all about controlled explosiveness. The usually low-key, folksy Wood Brothers will need to kick up their set a notch to compete. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- HH

PATTY LOVELESS It's hard to believe that Loveless has been at this for almost 40 years. She may have the finest voice in modern country music, and on her newest CD Loveless goes back to her roots with a fine collection of classic honky-tonkers. This is a rare opportunity to catch her in town, and it will be worth the wait. $27.50-$30. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- JK

PHOSPHORESCENT, VIRGIN FOREST, BEN TRICKEY Phosphorescent is essentially the vehicle by which singer/songwriter and Navy Yard New Yorker Matthew Houck crafts sparse, hypnotic folk meditations that are bound by equal parts melancholy and hope. Brooklyn five-piece Virgin Forest pours out a lonely and noise-afflicted collection of morose strum-and-drone pop songs. Atlanta singer/songwriter Trickey opens the show with his own brand of dark and world-weary apocalyptic folk songs. $8-$10. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

WARSAW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 107 years and two days after it played its very first concert, the esteemed Warsaw Philharmonic, the national orchestra of Poland, and its artistic director and conductor Antoni Wit come to Atlanta to perform the "Symphony No. 2" of Johannes Brahms and the "Piano Concerto No. 1" of Franz Liszt. Featuring North Carolina pianist Valentina Lisitsa. Pop-culture trivia: WPO has recorded music for several anime series such as "Cowboy Bebop" and "Wolf's Rain." $10-$80. 8 p.m. Schwartz Center, Emerson Concert Hall. 404-727-5050. www.arts.emory.edu. -- MG

SAT/8

ATLANTA INDIE MUSIC FESTIVAL The city's non-snap/trap rap scene celebrates its other-ness with a festival of sorts headlined by Chicago hipster rappers Kidz in the Hall. The lineup includes Yelawolf, Hollyweerd, Donnis, Jaspects, Mach 5, Supreeme, Lee Harvey Oswald, Brittany Bosco, Newberry Jam, and Mums FP. DJ Smiles, Prince Presto, DJ Amdex, and DJ Wildlife man the boards. $5. 4 p.m. The Bench. 404-512-7671. www.atlantabench.com. -- Rodney Carmichael

FOR AGAINST, SPRINGHOUSE, TWIN TIGERS Springhouse's blurry, soft-focus pop swirls like soft-serve, its creamy texture buoyed by ringing Brit-pop guitars swathed in an atmosphere of melodic flurries. Coming up in the late '80s and early '90s, their dreamy cast had more in common with cross-Atlantic acts like Mojave 3, Lush and the Chameleons. The recently released From Now to OK ends a 15-year recording hiatus. There's a graceful timelessness to tracks that range from rushing jangle-pop to lingering melancholy swells, and bubbly, string-abetted piano-rock ("Mercedes Marxist") sounding like Oasis dosed by Mercury Rev. $8. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- Chris Parker

MURS, KIDZ IN THE HALL The prodigious, charismatic L.A. rapper opens his latest, Murs for President, with an admonition: "Don't let the fact that you can't be perfect prevent you from doing your best." He certainly hasn't, releasing a dozen albums (in collaboration and solo) over as many years, highlighted by his aforementioned major-label debut. Murs (an acronym for Making Underground Raw Shit) moves easily from bangers to conscious shit, political rage and nostalgia to lover tracks, rocking hip-hop's entire neighborhood and not just one familiar corner. $12. 7 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- CP

VEGA QUARTET The yuppie-friendly Fringe Concert Series centers its mixed-media frame around the Vega Quartet's performances of the "String Quartet in C major (Op. 59 No. 3)" by Beethoven and the "String Quartet No. 1" of Bela Bartok. The program also offers two silent films in honor of Beethoven, fore and aft music spins by DJ Little Jen and the tossed salad flourishes of paintings by visual artist Yoko Iwanaga. $10-$15. 7 p.m. Dunwoody Church of the Redeemer. 877-725-8849. www.fringeatlanta.org. -- MG

SUN/9

CADILLAC SKY With so many young guns firing into the acoustic music scene, it's getting to where you can't tell them apart without a scorecard. Well, make a big mark next to Cadillac Sky, who combines traditional instrumentation and harmonies with a rich contemporary sensibility. Tight and flowing, the sky is the limit. $12. 7 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- JK

PELICAN, KAYO DOT, STEPHEN BRODSKY, KEELHAUL Pelican constructs epic, glacier-sized instru-metal atmospheres that come together with captivating beauty and mystery. This current sweep across the country, dubbed the Champions of Sound Tour, finds the Chicago group on a victory lap in support of its latest Hydra Head Records release, City of Echoes. Brooklyn's Kayo Dot, Somerville, Mass.'s noise-metal artist Steve Brodsky, and Cleveland's Keelhaul also perform. $12-$14 7 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CR

MON/10

DIPLO, ABE VIGODA, BOY 8-BIT, TELEPATHE, PAPER ROUTE GANGSTAZ Internationally renowned Hollertronix party DJ and electro-funk icon Diplo heads up this traveling caravan of cutting-edge artists. Tropicalia-inflected underdogs of the L.A. post-punk scene Abe Vigoda, along with Mad Decent, Boy 8-Bit, Paper Route Gangstaz and NYC abstract electro duo Telepathe fill out the bill with a roster of divine sounds, fringe art punk and hip-hop that's more concerned about pushing the arts than posturing. $12. 8:30 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- CR

TUES/11

LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS A midnight ride through swampy country backroads, moon on full, stray dog howling, a gospel station on the radio, this Tennessee troupe's a primal mix of rustic tent revival fervor and creepy Southern gothic. The Shack Shakers' rabid rockabilly has expanded its charter during their decade of existence, embracing and blending folk styles from country and blues to carnival-esque gyspy swing and bluegrass punk. They're led by maniacally animated frontman Col. J.D. Wilkes, who suggests Iggy Pop dipped in grits, and hard-charging guitarist Duane Dennison (Tomahawk, Jesus Lizard). $12. 7 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- CP

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