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CL's picks for the week's best shows



JOHN NEMETH One of the brightest up and coming bluesmen is a killer harpist and an almost better soul singer with a strong Ray Charles fixation. His vibrant original material is retro-styled yet contemporary enough to relate to younger listeners. Call for price. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. -- Hal Horowitz

SCOTT H. BIRAM, GHOSTRIDERS CAR CLUB Most solo acoustic acts are pretty mellow, but Biram will scream the paint off the walls if you let him. The Ghostriders are Atlanta's newest country music big band, featuring four vocalists you already know and love. $10. 9 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- James Kelly


ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHAMBER CHORUS Stormin' Norman Mackenzie leads the ASO&CC in the joyous "Gloria" from the "Mass in B-minor" by J.S. Bach, plus Part I (the Christmas portion) of "Messiah" by George Frederic Handel. Repeat show Saturday. $29-$59. 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center. 404-733-5000. -- Mark Gresham


CAROLINE HERRING, PAUL BURCH A refugee from Austin, Texas, who has made a great home in Atlanta, Herring is one of the most thoughtful and entertaining songwriters around. Nashvillian Burch is talented and eclectic, and you never know what style he will bring. $15-$75. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. -- JK

CECYLIA ARZEWSKI Longtime concertmaster for the ASO until last year, violinist Arzewski has a devoted following of fans both locally and abroad. Arzewski performs a midday recital of unaccompanied solo violin works of J.S. Bach. Free. Noon. Michael C. Carlos Museum. 404-727-5050. -- MG

KRAMPUS NIGHT, GUTBUCKET, ZENTROPY According to Australian legend, the Krampus are hairy beasts that accompany old St. Nik every Christmas. While Santa gives toys to the good girls and boys, the Krampus punish the bad kids. Tonight, they sing Krampus Carols. Brooklyn jazz ensemble Gutbucket, plays a proggy skronk and stomp. For this show the group celebrates the release its latest CD, A Modest Proposal (Cuneiform Records). Zentropy opens. $8. 9 p.m. Eyedrum. 404-522-0655. -- Chad Radford

MAGNAPOP, GOLDEN ANIMALS, THE GOLDEST, BATATA DOCE, HOLLOW STARS Local '90s mainstays Magnapop kick classic indie/college rock. Golden Animals offer shambling, psychedelic folk-blues led by singer/guitarist Tommy Eisner's sultry drone and swooning Morrisony croon as they shuffle down a hippie-fied trail. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-9018. -- Chris Parker

POLVO, HIGHLAND SPACE, THE LIVERHEARTS The choppy rhythms and dissonant guitar squalls disguise a persistent melodicism lacking in their math-rock peers. The Chapel Hill, N.C., quartet's moody push-pull and noisy wake helped pioneer the style before flaming out a decade ago. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- CP


CAN CAN, TENTH TO THE MOON, THE SWEAR, TRIAL BY FIRE Atlanta trio Can Can celebrates the release party of its brand new full-length, All Hell, on Stickfigure Records. The group crafts a slick and somewhat spastic art-punk lurch. Tenth to the Moon, the Swear and Trial by Fire open. $6-$8. Drunken Unicorn. -- CR

DELBERT MCCLINTON He could probably retire on the yearly Americana cruises that bear his name, but Texas journeyman McClinton keeps touring to spread his gospel of roadhouse R&B, blues, Tex-Mex and party music to the landlocked masses. $27.50-$30. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-223-1100. -- HH

THE GAYE BLADES, SKIN PROBLEMS Featuring Bobby Ubangi of the Lids and Jared Swilley of the Black Lips, the Gaye Blades play noisy and ramshackle budget-rock anthems about life and love in the gutter. Atlanta trio Skin Problems is a new three-piece featuring members of Femme Covert and Suitcases, playing noisy, arty no-wave punk-rock songs. $5. 9 p.m. 529. 404-228-6769. -- CR

GRUPO FANTASMA, THE SOULPHONICS & RUBY VELLE It's an evening of mucho caliente Latin and sizzling classic soul on this terrific horn-propelled double bill. GP's hot tamale party music and the Soulphonics' '70s funkafied R&B promise to keep the dancefloor filled and sweaty all night. $12. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- HH


MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND, CLARE & THE REASONS Dramatic orchestral prog-pop swathed in strings and late-night cabaret saunter, created by operatic Sufjan Stevens protégé, Shara Wooden, aka My Brightest Diamond. Her expressive vocals are the silk sheets on the striking rock and classical-inspired arrangements. $12. 8 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. -- CP

YES Well, sort of. Actually, it's three-fifths of the most popular lineup, minus lead singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. The remaining members are talented, but would be better named "Maybe." Honestly, though, I have to say ... "Hell No." $56.50-$66.50. 7:30 p.m. The Tabernacle. 404-659-9022. -- JK


BENT FREQUENCY Atlanta's own Bent Freq perform "Fragments 1 & 2" and "Elegy" by Elliott Carter, "Quartet for the End of Time" by Olivier Messiaen, and "Zyklus" by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Discounts for non-GSU students; GSU students free. $10. 7:30 p.m. Kopleff Recital Hall. 404-413-5901. -- MG

TEN OUT OF TENN The Christmas edition of this touring ensemble features 10 Nashville-based up-and-coming singer/songwriters heating up Eddie's with seasonal tunes, both traditional and new originals such as Jeremy Lister's soon to be classic "Santa's Lost His Mojo." $15. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. -- HH


NEIL DIAMOND I love the way these older artists are rediscovering themselves, as Diamond's recent CD is a fine piece of work. Naturally, he will cover the rootsy classics from the '60s as well, along with the ostentatious crap. $52-$120. 7 p.m. Gwinnett Arena. 404-249-6400. -- JK

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 Rodney Carmichael, 384 Northyards Blvd., Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30313, or e-mail information to: To be included in the listings only, e-mail venue and band schedules by Thursday at noon (for the issue that comes out the following Wednesday) to


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