You supply the bong
Skot Foreman Fine Art wants to mess with your head SEPT. 4. That's when the lights go up on M.C. ESCHER: HIS LIFE AND WORK, a retrospective of the Dutch graphic artist featuring more than 40 of his fascinating, sometimes-vertigo-inducing creations, including woodcuts ("Day & Night," pictured), lithographs, watercolors and photos. The variety of work on display should prove especially eye-opening to anyone whose only exposure to Escher is through some trippy poster on a college drug dealer's dorm-room wall. Free. Through Oct. 31; receptions Sept. 4 and Oct. 11, 6-11 p.m. Skot Foreman Fine Art, 315 Peter St. 404-222-0440. www.skotforeman.com.
-- Steve Yockey
'B.B.' is for blues (mostly)
Hardcore blues fans lament the impurity of what's become one of the more lucrative tour packages aimed at the post-25 demographic. Not that the 12-year-old event's namesake is sweating the stylistic parameters of a form that's always seemed to benefit (commercially, at least) from a little jazz, funk and/or rock 'n' roll embellishment. This year's B.B. KING MUSIC FESTIVAL SEPT. 5-6 balances out sets from the Lucille-toting master of ceremonies and guitar-god/gear-head Jeff Beck with performances by a pair of younger acts: New Orleans funky-blues outfit Galactic; and swampy traditionalists Mofro, a quirky, environmentally conscious bunch out of Jacksonville, Fla. Bonus points for anyone who knows what the "B.B." in B.B. King stands for. $35.10-$82.18. 7 p.m. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive. 404-249-6400. www.ticketmaster.com.
-- Hobart Rowland
Remember the good old days, pre-Hairspray and before Millie, when the biggest Broadway musicals tended to be dreary, and everyone died in the end? LES MISèRABLES, which throws down its $4.2 million barricade at the Fox Theatre SEPT. 9, offers a maudlin musical retelling of the Victor Hugo novel set against a 19th-century French uprising. The second longest-running show in Broadway history, it also happens to be one of the most successful musicals ever. Just don't forget the Kleenex. $20-$57. Through Sept. 21. Tues.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m.; Sun. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700. www.foxtheatre.org.
-- Tray Butler
It's time again for another rousing edition of the live talk show POLITICAL PARTY, where potential unruliness ensues as outspoken panelists and zealous audience members mix it up in a small theater setting. This month's topic: civil liberties and the Patriot Act. Moderated by Creative Loafing Editor Ken Edelstein, the SEPT. 10 event features former congressman BOB BARR and other guests to be announced. Sponsored by Creative Loafing, Dad's Garage and Hands On Atlanta. Free. Dad's Garage Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141. www.atlanta.creativeloafing.com/party.html.
Sept 4 Thursday
The financially troubled Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Arts Festival returns under the alias ATLANTA ALTERNATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL -- or A3 for short -- for two weekends of film, poetry, music and edgy performances by relatively unknown artists. All those holding their breath for the Contemporary's annual ArtParty can exhale: It's not happening this year. So why not try something new? $10 per performance; $20 day pass. Thurs.-Sun. through Sept. 14. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. 404-688-1970. www.artsfest.net. (Heather Kuldell)
Sept 5 Friday
Basically, SANDRA COLLINS is a bad-ass. Not only has trance music's leading lady been a scene staple since the days of Frankie Bones' Brooklyn STORM parties, but she's also a notorious crowd-pleasing partier. There's a rumor that she almost fell off a balcony after a gig -- liquor in one hand, smokes in the other. Ian James opens. $15. 10 p.m. Eleven50, 1150-B Peachtree St. 404-874-0428. www.eleven50.com. (HK)
Sept 6 Saturday
The YELLOW DAISY FESTIVAL's colossal collection of crafts features more than 450 vendors peddling their photography, pottery, carvings, dolls and games. This year's theme: "Let's Go Shopping." Duh. Free; parking $7. Thurs., Fri. and Sun. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Stone Mountain Park. 770-498-5690. www.stonemountainpark.com. (HK)
Sept 7 Sunday
Synchronicity Performance Group presents ALICE THROUGH THE WONDERGLASS, a reinvention of Lewis Carroll's classic story by sometime-Atlanta resident and found-puppet master Margaret Baldwin. The show is geared toward kids 5 and up. $10. Through Sept. 14. Noon and 2 p.m. 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. 404-325-5168. www.synchrotheatre.com. (SY)
Sept 8 Monday
From the sounds of its fizzy choruses and marmalade-thick harmonies, L.A.'s ROONEY has designs on becoming the next Weezer. And while the well-endowed power-pop of the band's self-titled debut sometimes mistakes repetition for inspiration, that hasn't stopped the band from moving 100,000 units sans radio airplay. And singer/guitarist Robert Carmine is way cuter than Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. The Sounds and Palo Alto open. $10-$12. 7 p.m. (doors). Cotton Club, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.atlantaconcerts.com. (HR)
Sept 9 Tuesday
Ah, DNA. It's the blueprint for our bodies and the evidence we leave behind. The DNA 50 touring exhibit details the discovery of the double-helix structure and the development of biotechnology. $7.50-$9.50. Sat.-Tues. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. SciTrek, 395 Piedmont Ave. 404-522-5500. www.scitrek.org. (HK)
Sept 10 Wednesday
FOLKSONGS FOR THE AFTERLIFE formfits hollowed-out reverb and pop-noir languidity to the distinct curves of bandleader Caroline Schutz's glib romanticism and baroque melodies. In the process, the Brooklyn group allies itself with other dreamy guitar bands past and present (Cranberries, Lush, My Bloody Valentine) while remaining aloft in its own gauzy comfort zone. With Mantissa, Say Hi to Your Mom, and Spot. $6. 10 p.m. (doors). The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. (HR)