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CL'S noted acts for Friday.22

DRUMS & TUBA -- Imagine Frank Zappa drunk off Hurricanes in a New Orleans bar leading a high school marching band, and you've got the idea of the technically superb, tremendously silly concept that is Drums & Tuba. Drums & Tuba (and guitar) have the kind of mischievous spirit and meticulous ability to play off one another such that they can fit in -- and stand out -- on any bill, be it post-rock, post-punk, noodling or nu-jazz (they've played with, among others, Trans Am, Leftover Salmon, Modest Mouse, The Dirty Three and Ani DiFranco). Drums & Tuba are touring on the "Water-Damage" reissues of their first two CDs, as well as '99's Flatheads and Spoonies. This combo carries the spirit stick high. The Earl (Ware)

MELISSA FERRICK -- The obvious, and thereby lazy, comparison here is with Ani Difranco. Both are husky voiced, singer/songwriter types who write with a frankness that often verges on downright voyeurism. Ferrick, however, does not share DiFranco's "punk-in-folksinger-clothing" cache, and as a result her music feels more immediately approachable. Her simple, melodically concise songs draw the listener in, more concerned with effect than affect. Definitely deserving of more attention. My Sister's Room (Robertson)

DANNY FLOWERS -- Supreme guitarist/songwriter Danny Flowers played in Don Williams' band for 13 years. "Tulsa Time," was just the start of his career, which spawned appearances on five albums by Williams and five albums by his good friend Eric Clapton. Flowers is touring with his exceptional new album Forbidden Fruits and Vegetables.. The Swallow/1072 Green Street, Roswell (Forrest)

JARS OF CLAY, JENNIFER KNAPP -- Jars of Clay are a Christian-rock band in the Creed mindset, yet they don't come off nearly as saintly or preachy. They even have a sense of humor about it all. Opener Jennifer Knapp is equally impressive in her nonjudgmental, music-first approach. Both acts on this bill do minister, but with a light touch and offer their uplifting messages without the hidden sledgehammer. The bars in the Fox lobby can probably expect an off-night tonight. Fox Theatre (Smith)

MONDO HEPTET -- This experimental and jazzy new Atlanta band is in a league of their own. All things considered, these mysterious hipsters will deliver a decent show. By sheer and totally unrelated coincidence, the League Of Decency open this swanky evening. Star Bar (Smith)


N. RAVIKIRAN & DR. RAM SRIRAM -- South Indian Carnatic musician Ravikiran has been performing in public since he was a small child 30 years ago. Having been championed early on by Pandit Ravi Shankar, he has forged a distinguished career in Indian classical music with some forays into fusion with Taj Mahal and others. He is a master of the chitravina, a rare, fretless veena that has been likened to a Hawaiian guitar. Accompanying on mridangam (a double-headed drum) is Dr. Sriram of Georgia State University. If Ravikiran's album I>Gottu Vadyam is anything to go on, the chitravina produces the most gorgeous cascades of bend notes (to Western ears) of any Indian instrument. First Existentialist Congregation/470 Candler Park Dr. (Falstaff)

LEON REDBONE -- see article. Variety Playhouse (Powell)

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR She's really young, her dad's really famous, and she plays the sitar, which few women have ever touched yet alone mastered. That seems to be enough to sell albums and concert tickets these days. In interviews she reveals that, a) she has heard little outside of what father and teacher Ravi Shankar has exposed her to, and, b) her own choice of listening growing up in California leans toward Metallica. She is a fine foil to her dad on stage, but is she ready yet for the solo spotlight in this most demanding art form? Hodgson Concert Hall/University of Georgia (Falstaff)

TYRO -- see Earshot. Echo Lounge (Ware)

JIMMY THACKERY & THE DRIVERS -- "Have Stratocaster, will travel," would be an apt motto for guitarslinger Jimmy Thackery, who was a teenager in 1969 when his life was changed by seeing Jimi Hendrix perform. Thackery, now 47, toured relentlessly with the Washington, D.C.-based blues band the Nighthawks for 13 years, working harder than anyone this side of James Brown. In the mid-80s, he left to form the six-piece Assassins. When his financial backing ran dry, he formed his current power-trio configuration and found a niche, blending the influence of Jimi, B.B. King-flavored blues and a tasty melange of 50s/60s proto-rock. Chip's/Winder (Powell)

.38 SPECIAL -- Whether you venture to the .38 Special concert to sing along with their old hits or listen to some recent cuts from their reunion, chances are you have a greenish, faded tattoo (or six) somewhere on your sagging body. Also, either you or your significant other -- the one you held on to loosely -- has a rat tail and/or mullet. And you have a cousin who just got laid off from the factory. This is not a horoscope, and I'm not psychic. This is merely fact. Now go flick your lighter somewhere else. Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater (Allen)

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