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CL's picks for the week's best shows

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THURS/13

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND The New Orleans natives' recent post-Katrina disc covering Marvin Gaye's entire What's Going On album was an undiscovered gem that channeled the soul man's classy words of protest through the horn-propelled jazz/funk at the heart of the Dirty Dozen's sound. Even after the hurricane's dour result -- which displaced the band's members -- the resilient group still comes to party. Anyone who hasn't experienced one of their festive live shows doesn't fully understand the vibrant exuberance of New Orleans music at its finest. Repeat show Fri., Dec. 14. $10. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com. -- Hal Horowitz

CARBONAS, MURDER JUNKIES, WHISKEY SHIT VOMIT, BOBBY & THE SOFTSPOTS Many people are saying Carbonas' new self-titled album is the greatest thing to hit punk rock in decades. Holding the record-release party at the Clermont at a Murder Junkies reunion says it all. Expect a visit from the ghost of GG Allin blessing the debauchery from beyond the grave. Whiskey Shit Vomit and Bobby & the Softspots also perform. $10. 9 p.m. The Clermont Lounge. 404-874-4783. www.clermontlounge.net. -- Chad Radford

GORE GORE GIRLS, CATFIGHT It's girls (with guitars) gone wild as Detroit's and Atlanta's most ferocious women rockers face off for a night of raunchy garage punk. The headliners motor in on their best album ever -- one that kicks out the jams with hard-hitting, sexed-up songs that slap you upside your head followed by a big, wet kiss. Once you get past the va-va-voom short skirts and high boots, these women take on a guy's game and come out swinging like Iggy sparring with the Shangri-Las. Burmese Crush adds some male muscle to this estrogen-heavy bill. $10. 9 p.m. Star Bar. 404-681-5740. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- HH

MF DOOM While mainstream peers draw inspiration from Scorsese and Scarface, hip-hop vet Daniel Dumile drew on Marvel Comics for his mask-clad persona, MF Doom. Though Dumile appeared on 3rd Bass' classic "Gas Face," Doom didn't emerge until '98. Since then he's honed a panther-creeping flow of sinewy rhymes unleashed in long, syncopated flurries like a pugilist going for the knockout. Collaborations with Madlib (Madvillianny) in '04 and Danger Mouse (The Mouse and the Mask) in '05, raised his commercial profile, though several cancelled performances this year generated rumors and negative publicity. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chris Parker

FRI/14

10TH ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS WEEKEND Tonight and tomorrow, the Star Bar celebrates a decade of collecting items for the worthwhile Toys For Tots campaign with its annual Christmas extravaganza. Tonight, scheduled performers include Zoroaster, the Despised and Yule Log, the thoroughly rockin' gaggle of familiar, way-over-the-top regulars. Tomorrow, the stocking is stuffed with care with Bitch, Rock City Dropouts, the Sweetloves, Lust, the A-Sides and other tidings of great joy -- and high volume. $10 or a new, unwrapped toy. 9 p.m. Star Bar. www.starbaratlanta.com. -- Lee Valentine Smith

AFROMAN Before Lily Allen and Clap Your Hands there was Afroman, whose pot paean "Because I Got High" rode from Napster to national prominence, earning him a six-album deal from Universal. He opted out after one album, and began self-releasing material, continuing to plumb similar comic threads -- drunk, stoned, and horny -- like Biz Markie raised by 2 Live Crew. He's usually profane, often funny, and though his albums are littered with throwaways and limited in subject matter, Afroman delivers them with surprising musicianship and cleverness. $10-$20. 9 p.m. Apache Café. 404-876-5436. www.apachecafe.info. -- CP

ASO GOSPEL CHRISTMAS Chelsea Tipton II, resident conductor of the Toledo Symphony, conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in this annual holiday shout-out. The show features the ASO Gospel Choir, which brings together some of metro Atlanta's top gospel choristers and soloists to rock Christmas with a hallelujah of enduring spirituals, hymns and contemporary soulful sounds for the season. Program repeats Sat., Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. $18-$50. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

TECHNICAL ITCH, HIVE, MC ARMANNI 404 Audio presents its latest post-biweekly installation of drum-and-bass bombast with longtime producers/DJs Tech Itch and Hive. Although the two are based on different labels and operate from London and Los Angeles, respectively, you can expect "a dirty grimy slimy crunchy disgusting day of the sickest drum and bass on the planet," to quote "darien" from 404audio.com's forum. He's pretty much said it all. Luckily, MC Armanni knows when not to say anything, but if you listen closely enough when he does, it'll feel like he's calling you out to dance. Former WRAS-FM (88.5) "Subterranean" DJ Deco returns from Cali -- a treat unto itself -- to lend support, along with Truform + Section 8, and Sonar. $25. 10 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- T. LaGon

UNKNOWN HINSON, MATT REASOR & THE MADNESS He looks like a late-night Creature Feature TV-show host, but Hinson can play the Beelzebubba out of a guitar. He has to, as besides him the trio only includes drum and bass. Some of the songs are a bit silly in their striving for the faux-macabre, and the shtick wears down after a while, but they can rock hard and entertain you nevertheless. Did I say the man can play? $14. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- James Kelly

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