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Sound Menu

CL's picks for the week's best shows

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WED/23

HIEROGLYPHICS, BLUE SCHOLARS, TANYA MORGAN This Oakland-bred hip-hop crew has been a West Coast standard-bearer, uniting the talents of childhood schoolmates Souls of Mischief, Casual, Pep Love and DJ Domino. Their tight battle rhymes and jazzy, heady loops have built a loyal following that they've nurtured on their own label, Hiero Imperium, for a decade. They're bringing a pair of hot young hip-hop acts, blitzing Seattle duo Blue Scholars and grimy, swaggering trio Tanya Morgan. Notably absent, however, is Del the Funkee Homosapien, their highest profile (ex?) member, who released his last album for Def Jux. $15. 7 p.m. Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- Chris Parker

JACUZZI BOYS, MAMMALS Florida trio Jacuzzi Boys combine '60s garage primitivism with a shambling psych shimmy, like Brian Jonestown's Anton Newcombe might have gotten them high. While they've only released a handful of 7s, they possess a droning allure similar to that of Black Rebel Motorcycle Gang. They're joined by gritty, reverb-soaked Atlanta garage trio Mammals, which sound like Little Steven offering the Seeds a hummer, echoing through one of Grand Central's cavernous johns. Just hearing it makes you feel dirty. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. 404-870-0575. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- CP

DAYNA KURTZ Far more beloved across the pond than in her home, Kurtz's smoky, rugged alto waltzes brazenly through a mix of folk, country, blues and rock, with touches of jazzy, adult-contemporary sophistication. Her gruff vocals give gravitas to her dramatic swooning numbers, with slide guitar offered at times for a properly haunted air. The moody, dynamic sound recalls Shannon Wright, though not as dense, with a dash of Nina Simone's shadowy grace. She's supporting her fifth album, 2006's fine Another Black Feather. $12-$60. 8 p.m. Eddie's Attic. 404-377-4976. www.eddiesattic.com. -- CP

SPIRITUALIZED, THE DIRTBOMBS Jason Piece's heady psychedelia is back in full cracked bloom on his band's new release. Perhaps it was the near-death experience that pushed him to new heights, but his psychotic rocker sound is re-energized with a tough, relatively stripped-down approach that befits the music's edgier, if still textured, attack. Echoes of the Velvet Underground still abound as Piece continues to explore his darker impulses, but Lou Reed never sounded this spacey yet focused. Glam-rock punkers the Dirtbombs open. $20-$22.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- Hal Horowitz

THURS/24

CASSAVETES, THE PREAKNESS Frontman Robert Horlick's wavering croon wafts creamily through Cassavetes' sauntering indie rock, like tourists in Vegas eager not to miss a moment of the dancing waters or pirate battles. The prickly chime of guitar bobs near the lulling organ-driven surface, suggesting a narcotized Walkmen with more shimmer and less bloozy bar-band shimmy. The Preakness' debut EP boasts a bubbly charm, fueled by sweet harmonies, jangly guitars and dreamy, somnambulant warmth, like R.E.M.'s Chronic Town with Bedhead. D'lish! $7. 9:30 p.m. The Earl. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. -- CP

TILLY & THE WALL, RUBY SUNS Headliners Tilly & the Wall made a name for themselves with the unique tap dance percussion of dancer Jamie Williams underscoring their exuberant indie pop. Big boy/girl harmonies, swooning organs and charging guitars key the sound, though their latest, O, attempts to add to their palette, with blustery, foot-stomping '60s garage rockers like "Pot Kettle Black." More impressive is the second album, Sea Lion, by New Zealand's Ruby Suns. It marries shambling world beat and bright psych-pop plumage, producing homespun Technicolor warmth with "Give the World a Coke" camaraderie. $17.50. 8 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- CP

FRI/25

JW-JONES A triple threat as convincing crooner, stinging guitarist and an impressive songwriter, Canadian bluesman Jones is one of the young breed who respects the past but approaches his music with a contemporary outlook. His jazzy, big-band swing is informed by Texas and West Coast styles, but he attacks his songs with an energized, lowdown Chicago grit. Jones infuses swing and rockabilly, too, creating a well-rounded, somewhat unpredictable set that's always hot. $8-$10. 9 p.m. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. www.darwinsblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz

LUCINDA WILLIAMS, BUICK 6 She's become the voice of the contemporary woman, equal parts fragile and strong. Williams is a poet of stellar talent, a gravel-throated road warrior who can give as good as any guy on the circuit. It's often painfully obvious when she forces the material, but when she lets it flow you won't find anything better. Buick 6 opens. Sold out. $35. 8 p.m. Atlanta Botanical Garden. 404-876-5859. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org. -- James Kelly

SAT/26

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS As the opening concert of the 2007-08 season, the ASO's semi-staged concert rendition of Giocomo Puccini's opera La Bohème was an unusually stunning performance. It was also recorded just afterward by Telarc, and released on CD at the beginning of this month. The ASO recreates that performance with the same cast in an outdoor setting, a demonstration of faith in the opera's mass appeal. The rhapsodic Robert Spano conducts. $21-$59. 8 p.m. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre. 404-733-5010. www.vzwamp.com. -- Mark Gresham

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