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THURS/8

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS The annual "Christmas with the ASO" program is directed by Norman Mackenzie, ASO director of choruses. This year, Mackenzie has restored the powerful opening and closing of the program as Robert Shaw initiated it, and some new pieces have been added, promising a show with even more emotional impact. Gwinnett Young Singers return as featured guests. $19-$58. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- Mark Gresham

JIMBO MATHUS Having drifted quite a distance from the derivative Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mathus has been exploring his Mississippi roots in depth, and brings some rather contemporary influences into the mix. Interesting stuff -- I wonder what the Blues Nazis will think? Call for ticket prices. 9 p.m. Blind Willie's. 404-873-2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com. -- James Kelly

XIU XIU, THE DEAD SCIENCE, WS BURN, THE BLUE HOUR Churning out a cluttered mess of lo-fi noise and frazzled pop, Xiu Xiu's thread-bare din is a sonic quagmire of misery and loneliness that is at once brittle, beautiful and broken down. Xiu Xiu spin-off group the Dead Science plays a set of jazz-tinged indie rock. Knoxville duo WS Burn sprinkles stark and minimal avant-garde folk music with an aura of haunted Appalachia. Baroque indie-pop act the Blue Hour opens the show. $7. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net. -- Chad Radford

FRI/9

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS See Sound Menu listing for Thurs., Dec. 8. $19-$58. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- MG

DELBERT McCLINTON A harp-playing, genre-jumping, all-around entertainer, McClinton is an institution whose fan base includes rock, country and blues aficionados. He always puts on a great show, and loads the night with humor and damn good music. $25, plus two cans of food. 8:30 p.m. Variety Playhouse. 404-524-7354. www.variety-playhouse.com. -- JK

JIMMY HALL As the founding member of Wet Willie and the band's singing/harp-sax-playing/songwriting frontman, Hall was responsible for some of the most electrifying R&B-based, '70s Southern rock. His solo career since has been erratic, but he's always working and remains a dynamic performer who never seems to tire of singing the classic, crowd-pleasing "Keep on Smilin'." $8-$12. 10 p.m. and midnight. Darwin's. 770-578-6872. www.darwinsblues.com. -- Hal Horowitz

MARCO V If you think about it, a "v" is like the alphabetical equivalent of two outstretched arms, reaching heavenward to offer angelic reacharounds. And isn't that what the driving melodies of progressive trance also strive to do? Somewhere in a mix of pumping murk, banging beats and distorted low-end speaker tweaks, the Netherlands' Marco V never forgets to inject the goosebump-inducing soft pads that are dreamy and creamy. Accompanying DJ Jonathan Allyn, too. This is tech-trance for hippies, sexy hippies. $20. 10 p.m. Eleven50. 404-874-0428. www.eleven50.com. -- Tony Ware

A PETER WHITE CHRISTMAS Guitarist White brings his smooth-jazz sounds to seasonal holiday songs in this annual touring show. Trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair are among the musicians sharing the stage. $30-$40. 8 p.m. Ferst Center. 404-894-9600. www.ferstcenter.org. -- MG

SAT/10

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA & CHORUS See Sound Menu listing for Thurs., Dec. 8. $19-$58. 2 and 8 p.m. Symphony Hall. 404-733-5000. www.atlantasymphony.org. -- MG

DJ DAN Since emerging as a favorite of West Coast candy ravers in the late 1990s, DJ Dan Wherrett has been a good barometer for mainstream dance music trends. Just a few years ago, he was spinning a lot of dark yet funky tribal and progressive house; if his new mix CD, Lift, is any indication, he's now incorporating more soulful records into his repertoire. However, it all depends on the mood of the crowd, so the records you'll hear when DJ Dan plays at the Compound are anyone's guess. Call for price. 10 p.m. The Compound. 404-872-4621. www.compoundatl.com. -- Mosi Reeves

HOLIDAY FUNK DJ Starboy has the funk. We don't know where he caught it, but Starboy and his Men With 12 Inches crew invite you to deck their halls with balls, um, boughs ... of holly? DJ Y, J-Luv, Kevin O and Prince Presto help Liquified ring in them holidays while putting a ringin' in them ears. All I can say is watch out for the mistletoe, because Starboy is known to like it "hard & funky until the end." Wait; was I supposed to write about Starboy's lifestyle or house music? Whoops. $10. 9 p.m. Eleven50. 404-874-0428. www.eleven50.com. -- TW

LIVING COLOUR, DANIELIA COTTON, HEAVY MOJO Vernon Reid, Corey Glover and company return to Atlanta with the hard-charging band that helped break a few racial barriers way back in the color-coded 1980s. The band released one great album (Vivid) and a pretty impressive string of solid but usually overlooked releases over the years. The band regrouped in 2001 and now is here again. Cotton and Heavy Mojo open. $16. 7 p.m. The Masquerade. 404-577-8178. www.masq.com. -- LVS

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