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THURSDAY, JULY 12

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CHIP HOUSTON -- The former leader of Straight Up Green has gone solo, quit his job and is diving into the music world headfirst. Tonight, a film crew will shoot Houston's debut set. "Expect to hear about God in some of my songs," Houston says, "but don't expect an alter call." Josh Lamkin opens. Eddie's Attic (Smith)

MARK CUNNINGHAM'S CONVOLUTION -- As a member of Mars and Don King two decades ago, Mark Cunningham was a prime architect of no wave, the downtown New York art-punk hybrid of free-jazz noise and new-wave irreverence. His later work with the likes of Christian Marclay, Foetus, Lydia Lunch, Michael Gira and Alan Vega only furthered Cunningham's reputation as a key, if unsung, figure in fringe music. Living in Spain since 1991, Cunningham returns to the U.S. for his first tour in over a decade accompanied by his wife, Silvia Mestres, in Convolution, a project for trumpet, electronics and visuals. Eyedrum (Sarig)

REV. UNCLE LAFFO'S TALENT SIDESHOW -- There'll be plenty of clowning around when sardonic ringmaster Laffo (played by Jim Stacy, the demented genius behind Greasepaint and Grand Moff Tarkin) hosts this freakish freeform Gong Show. Tonight Laffo gets a little help from celebrity judge Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. Sign-up begins at 9 p.m., and the weirder your act, the better chance it has of winning. Admission is $5 and proceeds benefit Pediatric AIDS. Star Bar (Nicoll)

ROCK CITY CRIME WAVE -- Sounds from the Underworld, the debut album from this four-piece psycho-garage-rock band, contains a track called "I Wanna Light You On Fire" that's particularly (and uncharacteristically) resonant: It effectively, though unknowingly, describes the listener's uncontrollable urge to burn up the album and his surroundings. The group's hard garage sound may get the adrenaline flowing, if the ears can handle raw, unrefined noise, simple riffs and barely decipherable lyrics. If creating a soundtrack to hell is the object, they have succeeded. Atlanta's own Hell Mach Four opens. MJQ Concourse (Bethea)

SCANNER(FUNK), DRUMS & EFFECTS, PLASTIQ PHANTOM -- Battersea, England's Scanner drops in to broadcast his brand of electronic experimentalism. Scanner gained his name for composing songs based around intercepted cell phone conversations. On his latest album, Wave of Light by Wave of Light, he's added "funk" to the end of his name and uses more tech/house structure in his songs, creating less a cerebral statement as a call for physical response. Atlanta duo Drums & Effects warm up the room with plenty of funk, drum & bass, house and rock 'n' rave rhythms to get that booty base response pumping. Seattle-based electronic producer Plastiq Phantom plays a glitchy mix of classical-leaning electro-hop. Echo Lounge (Ware)

SHAMGOD -- Local indie-rock quartet Shamgod features a Fulbright scholar, a chef and former monk, all of which somehow seem to inform the band's somewhat awkward, though smart and endearingly gawky take on melodic alt-rock. Lead singer Mary Byrne's voice and words are particularly noteworthy. 9 Lives Saloon (Sarig)

SIMON SAYS, UNLOCO, DARWIN'S WAITING ROOM -- Simon Says may have been playing clubs in Sacramento for years before the nu-metal explosion, but the recent popularity of that oh-so-tired genre has caused them to abandon their emo-rock roots for a more headbanger-friendly sound. Opening band Darwin's Waiting Room attempts to assault the listener, but they instead produce boring and generic rap-rock. Unloco stands out among these bands in that their '90s-era grunge sound is a nostalgic breath of fresh air. PlanetJam Cotton Club (Jordan)

SKID ROW -- Though they did thrash a bit harder than most of their hair-metal contemporaries, the Row probably are best remembered for the big-mouth antics of singer Sebastian Bach. Well Bach is long gone, and though these veteran metalheads will undoubtedly rawk dutifully, one can't help but imagine they are well past their sell-by date. Recommended for those eagerly awaiting a Cinderella/Tesla/Warrant package tour. Masquerade (Robertson)

UZ JSME DOMA -- Uz Jsme Doma from the Czech Republic play party music for Residents fans. It's bouncy and fun, but equally quirky and tilted. Not at all difficult to assimilate, yet slightly bizarre just the same. Opening, Atlanta rock foursome 3d5spd unleash a new EP, Radial Quartet, that's among the more accomplished indie-rock concoctions to emerge locally of late. Jagged and occasionally weird but consistently melodic, the EP marks the long-promising band's arrival as a band well worth the time and space it takes up while on stage. The Earl (Foy/Sarig)

ANDALUZ: Tarde Latina, DJ Carlos Morales

APACHE CAFE: The Free Spirits with members of the Chronicle

BAYOU ROOM: Eric Austin

BILLY'S: Brian Jones and Friends

BLIND WILLIE'S: Houserocker Johnson & The Shadows

BLUE RACCOON: Open Jam with Bill Sheffield

BRADLEY'S AMERICAN CAFE: Karaoke

BRANDYHOUSE: Ludowici, Bow Echo

BRIDGES: Vocalist Paula Harris with Doug Jervey on keys

BUFFALO'S-SHANNON MALL: Al Brock

CAFE 290: The Mike Kelly Quartet

THE CHAMBER: Club Fetish

CHECKERED PARROT: Mike Russell

CHIP'S-WINDER: Randall Bramlett

CHURCHILL GROUNDS JAZZ CAFE: Jerry Fields, Vecino del Mundo

CJ'S LANDING: The Likes Of Which, Script

CLUB GENO'S: Charles Lattimon

COMEAUX'S: Mudcat

COWBOYS: College Night with Darrin Robbins, Kickback

DAILEY'S DOWNSTAIRS: Blaze

DARK HORSE TAVERN: Swamp Donkey, Hundred Dollar Day, Burning Clocks

DARWIN'S: X Miss Americas

THE EARL: Uz Jsme Doma, 3d5spd, Forever

ECHO LOUNGE: Scanner, Drums & Effects, Plastiq

ECLIPSE DI LUNA: Trio Latino Band

EDDIE'S ATTIC: Chip Houston, Josh Lamkin

1848 cafE: Jazz with Yusef Sharif

EYEDRUM: Convolution with Mark Cunningham and Sylvia Mestres

FAT MATT'S RIB SHACK: Chickenshack

FRONT PAGE NEWS: Tommy Thompson

40 WATT CLUB-ATHENS: Beverly Babb's birthday party with Very Nice

FUZZY'S: Work In Progress

THE GRAPE AT VININGS: Home Planet

JAKE'S ROADHOUSE: Nick Savage

KAZOO'S: Band X

KILLER CREEK: Showtyme Jazz Duo

LAST GREAT WATERING HOLE: THC, open-mic

LUBY'S: The Blast

MASQUERADE: Skid Row

METROPOLITAN PIZZA: Fursday Nite Lounge

MJQ CONCOURSE: Rock City Crimewave, Hell Mach Four

9 LIVES SALOON: Shamgod, Lickity Split, Black Roses, Imagine Me Weightless

NOMENCLATURE MUSEUM: Booty Bumps

NORTHSIDE TAVERN: The Breeze Kings

PECKER HEAD BREWERY: Rock and Roll Karaoke with Hammer

PIPER'S PUB-LILBURN: Brad Large

PLANETJAM COTTON CLUB: Darwin's Waiting Room, Simon Says, Un loco

POOR RICHARDS' PUB: Jazz Night with Surface Tension

POPPER'S: Open Jam with Steve Hawkins

SMITH'S OLDE BAR: Sundogs, Dexter

STAR BAR-L5P: Rev. Uncle Laffo's Talent Sideshow Benefit

STUDIO 72: DJ Special T & Shakim

SWEET MELISSA'S-DECATUR: Open-mic

TACO MAC-JOHNSON'S FERRY: The Naked Truth

TASTY WORLD-ATHENS: Nucleus, The Hangdown

VIOLETTE RESTAURANT: Jus Jazz featuring Dave Wallis, Eddie Taylor, Dan Coy, Shack Lewis, Rita Graham and Pete the bartender

WHISKER'S TAVERN-DUNWOODY: Version

WILLS PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTER-ALPHARETTA: Gary Lewis & The Playboys

WOODEN NICKEL: Angry Monkey Project

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