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Live music picks Sept. 18-20

TODAY
Medeski, Martin, and Wood
Sometimes funky, sometimes flighty and always cool, these New York jazz eccentrics twist the genre into surprising new shapes. Their most recent release is the ambitious “Radiolarian Series,” which covers three separate discs. It demonstrates that the trio’s stylistic explorations are far from over.
8:30 p.m. Sept. 18. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.
SATURDAY
Indigo Girls
Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have spent more than a decade entertaining us — and making us think — with heart-touching songs and gorgeous harmonies. The two musicians first began performing together as students at Decatur’s Shamrock High School (now a middle school). After many years on a major label, earning a Grammy and selling millions of albums, the duo is releasing music independently again.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 19. $33.50-$58.50. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive N.W. 404-233-2227, www.chastainseries.com.
SATURDAY
Journey, Night Ranger
Just when it looks like Journey’s popularity has started to wane, something else brings this inescapable band back into our collective consciousness in a big way. The first episode of the Fox show “Glee” premiered in the spring and took Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” back into heavy rotation via a rousing show choir remake. It’s been a bit longer since Night Ranger experienced something similar, when a memorable scene in “Boogie Nights” forever tied the band’s “Sister Christian” to visions of crazed drug dealers and popping firecrackers.
8 p.m. Sept. 19. $39-$89. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010, www.vzwamp.com.
SATURDAY
Yo La Tengo
These indie pop darlings have had music critics scouring their thesauruses for superlatives since 1986 debut “Ride the Tiger.” The New Jersey-spawned, Velvet Underground-inspired trio continues to release acclaimed albums, including this year’s “Popular Songs,” their 12th.
8:30 p.m. Sept. 19. $20. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.
SUNDAY
Fun.
Bold, brassy pop with a ’70s AM pop vibe and a new millennial wink. “Be Calm,” the stunning lead track from debut album “Aim and Ignite,” is a weird and wonderful cocktail of Queen and Weezer. Despite those obvious influences, this trio sounds fresh and, yes, fun. After all, beautiful melodies, sweet harmonies and lush arrangements never go out of style.
8 p.m. Sept. 20. $12; $10 in advance. The Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.
TODAY

Billy Martin, Chris Wood and John Medeski. Photo: Liz Penta

Billy Martin, Chris Wood and John Medeski. Photo: Liz Penta

Medeski, Martin, and Wood

Sometimes funky, sometimes flighty and always cool, these New York jazz eccentrics twist the genre into surprising new shapes. Their most recent release is the ambitious “Radiolarian Series,” which covers three separate discs. It demonstrates that the trio’s stylistic explorations are far from over.
8:30 p.m. Sept. 18. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.

SATURDAY

Indigo Girls: Amy Ray (left) and Emily Saliers. Photo: Press Here Publicity

Indigo Girls: Amy Ray (left) and Emily Saliers. Photo: Press Here Publicity

Indigo Girls

Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have spent more than a decade entertaining us — and making us think — with heart-touching songs and gorgeous harmonies. The two musicians first began performing together as students at Decatur’s Shamrock High School (now a middle school). After many years on a major label, earning a Grammy and selling millions of albums, the duo is releasing music independently again.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 19. $33.50-$58.50. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive N.W. 404-233-2227, www.chastainseries.com.

Journey, Night Ranger
Just when it looks like Journey’s popularity has started to wane, something else brings this inescapable band back into our collective consciousness in a big way. The first episode of the Fox show “Glee” premiered in the spring and took Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” back into heavy rotation via a rousing show choir remake. It’s been a bit longer since Night Ranger experienced something similar, when a memorable scene in “Boogie Nights” forever tied the band’s “Sister Christian” to visions of crazed drug dealers and popping firecrackers.
8 p.m. Sept. 19. $39-$89. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010, www.vzwamp.com.

Yo La Tengo
These indie pop darlings have had music critics scouring their thesauruses for superlatives since 1986 debut “Ride the Tiger.” The New Jersey-spawned, Velvet Underground-inspired trio
fun_img02_hires

Fun. Photo: Big Hassle

continues to release acclaimed albums, including this year’s “Popular Songs,” their 12th.
8:30 p.m. Sept. 19. $20. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.

SUNDAY
Fun.
Bold, brassy pop with a ’70s AM pop vibe and a new millennial wink. “Be Calm,” the stunning lead track from debut album “Aim and Ignite,” is a weird and wonderful cocktail of Queen and Weezer. Despite those obvious influences, this trio sounds fresh and, yes, fun. After all, beautiful melodies, sweet harmonies and lush arrangements never go out of style.
8 p.m. Sept. 20. $12; $10 in advance. The Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.

3 comments Add your comment

[...] events going on around Atlanta this weekend. For a closer look at upcoming concerts, check out the best best from the Atlanta Music Scene blog. As always,  recommendations welcome in the comments! — Jamie [...]

Stephen Murray

September 19th, 2009
9:53 am

Journalism Fail, AJC. The Indigo Girls have been entertaining us for over TWO decades.

Captain Midnight

September 21st, 2009
9:32 am

$40.00 to see another Steve Perry wanna be clone so Schon,Cain and Vallory can get even richer? Yea,I don’t think so. At least they stopped using Perrys’ voice in the radio promos in an attempt to trick people into believing he’d be there.