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Live music picks, Oct. 16-22

Vicente Fernandez. Photo: Columbia Records Group

Vicente Fernandez. Photo: Columbia Records Group


Vicente Fernandez

One of Mexico’s greatest musical treasures, Fernandez takes Mexican traditional music and ornaments it with lush strings and other modern touches, but all the symphonic trimmings in the world can’t extinguish the fiery emotion in the man’s voice.  It’s still a powerful instrument even though Fernandez is just a few months from his 70th birthday.

8 p.m. Oct. 16. $45-$252. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.

Os Mutantes

This Brazilian band first came together in the psychedelic ’60s, combining the sounds coming from the U.S. and Britain with the Tropicália of its native country. The group disbanded in 1978, but reunited in 2006 to capitalize on renewed interest in the band following some reissues. In September, the band released its first new recording in 35 years, “Haih Or Amortecedor.”

8:30 p.m. Oct. 16.$25-$27.50. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Mat Kearney

He’s been called John Mayer with a touch of hip-hop, and there are certainly similarities between the two. They’re both appealing singer-songwriters with a gift for hooks and melodies. And if you watch much TV, you’ve probably heard his music, especially if you’re a “Grey’s Anatomy” fan. And “Closer to Love,” the first single from his latest album, “The City of Black & White,” was recently featured in the locally-filmed “The Vampire Diaries.”

9 p.m. Oct. 16. $19. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Caroline Herring. Photo: Jeffrey Fasano

Caroline Herring. Photo: Jeffrey Fasano

Caroline Herring

There’s something warm and inviting about this Decatur-based singer-songwriter’s voice. Even as relates painful truths and hard-luck stories, you’re drawn in by her cozy charisma. This show is a record release celebration for her new album “Golden Apples of the Sun,” a work of magical intimacy and immediacy.  Listening to the album, it’s as if she’s right there with you, telling her powerful tales to an audience of one. At Eddie’s Attic, you’ll have to share, but the hometown crowd loves her.

8 p.m. Oct. 16. $15-$18. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.


Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop of Travis

After a sparkling sophomore album, “The Man Who,” and a fine follow-up, “The Invisible Band,” Scottish quartet Travis seemed to lose its way. Following a 2002 accident in which drummer Neil Primrose broke his neck (he’s since recovered), the band released the dour and dull “12 Memories.” To some, it looked like the end. Things have been on an artistic upswing since 2007, though. “The Boy With No Name” was a much better album, and 2008’s “Ode to J. Smith” was even better. These U.S. shows are being billed as “A Chronological Acoustical Journey Through The Travis Back Catalogue.”

7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Dinosaur Jr.

One of the most critically adored bands of the late ‘80s and very early ‘90s. The roaring wall of sound, particularly J Mascis’ guitar overdrive, was an obvious influence on Nirvana’s late Kurt Cobain as well as the shoegazer bands of the early ‘90s. It’s a minor miracle that the band ever reformed, since the disintegration of the original trio led to lawsuits and bitter songs. Rock ‘n’ roll might never forget, but it obviously forgives sometimes.

8:30 p.m. Oct. 17. $28.50. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.


Dionne Farris

Grammy nominated vocalist Farris, whose 1994 solo debut “Wild Seed, Wild Flower” included the terrific Grammy-nominated “I Know,” will bring Villa Christina’s Summer Jazz Series to a close in the rose gardens. Bring blankets for seating at this outdoor venue.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Oct. 18.  Music begins at 5 p.m. Free. Villa Christina, 4000 Summit Blvd., Atlanta. 678-686-4272.


Colbie Caillat

The appropriately titled “Bubbly,” the first single from her debut album “Coco,” was even more unavoidable than Paris Hilton in the summer of 2007. Her new album, “Breakthrough,” debuted at No. 1 in early September, but hasn’t had much staying power. The single “Fallin’ for You” settled briefly just outside the Top 10, but hasn’t exactly set the airwaves alight.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 19. $30. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354.


Austin Lounge Lizards

For more than a quarter century, this witty Texas bunch has been taking satirical aim at topics ranging from poets to potables to politics in songs such as “Leonard Cohen’s Day Job, “ “We Always Fight When We Drink Gin” and “Why Couldn’t We Blow Up Saddam?” And it’s all done over superbly played country, folk and bluegrass tunes.

8 p.m. Oct. 21. $17-$20. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

The Tragically Hip

Big in Canada and pockets of the upper reaches of the United States, but don’t hold that against ‘em. Hipper than Rush, less gimmicky than Crash Test Dummies, these brainy rockers are capable of witty wordplay and even a memorable hook or two.

8 p.m. Oct. 21. $25-$27.50. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Supercluster. Photo: Team Clermont

Supercluster. Photo: Team Clermont



This Athens supergroup was brought together by Pylon’s Vanessa Briscoe Hay and Hannah Jones of the New Sound of Numbers. Their debut album, “Waves,” contains the final work of Pylon guitarist Randy Bewlay, who died in February. Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox stepped in to help finish up the record, a cello-and-violin drenched meld of  Athenian psychedelia, a touch of early Talking Heads and Hay’s unmistakable vocals. With Casper & the Cookies and DQE.

8:30 p.m. Oct. 22. $8. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. 404-522-3950, 1-800-594-8499.


R. Kelly

No amount of scandal can tarnish Kelly’s ability to fascinate the music-buying masses. His upcoming album is one of the year’s most anticipated releases—tentative release date is Dec. 1 — and the single “Religious” made its Web debut earlier this week (it’s on YouTube).

7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-23. $47-$77. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

3 comments Add your comment

[...] coming up this weekend. If you’re looking for live music picks, check out this list from our Atlanta Music Scene blog. — Jamie [...]

Can I get a...

October 15th, 2009
3:56 pm

R. Kelly peed on me.


October 15th, 2009
5:41 pm

Supercluster will be fun!