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Live music picks, Aug. 27-Sept. 2

<b>The CD release show for Atlanta band Oryx and Crake's fantastic setitled debut album happens at the EARL on Saturday.</b>

The CD release show for Atlanta band Oryx and Crake's fantastic self-titled debut album happens at the EARL on Saturday.

FRIDAY
Train
After losing a couple of Atlanta-connected members (Brandon Bush and Johnny Colt), Train is back down to three original members with its latest album, “Save Me, San Francisco” (the title is a tribute to the band’s hometown). That album has taken them back into the upper reaches of the pop charts with the No. 3 hit “Hey Soul Sister.” Before this year, the band’s most recent Top 40 hit was “Calling All Angels,” which climbed to No. 19 in 2003.
8 p.m. Aug. 27. $19-$49. Chastain Park Amphitheater, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-733-4949.

SATURDAY
Oryx and Crake
This Atlanta band celebrates the release of its self-titled debut album with this gig, and it’s certainly something to celebrate. The album is easily among the best local releases of the year, displaying a remarkably rich and distinctive sound. Matt Jarrard’s cello is one of the band’s defining characteristics, but there’s so much more in the mix. Beautiful harmonies share space with slabs of expressionistic guitar, and banjo and synthesizer both pop up on occasion to lend their distinctive plinks and whooshes. Sure, there are hints of Arcade Fire, Shearwater, Midlake (kindred spirits all) and even the occasional touch of classic rock and soul, but Oryx and Crake sounds like Oryx and Crake. Few bands come out of the box with such a singular, well-developed identity. It’s a marvel. Have a listen at their website.
9 p.m. Aug. 28. $7. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

SATURDAY
Sound Tribe Sector Nine, Big Boi
Formerly Atlanta-based, and now working out of Northern California, STS9 mixes the electronic thump of club music and hip-hop, the experimental explorations of jazz and the elasticity of a jam band. This show brings them together with fellow travelers Disco Biscuits. The show also features special guest Big Boi, of OutKast fame, showcasing some of his recent solo album, “Sir Lucious Left Foot … Son of Chico Dusty.”
5 p.m. Aug. 28. $25-$39.50. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

Jackson County Line celebrates the release of the new album "South." From left: Paul Barrie, Jonny D, Cade Lewis, Tim Anderson, Danielle Sansone, Matt Phillips and Kevin Jackson. Photo: Andy Clement

Jackson County Line celebrates the release of the new album "South." From left: Paul Barrie, Jonny D, Cade Lewis, Tim Anderson, Danielle Sansone, Matt Phillips and Kevin Jackson. Photo: Andy Clement

SATURDAY
Jackson County Line
One of Atlanta’s best-kept secrets, Jackson County Line is a fine Americana act that just keeps getting better. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Kevin Jackson, the band has a brand new album to celebrate. “South” is the follow-up to the self-titled 2007 album. Go to the band’s website to check out some samples from the new album, including “Someone Asked Me,” a sweet, warm blanket of a song that soothes even as Jackson’s honeyed voice asks, “Am I dead?” The site also hosts a gorgeous early version of the title track, a stunning display of the band’s lush vocal harmonies.
7:30 p.m. Aug. 28. $10; $8 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

SATURDAY
Paul Thorn
A former boxer and the son of a Church of God minister, Thorn has slowly built an audience with his scruffy charm and terrific songs that straddle the boundary between country and rock. He can be laugh-out-loud funny one moment and have you weeping in your beer the next. He has a knack for combining the poignant with the ridiculous, which is a pretty rare talent. And he’s a great storyteller, so even when he’s not playing, you’ll be entertained.
8:30 p.m. Aug. 28. $17.50; $15 advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Tegan and Sara open for Paramore at Gwinnett Arena Wednesday. Photo: Warner Bros. Records

Tegan and Sara open for Paramore at Gwinnett Arena Wednesday. Photo: Warner Bros. Records

WEDNESDAY
Paramore, Tegan and Sara
Vocalist Hayley Williams and her band mates rock in the same emo-punk vein as many of their contemporaries — think Fall Out Boy crossed with Kelly Clarkson’s more upbeat moments — but with a clean and melodic magnetism. The Tennessee-based band was a Grammy nominee for best new artist in 2008, but lost to Amy Winehouse. Tegan and Sara, twin sisters from Canada, are building a catalog of some of the most intense and personal music to be tagged with the indie-rock label, the most recent being their sixth album “Sainthood.”
6:30 p.m. Sept. 1. $26-$36. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.

THURSDAY
Toby Keith, Trace Adkins
The two-time Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year makes catchy, unapologetically country music that still appeals to a pop audience. It’s a tough balancing act, but Keith has managed well. He has plenty of talent, and he gives people what they want. Since his 1996 debut album “Dreamin’ Out Loud,” Adkins has been a consistent hit-maker. In March, he scored his fourth No. 1 country single duetting with Blake Shelton on “Hillbilly Bone.”
7:30 p.m. Sept. 2. $19-$69.75. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 404-443-5000.

12 comments Add your comment

Musiclover

August 26th, 2010
6:32 pm

Wow… kinda bland week for the Atlanta music scene. I don’t think you could pay me to see any of these acts except perhaps Toby Keith, and that’s only because he has a couple of pretty touching ballads to his credit.

I hate to be critical, but whoever wrote the bio pieces above seems to have a major crush on these musicians. Do you really need to wax poetic that much about some no-name bands like Oryx and Crake? I mean, reading their description didn’t make me want to listen to their stuff at ALL… banjo? synthesizer? expressionistic guitar? cello? Sorry, you didn’t sell me there. And your bands you referred to in describing them — well, sorry, I’ve never heard of Arcade Fire, Shearwater, or Midlake.

Nice that these cute little local bands are working to cultivate an audience, but it really sounds like their sound is very specialized and won’t ever appeal to a mass audience. And just a personal preference here, but whatever happened to rock ‘n roll? Are there ANY good, hard-grinding rock bands that have the standard two-guitar, bass & drums format with a strong lead vocalist? Anybody who can create some songs with a little pop-metal flavor with some power-chord backbone? Seems like EVERY group you hear about now (or read about in the AJC) is some cutesy, folksy, “eclectic” band that only focus on “lush vocal harmonies” (AJC’s words not mine).

Please, if you are a good rock band that sounds like some early-days REM or U2 or Sammy Hagar or Rush or The Who or Warren Zevon or Black Crowes, please get the word out… many of us rock fans in Atlanta would love to hear about you and see you. Instead, we get acts like Lynam who opened for Cinderella a few weeks back… they were kinda lame. Liked their energy, but no songwriting and musical chops at all.

Real Music Lover

August 26th, 2010
7:24 pm

Musiclover, eh? What a joke. You sound like an idiot who is stuck on all the pop crap the radio is feeding you. Arcade Fire, Midlake, Shearwater & Avett Bros. have got more “touching ballads” that Toby Keith can ever hope to have. Wow I feel sorry for you.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

music lover

August 26th, 2010
10:48 pm

What about Joan Jett and Billy Idol at Chastain on Sunday the 29th?!?!

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Musiclover

August 27th, 2010
4:55 am

Actually, “Real”, I HATE pop stuff… I prefer the more AOR format. I am just saying taht I’ve been SORELY disappointed at every “up and coming” live act I’ve seen around Atlanta in recent years. Nobody has a decent voice anymore, everyone writes songs in minor keys and off harmonies, and few people have mastered their instruments. And every song has to have a “message” about being green or living free or stickin’ it to the man or whatever….

Some of us just want some fun music as an escape… give us some real rock ‘n roll to jam to and enjoy with friends. A concert should be a fun experience where we can sing along, not some situation where we have to adjust to a band and try to figure out how to “get” what they’re doing.

All I’m saying is that many of the classic rock acts that I grew up on during the late 70s and early 80s are still going strong… unfortunately, those kinds of rock groups are few and far between. Today, there are way too many Uncle Krackers and Justin Beibers and Rhiannas and Sugar Rays and Lady Gagas and Sister Hazels.

Let’s hope there is a good up and coming generation of rock ‘n roll bands in the next few years, groups with the talent and musical chops and work ethic and non-pretentiousness to make it big.

Real Music Lover

August 27th, 2010
9:14 am

Fair enough. I totally agree with you. I would encourage you to check out Arcade Fire, Local Natives, Band of Horses, Cold War Kids, Midlake, The Avett Bros., etc. I’m telling you theres some PHENOMINAL music being made out there. You just have to be willing to look for it.

Dave

August 27th, 2010
10:01 pm

Musiclover – you instantly lost all credibility when pointed Toby Keith as your musical touchstone.

As for the other bands you just tore down, one of which played to a stadium full of adoring fans a week ago, they are playing honest, sincere and genuine music – and it doesn’t get more rock n roll than that.

Lou

August 28th, 2010
11:38 pm

The AJC is so lame. Rarely are there any reviews of concerts. Would it be hard to have a review of Tears for Fears or of Train? How bout some pictures from the Train show? It’s Saturday night and to have an article saying Train is coming Friday is absurd.

Um Really?

September 5th, 2010
1:32 pm

Why not post the Rockstar Mayhem that happened last night? Seriously one of the most kick ass events I’ve ever been to.

Oh yeah, it’s “redneck rock” something that the AJC seems to be afraid of.