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Live music picks: Nov. 12-18

Broadway beauty and vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel perrforms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Friday.

Broadway beauty and vocal powerhouse Idina Menzel perrforms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Friday.

FRIDAY
Idina Menzel

One of Broadway’s brightest stars, Menzel was part of the original cast of “Rent” and won a Tony Award for her performance in “Wicked.” She reached a wider audience with a multi-episode guest spot on “Glee,” playing the leader of a rival vocal group (and, spoiler alert for those a season behind, Rachel’s birth mother). She’ll bring her powerful voice to Symphony Hall for a performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
8 p.m. Nov. 12. $33.50-$88.50. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000, www.atlantasymphony.org.

FRIDAY
Wolf Parade

Frog Eyes, Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown are all on Wolf Parade keyboardist and vocalist Spencer Krug’s résumé. Krug and fellow songwriter Dan Boeckner are still stretching the boundaries of pop music, but there’s always a memorable turn of phrase or a ear-tweaking melody lurking around the next corner.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 12. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.

FRIDAY
Maura O’Connell

This lush-voiced Irish singer has been a Nashville resident for nearly two decades now. The influence of country’s capital (and the Appalachian traditions that fed it) is apparent in her music, not least through the work of frequent producer and collaborator Jerry Douglas, a dobro master who is one of Music City’s most respected instrumentalists.
8 p.m. Nov. 12. $25. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976, www.eddiesattic.com.

FRIDAY
Swimming Pool Q’s, Magnapop, Ray Dafrico and the Shanghai Gesture

The resurrected 688 welcomes back a bunch of musicians who played at the club during its original incarnation. The Q’s were one of Atlanta’s most beloved bands during 688’s six-year run from 1980-86. Magnapop wasn’t around back then, but vocalist Linda Hopper was part of Athens band Oh O.K. When Oh O.K.’s “The Complete Recordings” was released in 2002, it included four songs recorded live at the 688 in 1983. Ray Dafrico played guitar in the Nightporters, one of the Atlanta underground’s best bands of the ’80s. Dafrico went on to Kathleen Turner Overdrive and Kickstand and now leads Shanghai Gesture.
9 p.m. Nov. 12. $10. 688 Club, 714 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-870-0040, www.688club.com.

SATURDAY
Styx

The rockers (guitarists Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young) vs. melodic showman (Dennis DeYoung, no longer with the band) dynamic that made Styx special also fueled a couple of decades full of tension. It made for a very entertaining, train-wreck-like episode of “Behind the Music, “ though. The band’s current tour revisits two of the band’s best-loved albums, 1977’s “The Grand Illusion” and 1978’s “Pieces of Eight.”
7:30 p.m. Nov. 13. $34.50-$74.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800, www.cobbenergycentre.com.

Peabo Bryson joins Jeffrey Osborne and Freddie Jackson for a night with the Men of Soul at the Fox Theatre Saturday. Photo: Elissa Eubanks / eeubanks@ajc.com

Peabo Bryson joins Jeffrey Osborne and Freddie Jackson for a night with the Men of Soul at the Fox Theatre Saturday. Photo: Elissa Eubanks / eeubanks@ajc.com

SATURDAY
Men of Soul: Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson and Freddie Jackson

Osborne was in L.T.D. (“[Every Time I Turn Around] Back in Love Again”) through most of the ’70s, but left for a solo career in 1980. Between 1982 and 1987, he had eight Top 40 hits of his own. Greenville, S.C., native Bryson has been an Atlanta resident for many years. Though he’s only released one album in this decade, 2007’s “Missing You,” his softly sensual R&B will always be a popular concert draw. Jackson emerged a little later than Bryson and Osborne, signing with Capitol Records in the mid-’80s and scoring two No. 1 R&B hits right off the bat with “Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake)” and “You Are My Lady.” His second album, “Just Like the First Time,” doubled that, landing four singles at the top of the chart.
7 p.m. Nov. 13. $42.75-$72.75. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org.

SATURDAY
Dresden Dolls

The theatrically inclined Boston-based piano and drums duo of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione makes strange and wonderful music. It answers this heretofore unasked question: What if Kurt Weill were reincarnated as a ‘70s glam rocker? It’s German cabaret filtered through goth-tinged alternative pop-rock.
8 p.m. Nov. 13. $23.50 in advance. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825, www.thebuckheadtheatre.com.

WEDNESDAY
Autumn Defense

A side project from Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, the Autumn Defense makes warm, jazz-tinged music for indie-pop lovers who aren’t ashamed to admit that they have a soft spot for Cat Stevens or America. The duo’s fourth and latest album, “Once Around,” was released last week. With Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.
8 p.m. Nov. 17. $15. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976, www.eddiesattic.com.

Grinderman (led by Nick Cave, left) comes to Variety Playhouse Thursday. Photo: Deirdre O Callaghan

Grinderman (led by Nick Cave, left) comes to Variety Playhouse Thursday. Photo: Deirdre O Callaghan

THURSDAY
Grinderman

Age doesn’t seem to have mellowed Nick Cave. The growling, profane din cranked out by Grinderman is more reminiscent of his post-punk days in the Birthday Party than the gothic murder balladry and literary bent of his work with the Bad Seeds. No matter what his guise, Cave is one of the most intense musicmakers of the past several decades.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 18. $40; $35 advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354, www.variety-playhouse.com.

THURSDAY
Roger Waters

After the late Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd parted ways in 1968, the band gradually became a vehicle for Roger Waters to air his dirty mental laundry with trips into paranoia, neurosis and plain old insanity. He’s responsible for the bleak lyrical concerns of “Dark Side of the Moon.”. He also gave us “Animals, “ an album that still gives me the creeps 30 years after it was released (in a good way). This tour commemorates the 30th anniversary of “The Wall,” his epic exploration of a crumbling psyche.
8 p.m. Nov. 18. $59-$203. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000, www.philipsarena.com.

THURSDAY
Gary Allan

Allan is one of mainstream country’s most thoughtful craftsmen, with a string of powerful albums — and hit singles — to his credit. His latest album, “Get Off on the Pain,” hit stores in March. With Randy Houser, Jerrod Niemann.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 18. $25-$50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org.

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