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Live music picks: Jan. 14-18

Atlanta trio the Head will debut the new "Stockwood EP" at Vinyl Jan. 15. Photo: Peter Doyle / Storyboard Life Photography

Atlanta trio the Head will debut the new "Stockwood EP" at Vinyl Jan. 15. Photo: Peter Doyle / Storyboard Life Photography

TODAY
Lauryn Hill

It’s been 12 years since the former Fugee made her solo debut with “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” It debuted at No. 1, sold more than 8 million copies and won five Grammys, including album of the year. And it’s still her only studio album. In the years since, there has been a live album, a short-lived Fugees reunion and sporadic and occasionally odd appearances, but 2010 saw an uptick in activity and reports that she was recording again. You never know what to expect when she takes the stage, but reports from recent shows indicate that the arrangements of familiar songs have changed dramatically — and that she might take her time getting to the stage. Her Jan. 3 show at the Blue Note in New York was advertised as starting at 8 p.m. According to the Village Voice review, she took the stage just a few minutes before midnight.
9 p.m. Jan. 14. Sold out. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W. 404-885-1365.

TODAY
Little Feat

The laid-back yet funky California group Little Feat still conjures magic from a mix of musical genres, from New Orleans boogie-woogie to bluegrass-tinged country, and a back catalog rich in the songs of the late, great Lowell George. “Dixie Chicken” and “Willin’” are timeless classics that still thrill more than 35 years after they first appeared. With the Roy Jay Band.
8:30 p.m. Jan. 14. $30. $30. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
The Head

The term pop-rock gets a bad rap, probably because so much of the music it’s been used to describe is lifeless, dull and unimaginative. Atlanta trio the Head is here to change that. These three young men (all college freshmen) take a bit of power pop, some ’70s AM Gold and singer-songwriter smarts and drag them into the new century with a brand new, shiny coat of paint. This gig is a pre-release party for a new three-song disc, the “Stockwood EP,” an advance taster for the band’s upcoming second full-length album. The memorable music chimes, sparkling like the best AM radio hits from the bell bottom decade, but the threesome injects a youthful energy that keeps it fresh and modern. They manage the same kind of alchemy that Fountains of Wayne accomplished back in 2003 with “Welcome Interstate Managers” and the surprise hit “Stacy’s Mom.” If you have a soft spot for early Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Ben Folds or the Raspberries, check these guys out. A copy of the “Stockwood EP” is included in the price of admission. With the Young Orchids, David Roland & the Last Transmission.
9 p.m. Jan. 15. $10; $8 in advance. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W. 404-885-1365.

SUNDAY
Against Me

Against Me’s “Thrash Unreal” was one of the catchiest tales of a descent into drug addiction ever crafted, and the rest of the band’s “New Wave” album was pretty amazing, too. The Gainesville, Fla., group followed that outstanding 2007 major label debut with “White Crosses,” released last summer. With Cheap Girls, Fences.
7 p.m. Jan. 16. $13 in advance. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY
Cake

This California band has been a local favorite since releasing its debut album, “Motorcade of Generosity” on Georgia-based Capricorn Records back in 1994. It was the follow-up, “Fashion Nugget,” that brought the band to a much wider audience with the modern rock radio hit “The Distance.” The quintet has maintained a large and loyal following, which is why this three-night stand is sold out.
8 p.m. Jan. 17-19. Sold out. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W. 404-885-1365.

TUESDAY
Reel Big Fish

These third-wave ska survivors have been around since the early ’90s, starting their recording career with a successful independent debut in 1995. They soon signed with Mojo Records, which would eventually land under the Jive Records umbrella, effectively making them labelmates with the Backstreet Boys. Since 2006, the band has been releasing music on its own label, including a collection of re-recorded versions of their own music called “A Best of Us for the Rest of Us,” since Jive holds the rights to their earlier work.
6 p.m. Jan. 18. $20. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

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