Yo La Tengo
These indie pop darlings have had music critics scouring their thesauruses for superlatives since 1986’s debut album, “Ride the Tiger.” The New Jersey-spawned, Velvet Underground-inspired trio continues to release acclaimed albums, including 2009’s “Popular Songs,” their 12th and most recent.
8:30 p.m. Jan. 28. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Jolie Holland, Kyp Malone
From her stunning 2004 album, “Escondida” (which landed on many year-end Top 10 lists), to 2008’s “The Living and the Dead,” Holland gave us a string of three stellar releases. The stripped-down sound is a haunted twist on rootsy Americana piped in from some hallucinogenic dream world where Billie Holiday jams with the Carter Family as Nick Cave hovers nearby. She’s joined by Anti-Records label mate Malone. The TV on the Radio guitarist’s side project, Rain Machine, released its self-titled debut album in 2009.
8 p.m. Jan. 29. $15. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
In the first song on her self-titled 2003 album, Liz Phair dubbed herself an “average everyday sane psycho supergoddess.” Too many of the tracks emphasized the average part, as they did on the 2005 follow-up. She returned in 2010 with “Funstyle.” Initially a digital release (and, at first, a free download), it’s unlike anything else in her catalog and includes the M.I.A.-like (and, perhaps, M.I.A.-bashing) “Bollywood” and several songs that sound like extended jokes. Phair soon offered her own take on the album with a statement on her official website: “You were never supposed to hear these songs. These songs lost me my management, my record deal and a lot of nights of sleep. … Love them, or hate them, but don’t mistake them for anything other than an entirely personal, untethered-from-the-machine, free-for-all view of the world, refracted through my own crazy lens.”
8:30 p.m. Jan. 29. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Knight has a gritty edge, with his road-tattered tales of love and life gone wrong. Just his song titles are enough to evoke the life of a traveling musician — “Homesick Gypsy, “ Miles to Memphis,” “Almost There” — and those are just the ones from his latest album of new material, “Heart of Stone.” His most recent release, though, is “Trailer II,” a companion piece to 2007’s “The Trailer Tapes.” Both albums are drawn from rustic demo sessions recorded in a trailer in Knight’s hometown, Slaughters, Ky., back in 1996.
8 p.m. Jan. 29. $18; $15 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.
Georgia’s own Tritt emerged in 1989 with an updated take on outlaw country that gave it a Southern rock edge. Along the way, he’s scored nearly 20 Top 10 country hits, a couple of Grammys and several Country Music Association awards.
8 p.m. Jan. 29. $50-$75. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.
A beloved fixture on the local blues scene, Daniel “Mudcat” Dudeck has been entertaining Atlantans since the tail end of the ’80s. Mudcat makes the blues fun without dumbing down the sound. It’s like a juke joint party where you might accidentally learn something cool, but you’re sure to have a good time. He’s celebrating the release of a fine new CD called “Hot Stuff” at his home away from home, Northside Tavern.
10 p.m. Jan. 29. $10. Northside Tavern, 1058 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-874-8745.
Some of the best contemporary metal is being made by Georgia bands. To the list that includes Atlanta’s Mastodon and Savannah’s Baroness, add Savannah quintet Kylesa. “Spiral Shadow,” Kylesa’s fifth album, was released in October to widespread acclaim.
PopMatters, for example, praises the band’s “newfound mastery of dynamics. It’s not a full-on blast of dense metal anymore; instead, the music breathes, the melodies are a lot stronger, and the songs are concise, never lingering longer than they have to.”
8:30 p.m. Jan. 31. $12. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
More than 25 years into their career, these California punks still combine funny and ferocious (and poop jokes and politics) as if they belong together. The band’s lineup has remained the same for nearly 20 years, led by frontman Fat Mike.
7 p.m. Feb. 1. $25. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.
California Guitar Trio
None of them is a California native, but they convened in Los Angeles after meeting at one of Robert Fripp’s guitar seminars in England in 1987. Belgian Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya of Japan and Utah-based Paul Richards were also part of Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists.
8 p.m. Feb. 3. $20. Five Spot, 1123 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-223-1100.