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Live music picks: Feb. 4-10

Abe Vigoda takes its name from the actor best known as Detective Fish from 1970's cop comedy "Barney Miller," but the band's recent album "Crush" brings to mind a different decade, the '80s. Photo

California quartet Abe Vigoda takes its name from the actor best known as Detective Fish from 1970's cop comedy "Barney Miller," but the band's recent album "Crush" brings to mind a different decade, the '80s. Photo: Dan Monick

TODAY
Dan Bern

Bern’s a folksy troubadour with a rock ’n’ roll heart and the all-too-rare skill of combining humor and intelligence. Sometimes he rocks with a Tom Petty-like heartland rumble, at others he delivers his topical, astute lyrical musings with quiet acoustic backing. He’s at his best in a live setting, exuding charm, charisma and a touch of mischief. You can hear a bit of that on “Live in Los Angeles,” released last year, and the just-issued “Live in New York.” His latest studio recording is a children’s album called “Two Feet Tall,” which brings out his playful side.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $18; $15 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

TODAY
Guster

Guster is a quirky pop combo from Massachusetts with an acoustic bent and a college-band sensibility. The band has built a large and loyal following through seemingly endless touring and a charismatic live presence.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $ 23.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

Will Downing brings his sophisticated soul to Atlanta Symphony Hall Feb. 4. Photo: Kwaku Alston

Will Downing brings his sophisticated soul to Atlanta Symphony Hall Feb. 4. Photo: Kwaku Alston

TODAY
Will Downing

Nothing like an evening of jazz-inflected soul to keep the winter chill at bay. Downing is no chart superstar, but his audience isn’t a Top 40 kind of crowd. His velvety baritone delivers sweet, soulful and soothing R&B for adults.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $35-$75. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000.

SATURDAY
Robin Trower

Once the guitarist for progressive rockers Procol Harum, Trower left that band to embark on a long solo career that often seems like an extended homage to Jimi Hendrix. But, boy, can Trower play guitar. Just pick up the 2007 remaster of his 1974 classic “Bridge of Sighs” for evidence of his brilliance.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 5. $30; $27.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

TUESDAY
The Civil Wars

The voices of John Paul White and Joy Williams (aka the Civil Wars) create a beautiful friction when they blend and set off sparks when they careen into each other. Just take a listen to “Barton Hollow,” the title track from their just-released studio debut album and you’ll see why both of these shows are sold out. The buzz surrounding these two is becoming a roar.
6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Sold out. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

Wild Nothing, led by Jack Tatum (third from left), will perform at the Drunken Unicorn Feb. 8. Photo: Lucy Johnston

Wild Nothing, led by Jack Tatum (third from left), will perform at the Drunken Unicorn Feb. 8. Photo: Lucy Johnston

TUESDAY
Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda

Virginia’s Jack Tatum began Wild Nothing as a one-man band and the dreamy pop on his 2010 debut album “Gemini” is basically a bedroom concoction. He’s now gathered a band to play it live. The distance from his gauzy, lo-fi cover of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” in 2009 to tracks such as “Gemini’s” Smiths-like “Chinatown” is impressive. The more recent “Golden Haze” EP proves that he’s still growing while remaining enthralled by the music of the ’80s, a decade that was in its waning years when he was born. California quartet Abe Vigoda is the perfect companion for Wild Nothing, evoking the chilly synth-guitar collisions of Psychedelic Furs and early Simple Minds without devolving into slavish imitation. There’s a new millennial edge and urgency to the music on the band’s latest (and catchiest) album, “Crush,” that keeps it rooted in the here and now.
9 p.m. Feb. 8. $10. The Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Ave N.E., Atlanta.

THURSDAY
Broken Social Scene

Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning are the prime movers, but BSS serves as a launching pad for many cool Canadians (including Feist). BSS makes kitchen-sink indie rock that,despite all the cooks, worksin mysterious and melodic ways.
8 p.m. Feb. 10. $26. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

Darius Rucker spent the '90s selling millions with Hootie and the Blowfish. His current country career is proving successful, too, with four No. 1 hits to his credit. Photo: Jim Wright

Darius Rucker spent the '90s selling millions with Hootie and the Blowfish. His current country career is proving successful, too, with four No. 1 hits to his credit. Photo: Jim Wright

THURSDAY
Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker

Paisley is simply the most consistently entertaining mainstream country artist of his generation. The only album he released in 2010 was a live set called “Hits Alive,” but he’s still in the running for entertainer of the year and top male vocalist in the just announced list of nominees for Academy of Country Music awards. He did add two more No. 1 singles to his résumé in 2010 with “Water” and “Anything Like Me,” bringing his total to 16.
Think back to those Hootie and the Blowfish hits of the mid-1990s. They wouldn’t seem at all out of place on current mainstream country radio. Hootie frontman Rucker’s solo career ups the twang factor just to make sure. It’s working. He scored three No. 1 country hits with his 2008 album “Learn to Live” and “Come Back Song,” from 2010’s “Charleston, SC 1966,” gave him a fourth chart topper.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. $29.75-$59.75. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.

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[...] more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so [...]

[...] his topical, astute lyrical musings with quiet acoustic backing. … Originally posted here: Live music picks: Feb. 4-10 – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Posted on February 4th 2011 in [...]