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Live music picks: Feb. 18-24

Keller Williams latest album is called "Kids" and it's aimed at the youngsters. When he comes to town Saturday, he'll do an afternoon show for kids and families, and an evening show for the grown-ups. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

Keller Williams latest album is called "Kids" and it's aimed at the youngsters. When he comes to town Saturday, he'll do an afternoon show for kids and families, and an evening show for the grown-ups. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

TODAY-SATURDAY
Jonathan Richman

It’s likely that more folks saw Richman in 1998 than in all his previous 20-plus years of performing. That was the year he played the roving troubadour and greek chorus in the mega-successful movie “There’s Something About Mary.” Many years earlier, the Modern Lovers, Richman’s Boston-based band of the early 1970s, was one of the prime influences on the punk explosion of 1976-77 on both sides of the Atlantic. The Sex Pistols covered the band’s classic “Roadrunner,” and the Talking Heads hired former Modern Lover Jerry Harrison. Meanwhile, by the time punk happened, Richman was writing childlike, largely acoustic odes such as “Important in Your Life,” “Hey There Little Insect” and “I’m a Little Dinosaur.” He’s still doing it. Richman spends a lot of time on the road, and he thrives on stage. In front of an audience, his simple, sincere songs communicate life’s joys and occasional pains with heart-on-the-sleeve directness.
9 p.m. Feb. 18-19. $12 in advance at Ticket Alternative. Highland Inn Ballroom, 644 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta.

TODAY
Steve Forbert

Once tagged as the next Dylan, this Mississippi-born troubadour is best known for “Romeo’s Tune,” but he has a resume overflowing with great songs. That 1979 hit was his only foray into the mainstream, but he’s maintained a loyal fan base, still enjoys critical favor and is a mesmerizing live performer.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 18. $22.50; $20 in advance. Red Light Cafe, 533 Amsterdam Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-874-7828.

TODAY
Pat Green

The Texas singer-songwriter brings the outlaw country music of the ’70s into the new century, adding a big dose of heartland rock. Green’s latest album, “What I’m For,” was released in 2009. It was his second for Sony-affiliated BNA Records, but that was his last album with the label, since they parted ways less than a year after the album was released. That’s no big deal for an artist such as Green. He was selling out shows and moving plenty of CDs on his own before his major label debut in 2001 with Universal. Major label or not, he’ll probably keep doing just that.
8 p.m. Feb. 18. $25 in advance. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

SATURDAY
Keller Williams

Here’s a puzzler: Why is Jack Johnson a star and Keller Williams isn’t? Johnson is just a blander version of Williams. The Virginia native’s percussive, jammy grooves have been thrilling fans around the Southeast for more than 10 years. And now he’s working on creating fans among the juice box set. His latest release is “Kids,” aimed at the youngsters, and a book, “Because I Said So,” based on one of the songs from the album. That’s why there are two shows this time around. He’ll play for the kids (and their families) in the afternoon and for the grown-ups in the evening.
3:30 p.m. Feb. 19. $15 single ticket; $50 family 4-pack; $30 Superfreek ticket that gets you into both the matinee and evening shows.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 19. $25; $22.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SUNDAY
Francine Reed

Reed is Atlanta’s bold, big-voiced treasure, and you can pretty much count on a good time being had by all as she belts out her repertoire of blues, R&B and jazz. She’ll be accompanied by a trio that includes longtime accompanist, pianist Jez Graham.
5 and 8 p.m. Feb. 20. $20. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

TUESDAY
The Church

This Australian band’s dreamy neo-psychedelic guitar-pop has been around since the dawn of the ’80s. The group peaked in 1988 with the album “Starfish” and the haunting beauty of the band’s lone Top 40 hit, “Under the Milky Way.” This is no nostalgia trip, though, because these guys were still making remarkably vital new music on 2009’s “Untitled #23.” The core of the Church is still the trio of Steve Kilbey, Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes, though drummer Tim Powles has been with them since the mid-’90s.
8 p.m. Feb. 22. $27.50-$30. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

THURSDAY
Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise

Elephant 6 began as a loose collective of musicians divided between Athens and Denver in the ’90s. There was even a record label for a while, but many of the bands moved on to other recording outlets, many to major labels. A gaggle of musicians from the collective — including members of Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Of Montreal and Neutral Milk Hotel — have joined forces for a series of shows, the second Holiday Surprise tour (the first was in 2008). This is the first of more than 25 dates. It’s rare to get all of these musicians together, so it’s no surprise that this show is sold out. There are still tickets available for the final show of the tour, which happens at Athens’ 40 Watt Club April 2.
9 p.m. Feb. 24. $15. Whirlyball, 608 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. 770-998-6161.

2 comments Add your comment

[...] 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 [...]

Brynn

February 22nd, 2011
11:52 am

This may have nothing to do with any of these wonderful artists but I saw it an HAD to share it!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzQkgmeAWRk