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Live music picks: March 25-31

Former Marietta resident and Wheeler High School graduate Ron Pope returns to town for a show at Vinyl on March 31. Photo: Big Hassle Media

Former Marietta resident and Wheeler High School graduate Ron Pope returns to town for a show at Vinyl on March 31. Photo: Big Hassle Media

TODAY
Five Eight

It’s finally here. This show is a celebration of the Athens/Atlanta band’s long-awaited new album, “Your God Is Dead to Me Now.” It’s been almost seven years since the band’s self-titled album (which we deemed “one of its best albums and perhaps the most consistent and satisfying rock record of the year” upon its release in 2004). For more than 20 years, Five Eight has rocked the socks off of audiences in Georgia and around the country, crafted some very fine albums and made fans of many far more famous musicians. This is the band’s first recording since the return of drummer Patrick “Tigger” Ferguson to the fold.
8 p.m. March 25. $12; $10 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

TODAY
Norma Jean

You might be forgiven for not knowing about this successful, hard-rocking Atlanta export because they’ve spent so much time on the road. Since about 2001, when the guys traded in the confusion-making name Luti-Kriss for Norma Jean, they’ve been a touring machine. The band began in Douglasville in 1997, put together by high school friends. After releasing four albums on Solid State, Norma Jean moved to Razor & Tie with last summer’s “Meridional,” bringing the band some of the best reviews of its career.
7 p.m. $15. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

TODAY
The Flatlanders

Back in 2002, Texas singer-songwriters Joe Ely , Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock reunited as the Flatlanders after 30 years of acclaimed solo work for all three. The band’s original incarnation lasted just a few years and the material the three musicians recorded then was only released as an eight-track tape, assuring its obscurity. Most of the songs were finally released in 1990 (under the title “More a Legend Than a Band”). The trio’s latest album is 2009’s “Hills and Valleys.” A co-production with Eddie’s Attic.
7:30 p.m. $30. Presser Hall, Gaines Chapel, Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Ave., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

TODAY
Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses

This Texas troubadour has the kind of voice — and songwriting chops — that should take years of hard living to achieve. He isn’t yet 30, but years on the rodeo circuit helped put some of those miles on Bingham. His music vibrates with the hard, brittle heat of the west Texas border country. He provided two songs for the film “Crazy Heart,” and one of them, “The Weary Kind,” won a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
9 p.m. $20. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

TODAY
Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group

The prime musical force behind Grammy-winning rock experimentalists the Mars Volta is one of contemporary music’s most prolific performers. Mars Volta crafts a strange and adventurous blend of musical mayhem that’s like catnip for metal-loving eggheads, but Rodriguez Lopez really lets his freak flag fly on his solo work, delving deeper into the progressive rock and jazz influences that inform his day job.
8:30 p.m. $20. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Janet Jackson brings her all-hits "Number Ones, Up Close and Personal" tour to the Fox Theatre March 29. Photo: Sang Tan / Assocaited Press

Janet Jackson brings her all-hits "Number Ones, Up Close and Personal" tour to the Fox Theatre March 29. Photo: Sang Tan / Assocaited Press

TUESDAY
Janet Jackson

You might say she’s ceded the pop charts to lesser talents with better producers. Sales numbers aside, each of her albums contains a few gems. They’re just not catching fire at radio anymore. That’s OK, because she’ll always have “Control.” That 1986 career peak debuted at No. 1, spawned five Top 5 singles and remains a sure-fire party-starter.
7:30 p.m. $65-$250. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

THURSDAY
Ron Pope

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Pope is building a sizable audience through extensive touring and online word-of-mouth. Just listen to the way he wraps his soulful voice around the beautiful “A Drop in the Ocean” on his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/ronpopemusic) and you’ll understand why so many fans are smitten with Pope. He’s on tour now to promote his new album, “Whatever It Takes.” And though he’s based in New York, he spent many formative years around here and still has connections to the area. “I grew up in Marietta. I went to East Cobb Middle School and then Wheeler High School, graduated in 2001,” he says via e-mail. “I actually met my girlfriend Blair Clark at East Cobb (though we didn’t start dating until we met again in New York years later). She’s also Class of 2001. My parents moved away, but my whole Clark family is still there, so when I visit, that’s where I stay.”
8:30 p.m. $12; $10 in advance. Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

One comment Add your comment

Ben

March 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

I’ll be getting my sweaty, booze soaked rock fix tonight with J Roddy Walston and The Business.

$250 FOR JANET JACKSON?? I mean, I can get down with some “Black Cat” as much as the next guy but come one, what year is it??