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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Live music picks: May 20-25

Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra headlines a homecoming gig before heading west on a U.S. tour. The guys are supporting their brand new album, "Simple Math," which hit stores May 10. Photo: Ryan Russell

Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra headlines a homecoming gig before heading west on a U.S. tour. The guys are supporting their brand new album, "Simple Math," which hit stores May 10. Photo: Ryan Russell

FRIDAY
Of Montreal

The band’s driving force (and at one-time sole member), Kevin Barnes, keeps getting better, making psychedelically adventurous indie pop that is catchier and more cohesive with every passing year. The band’s most recent album, 2010’s “False Priest” really cranks up Barnes’ Prince infatuation, and that’s a very good thing. Solange Knowles and Janelle Monáe make guest appearances on the album.
8 p.m. May 20. $23. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

FRIDAY
Mogwai

It’s been almost 14 years since this Scottish outfit released “Mogwai Young Team,” one of those albums that inspires rabid devotion among the faithful while remaining largely unknown in the mainstream. It’s an instrumental tour de force that roars like a beast one moment and coos with soft melodicism the next. That album was reissued in 2008 in a remastered two-disc version, but Mogwai’s latest is “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will.” It’s the group’s seventh album and though the band may never enjoy the kind of stellar reviews inspired by that debut album, Mogwai still inspires devotion. Rob Sheffield’s review of the album in Spin magazine concludes with these words: “still inventive, still challenging themselves and still insanely loud.”
9 p.m. May 20. $25; $22.50 in advance. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Georgia native Billy Currington joins Kenny Chesney at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood Friday night, May 20. Photo: Kate Powers

Georgia native Billy Currington joins Kenny Chesney at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood Friday night, May 20. Photo: Kate Powers

FRIDAY
Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington

Chesney reigned as entertainer of the year for both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music for four years of the first decade of this century. Even without the title, he’s still one of country’s most reliable hit-makers. The first three singles from his latest album, 2010’s “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” went to No. 1. The most recent, “Live a Little,” was his 20th chart-topper. And the man knows how to show concertgoers a good time. Currington was born in Savannah and raised in nearby Rincon. He doesn’t have a track record as impressive as Chesney’s, but he’s well on his way. He’s hit the top spot on the country singles chart six times, most recently with the first two singles from his 2010 album, “Enjoy Yourself” (“Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer” and “Let Me Down Easy”). On a less musical note, Currington was named one of Nashville’s 25 most beautiful people by Nashville Lifestyles magazine and graced the cover of Playgirl back in 2006.
7 p.m. May 20. $35.50-$75. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 404-443-5090.

SATURDAY
Paul Simon

He’s one of our greatest songwriters, with stellar gems such as “The Boxer” and “America” on his résumé, but he could hardly be called prolific. Since his 1970 break with Art Garfunkel, Simon has released just 10 studio albums of new material, and one of those was a recording of songs from his failed Broadway musical “The Capeman.” Even more surprising, his new album, “So Beautiful or So What,” is his highest debut ever, coming in at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart.
8 p.m. May 21. $45-$85. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-233-2227.

The Airborne Toxic Event takes the stage at Variety Playhouse, Tuesday, May 24. Photo: Autumn de Wilde

The Airborne Toxic Event takes the stage at Variety Playhouse, Tuesday, May 24. Photo: Autumn de Wilde

TUESDAY
The Airborne Toxic Event

This California quintet seems destined for the big time. The band’s self-titled 2009 debut was a critical favorite, with the Boston Herald calling it the debut of the year. Since then, the group has signed with major label Island Def Jam and moved into larger halls with this tour in support of its new album “All At Once.” But it’s the music that really tells the tale. The Airborne Toxic Event crafts big, passionate and anthemic rock that yearns for an arena setting. For now, thrill as it blankets the Variety Playhouse, but don’t be surprised when the venue is bigger next time around.
8 p.m. May 24. $17.50; $15 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

WEDNESDAY
Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra may not be a household name, even in Atlanta households, but these local guys have been building a sizable international fan base, and the size of the venues they play keeps growing, too. Head to www.themanchesterorchestra.com and hear the new album “Simple Math” or check out the band’s rocking performance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” last week, where it performed the new track “Virgin” with an assist from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. With Cage The Elephant, O’Brother.
7:30 p.m. May 25. $24; $21 in advance. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

3 comments Add your comment

Gary B.

May 20th, 2011
5:07 am

Surprised you did not pick “Incognito featuring Maysa” at the Cobb Energy Center for Wed, May 25th. This is sure to be one of the hottest Jazz/Funk/Soul shows of the Summer !

Shane Harrison

May 20th, 2011
4:40 pm

Gary, You’re right. That should be a great show. It was in my 10 Days Out picks in today’s Go Guide (which doesn’t make it online), so I forgot to include it here, too. And that show gets extra points for being a benefit for Jazz 91.9 WCLK.

JR

May 22nd, 2011
1:59 pm

looking for a paul simon review in the AJC but didn’t find one. sadly, the show was a pimping exercise for his new album. sounds of silence was the only s& g song that he did.he did do most of his post breakup hits. even did the beatles ‘here comes the sun’. one has to wonder why. one also has to wonder why i paid $100 for a ticket so that he could self promote.