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Live music picks: Aug. 5-11

Philadelphia's Kurt Vile comes to the EARL in support of his new album, "Smoke Ring For My Halo." Photo: Shawn Brackbill

Philadelphia's Kurt Vile comes to the EARL in support of his new album, "Smoke Ring For My Halo." Photo: Shawn Brackbill

TODAY
Kurt Vile

Philadelphia native Kurt Vile’s music grafts together some strange musical branches. Bits of Velvet Underground drone merge with the acoustic folk side of Neil Young. The melodic heartland rock of Tom Petty is filtered through the off-kilter song craft of Robyn Hitchcock. It’s a spot-the-influence game that you could play all day, but Vile melds these pieces into a distinctive musical strain of his own. It comes together beautifully on his latest album, “Smoke Ring For My Halo.”
8 p.m. Aug. 5. $12. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

SATURDAY
Gillian Welch

Welch — along with guitarist and musical foil David Rawlings — is an American treasure, a singer and songwriter whose amazing grace and subtle power outshine many better-known folk, country and Americana practitioners. Her songs are old souls that exude a bright-eyed relevance to the modern world. Welch’s “The Harrow & The Harvest,” which came eight years after its predecessor “Soul Journey,” was released June 28.
8:30 p.m. Aug. 6. $32.50; $30 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Keri Hilson performs at Mason Murer Gallery

Decatur native Keri Hilson joins Lil Wayne for a show at Philips Arena Aug. 6. Photo: Raymond Hagans, Special

SATURDAY
Lil Wayne, Keri Hilson

One of hip-hop’s more inventive practitioners brings along a supporting cast that includes Atlanta singer and songwriter Keri Hilson (at right). It’s been just a few months since his last appearance here (in April), and at that time, his next album, “Tha Carter IV,” was scheduled for release in May. We’re still waiting, but the new date is Aug. 29. Two tracks from that new album, “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “How to Love,” are already Top 10 hits. Rick Ross, Far East Movement and Lloyd are also on the bill.
7 p.m. Aug. 6. $29.75-$99.75. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 404-443-5090.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY
Steely Dan

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker added class and sophistication to the pop charts in the ’70s when it was so desperately needed. By couching them in memorable melodies, they smuggled their scathingly witty lyrics onto pop charts more accustomed to brainless banalities. They were finally recognized by the Grammy voters in 2001, taking home three trophies, including one for album of the year. Better late than never. The Aug. 6 show is produced by the Classic Chastain series, the Aug. 7 date is part of  Live Nation’s Chastain Series.
8 p.m. Aug. 6-7. $35.50-$99. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949.

THURSDAY
Death Cab for Cutie

This Seattle quartet graduated to the majors in 2005, releasing the soon-to-be platinum “Plans” on Atlantic. The band’s third major label release, “Codes and Keys,” hit stores this year. It’s a bit of a departure from the lush guitarscapes of its predecessors, but the keyboards and electronics enrich rather than intrude. The memorable tunes remains and even as it adds new colors to the bad’s palette, it still sounds like Death Cab for Cutie. With Frightened Rabbit.
8 p.m. Aug. 11. $32-$38. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.

THURSDAY
Sandra McCracken, Derek Webb

Where so much of contemporary Christian music seems to be a pale imitation of mainstream pop, Derek Webb is an adventurous musician who happens to create music with Christian themes (and sometimes, without Christian themes). McCracken, Webb’s wife, is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, too, with five albums of her own. The pair is celebrating the release of their new collaborative release “TN EP.”
8 p.m. Aug. 11. $25; $20 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

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Da Mick

August 3rd, 2011
6:03 pm

It’s Back! And it’s going to be better than ever. Our 2nd annual Psychedelic 60’s party featuring The Rockingbirds is right around the corner. Come on and party with us to your favorite music of the 60s and 70s. You’ll love everything from the Jefferson Airplane to Joplin to Cream. Last year’s party was a blast and this year should be even better. Come out dressed in your favorite 60s or 70s garb. Yeah, I know you all still have them hidden away in the closet – so this is a perfect time to drag them out and wear them again. A perfect opportunity to justify why you haven’t thrown them out years ago. Don’t miss it. Remember the date: Saturday August 6th, 9 PM!
Dillon’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
850 Dogwood Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
770-978-4308

CHUCK UGA

August 3rd, 2011
11:15 pm

Friday Night Free Concert in Norcros’ Thrasher Park:

Departure, The Journey Tribute Band from right here in Atlanta! FREE! Check this out from Facebook:

After just 4 years, Departure has become the most respected Journey tribute band in the nation. Departure replicates the look, sound, and feel of the original 80’s rock super group. The five band members are all from the original line up and have been together from the very beginning. These veteran musicians pride themselves on giving their audience an incredible high-energy stage show from start to finish. Featured lead vocalist, Brian Williams, has an amazing singing voice flawlessly matching Steve Perry’s vocal range and on-stage movements exactly. Departure plays all the songs that everyone knows and loves and can perform for over 2 ½ hours straight to give the audience the true concert experience. Performing hundreds of shows nationally, Departure brings the very best of Journey to audiences of all ages.

[...] 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 [...]