Janis Ian, Tony Arata, Gretchen Peters and Craig Carothers
Her 1967 hit “Society’s Child,” which dealt with an interracial relationship, was so controversial that it brought her hate mail and death threats. The song is now among the inductees into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which recognizes music of historical importance. Ian climbed the pop charts just one more time, with the 1975 No. 3 hit “At Seventeen,” but she’s continued making great music. Ian, who turned 60 this year, still tours regularly and this show finds her in the company of fellow singer-songwriter regulars from Nashville’s Bluebird Café, doing a performance in the round.
8 p.m. Sept. 2. $30. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404- 377-4976.
Bud Light Downtown Touchdown Concert with O.A.R.
This rock quintet, formed at Ohio State University, had already built a major following through word-of-mouth buzz about its well-attended live shows, but they remained a well-kept secret to most of the world. Then came 2008’s “All Sides,” which included “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),” the band’s first Top 40 entry and a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Album Adult Alternative chart.
Music starts at 1 p.m. Sept. 3; O.A.R. at 3:30 p.m. Free. Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. West N.W., Atlanta. 404-222-7275.
Red Bull Soundclash with Ludacris and Neon Trees
Two artists play opposite outdoor stages simultaneously, bringing a clash of styles, sounds and creativity, making for an unusual concert experience. The face-off happening in Atlanta involves our own rap superstar Ludacris going head to head with Utah modern rock quartet Neon Trees.
8 p.m. Sept. 5. $10. West Plaza at the Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd., Atlanta.
Former choirboy Pat Grossi melds synthetic beats, glistening harp and his angelic voice to craft a strangely beautiful hybrid of minimalist R&B, electronic experimentalism and heavenly chorale. His debut album, “You Are All I See,” generates its own hypnotic little world, like you’re swimming through Grossi’s own personal snow globe as the glitter swirls all around.
8:30 p.m. Sept. 5. $10. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
Return To Forever, Zappa Plays Zappa
One of the most beloved jazz fusion acts to emerge during the ’70s, Return to Forever was the brainchild of former Miles Davis sideman Chick Corea. Unlike the group’s 2008 tour, this isn’t the classic lineup that recorded 1975’s Grammy-winning “No Mystery,” since guitarist Al DiMeola isn’t on board. Keyboardist Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White are joined by jazz violin master Jean-Luc Ponty and guitarist Frank Gambale, who played with both Ponty and Corea’s Elektric Band in the ’80s. Dweezil Zappa opens the show, playing the music of his late father Frank Zappa.
8 p.m. Sept. 8. $32-$97. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.
The 66-year-old singer-songwriter’s career began in the late ’60s and he released his debut album in 1970. Songs by this Canadian folkie and perennial critics’ favorite have covered an impressive array of issues — personal, spiritual and environmental — during his 40-year career. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, check out anything he released in the first half of the ’80s. He had a remarkably strong run of albums from 1979’s “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws” through 1984’s “Stealing Fire.”
8 p.m. Sept. 8. $27.50; $25 advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Few bands make music with as much apparent joyousness as Superchunk. During the ’90s, these North Carolinians were indie rock’s poster children, cranking out solid, tuneful and fun music with regularity. In the new millennium, Superchunk has slowed down a bit, but 2010’s “Majesty Shredding” proved that the band is every bit as powerful as it enters a third decade. One of Superchunk’s most enduring legacies is Merge Records, originally founded in 1989 by bassist Laura Ballance and frontman Mac McCaughan to release the band’s music. The label scored its first No. 1 album in 2010 with Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” which was also the Grammy winner for album of the year. Merge has also released classic albums by the Magnetic Fields (“69 Love Songs”), Neutral Milk Hotel (“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”) and Spoon (“Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”).
8 p.m. Sept. 8. $19. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.