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Live music picks: Oct. 21-27

Swedish electronic pop outfit Little Dragon - from left, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Wallin, Yukimi Nagano and Håkan Wirenstrand - plays the Masquerade Friday, Oct. 21. Photo courtesy Life and Death PR

Swedish electronic pop outfit Little Dragon - from left, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Wallin, Yukimi Nagano and Håkan Wirenstrand - plays the Masquerade Friday, Oct. 21. Photo courtesy Life and Death PR

TODAY
Little Dragon

Swedes. When it comes to great pop music, what can’t they do? Little Dragon add a new wrinkle to the history of Swedish pop with a soulful yet melancholy take on synth-pop, underpinned by newfangled, new-millennial beats. The real star of the show is the warm coo of vocalist Yukimi Nagano, which shines even brighter on the band’s third and latest album, “Ritual Union.”
8 p.m. Oct. 21. $16. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 577-8178.

TODAY
Bret Michaels

You know, Tommy Lee wasn’t Pamela Anderson’s only co-star in an illicit video. Former Poison vocalist Michaels displayed his, um, talents opposite Anderson, too, after spending much of the ’80s filling the airwaves with power balladry such as “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and silliness like “Unskinny Bop.” He’s probably better known these days for junking up MTV with three seasons of the dubious charms of “Rock of Love,” in which misguided young ladies vied for those aforementioned talents, and for winning season three of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
9:30 p.m. Oct. 21. $25-$100. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678- 473-1000.

Providence, R.I., band Deer Tick headlines the Variety Playhouse Friday, Oct. 1. Photo: Scott Alario

Providence, R.I., band Deer Tick headlines the Variety Playhouse Friday, Oct. 1. Photo: Scott Alario

TODAY
Deer Tick

If the Black Keys were infatuated with country and folk instead of the blues, you might expect something like Deer Tick. This doesn’t mean the two bands sound anything alike, but they do share a shiver-inducing intensity and a willingness to just let it rip. The Rhode Island band’s new album, “Divine Providence,” is an amazingly varied thing, though, from the bouncy ’60s pop stylings of “Walkin’ Out the Door” to the shout-along punk of “Let’s All Go to the Bar” (which sounds a bit like a speedier take on the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner”). Frontman John McCauley purrs like a snide little kitten when his voice first appears on “The Bump,” but before we get to the chorus, he’s growling like a caged, angry tiger.
9 p.m. Oct. 21. $15. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

SATURDAY
Rocktoberfest

Come on feel the noise at this mini-rock fest at the North Atlanta Trade Center. The headliners make for an odd pairing, ’80s pop metal act Quiet Riot and Everclear frontman and ’90s alt-rocker Art Alexakis don’t really seem to have much in common, but a gig’s a gig when the record sales dry up. Those two acts are just a small part of a day-long show that includes Holdcell, Legion X and many more.
Noon Oct. 22. $20. North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross. 770- 279-9899.

SATURDAY
Minus the Bear

With surprising twists and deft instrumental touches, this Seattle quintet makes nimble, jazz-tinged and electro-dance-informed indie rock that’s never wimpy. It’s perfect for late-night sessions with the headphones. The band’s current tour is a 10th anniversary celebration and includes a complete performance of the 2002 debut full-length, “Highly Refined Pirates,” an album that begins with the festively titled “Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco® Twister”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. $20. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

SATURDAY
Sugarland

Atlanta-bred superstar country duo returns to town after a triumphant tour marred by a tragic incident at the Indiana State Fair, where a stage collapsed in a storm just before the band was set to take the stage. Seven people were killed and dozens injured in the August collapse. Sugarland’s tour was originally set to conclude with this Philips Arena show, but they’ll be headed back to Indiana next weekend to do a free show at the Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. $35-$100. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-878-3000.

SATURDAY
Yacht Rock Revue plays “Thriller” and “Purple Rain”

Beloved Atlanta cover band Yacht Rock Revue usually does that mellow soft-rock that dominated AM radio and had a big presence in the Top 40 during that decade. It might be easy to sneer at some of those songs, but it’s hard to forget them. This time around, they’re taking on a couple of bona fide classics.
8:30 p.m. Oct. 22. $20; $15 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Beirut, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon, performs at Variety Playhouse Thursday, Oct. 27. Photo: Kristianna Smith

Beirut, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon, performs at Variety Playhouse Thursday, Oct. 27. Photo: Kristianna Smith

THURSDAY
Beirut

When we first heard from Beirut, it was basically Zach Condon’s one-man band. He debuted with the fascinating “Gulag Orkester,” a 2007 album which offered clues about what Sufjan Stevens would sound like if he had taken on Eastern European states rather than a couple of American ones. Since then, Condon’s music has taken inspiration from the sounds of France, the Mexican state of Oaxaca and, in his Realpeople guise, electronic music. Despite all the musical globe- and genre-trotting, there’s always been plenty of American melancholy (and an obvious debt to Neutral Milk Hotel) in his music. But on Beirut’s latest, “The Rip Tide,” Condon and his bandmates have assimilated all of that into a distinctive sound that’s been applied to a batch of his most memorable tunes.
8:30 p.m. Oct. 27. $25. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

5 comments Add your comment

Nicola Jett

October 20th, 2011
2:56 pm

Leea Royal

October 20th, 2011
2:58 pm

Little Dragon is one of my favorite bands! Can’t believe the are here in Atlanta, I would love to see the show live. Yukimi Nagano is beautiful and talented singer.

Elmer

October 20th, 2011
4:09 pm

Alright!!!!!!

Jenn

October 20th, 2011
4:11 pm

God and the Devil will be in town from Austin at the Five Spot in L5P Friday night!!

wordgirl

October 20th, 2011
4:45 pm

tweeted yesterday how much i wanted free tix to little dragon tomorrow night; glad to see you’re offering a shot here! CONSTANT SURPRISES and FEATHER are popular on my spotify.