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Live music picks: Nov. 4-10

Lalah Hathaway plays two shows at the Variety Playhouse Saturday, Nov. 5. Photo: Derek Blanks

Lalah Hathaway plays two shows at the Variety Playhouse Saturday, Nov. 5. Photo: Derek Blanks

Lalah Hathaway

She sang at Usher’s wedding and you know he could have had just about anyone serenade him. But he picked Hathaway, the daughter of late great R&B singer Donny Hathaway. Where many contemporary R&B singers feel the need to over-emote and cram as many notes into each bar as possible, Hathaway just sings with warmth and ease. And that’s more than enough. On her new album, “Where It All Begins,” she reaches back into her father’s catalog for both the cover art and the track “You Were Meant For Me.”
7 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 5. $32.50; $30 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba

Mali’s phenomenal Bassekou Kouyate ventured here last year with Bela Fleck’s Africa Project, but he returns to headline the show this time around. Kouyate plays the ngoni, an ancestor of the banjo. He and his group, Ngoni Ba, make a marvelous chiming sound by blending four ngonis. Check out the ensemble’s latest album, “I Speak Fula.”
8 p.m. Nov. 5. $31-$57. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W., Atlanta.404-413-9849.


On her new album, “Metals,” Feist is stretching the boundaries, restlessly searching for new ways to expand her sound without losing her distinctive musical identity. It consolidates the strides she made on her breakthrough, “The Reminder,” but anywhere her music travels, her cracked and sultry voice holds it all together.
8 p.m. Nov. 6. $31.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl and his band mates make pretty straight-forward rock that works some kind of alchemical magic with the base elements of modern rock. Everything they do comes out better in practice than it seems in theory. The band’s new album, “Wasting Light,” is further proof that you don’t need a gimmick, just solid songwriting and skilled musicianship will do nicely.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 7. $31.50-$51.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.

Todd Rundgren

For those under 30, Rundgren is probably best known  if at all  as the man actress Liv Tyler thought was her father when she was a child. He isn’t, but he’s created some other things that are just as pretty: “I Saw the Light, “ “Hello, It’s Me” and “Can We Still Be Friends,” for starters. After a stint with the New Cars, he’s back doing his own stuff, and that’s a much better use of his time  and ours. This tour revisits his time with the band Utopia. The line-up of Kevin Ellman, Jesse Gress, Moogy Klingman, Ralph Schuckett, John Siegler and Kasim Sulton, reunites most of the first recorded version from the group’s 1974 debut album, “Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.”
8 p.m. Nov. 9. $24. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Indie-rock supergroup Mister Heavenly comes to thye EARL Thursday, Nov. 10. Photo: Jacqueline Di Milia

Indie-rock supergroup Mister Heavenly comes to thye EARL Thursday, Nov. 10. Photo: Jacqueline Di Milia

Mister Heavenly

Nick Thorburn (of Islands/the Unicorns), Ryan Kattner (of Man Man) and Joe Plummer (of Modest Mouse) join forces as Mister Heavenly. The band’s music has been touted as “doom wop,” due to a love of those great ‘50s R&B vocal group tunes. You’ll need a big imagination to hear that in the rumbling tracks from the band’s August-issued “Out of Love.” What they do share with those classic doo-wop sides is a big batch of nagging hooks that stick to the brain.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 10. $15. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404- 522-3950.

Warren Haynes

Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes plays a bold, elastic version of Southern-fried blues-rock, which will never grow stale as long as he’s around to give it a kick every now and then. His latest album, “Man in Motion,” delves into Southern soul and it’s fitting that it’s been released on the revived Stax label, the birthplace of some of the greatest soul music of all time. He assembled a stellar group of sidemen to record the album, including Ivan Neville, the Meters brilliant bassist George Porter Jr. and former Faces keyboardist Ian MacLagan.
8 p.m. Nov. 10. $27.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

Shane Harrison /

6 comments Add your comment


November 4th, 2011
2:21 pm

I am a HUGE Lalah Hathaway fan, but a HUGHER (smile) college football fan. Roll Tide and Go Jackets!

Sweet Pea

November 4th, 2011
2:50 pm

See ya tomorrow Lalah!!!!


November 4th, 2011
3:35 pm

A true Rock Icon came to Atlanta this week and there was no promotion or coverage of his concert by the music hacks who write for this paper. Ray Davies of Kinks fame and more recently as a solo artist appeared at Center Stage Nov.1st. The man has written some of the most recognizable music in Rock and Roll history and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,yet not one word from the AJC. I guess he needs to go to prison on weapons charges, beat up his girlfriend, or create his music with computers and machines instead of using real musicians and maybe these hacks will let us know when he comes in the future. Great job AJC.


November 5th, 2011
10:32 am

AJC, I received an email telling me the Foo Fighters show is now beginning at 7pm not 7:30

Rectal Bleeding

November 5th, 2011
11:17 am

Enter your comments here


November 6th, 2011
4:53 am

How is Girlfriend in a Coma live? Not the Smiths song. The band. Any other small rock /punk bands out there next week?