Understated, melodically gifted Idaho singer-songwriter Ritter is ranked among our country’s finest living songwriters by many music critics. His most recent studio album is 2010’s “So Runs the World Away” (the title comes from “Hamlet”), but he’s released both his first novel, “Bright’s Passage,” and a deluxe edition of his wonderful 2006 album “The Animal Years” in 2011.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 18. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 524-7354.
Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine
Remember Bill Murray’s “Saturday Night Live” character Nick the Lounge Singer? It was a long time ago, so let me remind you. One of old Nick’s most memorable tunes was a re-imagining of the “Star Wars” theme: “Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars / Give me those Star Wars. Don’t let them end.” And with everything he did, there was a wink and a cheesy “scoobiddy-bee-bop-doot-doot, yeah!” behind every note. That’s what Richard Cheese does to a more modern batch of familiar tunes. So many young Sinatra wannabes do that bad lounge singer thing without even realizing. With Richard Cheese, on the other hand, bad is the point.
9 p.m. Nov. 19. $24-$34. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
This Atlanta band’s sprightly, kaleidoscopic garage rock, a memorable update of ’60s mod pop, deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Just listen to “Shadow,” the lead track from the band’s new album, “Count Yer Lucky Stars,” with its ear-worm chorus sprinkled with gorgeous high-pitched “ooo’s.” The galloping beat, insistent piano, sprightly hand claps and old-school guitar solo of the title track make it irresistible. In fact, most of the album will stick with you long after it ends. These guys have more hooks in their arsenal than a rusty old tackle box.
9 p.m. Nov. 19. $10. Star Bar, 437 Moreland Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 681-9018.
The sensuous beats and come-hither croon of this Swedish chanteuse make a powerful combo on her latest album, “Wounded Rhymes.” It’s just a little too off-kilter to be pop radio fodder, but that’s what makes it special. There’s really no reason, aside from its suggestive tone, that “Get Some” isn’t a massive hit. She is making inroads into American popular culture, though. “Glee” used the song “I Follow Rivers” in a recent episode.
7 p.m. Nov. 20. $30. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.
The first thing that strikes you about “Erica Western Teleport,” the kinda-sorta title track from Emperor X’s “Western Teleport,” is how much it recalls golden-era Fleetwood Mac. Or maybe it’s just that ringing guitar figure, because the glitchy electronic noises and the affectless voice of former high school science teacher Chad Matheny certainly aren’t Mac-like. “Sincerely H. C. Pregerson,” on the other hand, has a distinct whiff of Pavement about it and a terrifically simple yet memorable guitar squiggle. Despite these disparate reference points, there’s a surprising sonic coherence to the album.
8 p.m. Nov. 22. $8 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404- 875-1522.
It’s starting to look like a new tradition. For the second year, Atlanta’s genre-defying rock outfit Manchester Orchestra offers up its annual pre-Thanksgiving celebration, with Center Stage, the Loft and Vinyl packed to the giblets with bands. In addition to the headliners, the line-up includes Cage The Elephant, the Dear Hunter, All Get Out, Death on Two Wheels, Harrison Hudson and many more.
5 p.m. Nov. 23. $25. Center Stage, The Loft and Vinyl, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
Silky sandpaper might be an oxymoron, but it might be the perfect way to describe singer-songwriter Horne’s voice. It’s gritty, warm and soothing. With the Atlanta native’s new album, “The Whistler & The Majestic,” the songwriting is every bit as good as his terrific voice (which occasionally recalls Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold). Just sample opening track “Come On, Come On” and you’ll be hooked.
8 p.m. Nov. 23. $15; $12 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404- 377-4976.
Shane Harrison / email@example.com