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Live music picks: Nov. 25-Dec. 1

Athens trio the Whigs return to town for the third annual post-Thanksgiving gig at the Variety Playhouse on Friday, Nov. 25. Photo: Jordan Noel

Athens trio the Whigs return to town for the third annual post-Thanksgiving gig at the Variety Playhouse on Friday, Nov. 25. Photo: Jordan Noel

TODAY
The Whigs

Crafting crunchy modern rock that transcends most of its contemporaries with hook-filled and memorable songs, Athens’ Whigs prove that you don’t need gimmicks to make great records. They’ve been working on their fourth album, which is expected to be released in 2012. The trio is creating a new local tradition with their post-Thanksgiving gig, dubbed the Plymouth Rock Show, now in its third year. They’ll be joined by Ponderosa and Jonny Corndawg.
8 p.m. Nov. 25. $20; $17.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 524-7354.

TODAY
Mary J. Blige

As she often does, queen of hip-hop soul Blige wiped the floor with many of the lip-syncing lesser musical mortals on Sunday’s “American Music Awards.” When she has the stage to herself, she’ll really class up the place. For this show, she’ll be revisiting her 1994 album, “My Life.”
7:30 p.m. Nov. 25. $65-$125. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

TODAY
Tony Bennett

Bennett is an enduring legend in an industry where fame and popularity are often fleeting, picking up new fans with each passing decade. Bennett’s voice isn’t as supple as it once was, but you have to admire this 85-year-old trouper’s staying power.
8 p.m. Nov. 25. $52-$122. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

TODAY
Glenn Phillips Band and the Supreme Court

Here’s another annual post-Thanksgiving tradition featuring one of Atlanta most venerable musicians and a guitarist of immense talent. Phillips has been performing since his days as one of the co-founders of the Hampton Grease Band back in the late ’60s. The Supreme Court is the pairing of Phillips and Swimming Pool Q’s main man Jeff Calder with a rhythm section. There’s a bit of sadness dimming the normally festive mood of this yearly gathering, though. Phillips’ brother Charlie died Nov. 14 of suspected heart failure at age 65 (see our obituary). Charlie was the bass player in early days of the Hampton Grease Band. Glenn plans to revisit some of the music from that time at the early show and describe his brother’s influence on the songs that eventually landed on the band’s 1971 album, “Music to Eat.” Grease Band bassist Mike Holbrook will make a guest appearance, too.
8:30 and 10:45 Nov. 25. $12. Red Light Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404- 874-7828.

SATURDAY
Mudcat

A beloved fixture on the local blues scene, Daniel “Mudcat” Dudeck has been entertaining Atlantans since the tail end of the ’80s. Mudcat makes the blues fun without dumbing down the sound. It’s like a juke joint party where you might accidentally learn something cool, but you’re sure to have a good time. This show is a CD release celebration for his latest album, “American Idle.”
10 p.m. Nov. 26. $10. Northside Tavern, 1058 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta. 404- 874-8745.

SUNDAY
The Airborne Toxic Event

This California quintet seems destined for the big time. The band’s self-titled 2009 debut was a critical favorite, with the Boston Herald calling it the debut of the year. Since then, the group has signed with major label Island Def Jam and moved into larger halls with this tour in support of its new album “All At Once.” But it’s the music that really tells the tale. The Airborne Toxic Event crafts big, passionate and anthemic rock that yearns for an arena setting. This is the band’s second Atlanta appearance this year, following a May date at Variety Playhouse.
7 p.m. Nov. 27. $18 in advance. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

TUESDAY
Tori Amos

Her songwriting excesses may seem pretentious, but such risky behavior can be entertaining. Her musical world is either gloriously off-kilter heaven or a claustrophobic, kooky circle of hell — depending on who you ask.
8 p.m. Nov. 29. $43.50-$65.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770- 916-2800.

WEDNESDAY
Puscifer

Puscifer is often an outlet for Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s baser musical and lyrical impulses, but the guy is so talented that even his detours into below-the-belt humor are fascinating.
8 p.m. Nov. 30. $27.50-$63. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770- 916-2800.

THURSDAY
Anthony Hamilton

North Carolinian Hamilton does vintage Southern soul better than just about any other contemporary vocalist. Play the man’s music in the depths of the Arctic, and you’ll be transported right back to the South. You’ll soon feel the need to whip up a mess of greens, get out a fan to banish the sultry air and sip a glass of sweet tea. “Woo,” the first track released from his upcoming album “Back to Love” (coming Dec. 13), is another slice of soulful sensuality. If the rest of it is as good as this Babyface-produced track, Hamilton has another winner on his hands.
8 p.m. Dec. 1. $45; $40 in advance. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

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[...] 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 [...]