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Live music picks: Dec. 30-31

Atlanta quartet the Sexual Side Effects - from leeft, Clay McClure, Mike Sidner, Amber Taylor and Matt Foster - celebrate their successful fundraising campaign for a new video with a show at the Drunken Unicorn Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Christy Parry

Atlanta quartet the Sexual Side Effects - from left, Clay McClure, Mike Sidner, Amber Taylor and Matt Foster - celebrate their successful fundraising campaign for a new video with a show at the Drunken Unicorn Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Christy Parry

FRIDAY
The Sexual Side Effects

The Atlanta alt-rock outfit is celebrating a successful fundraising effort for a new video. The band’s Kickstarter campaign, which is still up and running through Dec. 31, has surpassed its goal of $2,000, but the quartet is hoping that total keeps rising. The bigger the number, the better the video. The band will team with director Michael A. Simon, who also helmed many of the “VH1 Storytellers” shows between 1996 and 2001 and, more recently, NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” The band has finished up a debut EP, “High Maintenance,” out in February. The single “Aurora,” with its lush guitar swirl and dramatic melodicism, is the tune that caught the attention of director Simon. Check it out on the band’s website and at iTunes. With the Swear and the Worsties.
9 p.m. Dec. 30. $8; $5 before 10 p.m. The Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce De Leon Place N.E., Atlanta.

FRIDAY
Jason and the Scorchers

This might make some people feel a little old, but this is Jason and the Scorchers’ 30th anniversary tour. Among the pioneers in blending country and punk, these Nashville rebels were regular visitors to Athens in the early ’80s and toured with R.E.M.
8 p.m. Dec. 30. $15 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

FRIDAY
B.B. King

These days, the 86-year-old King spends a lot of time seated during his shows, but even from a chair at center stage, he and his trusty six-string, Lucille, are a commanding presence. The charismatic entertainer, once known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, always raises goose bumps when he launches into “The Thrill is Gone.”
8 p.m. Dec. 30. $39.50-$79.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

The North Mississippi Allstars - from left, Chris Chew, Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson - play the Variety Playhouse Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Jason Thrasher

The North Mississippi Allstars - from left, Chris Chew, Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson - play the Variety Playhouse Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Jason Thrasher

FRIDAY
North Mississippi Allstars

The Dickinson Brothers spent some time apart in recent years. Luther Dickinson was playing rock star with the Black Crowes, while Cody Dickinson and North Mississippi Allstars bandmate Chris Chew were recording and touring in Hill Country Revue. Then, their father, the great producer and musician Jim Dickinson, died in August 2009. The brothers reconvened with Chew to record an album in 2010, “Keys to the Kingdom,” which saw the light of day in February 2011. The album serves as a tribute to Jim Dickinson, with longtime family friends such as Mavis Staples, Ry Cooder, Spooner Oldham and Alvin Youngblood Hart lending a hand.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 30. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

FRIDAY
Charlie Wilson, Kem

The former Gap Band vocalist has become a year-end staple in Atlanta. He helped ring in 2010 with a show on Jan. 1 and he helped see it out with a New Year’s Eve gig. He’s back again this year with a show on the eve of New Year’s Eve, getting an assist from the jazz-inflected soul of Kem.
7 p.m. Dec. 30. $80-$120. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-658-7159.

Perry native Ernest Greene, who creates music as Washed Out, will bring songs from his debut album, "Within and Without," to the Buckhead Theatre Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Will Govus

Perry native Ernest Greene, who creates music as Washed Out, will bring songs from his debut album, "Within and Without," to the Buckhead Theatre Friday, Dec. 30. Photo: Will Govus

FRIDAY
Futurebirds, Washed Out

Athens’ Futurebirds’ singular blend of Americana and folky psychedelia tends to draw comparisons with early My Morning Jacket. Then again, the Futurebirds’ Payton Bradford, when asked which “artists the Futurebirds most enjoy as polar opposites of themselves” by the Athens Banner-Herald, answered “My Morning Jacket.”
The hard-touring band has been working on the follow-up to 2010 debut full-length “Hampton’s Lullaby,” but released two EPs in 2011, “Futurebirds” and “Via Flamina.” The pedal steel-drenched tunes on the April-released “Via Flamina” call to mind another obvious precursor, the Flying Burrito Brothers. Another Georgia native making his mark on the indie music scene is Perry’s Ernest Greene, who caused a stir just by posting his bedroom-created music online back in 2009 under the name Washed Out. Two years later, he released his debut full-length album on venerable Seattle indie label Sub Pop. The music he crafts is often dubbed chillwave for a reason. On that debut, “Within and Without,” swaths of icy synthesizers swirl and shimmer as Greene purrs softly about life, love and other sweet things. He manages a nice balancing act between synth-pop nostalgia and forward-looking soundscapes and “Within and Without” has been showing up on many year-end best-of lists.
9 p.m. Dec. 30. $14. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY
Perpetual Groove

Take a trip through the hypnotic catalog of this Savannah-born, Athens-based band at the group’s annual year-end shows, which have been going strong since 2002 became 2003 during a sold-out show at the Georgia Theatre in Athens. The band’s music stretches across the jam-rock spectrum, taking in jazz, reggae, rock, country, blues and just about anything else that gets in its path. These New Year’s shows will also mark a milestone for Perpetual Groove, closing out the band’s first decade. The group promises some surprises for their fans at these shows and the Dec. 30 show will bring an announcement about Amberland, Perpetual Groove’s annual Memorial Day festival.
9 p.m. Dec. 30-31. $30; $25 in advance. Two-day pass in advance, $40. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

SATURDAY
Cake

This California band has been a local favorite since releasing its debut album, “Motorcade of Generosity” on Georgia-based Capricorn Records back in 1994. It was the follow-up, “Fashion Nugget,” that brought the band to a much wider audience with the modern rock radio hit “The Distance.”
9 p.m. Dec. 31. $55-$100. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

The Zac Brown Band will see in the New Year with a show at Philips Arena on Saturday, Dec. 31. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

The Zac Brown Band will see in the New Year with a show at Philips Arena on Saturday, Dec. 31. Photo: C. Taylor Crothers

SATURDAY
Zac Brown Band

One of Georgia’s most successful exports, Brown will ring in the new year at Philips Arena, but he’ll also showcase the artists signed to his Southern Ground record label: Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan, Levi Lowrey, the Wood Brothers, Dugas and Blackberry Smoke. Check out our interview with Leigh, Cowan and Lowrey.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 31. $37-$74. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-878-3000.

SATURDAY
JJ Grey & Mofro

Grey’s music is soulful, proud, thoughtful and unrepentantly Southern. His latest album is “Georgia Warhorse,” named after the lubber grasshopper. “Yellow and black, and tough like an old-school Tonka toy,” Grey says on his website. “They seem so at ease with the world. Nothing seems to rile them.” Despite Georgia in the name of the album, Grey is distinctively Floridian, though his tales aren’t all sunshine and citrus. If you’ve never thought of Florida as a Southern state, Mofro’s music is a convincing corrective — and the perfect accompaniment for a heaping helping of fried catfish and hush puppies.
9 p.m. Dec. 31. $40; $35 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
Against Me

Against Me’s “Thrash Unreal” was one of the catchiest tales of a descent into drug addiction ever crafted, and the rest of the band’s “New Wave” album was pretty amazing, too. The Gainesville, Fla., group followed that outstanding 2007 major label debut with “White Crosses,” released in 2010 and then reissued by the band’s own Total Treble Music. The band has spent much of 2011 on the road with new drummer Jay Weinberg, son of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, and preparing to record a new album.
8 p.m. Dec. 31. $20. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

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 [...]

Mr. Wee Wee

December 30th, 2011
10:17 pm

Mr. Wee Wee sez “yOu gO girl” and STAND FIRM behind Barack!