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Concerts: Yo La Tengo, Calexico, G. Love, Gary Allan

calexicoJohn Convertino (left) and Joey Burns are the prime movers behind Calexico. The band plays the Buckhead Theatre Friday, Jan. 25. Photo courtesy Anti- Records

FRIDAY
Yo La Tengo, Calexico
Indie-pop darlings Yo La Tengo have had music critics scouring their thesauruses for superlatives since 1986’s debut album, “Ride the Tiger.” The New Jersey-spawned, Velvet Underground-inspired trio continues to record acclaimed albums, including the just-released “Fade,” their 13th. It finds them working with producer John McEntire of Tortoise. Calexico takes its name from a California border town that merges parts of the words California and Mexico. It’s an apt moniker for a band that has absorbed so many influences, blending rootsy Americana with brassy mariachi sounds, French chansons and other exotic flavors. The band’s latest album, “Algiers,” was recorded in New Orleans.
8 p.m. Jan. 25. $27; $24 in advance. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-843-2825.

G. Love & Special Sauce
G. Love’s laid-back blend of blues, folk, rock and hip-hop never seems to pack enough punch on record, even though he’s always been a charismatic and powerful live performer. His latest album, “Fixin’ to Die,” is his fourth release without Special Sauce (though drummer Jeffrey “the Houseman” Clemens plays on a few tracks). Instead, he’s accompanied by the Avett Brothers and the collaboration results in one of the best albums of his career.
8:30 p.m. Jan. 25. $30; $25 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
Camper Van Beethoven
Camper Van Beethoven wedged folk and roots music (and a bit of world music, too) into post-punk long before anyone uttered the term alt-country. When that band called it a day, frontman David Lowery formed Cracker. In 1999, Camper Van Beethoven re-formed and since that time, both bands have remained active. The recordings have been rarer, but that drought was alleviated earlier this week with CVB’s “La Costa Perdida,” the group’s first new album in nine years. 2013 also marks the band’s 30th anniversary.
8 p.m. Jan. 26. $20; $18 in advance. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

Yonder Mountain String Band
This exuberant acoustic-based group has a rootsy sound, but the band is just as popular with jam-band fans as it is with traditional bluegrass lovers. The quartet’s latest release, “The Show,” expands the group’s sound (especially on the minimal, pulsing “Isolate”) and brings in former Elvis Costello and the Attractions drummer Pete Thomas for six of the album’s tracks.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 26. $28; $25 in advance. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

Chick Corea and Gary Burton
Former Miles Davis sideman Chick Corea’s last couple of visits to Atlanta were with a reunited Return to Forever, the influential fusion outfit he founded in the ’70s. The keyboardist has been collaborating with vibraphonist Gary Burton since the 1972 album “Crystal Silence.” The duo has won four Grammys, the latest coming for the 2008 live recording “The New Crystal Silence.”
8 p.m. Jan. 26. $40-$65. Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Drive N.W., Atlanta.

Gary Allan
Nearly three years passed between 2010’s “Get Off on the Pain” and Allan’s just-issued ninth album, “Set You Free.” But the delay hasn’t dimmed his appeal. The album’s first single, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain),” is already a Top 5 country hit.
9:30 p.m. Jan. 26. $20-$50. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000.

TUESDAY
Zappa Plays Zappa
When Dweezil Zappa began this project, he brought some of his father Frank’s former sidemen along for the ride. Now the focus is on the talented band of young musicians he’s recruited to recreate his dad’s groundbreaking music. Zappa Plays Zappa won a Grammy for best rock instrumental performance in 2009 for a version of Frank’s “Peaches en Regalia.”
8 p.m. Jan. 29. $40; $37.50 in advance; $55 VIP which gets early admission, soundcheck access and commemorative poster. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

Shane Harrison, sharrison@ajc.com

One comment Add your comment

david c

January 24th, 2013
5:47 pm

Sad that a real country artist like Allan can only get a gig at Wild Bill’s.