Live music picks

SATURDAY, JULY 5

Asylum Street Spankers

GET SPANKED: The rootsy, nostalgic group is laugh-out-loud funny. It's also packed with seriously talented musicians who travel easily from ragtime to blues to Western swing to rap. The Austin-based combo's live shows are justly celebrated for providing a foot-stomping good time that nourishes body and soul. Earlier this year, the band took its musical revue, "What? And Give Up Showbiz?," to New York for a two-week run. The outfit's latest album "Mommy Says No!" is aimed kid-ward and won a gold award from the National Parenting Publications Association, but the band's shows are a slightly more adult affair.

THE 411: 6 p.m. $20. Eddie's Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976, www.eddiesattic.com.

SUNDAY, JULY 6

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

LIVING LARGE: Texan Lovett has a formidable acting résumé, but he's been concentrating on his first career of late — performing darkly comic country for incurable romantics. It's fun to see him in movies, but we'll take the musician over the actor every time. His songs carry on the strong storytelling aspect that runs through much Texas-made country music. Lovett is touring behind his latest album "It's Not Big It's Large."

THE 411: 7:30 p.m. $57.50-$67.50; $37.50 lawn. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-249-6400, www.livenation.com.

TUESDAY, JULY 8

The Black Angels

FLASHBACK: Marrying the druggy psychedelia of the West Coast '60s with the dark, drone-y art-rock of the East Coast '60s, Austin's Black Angels will give you a most excellent nostalgia freak-out. There's also a touch of German space-rock (of the late '60s/early '70s variety, naturally) in the band's new album "Directions to See a Ghost." With Warlocks and Imaad Wasif With Two Part Beast.

THE 411: 8 p.m. $12. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., East Atlanta. 404-522-3950, 1-800-594-8499, www.badearl.com.

Joan Armatrading

THE QUIET PIONEER: With her deep and resonant voice, Armatrading emerged in 1972 sounding like no one before. Though flying just below the mainstream radar, Armatrading is far more influential than her modest fame would indicate. Tracy Chapman, though certainly distinctive, is hard to imagine without Armatrading paving the way. And Armatrading's musical blend should find favor with any Indigo Girls fan. The St. Kitts-born singer-songwriter peppers her folk-based tunes with rock, R&B, reggae and any other genre that strikes her fancy. She scored her third Grammy nomination for her latest album, "Into the Blues," which was among this year's nominees for best contemporary blues album.

THE 411: 8 p.m. $42.50; $40 advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Little Five Points. 404-521-1786, www.variety-playhouse.com.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

EVERYBODY LOVES TOM: Petty transcends generational divides. A couple of weeks ago, the youngsters in buzz band Vampire Weekend played a cover of Petty's "Don't Come Around Here No More" at a free gig in New York's Central Park (check it out on YouTube). In introducing the song, frontman Ezra Koenig called Petty "probably the greatest human being that ever came out of Gainesville, Florida," and "a true ... poet" (he added a profane yet popular adjective where that ellipsis is). As for Petty, he delivered his third solo release (his latest and 15th overall), "Highway Companion," in 2006, but he's back on the road with his trusty and talented band after playing the Super Bowl half-time show earlier this year. With Steve Winwood.

THE 411: 7:30 p.m. $85-$125; $35 lawn. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5397, 404-249-6400, www.vzwamp.com.

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