SOUND CHECK: Rock your independence

Big Fat Fourth

Smith's Olde Bar hosts a block party featuring outdoor games, water gun fights, a watermelon carving station and free burgers and hot dogs from the grill. (Patrons can even bring their own food to throw on the grill). The $4 admission price includes a free keg of beer, $4 cocktail specials and performances by a variety of acts, ranging from the accomplished blues rock stylings of Elliot Holden and the proggy art rock of Verlaine to the Southern-fried rap rock of Yelawolf and the electroclashy funk rock of Judi Chicago.

> THE 411: $4. Cookout starts at 3:30 p.m.; music starts at 5:30 p.m. July 4. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave., Midtown. 404-875-1522,

Independence Day Weekender

The Star Bar celebrates the Fourth with two days of local bands with no cover charge. The first night features the psychedelic space rock of the Pink Police, the high-energy garage rock of the Hiss and the new wave pop of Club Awesome, among other bands. The party continues July 5 with the grandiose musicianship of Gringo Star, a rootsy rock set by Anna Kramer and the Lost Cause and the spastic and sludgy arena rock of Brass Castle.

> THE 411: Free. 8 p.m. July 4; 7 p.m. July 5. Star Bar, 437 Moreland Ave. N.E., Little Five Points. 404-681-9018,

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