An oft-overlooked gem of the roots-and-Southern-jangle-rock movement of the '90s was Atlanta's Drivin N Cryin.

An oft-overlooked gem of the roots-and-Southern-jangle-rock movement of the '90s was Atlanta's Drivin N Cryin.

Like a beer-and-sweat-fueled version of R.E.M. or a more literate version of the Georgia Satellites, the Kevin Kinney-fronted band made one of The Beat's "hidden gems" in Fly Me Courageous.

Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts opens for DNC Friday, May 31, at the Rumba Cafe. Tickets are $15. Visit

Desiring a change in direction from the lush pop orchestrations that characterized White Water, White Bloom, the 2009 record by songwriter Alex Brown Church under his nom de plume Sea Wolf, Church created a more sparse, bright and melodic record in Old World Romance.

He brings this new music on the road, including a stop Monday, June 3, at Ace of Cups. Savoir Adore opens.

Tickets are $8/$10. Visit

The Beat has been largely ignorant of American Idol the past few seasons, in large part because we got tired of "America" getting it wrong more often than right.

That said, Season Nine winner Lee DeWyze seems like a nice guy, his laid-back Midwestern charm gives him appeal and his contemporary sense of style and Jason Mraz-meets-Bruno Mars adult pop provide built-in audiences.

DeWyze plays The Basement Tuesday, June 4. Andrew Varner opens. Tickets are $15. Visit

In the decade since it first took Broadway by storm, Wicked has been defying more than just gravity. How about deceleration? Inertia?

Yeah, The Beat doesn't really know much about physics, but we know that Wicked is still going strong. Its relevance remains, both musically and culturally.

The Beat confesses an affinity for big-voiced female singers, so the appeal, fantastic storyline and signature green makeup aside, is obvious for us.

But audiences love the show for many reasons, indeed continue to love the show enough to see it every time it rolls through their town.

Which is what the current touring production does June 5-23 at the Ohio Theatre. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you have seen it, you probably will again.

Tickets start at $43. Visit

Funny and quirky, with alternately throbbing beats and jagged riffs, the music of Nashville quartet The Features is sneakily catchy, like when you don't realize you're drumming your desk or dashboard, tapping your toe inside your shoe or doing that embarrassing head-bob thing until you catch yourself in the act, probably too late to avoid detection.

The band's latest CD, Wilderness, is imaginative and inspired, and has The Features on the road. The tour stops Thursday, June 6, at The Basement.

The Kickaways opens. Tickets are $10/$12. Visit