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Elvis Tribute It's the King's birthday on Tuesday (and also the birthday of one David Bowie, not to mention my brother). As such, Fat City presents what will likely be a zany Elvis Tribute Night, featuring Jake Berger, Mookie Brill, Derek Young, Byron McDonald and more. Why Renelvis isn't playing is a mystery, though folks have reported sightings at local hibachi restaurants and costume supply stores. Tuesday, Fat City. ­ TCD

Eric Lovell Band Lovell plays music with plenty of classic rock sentiments on the blues/psychedelic tip. But don't let that pigeonhole him: The dude has played with numerous bands, shown up on a few regional recordings and is naturally adept on guitar, steel, mandolin and even Sitar. The new record, The Long Road, has all elements of Lovell's past work with an eye toward firming up his own signatures. Saturday, Puckett's Farm Equipment. ­ SS

Gran Torino Oooh, the groove is just fine, the horns are hot and the huge, now nine-piece funk band gives off just the right soul of the 70s, good R&B of the 80s and the contemporary grooves of the 90s. Take Earth, Wind & Fire and throw in some fresh ska touches, line it with house music and a "kick out the jams" party feel, and you'll see that the Knoxville outfit is a show band of many layered colors. Friday, Visulite. ­ SS

Karma Look, there's lotsa harmonies, a PO'd rough-voiced singer, the drums are pounding and the melodic guitars are rolling ­ that about explains the Charlotte band's sound (which is as good as anything lurking on the radio) as well as their take on driving modern rock. They recently signed to Atlanta's World Empire Records and looks like the move could be a nice step on the way to the big leagues. A few words of wisdom for bands on the brink: It's not about what cards are dealt, but how the hand is played. Also on the bill are Status Flow and Dead City Radio. Saturday, Mojo's. ­ SS

Mandorico Whoa, do I hear hyper ska action in some of the new tunes? These cats never fail to entertain with their huge menu of Latin infused sounds including merengue, salsa, samba, reggae and tons of fixins known as tropical beats. No matter how cold it may be outside, Manodrico warms things up with spicy music, instantly stirring up the dance floor. A new album is apparently in the works, so hang in there. Opening for Dave Matthews Cover Band. Friday, Amos' Southend. ­ SS

Gerard McHugh It's a common dilemma ­ a well-respected and talented performer is largely ignored by radio and, except in musician circles, by the crowds. Gerard is one such unsung treasure of Atlanta. The singer-songwriter has a new album, Tales of Madness and Horror (Daemon Records), with what have now become trademark raw folk with plenty of subtle layers of punk. On this record, with a bit of help from both Indigo Girls, he rocks with gusto and plays with his heart wrapped around the guitar. Opening for the forever-earthy Danielle Howle. Saturday, The Evening Muse. ­ SS

Phil Lee & The Sly Dogs Ex-truck driver Lee continues to purvey some of the most deliciously greasy roots rock in the area. His most recent album, The Mighty King of Love, is a fine selection of tunes that showcase his darkly humorous takes on life and love (or lack thereof), mixing in some Chuck Berry-inspired guitar and the weary howl of too many nights on the road with some nice Dylan-esque touches. Phil's band also includes former Backslider and Whiskeytown member Danny Kurtz, one of the best bassists in the area. With The Stragglers. Friday, Double Door. ­ TCD

Project/Object The country's finest Frank Zappa tribute band, Project/Object have become an amazing band in their own right. Featuring the singing and guitar playing of Ike Willis, Zappa's longest-running band member and guitar foil in the later years, this show also showcases The Don Bunk Show, featuring former Mothers of Invention Don Preston and Bunk Gardner, who also play some older Zappa material mixed in with some new tracks. If you never got to see Zappa, this is the next best thing. Recommended. Saturday, Visulite. ­ TCD

Tesser Led by the powerful voice of Shana Blake, CL's female vocalist of the year, Tesser's music is mostly folk-tinged "issue-based" music, to use their description. Don't let that scare you off, though. Phil Carias' tasteful guitar playing dances nicely with Blake's expressive pipes, and the laid-back vibe is a nice salve for those souls tired of all those bands with full-on amplification but half-thought out emotion. With Eliot Bronson. Friday, Evening Muse. ­ TCD

World Class Fad / 4th Ward Henry Pharr, Buddy Dukes and Co. are calling it quits with this show, leaving a void for area power pop fans. Reportedly, the band will make a special announcement at the end of this show, which I'm going to go out on a limb and predict will be their plans for a new band. Also appearing is 4th Ward, a nice pairing with the Fad boys with their Squeeze-like harmonies and relatively agreeable tunesmanship. Wednesday, January 2, Evening Muse. ­ TCD

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