It’s that time of the year again. Starting today, the Shaky Knees Music Festival takes over downtown’s Centennial Olympic Park for a three-day marathon of some of the finest festival rock money can buy. And while we’ve had some issues with the fest in the past, we’re not here to rehash old beefs. In fact, our attitude towards Shaky Knees remains largely unchanged: we wish them the best, it’s just not really for us. Luckily, however, we have options, which means you do too. Maybe you prefer the intimacy and mystery of a club show to an open field throng of day-drunk revelers standing between you and the band you’re trying to watch. Maybe you would rather support local artists and businesses than hand your money over to corporate interests. Or maybe you simply can’t afford the $100-$185 ticket price, plus fees. Whatever your reasoning, we’ve got you for covered. Here are 8 local shows, personally vetted by the Immersive staff, to catch this weekend in lieu of the big shindig.

Friday, May 12

Material Girls

Credit: Ben Rouse

Material Girls
w/ Jock Gang, Subsonics, Sash the Bash, Eliza
529 Flat Shoals Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30318
Doors at 9 p.m. / 21+ / $8

If you haven’t caught the crazed cabernet of a Material Girls show yet, you’re in luck — the gender-bent mob take over the 529 twice this weekend. Imagine some sleazy hybrid of the Birthday Party, Fad Gadget, and James Chance, but with wigs, and you’ll have an inky silhouette of what to expect. On Friday, they’ll play with the shambling velvet Jock Gang crew; on Saturday, they’ll share the limelight with garage rock vets The Subsonics. – Lee Adcock


w/ Wrong, Bummer
The Drunken Unicorn
736 Ponce De Leon Pl NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Doors at 9 p.m. / 18+ / $12

Equal parts menacing and tuneful, Whores.’ ferocious noise rock sounds explosive on record, but to catch the full brunt of the Atlanta trio’s sonic savagery, you best catch them live. Guitarist and vocalist Christian Lembach is a frenzied performer, delivering his sledgehammer riffs and pugilist screams with a maniacal intensity. The band has just returned from their first European tour so they should be primed and ready to lay waste to an enthusiastic hometown crowd. – Guillermo Castro

Oak House

Oak House
w/ Five Eight, Easter Island
40 Watt
285 W Washington St, Athens, GA 30601
Doors at 8:30 p.m. / 18+ / $5

For those in search of a more cerebral evening on Friday, Oak House and Five Eight will take listeners on a sweeping journey of lush rock and roll compositions. Despite the limitations inherent to a trio, Oak House are able to weave a rich tapestry of meditative psych rock without sacrificing the alt-rock energy synonymous with the Classic City. In contrast to relative newcomers Oak House, longtime scene veterans Five Eight has existed in some form since 1988. In the past 20 plus years, the band has refined their emotive indie rock into something acute yet simple. Athens shoegazers Easter Island open the show. – Russell Rockwell

ATL Collective - Maxwell

ATL Collective
performing Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite
740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Doors at 9 p.m. / All Ages / $25-$45

ATL Collective’s means of operation is simple but effective: find the best local musicians around and bring them together to recreate classic albums, front to back. For this latest edition, the collective will perform Maxwell’s 1996 R&B masterpiece, Urban Hang Suite, curated by Khari Cabral Simmons. In addition to the top-notch musical performances, expect narrative and multi-media pieces to tell the story of why this album is so historic. – Avery Shepherd

Saturday, May 13

Art School Jocks

Art School Jocks
w/ Harlot Party, Dead Neighbors
Little Kings Shuffle Club
223 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601
Doors at 9:30 p.m. / 18+ / $5

Hey, if you want to just bail completely from the city while this whole shakedown blows over, go catch Art School Jocks in Athens this Saturday. These collegiate rockers are about to drop their debut tape in a few weeks on Father/Daughter — the same label as Vagabon and Diet Cig — so this could be your last chance to catch ’em before they blow up across the underground nation. Of course, don’t miss the locals, either: we’ve blabbed before about the wondrous weave of poetry and trauma that is Harlot Party, and the frenetic fuzz of Dead Neighbors always throws off sparks. – Lee Adcock


w/ Material Girls, Beije, Borzoi
529 Flat Shoals Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30318
Doors at 9 p.m. / 21+ / $8

For 25 years, Subsonics have remained an Atlanta garage rock institution, weaving together classic surf, punk, soul, and psych rock into a mystifying web of alluring sound. But despite their killer grooves and a commanding frontman in guitarist/vocalist Clay Reed, they’ve never managed to garner the attention they deserve, which is a damn shame. Still, in a scene that spawns and knocks off bands at a dizzying rate, it’s refreshing to see a group stick together and still kick out howling anthems after all these years. You’ve got two chances to catch them this weekend, so don’t blow it. – Guillermo Castro

Divine Interface

Divine Interface

Bounce Night: M.I.A. Edition
w/ Divine Interface, DJ McTrill
The Mammal Gallery
91 Broad St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Doors at 9 p.m. / 21+ / $5

Bounce Night is here for one thing: to get your booty moving. DJs Divine Interface and McTrill will man the decks for an evening inspired by the music of creative powerhouse M.I.A. Unsure of how to get the derrière in proper motion? No problem. Twerk classes by Remedy will kickoff at 10:30 ahead of the dance party. – Avery Shepherd

Bird City Revolutionaries

Bird City Revolutionaries
w/ Julian Morena (Record Release)
Elliott Street Pub
51 Elliott St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Doors at 9 p.m. / 21+ / $5 suggested donation

Listening to Bird City Revolutionaries is like taking an audio tour of the Southern Hemisphere with elements of reggae, dub, and Afro-beat colliding against Latin, funk, psychedelic, and surf sounds. The aim of the game is to get you off your feet and onto the dance floor, so set aside your inhibitions and surrender to the groove. Bird City keyboard player Julian Morena (also of the Ruination) is also celebrating the release of his solo debut, Kind of Nice, so make sure to arrive early to catch his set. – Guillermo Castro