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Need a lift? Try fall music 

Taylor Swift, Meat Puppets, Rossini should do the trick.

These past couple of weeks of gloriously fall-like weather have been so sublime as to make one nearly forget the terrible state of nearly everything: the ravaged environment, the limping economy, the broken political process, the very fact that Rick Perry exists and is allowed to hold office. It's enough to make you want to medicate yourself heavily. But don't do that! Just check out some live music, which is the healthiest way to make the world not seem so crummy. There are a bunch of shows — most of them really good — just around the corner. Oh, and the Hogs. Don't forget about the Hogs.

 

A founding member of two of the best American bands of all-time — The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers — Chris Hillman is a legend in country rock circles. He plays the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View with bluegrass veteran Herb Pedersen (Sept. 23). As the inventors of the highly critically respected (just kidding) genre known as "crab-core," Attack Attack! (Sept. 25, Downtown Music Hall) will appeal to fans of tight pants, expensive haircuts and chugga-chugga-scream-style modern hardcore, whatever that means. For a punk rock take on the good ol' freak-show, check out the Hellzapoppin' Freak Show Revue, (Sept. 26, Revolution) with local bitchin'-riff merchants Iron Tongue.

If you're still hungry for more outrageous and over-the-top showmanship, check out the other Detroit Madmen in the dance-punk outfit Electric Six (Sept. 27, Stickyz). For something totally different, don't miss Richard Buckner (Sept. 28, Stickyz), whose latest album, "Our Blood," has gotten rave reviews and will surely be loved by the lonesome-mopey singer/songwriter set. If you're up northwest that day, you can go see the Traffic-co-founding, Mama-Cass-collaborating, "Feelin' Alright"-penning Dave Mason (Sept. 28, George's).

The legendary Meat Puppets return to Little Rock for what's sure to be an excellent show (Sept. 29, Stickyz). Bubble-grunge maestros Candlebox take to the stage at the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Fayetteville (Sept. 29). For another dose of '90s nostalgia, check out The Lemonheads (Sept. 30, Revolution) as they perform their classic album "It's a Shame about Ray" in its entirety. Ambitious modern-day Outlaw country troubadour Jamey Johnson plays Arkansas Music Pavilion (Sept. 30).

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra starts its season with "Italian Vacation" (Oct. 1-2, Robinson Center Music Hall), featuring works by Mendelssohn, Respighi, Puccini and Rossini. The "Masterworks" series continues with "Legends" (Oct. 22-23, Robinson Center Music Hall), featuring Haydn and Brahms, and "Beethoven & Blue Jeans" (Nov. 12-13, Robinson Center Music Hall), featuring Beethoven, Roumain and Bernstein. The symphony's chamber series kicks off with "Summer Vacation" (Oct. 4, Clinton Presidential Center), featuring pieces by Debussy, Vivaldi and more. The series continues with "Norman Krieger" (Oct. 25, Clinton Presidential Center), including works by Kodaly, Chopin and Brahms and "Bridging New and Old" (Nov. 15, Clinton Presidential Center), which includes works by Haydn, Griebling and Dvorak. The pops series begins with "Music of John Williams" (Oct. 8-9, Robinson Center Music Hall) and continues with "Happy Holidays" (Dec. 16-18, Robinson Center Music Hall).

ZooJam 2011 (Oct. 2, War Memorial Park) is a benefit for The Little Rock Zoo, with performances from the boot-in-your-ass-stickin' country superstar Toby Keith, with openers Sara Evans, Eric Church and Diamond Rio. You might have been wondering what Diamond Rio had been up to, and now you know. If you've got any discretionary dollars left after ZooJam, you might want to think about handing them over to a scalper, because odds are really good that Taylor Swift (Oct. 4, Verizon Arena) has already sold out. But you never know. If anybody would be worth forking over the big bucks for, it's America's Sweetheart.

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