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In the clubs 

First frat guy: Dude, do you have moe's new one--it's got this space guy on the cover--it's weedacious: funky Wurlitzer piano, kickin' jams and great beats. Less riffriffic than Phish was--but way less global-jam-band Lite than DMB is gettin'.

Second frat guy: Dither? Yeah, it's getting' played all over the place ... somebody had it blaring outside yesterday.

First frat guy: Isn't there a slow rock ballad--you know, a road song kind of thing--"I'm a faker, a rover, midnight toker kind of jam, with a dash of "Freebird" poignancy?"

Second frat guy: Hell yeah!--track two man!

First frat guy: I am so there.

moe (pictured) plays The Ritz, Friday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Call 836-8535 for information.DiamondDiamondDiamond

Low's latest on Chicago's Kranky Records, Things We Lost in the Fire, is what you'd expect of the languorous post-pop northern Minnesota trio (pictured): Moody songs with cool textures--sort of blurry and furry around the edges--with rumbly distorted bass adding a gorgeous weightiness. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker's Ida-like harmonies make them slowcore's Georgia and Ira (Yo La Tengo). Songs such as "Medicine Magazines" and "July" build ever-so-slowly, enveloping you like a dark lullaby, swathing the melodies in drums so minimal and resonant with reverb that you're lulled into a reflective reverie. Suddenly, you're driving a distance through the rain and realize your alternator is going bad--your headlights grow dimmer each mile, and you hope the wipers can keep up until you make it home. Then you grasp that the show is over.

Frequent bill-sharers Labradford (check out their latest, fixed::context) open the show with a selection of various notes, played in slow succession, sometimes even overlapping. See the show Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Cat's Cradle. Call 967-9053 for tickets.DiamondDiamondDiamond

Superchunk's first local show in over a year is at the Cat's Cradle on Saturday, Feb. 24. Austin, Texas' punk-pop trio Spoon, now on Merge after stints with Matador and Elektra, open the show with cuts from its latest album, Girls Can Tell. Hyper enough to hold their own with 'chunk, Spoon boasts more hooks than a muskie lure. Superchunk's last album with Jim O'Rourke--known for his orchestral arrangements and sonic experimentation--proved that they're in it for the long haul. Old fans needn't worry: Superchunk still mashes the gas pedal to the floor on chestnuts like "Precision Auto," and they might even preview some new material. (They're studio-bound in April.) --Angie Carlson

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