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Forty is an awkward year for a rock musician—too old to be cutting-edge, too young for legend status. Old 97’s, however, have found a way to embrace middle age. On the Dallas band’s eighth studio album, The Grand Theater, Volume One, Old 97’s show off their live chops while sticking to what they do best: catchy, clever alt-country. The album’s most out-there track, “Champaign, Illinois” borrows its tune from Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.” It’s a bit of a throwback, but you can’t accuse Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller of playing it safe. It takes balls to rewrite Dylan.
Old 97’s perform with Teddy Thompson at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25