Maybe it’s finally time for Todd Rundgren to let himself be pigeonholed. The veteran producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has long defined himself through unpredictable behavior: His prolific output swerves from jangling power pop to a cappella concept albums. And for a long time, it was all pretty listenable. But lately Rundgren has been skewing less toward pop enigma and closer to wacky-uncle territory. He’s become a staple of tasteless notalgia projects, among them the New Cars and a Beatles tribute band starring American Idol runner-up Bo Bice. On his latest effort, Arena, Rungdren appropriates the no-mids riffage and bombast of stadium metal, mostly to ill effect. Enough already: There’s nothing wrong with giving the people what they want.
TODD RUNDGREN PERFORMS AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE BIRCHMERE, 3701 MT. VERNON AVE., ALEXANDRIA. $35. (703) 549-7500.