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SUNDAY

I’ll say this for Craig Wedren: His fashion and musical tastes may be questionable, but he makes some smart career moves. (Plus, the cover of his new solo disc, Lapland, has the best chick-in-panties photo since the one used for Mick Jagger’s She’s the Boss.) And though he may look like the spawn of an ungodly pairing of Moby and John Waters, Wedren still seems able to convince people that he has freaky sex appeal. After releasing a string of credible indie-label records, Wedren and his bandmates in Shudder to Think made a fairly successful leap to the majors with 1994’s Pony Express Record. Just as that band’s career was winding down, Wedren followed in the footsteps of Danny Elfman and Mark Mothersbaugh and starting scoring movies. He’s worked on School of Rock—including that hilarious Creed parody that Jack Black’s old band plays at the end—Wet Hot American Summer, and The Baxter. (He’s also responsible for the theme to Reno 911 that is so annoyingly played as a commercial bumper.) Now he’s made friends with Conor Oberst, who released Lapland on the Team Love label, and is capitalizing on our young people’s penchant for inoffensive, boring music with this solo outing. His mercurial soprano is still in good shape, but the Pamprin-rock songs (“Alone in Love,” “One Man’s Heart”) don’t put it to particularly effective use. The tunes are pleasant enough but so innocuous that they’d seem more suitable as incidental music in a milquetoast independent film. Wedren, though, has proven himself to be more than versatile, and I’m sure he’ll figure out what step to take next. Wedren plays with Amy Miles at 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (David Dunlap Jr.)