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WEDNESDAY

I saw Liz Phair’s fellow Chicagoan Roger Ebert give a “thumb sideways” recently, so I’ll take that route for now, after a single listen to Somebody’s Miracle. This I’ll say: To appreciate it, you’re gonna have to try to clear your mind of all the Phair (or un-Phair?) stereotypes—if that last, eponymous, big-sister-to-Avril disc didn’t do the job already. The bad news: The title track uses fairy-tale imagery (and “Each frog has a prince just waiting inside of him” has nothing to do with gonads). And such song titles as “Leap of Innocence,” “Stars and Planets,” and “Count on My Love” read as though they belong on the back of a Journey LP. The good news: “Got My Own Thing,” with its strut and twang and deadpan vocals, could be an Exile in Guyville outtake. And “Wind and the Mountain” is nearly as plaintive as “Dogs of L.A.” Finally, Phair’s voice has become more conventionally pretty, but not so much that you don’t feel that this-could-be-me connection that’s always been one of her greatest charms. Liz Phair plays with Matt Pond PA at 8:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 397-7328. (Pamela Murray Winters)

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