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MONDAY

In the world of sitcoms, the neighbor is the archetypal wacky character. There’s always a distinguishing idiosyncrasy—messy hair, a disheveled outfit or, of course, a ridiculous catchphrase to cue the canned laughter. There’s always some sort of misunderstanding with the neighbor, but even the worst-case-scenario result is hilarious. In the morose world of indie rock, however, the neighbor is apparently something different and much less fun. In this case, the star of the show is departed junkie/martyr Elliott Smith, and the neighbor is played by Aaron Espinoza, frontman for Earlimart. After Mr. Sad Sack apparently snuffed himself the year before last, Espinoza (also pretty bummed) wrote an album to and about his more famous, more depressed ex-neighbor. The result, 2004’s Treble & Tremble, is heartfelt, if wholly unremarkable. Smith’s spectral influence is definitely present, as is the spacey indie pop of Grandaddy—which makes sense, given that the band’s guitarist, Jim Fairchild, produced the record. Perhaps in this somber, mopey milieu, an earnest tribute is as close as we’re gonna get to a happy ending. Earlimart plays with Bobby Bare Jr. Monday, Jan. 31, at 8:30 p.m. at Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $10. (703) 522-8340. (David Dunlap Jr.)