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If a pretty girl sang “Everything Unkind,” it’d be on a prime-time soap soundtrack. But Thalia Zedek is past 40, an ex-junkie, a lifetime rocker, a Patti Smith acolyte, and, if the cover of her EP You’re a Big Girl Now is to be believed, a cigar aficionado. Zedek’s gritty delivery buffs “Unkind” into a less simple kind of beauty, an evocation of the sort of grand, universal pain that’s scored frown lines on the faces of thousands of Leonard Cohen fans. The former Live Skull and Come frontwoman (and former D.C. teenager) released Been Here and Gone in 2001—the sort of “mature” album that, for better or worse, the folks who don’t die before they get old feel compelled to make. For better in this case: Zedek’s 21st-century music proves that it’s not necessary to burn out or fade away—it just sometimes helps if you shrug off that downtown-rock coat. Zedek tours behind her latest album, Trust Not Those in Whom Without Some Touch of Madness, with Brother JT at 8:30 p.m. at Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $10. (703) 522-8340. (Pamela Murray Winters)