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THURSDAY

A few years back, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith wowed a crowd of enthusiastic fans at the Birchmere and, despite the fact that the venue was less than half-filled, pronounced himself “encouraged.” Since then, Sexsmith has continued to rack up more accolades than ticket sales—Elton John, Elvis Costello, and Chris Martin of Coldplay are all hard-core fans—but the guy just keeps getting better: At this point, the talent-to-popularity ratio is downright embarrassing. Retriever, Sexsmith’s latest long-player, showcases his warbling, unconventional baritone (think Boz Scaggs divided by Nick Drake) to particularly incisive effect. After issuing a string of nearly flawless albums, Sexsmith seems to have finally perfected a formula for writing melodies so casually winsome and fetching they don’t even have to try to break your heart. Encourage Sexsmith and his band when they play with Griffin House at 8:30 p.m. at Iota Club & Cafe, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $12. (703) 522-8340. (Shannon Zimmerman)