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Seven years after the happy, hooky Secaucus, New Jersey’s Wrens migrate back from obscurity with their third effort, The Meadowlands. The long winter was tough: The band’s old label, Grass Records, dropped it (perhaps to make room for Creed?), and the quartet has been recording and rerecording this album in a living-room studio since early 1999. The wait did provide time to reflect—if mostly about the time gone by: “I’m nowhere near/What I dreamed I’d be/I can’t believe/What life has done to me,” goes the album’s first track. But the Wrens have always managed a more substantive take on emo-pop than the typical hand-me-a-hankie variety, and ultimately, Meadowlands is a homecoming, not a pity party. The Wrens play with +/- (featuring ex-members of Versus) at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Catherine P. Lewis)