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Califone’s first recordings were made at a truck stop, when the band’s members found time between washing and weighing rigs. A couple of EPs, a collection of film music, and a debut full-length later, the Chicago-based group has hit its stride with new, multi-instrumentalist members Jim Becker and Joe Adamik. Califone’s sophomore effort, Quicksand/Cradlesnakes, likely owes its sound as much to the influence of these newcomers as to the truck stop vision of founding ‘Fones Tim Rutili and Ben Massarella (of ’90s blues-punk group Red Red Meat). Fiddle, fretless banjo, and “duct tape coin piano” (whatever the hell that is) meet spare electronics and tape loops, and an American love child is born: a mountain baby, his face wizened by generations of grit but still fresh with possibilities. Rutili’s cryptic lyrics are unintelligible, but who cares? The melodies are achingly purty, and the band’s role-swappin’ spirit should make for an interesting live show. Califone plays with Clem Snide at 8:30 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811
14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (Anne Marson)