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Brendan Benson is more than just your average songwriting auteur who lived to rue the day he heard the words “major label.” With his deft pop hooks, folky feints, and jangly jabs—They smart! And they hurt, too!—Benson has been winning comparisons to such power-pop immortals as Big Star and the Raspberries since the release of his debut album, 1996’s One Mississippi. Unfortunately, hassles with Virgin Records threw a monkey wrench into his burgeoning recording career, and it was only this past February that Benson’s sophomore full-length, Lapalco, saw the light of day, on StarTime Records. Like One Mississippi, Lapalco includes several tracks co-written by fellow popmeister Jason Falkner, formerly with Jellyfish. Also like One Mississippi, though it isn’t big on one-punch TKOs, the feisty Lapalco features more than enough sonic jabs to leave you with a permanent case of cauliflower ear. Brendan Benson and the Wellfed Boys perform with the Cassettes at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Michael Little)