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SUNDAY

Never let it be said that Michelle Shocked has settled into a rut. Much to the chagrin of record labels—and oftentimes her own fans—Shocked has jumped styles more often than Robert Downey Jr. has been through “recovery.” She followed up the angry folk-punk of The Texas Campfire Tapes—an informally recorded bootleg that improbably transformed her from squatter to British chart-topper virtually overnight—and Short Sharp Shocked with the bright big-band sound of Captain Swing. The minstrel-based sounds of Arkansas Traveler and her latest, Dub Natural, a collection of dub mixes from the upcoming album Deep Natural, were close behind. Though her stylistic zigzags have perhaps hindered her career (Shocked wound up suing her former label, Mercury, based on the 13th Amendment, which bans slavery), they’ve certainly led Shocked down some interesting byways, as Dub Natural attests. From the Jethro Tull-meets-ZZ Top flute grooves of “Draughts of Dublin” to the jump-up-in-the-air funk of “Peachfuzz (Version),” you never know exactly what’s going to happen next—only that it will be worth checking out. Scads of critics have testified to the quality of Shocked’s live shows, which tend to be Springsteenesque in their length and intensity. Plus, there’s the added attraction of square dancing. With Shocked calling the do-si-do’s and Fiachna O’Braonain from Hothouse Flowers on guitar, my advice is to reverse the flutter at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Michael Little)