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FRIDAY

“I’m way too old and totally sick of rock toilets. I never want to see another one,” says Marshall Crenshaw from the comfort of a San Francisco hotel room. “I can’t stand going to a place where the furniture in the dressing room is all torn to shreds and there’s all this stupid graffiti on the wall. I can’t stand that.” How fortunate that Crenshaw is performing at the Birchmere, a top-notch Alexandria club. And fortunate for anyone who appreciates intelligent rock that’s not too smart to have a melody and a hook. Or, as one is reminded listening to Crenshaw’s new best-of CD and re-released “deluxe-edition” first album, dozens of hooks. The criminally underappreciated Crenshaw has been quoted as saying, “I really knew what I was doing when I was making singles,” and these discs prove him correct. “I was strongly influenced by songwriters like Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach and Thom Bell—a lot of those ’60s and ’70s guys who would try to create this kind of sensual experience with a song. I try to emulate that.” But the writer of “Someday, Someway” and “Cynical Girl” is also the virtually forgotten author of Hollywood Rock, an exhaustively smart and indispensable compendium of music in the movies. Tragically, the book is out of print. And while the careful pop-culture caretakers at Rhino have given Crenshaw’s music the tribute it deserves, the publishing industry has yet to do likewise. Crenshaw plays after Bruce Henderson at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $17.50. (703) 549-7500. (Dave Nuttycombe)