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When Lou Barlow steered Sebadoh from punk to soft rock, the saving grace was that he was an asshole; the band’s fan base swelled only when it found out that easy-listening music could have a mean streak. On the band’s latest CD, The Sebadoh, the career malcontent is still picking his fights with his heart, but his options for conflict aren’t as varied as they used to be. I’m not terribly surprised that the guy would eventually find monogamy dull, but it’s a shame to hear that he’s quit trusting his gifts for melody and scruffy songcraft to deliver thrills. Of course, second-string songwriter Jason Loewenstein is still on hand, smashing his head on the punk rock. But that’s the bad news. With Playtopia and Bunny Brains at 9:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Brett Anderson)