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SATURDAY

As much as Seam’s leader Sooyoung Park sings of pain and sadness, it’s often the numbness that’s left when all the hurt fades that quietly rears its head in his songs. “In the middle of these times/You say, “I’m better than ever”/Well, I just feel nothing tonight,” Park seethes on “Intifada Driving School” from The Pace is Glacial, Seam’s first album in three years. Even when he whispers, “I’m tired of making it work/Taking the things you say” on “Port of Charleston” from 1995’s Are You Driving Me Crazy?, it sounds not like an aggrieved person standing up for his rights, but like an admission of defeat. Though it’s Park’s vulnerability that keeps Seam’s CDs in my player (I rarely file any of the band’s albums, because they are near constant-company, especially on road trips), it’s the band’s music that initially drew me in. As a member of Bitch Magnet in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Park created oblique, angry music. While Seam retained Bitch Magnet’s dynamism, Park has turned to moody pop songs as his means of communicating. Park’s instantly catchy compositions are strummy without being jangly, heavy without being bombastic, and near head-wreckers to categorize—his writing is traditional song form and post-punk, with a standard two guitars-bass-and-drums lineup, but sounds like no one else. See Seam in one of its rare D.C. appearances with Come at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $9. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)