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The coffee houses in Southern college towns are either empty these days or full of impassioned singer-songwriters with lofty ideas about making it big. Most of the talented female singer-guitarists (the Danielle Howles and Lauren Hoffmans) have been plucked from their cozy scenes and set on the road to gather fans, or locked in the studio to make hits. Memphis-based Garrison Starr is not alone, and her debut, Eighteen Over Me, gives no indication that she’ll break free from the singing-cowgirl gang. Eighteen is mostly hooky roots-rock and country-flavored folk, all with the requisite vaguely alternative vibe that conjures a deeper Sheryl Crow. “Bruises” unfolds rather pleasantly, but most of Eighteen plays it so safe that only record executives, some daring Indigo Girls fans, and the hardcore VH-1 set could really be impressed. Opening for Holly Cole at 9:30 p.m. at Metro Cafe, 1522 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 518-7900. (John Dugan)