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Since the early years of R.E.M.’s success, Peter Buck has rarely taken time off. Instead, he’s chosen to fill free hours with collaborations. He comes to town as the most famous member of “The Magnificent Seven vs. the United States” tour. The core of the seven draws on Tuatara, an instrumental Middle-Eastern-cum-lounge-music aggregation whose Breaking the Ethers is perhaps the coolest background music of the year. Along for more than the ride is former American Music Club president Mark Eitzel, who made his somewhat lighthearted new West with Buck’s assistance. Of course, lighthearted for Eitzel mainly indicates that musings like “Once I knew calm, when I was 3” and “No one cares if I live or die” are delivered to slightly more snappy tempos than on last year’s 60 Watt Silver Lining. A third subset, the Buck/Scott McCaughey-run Minus 5, should add to the festive mood, even if its own current recording, The Lonesome Death of Buck McCoy, is notable for a cover of John Lennon’s elegy, “My Mummy’s Dead.” At 7:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Rickey Wright)