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10,000 Maniacs have indeed decided to carry on without Natalie Merchant. Original member John Lombardo has returned to the fold and brought with him singer/violinist Mary Ramsey, with whom he had recorded two well-crafted pop-folk albums under the name John and Mary. Since Ramsey’s voice is not dissimilar to Merchant’s, the band’s sound has remained consistent; no surprises there. And they’ll probably do a lot of songs from their old albums. But nostalgia’s not the only reason to attend. I understand a new Maniacs recording is in the works, and hopefully the band will present a song or two from that. Opening are kindred spirits Love Riot, who offer a comparable line in folkish pop-rock. With Alex Chilton at 9 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Ken Roseman)