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Like any country singer worth her weight in tear-salt, Annandale, Va., native Kelly Willis has logged plenty of years being ignored—by an industry that let her three gut-wrenching solo records go unnoticed but embraced the Judds, by old lovers, would-be lovers, current lovers, etc. Appropriately enough, the headstrong singer’s career received a blast of energy when two of her songs were used on the soundtrack to Thelma and Louise. The exposure helped Willis earn a new contract with A&M and a bevy of like-minded friends she has since recorded with, 16 Horsepower, Son Volt, and former Jayhawk Gary Louris among them. Judging from the past endeavors of those in Willis’ touring band—which includes Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone as well as ex-members of the dBs, Blood Oranges, and True Believers—I expect Willis will rock more than twang tonight. With Scud Mountain Boys at 8 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3901 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $16.50. (703) 549-5919. (Brett Anderson)