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Over two decades before Billy Corgan turned self-loathing into a fashion statement, Loudon Wainwright III made it a lifestyle. The folky’s tireless self-deprecation could be dismissed as self-important or masochistic if he weren’t as consummate a performer and as reliable a comedian as he is a songwriter: When you hold his funniest gags to the light you realize that they aren’t funny at all. The subject of Grown Man, Wainwright’s latest, is the same as all the rest (that would be himself), but even if Wainwright claims to not have found wisdom with age, his songs have—the album is his best in years. Venture to Alexandria tonight and you’ll leave thankful that one of folk’s most resilient artists is also its most enduring. Annie Wenz opens at 8 p.m. at the Birchmere, 3901 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $8.50. (703) 549-5919. (Brett Anderson)