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> DECEMBER 8

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Pete Droge may have fled his native Seattle for Portland, but he’s not without ties to the Seattle scene. The singer/songwriter’s demo tape was produced by his buddy, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who passed it on to his producer, Brendan O’Brien, who liked it enough to produce Droge’s debut, Necktie Second. Yet Droge’s midtempo acoustic rock is hardly what you’d call grunge, and neither self-deprecating humor (exemplified by the eminently catchy “If You Don’t Love Me [I’ll Kill Myself]”) nor emotional immediacy (“Hampton Inn Room 306” was written and recorded on the spot in an Atlanta hotel room) are staples of that genre. Droge opens for the irrepressible Melissa Etheridge at 8 p.m. at Constitution Hall, 18th & D Sts. NW. $23-35. (202) 628-4780. (Nicole Arthur)