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Moving away from the trippy atmos pherics that made its debut one of the best of 1993, Brit-rock quartet The Verve opts for big rock sounds on its sophomore album A Northern Soul. Vocalist Richard Ashcroft graduated cum laude from the Mick Jagger School of Pouts, but flunked Pop Star U.’s lyrics course; Ashcroft’s lyrics leave no romantic cliché unturned. But guitarist Nick McCabe is still a master of both edgy blues riffs and stratospheric psychedelic pyrotechnics. With Hum at 10:30 p.m. the 9:30 Club, 930 F St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Christopher Porter)