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Don’t let the title fool you; the man who penned the line “It’s so hard to love when love was your great disappointment” hasn’t gone sentimental. The characters who people Lloyd Cole‘s Love Story are more often victimized than gratified by love. Though the songwriter announces on “Love Ruins Everything” that “My trademark frown has grown into the strangest easy smile,” the 12 songs on Story are classic Cole—lilting, pretty, and unremittingly cynical. “Unhappy Song,” for example, finds the beginning and the end of a relationship in the same moment: “He was torn between the romance and the mundane/He was torn every morning/He was surprised or was he horrified/To find the mundane more rewarding/She was upon him before he even knew it.” Ivy opens at 8:45 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 930 F St. NW. $18. (202) 393-0930. (Nicole Arthur)