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The other half of the Uncle Tupelo split, Son Volt makes unadorned country-rock that doesn’t try so hard to please and ends up cutting deeper. Singer/songwriter Jay Farrar borrows phrases for a number of these songs, but they always seem to be stark, uncompromising ones like “live free or die.” Carpetbaggers open at 9:45 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 930 F St. NW. $9. (202) 393-0930. (MJ)