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Eli “Paperboy” Reed doesn’t look like your typical R&B crooner. In fact, with his aw-shucks charm and well-manicured appearance, the Allston, Mass.-based soul singer looks more like something out of a contemporary boy band. On record, however, Reed sounds indistinguishable from the ’60s Motown greats that are his inspiration. Unlike retro-R&B musicians who’ve made a living off of cheaply repackaging ’60s soul for today’s audiences, Reed maintains a sense of authenticity in his music. In the current musical climate, Reed’s horn- and rhythm-heavy songs have to, at the very least, be appreciated as well-crafted entries into what will likely be a short-lived niche. It’s hard to imagine, though, that—had he been making music four decades ago—Reed’s songs wouldn’t have enjoyed a considerably longer shelf life in jukeboxes and at the top of hit-single lists. Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves perform at 9 p.m. at DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. $10. (202) 483-5000. —-Matthew Borlik