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Armchair Martian, Friday, October 1, at the Bluebird Theater, is one band that has drawn comparisons to Hüsker D more times than it would care to admit -- yet the Fort Collins-based trio's dynamic, fuzz-fucked pop does at times bear a striking musical resemblance to the fabled Minneapolis trio. But what most reviewers usually fail to mention in all their pigeonholing haste is that lead Martian Jon Snodgrass is also one heck of a songwriter. In fact, if Hang On Ted, the band's sophomore effort for San Diego's Cargo imprint, is any indication, he is one of the area's brightest. Throughout Ted's twelve tracks, Snodgrass turns heartfelt, bittersweet phrases with all the authority of a young, punky Steve Earle. And when he and his fellow Martians (drummer Paul Rucker and bassist Miguel) turn things down a notch, as they do on the poignant, melodic "Scared of My Friends" and the epic "Know Like Hurt," one can't help but wonder why these guys aren't being profiled alongside Son Volt and Wilco in the pages of the College Music Journal. As it is, they are one of the best-kept secrets in their home state. But then, so was Hsker D once upon a time. Friday's lineup also includes Misunderstood, Hemi Cuda (see profile, page 87), Mike V and Mudstack as part of a benefit for stabbing victim Luke Schmaltz from King Rat. -- Brad Jones

 
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