Music » Livewire

Moe

Sunday, March 2, at House of Blues.

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Funky jam-band Moe finally found its groove on last year's The Conch. Its new CD, Sticks and Stones, follows a similar path: economical song lengths (only the ambling "Queen of Everything" breaks the six-minute mark), a craftsmanlike attention to melody, and a minimal amount of needless noodling. You can thank the guys' new work model. Instead of playing Sticks and Stones' songs to death on tour and then laying them down in the studio (the way most jam bands operate), Moe recorded the tracks before performing them live for a bunch of hairy, weed-smoking fans. The result is one of their tightest albums, which puts the focus on tunes rather than moods. Even the playful instrumental "Z02" benefits from this newfound attention to melody. Finally — jam-band music that doesn't hog iPod space. Live, however, all bets are off.

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