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with Remy Zero; Wednesday, September 13, at the Agora


If you happened to catch the Oasis/Travis concert back in April, you might have witnessed two Britrock heavyweights on radically divergent career paths. These days, Oasis's Gallagher brothers spend their time cutting each other down in the press and their nights dodging projectiles flung by irate fans. Enjoy yourselves, boys. Scottish upstart Travis has taken its deeply heartfelt, soprano-tinged wuss rock to the masses with The Man Who, a record resplendent with shimmering woe-is-me sentiments such as the self-explanatory "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" The guys in Travis sometimes sing in French, often cover Britney Spears, and always croon about how they'd like to see you in the morning. We needed this. With Oasis all but self-destructed, Blur currently sidetracked by wayward solo albums, and the Verve violently disbanded, the U.K. sensitive-pop throne sits vacant and lonely. Travis joins us in the midst of The Man Who's victory lap (buoyed by prime space in every music magazine known to man), and we'll kindly wait until the follow-up album to hand over the crown. But its earnest lyrics and sharp ear for melody, coupled with a sly sense of humor (its "Baby One More Time" cover, for instance), makes it an ideal contender -- at least, until the new Radiohead album comes out.

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