Music » Critics' Picks

Ben Kweller

8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 11. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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Ben Kweller first became famous as the teenage songwriting phenom for Radish, the forgotten '90s band briefly known as "Nirvana Jr." A solo artist since 2000, Kweller has infused McCartneyesque melodies with guitar-and-piano-driven folk, punk and country. Though now a father of two, Kweller is still curly-haired and baby-faced, with a voice that channels the earnestness of a slacker-type Ben Folds. Yet the young craftsman has continued to expand his range and depth over four albums, and he's now writing lines slightly more mature than "Sex reminds her of eating spaghetti" (a lyric from arguably his biggest hit, 2002's quirky sing-along "Wasted & Ready"). 2009's Changing Horses showed that even when Kweller plays with pedal steel, his power still lies in affably angsty pop.

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