Music » Critics' Picks

Marah

9 p.m. Thursday, February 19. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City.

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When Marah elbowed its way out of Philadelphia in 1998, the band's melodramatic cobblestone rock felt a little like a precocious twentysomething pose. And not a fashionable one, although its 2000 album, Kids in Philly, was deservedly hailed by critics. But after ten years of breakups and backlashes — like a much-ridiculed "Britpop" phase and a critical dustup over a Nick Hornby New York Times piece that elevated the band to rockist poster children — that grit rings true. Even though only singer/guitarist Dave Bielanko remains from the Kids in Philly days (his brother/chief, harmonizer, Serge is on paternity leave), more than one convert will leave this show mumbling to his pals about the enduring power of rock & roll. Marah has that effect on people. And with Bruce Springsteen enjoying a hipster renaissance, the band finally sounds right on time.

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