Jam band moe. brings tunes to 9:30 Club

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

The band whose name vexes copy editors throughout the land -- moe. -- isn't going anywhere soon.

Sure, the band takes its time releasing new albums -- the group is still touring behind last year's "What Happened to the LA LA's" -- but that's because the members are always on tour.

"To me, it just seems like we are doing what we have always done," said bassist and songwriter Rob Derhak putting an end to fan rumors that the group is looking of new direction. "We are out on tour, doing festivals, keeping our heads down and playing."

After almost 25 years, the bandmates know how to deliver both in concert and records. Consider its latest album that was released on Sugar Hill Records. When the John Travis-produced (Kid Rock, Social Distortion, No Doubt) project was released early last year, critics for American Songwriter and other music press were full of praise. Indeed, the group's 10th album was full of songs that the band had in its live rotation. Although they were trimmed down, they still packed wallops.

Onstage
moe.
» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
» When: 7 p.m. Thursday
» Info: $28; 800-955-5566; 9:30.com

"For us I feel like we have sort of a long-term game plan, which is sort of unwritten," said founding member Derhak. "We just play music. When we are going onstage, we are going onstage. And we do three tours a year [plus an array of festivals, including our own]. And part of this is the reality of getting older."

It's not that the five-member band has lost the excitement for its sounds. It's just that with five band members coming from five families, time is often short. So the bandmates have made the decision to keep touring a priority.

"Ideally you want to go into the studio and have everyone on board with all the songs picked out," said Derhak of juggling songwriting and other pre-production work with life on the road. "That's tough when you have so much going on."

Of course, Derhak is always writing for the band. He talks about singing songs into his iPhone when he's on tour. Since losing seven out of 10 songs due to a software problem, he's taken to emailing the snippets to himself on a regular basis.

"It's all part of the creative process," he said of continually writing. "It can hit you anywhere."

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