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its name (especially when it was just starting to get recognized by some)? Good question.

Bandleader Andy Gardner claims two reasons: that a new name reflects the more collaborative nature of the band these days (never mind that the trio is presently relegated to three diffferent locations: Gardner in Tucson, bassist/keyboardist Steve Krolikowski in L.A., and drummer Michael Newman in Olympia, Wash.), and that they were just plain sick and tired of the old, more cumbersome name.

Gardner also stresses that the band's musical output won't really change, or, more accurately, won't change any more than it would have anyway. In the band's press release, Gardner states the group has been demo-ing about 25 new songs that range from "acoustic based" stuff to "more danceable songs (a disco-type song or two)," to "77 punk influenced songs," all with the requisite pop hooks. In other words, the same old eclectic WFM, er, La Cerca we've come to know and love.

La Cerca will play its first show under the new moniker at 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, at Che's Lounge, 350 N. Fourth Ave. The band will play two sets, and admission is free. For more details call 623-2088.

HOT ON THE HEELS: The Instro-Gypsy propheteers of Molehill are nothing short of mesmerizing every time they set out. Same goes for fire-artist collective Flam Chen. When the two groups get together, as they periodically do, the combo alights flights of fancy that you didn't know were hidden inside you. In tandem, the music and ferocity of fire ebb and flow as one, culminating in a sultry -- hey, anyone got a Kleenex?

Prepare to have the short little hairs on the back of your neck stand up from time to time as you witness Molehill along with Flam Chen at 9 p.m. on Friday, December 22, at Nimbus Brewery, 3850 E. 44th St. The bar is quick to point out that it has an "extension of premises" liquor license, so pint-gulpers don't have to miss any of the outdoor portions of the fire show. Questions? Give 'em a call at 745-9175.

DEEP ROOTS: Slide gee-tar master Stefan George's combo The Conrads will set up shop at Plush this weekend. Rounded out by five-string bassist Jay Trapp and drummer Will Clipman, the band will bring the roots-rockin' boogie to the stage; all you need to do is show up. They'll be playing old favorites as well as tunes from their brand new CD, Way Back Home, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 23, at Plush, on the southwest corner of Fourth Ave. and Sixth St. For further info call 798-1298.

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