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It’s been nearly 20 years since Nada Surf ’s wonderful alt-rock one-hit-by-design “Popular,” a song that perfectly embodied/parodied the underdog ambivalence of the post-Nirvana era. They’ve been making excellent music ever since, years and years after so many other alt-rock one-hits don’t even exist as trivia questions. The run of albums they made during the 2000s — 2003’s Let Go , 2005’s The Weight Is a Gift , and 2009’s Lucky — is especially worth returning to, full of sweet songs about grappling with the muted joys and weird perils of negotiating life as you transition from twentysomething to thirtysomething. What sets Nada Surf apart is the unguarded quality of singer-guitarist Matth... Full story

26 February