Pop quiz, everybody: How many emo kids does it take to screw in a light bulb? OK, pencils down. The correct answer is five -- one to do it, one to form a band about it, one to write a poem about his loss, one to cry to his girlfriend about it, and one to start a 'zine about it. Connecticut's Hot Rod Circuit has four members, and none has a girlfriend. (They're all married.) No word on whether any of them plans to raid the nearest Xerox machine, take up custodial jobs, or write broken-hearted haikus. But no matter what they do, the quartet makes no apologies for its melodic, uptempo pop/punk that's earned it a growing fan base and landed opening slots for emo torchbearers like Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids. HRC formed in Alabama, of all places, but the band soon grew disheartened with the Heart of Dixie and moved to Connecticut (except for vocalist Andy Jackson, who still lives in Sweet Home but keeps up with his Northeast crew). After several releases on small NYC label Triple Crown, HRC signed to Vagrant two years ago, and its most recent album, Sorry About Tomorrow, marks another chance for the band to reach the top -- or at least the nearest chandelier. Hot Rod Circuit performs at 8 p.m. Monday, February 17, at the Factory, 2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-566-6331.
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