Power Chord Broker

Hangin' with President Clinton, drafting ultra-important documents -- Chris Gallagher has moved on from such trifles. Now he just wants to write purty songs.

"At some level, my life has always had a strange dichotomy," Gallagher says. "It was worst when I was running around the West Wing during the day and going to the city's hip hop clubs at night. There were times when both seemed like a pose. At a deep level, that was one of the struggles that led me to do music full time. It seemed off the path of where I was headed professionally, but true to what I needed for myself personally. I had to play something out all the way. I needed to prove that I had the courage and the clarity to see what was really moving me. It's always been there as this kind of important, friendly force in my life, but I'd never taken it that seriously."

Perhaps that dichotomy is finished though. Gallagher talks about his new demos and the adrenaline-soaked rush of performing live with an excitement that few people have for their day jobs.

"It's amazing the way that a room full of people who are all feeling the same thing, the same music, can change things," he says. It might be the kind of talk you hear from idealistic musicians, but by the tone of his voice, you can tell that Gallagher believes what he's saying, and his conviction is disarmingly convincing. It's almost as if he doesn't know that most folks are a little too cynical to think a former White House aide in his mid-30s can pick up a guitar and change the world.

Tony Deifell

Details

Celebrates the release of Will and Surrender

Thursday, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m.

Eoin Harrington and Josh Fixx also perform

Tickets are $7

861-5016

www. cafedunord.com

Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F.

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