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Bright Eyes songwriter Conor Oberst long ago moved past his feelings-fueled emo phase. Revisiting the post-punk nihilism of his briefly lived band Desaparecidos seems like a step back, until you realize its old fans are now old enough to publish somewhere other than LiveJournal. Case in point: Pitchfork panned Desaparecidos’ only full-length release—2002’s Read Music/Speak Spanish—back in the day but welcomed back the band like old friends when its current East Coast tour was announced. Although Desaparecidos has a handful of new tracks, it’ll have to rely on its earlier album, an overwrought stripmall manifesto about the nothingness that awaits us after we turn 22 and stay stuck in the suburbs. Oberst howls about government and war and allegiances—frequently insufferable themes, but Oberst is actually singing about a more universal kind of longing. “Well, look up close, it is superimposed on a blank blue screen,” he sings in “The Happiest Place on Earth.” “It is fantasy, fucking magical.”
Desaparecidos perform with Joyce Manor and States & Kingdoms at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.