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Can an LP-length joke be considered a classic? Trans Am got more serious and more sinister following its recently reissued 1999 album Futureworld, but it’s hard to think of an example from their discography more worthy of being performed in full. The album more or less does to the futurism of ’70s Krautpop what Mad Men does to the racial and gender attitudes of the 1960s—that is, it emphasizes its quaintness but also extracts gusto. On Futureworld, the then-D.C.-based band stuck to this mission unerringly: The songs, even the long ones, are fast and silly; the synths are plucky and pulselike; the word “future” seems to appear at least a dozen times per track; and the execution is utterly deadpan. So, yeah, it’s a Kraftwerk send-up, but it also shares its inspiration’s core value: The future never gets old.
Trans Am performs with Les Savy Fav and The Psychic Paramount at 8 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930.