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Even when Atlanta’s Black Lips were trying to de-emphasize their fluid-spattering antics and let the music speak for itself, they couldn’t shake their destructive tendencies or reputation: After a particularly raucous gig in India in 2009—in which members Ian St. Pé and Cole Alexander kissed, and the latter flashed the audience—sponsors pulled the plug on the tour and attempted to have the band arrested. In the States, however, shows were calmer, as was the group’s eclectic (and underappreciated) 2009 record 200 Million Thousand, which balanced Black Lips’ signature garage-psych with acid-caked dirges, bizarro ballads, and one arguably successful cross-breeding of hip-hop and Waitsian barfly blues. It wasn’t as big a hit with the critics or the kids as earlier records, and word is the band’s upcoming follow-up, Arabia Mountain, is a return to flower-punk form. The first single, “Go Out and Get It,” is fun and rude and effective, not least because its video, shot on the recent Bruise Cruise, showcases bassist Jared Swilley hurling his instrument into the sea. Hey, whatever works.
Black Lips perform with Vivian Girls and Moon Women at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15.