If your hometown features 200 music venues, it’s fairly easy to find a consistent stage and audience. The smart bands use the turf as a playground. They stick to national tours when they stop by, open for The Roots, play around campus, do gigs at art galleries and children’s museums. They dick around: line a stage with tinfoil to accentuate a cobbled together light show, recruit high school band members to boost their sonic powers. It’s cheap labor that’ll remember playing in front of thousands forever. After a decade of quirky, aggressively experimental, mostly instrumental pop, Austin, Texas-based indietronica quartet The Octopus Project is still trying. Husband-and-wife founders Josh and Yvonne Lambert writhe sweepingly onstage, taking turns on guitars, drum machines, and hammering away on a Korg. They rip through caffeine-fueled gems like “Wet Gold.” They sometimes wear masks. They always employ theremins. Live shows are lined with corresponding, colorful wires plugged into stacks of amps. It’s all quite showy, sure, but the joyful spirit of the occasion is where the war is won anyway.
THE OCTOPUS PROJECT PERFORMS AT 8:30 P.M. ON WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6, AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $12. (202) 483-5000.