On the surface, the Caribbean could be considered the quietest band that emerged from the wreckage of D.C.’s iconoclastic Smart Went Crazy in the late ’90s, but that description does the quintet a disservice: The group writes songs that are complex and elliptical and often perfectly tangled. It’s spent the last decade churning out breathy, meditative records at a steady clip, producing an impressive discography that’s not without its confrontational moments—its follow-up to 2007’s Populations should drop this year. The band’s singer, Michael Kentoff, is a masterful lyricist with a serious talent for short-form narratives and bemusing set pieces. He’s also, not shockingly, an excellent Twitterer.

THE CARIBBEAN PERFORMS WITH SMALL SUR AT 9 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. $8. (202) 667-4490.