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Joan Wasser has two functioning eyeballs, and yet a recent promo shot captured the Joan as Police Woman singer posing pirate-style—which didn’t, of course, make her the first pop singer with a thing for eyepatches. Perhaps she was paying sartorial homage to David Bowie, whose writing credit appears twice on Wasser’s recent disc of song covers. There’s “Baby,” which Bowie wrote with Iggy Pop, and which Wasser interprets as a minimalistic, gothic romp. Soon after comes “Sweet Thing,” here stripped of all glammy bombast. The strung-out, sexed-up tension is intact, however—all damaged, dark, and urbane, and perfectly suited to Wasser’s sinewy art pop. On an album of eccentric come-ons, only one cover works better: T.I.’s “Whatever You Like.”
JOAN AS POLICEWOMAN PERFORMS AT 9 P.M. WITH CAROL BUI AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. (202) 667-4490.