Ugly Purple Sweater’s biography uses the word apocalypse three times, and yet the quirky duo—whose recent album, You Are Alone but You Are Not Alone, includes a song called “Jumbo Slice”—could hardly be accused of conjuring up dystopias. Far from it, members Sam McCormally and Rachel Lord frequently come off like the District’s answer to the Avett Brothers; like that NPR-baiting North Carolina outfit, Ugly Purple Sweater makes rootsy folk pop that’s playful, emotive, and occasionally bleak. For almost every bitter note, there’s a sweet, disarming counterpoint, like a chorus of whistlers and kazoos, or a whimsical falsetto in the background. If the band were a little less silly, it’d be in Richard and Linda Thompson territory. A little more? Think Raffi.
UGLY PURPLE SWEATER PERFORMS AT 8:30 P.M WITH PEARL AND THE BEARD AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $8. (202) 483-5000.