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monday

Though many notable Japanese punk- and noise-rock bands have come from big cities such as Osaka and Tokyo, the four members of Shift have remained loyal to their hometown and are fiercely proud of their rural roots. In Yamagata Prefecture, located in Honshu Island’s Tohoku region, the main industry is growing cherries and pears. There are no malls or subways; the natural landscape is pristine, and tourists enjoy skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, and the medicinal benefits of natural hot springs year-round. But Shift’s music is hardly provincial—its songs focus on worldly matters, with frontman Yuki Funayama often shout-singing in protest to exploitation, poverty, and the war in Iraq while his bandmates energetically plow their way through the band’s angular, frenetic music. Shift performs with Sentai and Don Zientara at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Sean McArdle)