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Pop music is irresistible in its notion that the present is enriched mainly by hopefulness for the future and nostalgia for the past. And its kickass melodies. In these particulars, Pernice Brothers do pop proud. Joe Pernice (formerly of the Scud Mountain Boys) & Co. return to the strings-and-horns lushness of their 1998 debut, Overcome by Happiness, in their sixth album, Live a Little, which also ends with a blown-out version of Scud song, and Brothers live favorite, “Grudge F***.” But the main attraction pulls from their entire discography: A feeling that things have been, and will be, better than they are today. As I sit in my cubicle, daydreaming of an upcoming trip to Big Sur and college roadtrips long gone, “PCH One” instructs me—alongside acoustic guitar, piano, and handclaps—to “struggle through the S’s, through the tunnels in the trees/…It might do some good just to wake up by the sea/To the smell of breath and greasy hair and car seats.” And I know that’s right. Pernice Brothers perform with Elvis Perkins at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Anne Marson)