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THURSDAY

The upbeat sound of D.C. feminist-punk quartet Mess Up the Mess! can be deceptive. Actually, “upbeat” is an understatement when describing the maniacally manic nature of a Messy set. The group’s delivery is as hyper as a gaggle of 5-year-olds hopped up on sugar and let loose in FAO Schwarz. But just because these folks are happy doesn’t mean they leave their politics backstage. In “F-Bomb,” Mess Up the Mess sings about the F-word that still makes too many people squirm: “The bomb I’m advocating isn’t F-U-C-K, NO WAY!/That sad sorry word was played out day ’fore yesterday/So what’s the naughty word that sends the menfolk into fits?/Say it with me ladies, it’s the F-bomb, FEMINIST.” Lead vocalist Cricket McLeod left town in November to attend art school, so witness the band debut in a new form when it plays with Lemonface at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (Rachel Beckman)