We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.



Ex-punk-turned-self-described-sonic-refugee Shelby Cinca has started to look toward his roots over the past few years, projecting his genealogy (he’s the son of Romanian refugees) onto his past punk orthodoxy. His band, the Cassettes, whose members sometimes dress as sailors and vagabonds, write shaggy-dog songs mussed with bits of everything from New Orleans accordion to a song sung in Urdu. (Cinca describes one tune as “Muslim bluegrass.”) In a somewhat backward move, the band has recently started busking; look for the guys in Dupont Circle this weekend. After a recent gig in Woodstock, the band took to the streets, jamming with a 17-year-old saw player. “She won’t be playing this week,” Cinca says. “She’s in high school. But her dad gave her permission to join the band in a year if she wanted to.” For tonight’s show, the Cassettes are adding a different element to the mix: a personalized blend of tea called the Captain’s Choice. Tea. No, really; I swear. The Cassettes play with 127 at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)