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In a 1992 New York Times article, pop-music critic Jon Pareles assessed the merits of two similarly minded, up-and-coming indie bands: One was a Stockton, Calif., outfit whose new Slanted and Enchanted melded hooky guitars and impenetrable lyrics; the other was a band coming off a half-decade of sloppy eclecticism with a starkly beautiful pop album—Arlington’s own Unrest. Now that Pavement has achieved indie-rock sainthood, it’s fair to ask, Why not Unrest? Why wasn’t it Mark Robinson, instead of Stephen Malkmus, who was written up in the New Yorker? Why hasn’t Northern Virginia’s finest musical export inspired any 200-page biographical tomes or exhaustive fan sites? Why aren’t its albums being reissued with extra discs of outtakes and spiffed-up packaging? Maybe it’s that inscrutable, pseudo-intellectual lyrics will always trump such comprehensible topics as death and lust. Maybe it was due to the Matador hype machine, which was allied with Capitol Records for a good portion of Pavement’s run. Maybe it was that Unrest never had a member with as stupid a moniker as Spiral Stairs. But it wasn’t that Pavement put out better records: With the lineup of guitarist Robinson, bassist Bridget Cross, and drummer Phil Krauth, Unrest released only two albums before breaking up in 1995, to Pavement’s eventual five. Imperial f.f.r.r. and Perfect Teeth, however, are crystalline, near-immaculate documents of pop songcraft. Go and bask in the sound that should have ruled the world as a reunited Unrest headlines Teenbeat’s 20th Anniversary with Eggs, +/-, True Love Always, the Fontaine Toups, and Jonny Cohen (see City List for other dates and venues) Thursday, Feb. 24, on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Mike DeBonis)