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THURSDAY

The surnames of the most recent Skeleton Key lineup have an uncannily onomatopoeic ring to them: vocalist/bassist Erik Sanko, guitarist Craig LeBlang, and percussionists Sean Sankey and Benjamin Clapp. Perhaps it’s no coincidence: The Key builds its punkish melodies around a mishmash of sounds—rubbery bass lines, squiggly guitar, and beats straight from the dump. In fact, the band’s original “junk kit” included an old table, propane tanks, chairs, film reels, a red wagon, and various pots and pans. After its 1996 self-titled EP and 1997’s much-beloved and Grammy-nominated full-length, Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon, Skeleton Key cranked up its touring schedule (appearing with the Melvins, Cibo Matto, and the Jesus Lizard) but cooled down its recording. The band’s subsequent, and newest, album is 2002’s Obtainium, released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label. If you can get past that unsavory association, tracks such as “Kerosene” and “The Barker of the Dupes” have a certain ’90s-funky charm to them. (To be honest, though, it’s a little heavy on the Chili Peppers for my taste.) Come see why these dudes are still touring when Skeleton Key plays with the Flesh at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Anne Marson)