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SUNDAY

Here’s a theory about Kurt Cobain’s death that has nothing to do with Courtney Love: Maybe the fallen rock star was overwhelmed by guilt for jeopardizing the coolness of the band that he idolized more than any other, the Melvins. Not that his heart wasn’t in the right place when he wore the band’s T-shirts on national television and he helped it to sign with Atlantic. But if the Melvins were after fame and success, they wouldn’t have put out a heavy-as-all-get-out 30-plus-minute release with no real song breaks. After the assist from the soon-to-be-dead Cobain, the in-flux trio had to endure all the bullshit and humiliation that comes with being dumped by a major label when alterna-dabbling frat boys realized that nothing on Stoner Witch had a chorus like that of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Yet despite that fiasco—and the death of their patron—the Melvins have survived with their core (drummer Dale Crover and guitarist/vocalist King Buzzo) intact. Ever true to its metal sound, the band’s latest, Pigs of the Roman Empire, a collaboration with soundscape architect Lustmord, is as great as anything its members have ever recorded. Something of a cross between the sound of shifting tectonic plates and a giallo soundtrack, the album is peppered with occasional genius hard-rock moments. Prepare to be blown away by the Melvins when they play with Convulsant and Vaz at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (David Dunlap Jr.)