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Scrawled in lowercase letters on its pink cardboard spine, the title of Et At It’s 26-minute debut, i Count, is less a self-affirmation than a job description. After all, this mathletic, semilocal trio follows the all-notes-created-equal tradition of Anton Webern and the Magic Band—not writing songs so much as using instruments to evoke complex equations. As if to drive the point home, clean-toned guitarists Amelia Saddington and Fiona Griffin turn the falsetto vocal line of “Dreema” into a lyrical abacus: “…and four…and five…and six…” But
i Count is never as dryly academic as all that: Even if someone in the band can’t stop thinking about theory (probably bassist and avant-classical head Franke Vogl), it all comes out sounding like good, arty punk rock. Et At It plays with El Guapo at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)