We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Any list of Metropolitan’s influences would be incomplete without mentioning the band’s main muse: Arlington County. Its new LP, Down for You Is Up, leads off with a track named for an exit off I-66; the video shows guitarist John Masters, bassist Shyam Telikicherla, and drummer Saadat Awan lovingly taking in Arlington’s shabby gentility while trying to make a gig at the Court House Metro stop. More seriously, Metropolitan thinks locally by following the example of county forefathers Unrest and incorporating keen British influences such as New Order and Teenage Fanclub into its spiky American guitar rock. “Westmoreland” bubbles along on the back of Telikicherla’s perky bass line and Masters’ about-a-girl lyrics like “Blue Monday” in a thrift-store T-shirt; “This Real” salts wistful, Scottish-style power pop with Masters’ uniformly terrific, J. Mascis-influenced guitar tone. Despite being only about half an hour long, Down for You Is Up shows some classy diversity, interpolating five out-there band doodles between its nine “real” songs, and on “Girl From Montpelier,” Awan spells Masters on guitar and vocals while the band lays down a slinky harmonium-and-tablas groove. Still, Metropolitan’s forte is classic drums-bass-guitar stuff, such as the album-closing “Wet Cigarette.” At the end of that song, someone in the group chides Masters for drawing out the coda too long. “I know tha-at!” he sings. “But I was into it!” Like a waitress at a Columbia Pike diner, he couldn’t help but top off your cup. Metropolitan plays with ex-Barcelonese the Sprites and Speedwell at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Andrew Beaujon)