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Richard Cheese insists that it’s just a misunderstanding. “I don’t even know how to sing,” he says. “Every time I do a show, I’m baffled why people are there.” The fans are there, of course, because Mr. Cheese has struck a nerve. Cheese takes alternative music, strips away the modern angst, and substitutes a swinging, schmaltzy pizazz. His current CD is Lounge Against the Machine; his next will be Kid A-Flat. As Cheese’s close personal friend (and alter ego) Mark Jonathan Davis explains, the great singers—Sinatra, Bennett, Dino—stopped performing new material about 1965, but there are so many other great songs, “especially from the kids today.” Cheese insists that “we are in a new golden era of songwriting. And there are so many fabulous tunes out there that need to be swankified.” With the “almost absurd lyrical imagery” in today’s music, says Davis, “we have a…fertile ground for taking lounge music and making it extremely current. We’re trying to…grab those songs that will be the classics of tomorrow, today.” Though the people come to hear the Cheese versions of “Rape Me” and “Suck My Kiss,” “the part I enjoy,” says Davis, “is taking a true gem, like ‘Buddy Holly’ by Weezer—which is a melodic masterpiece—and giving it a sophisticated treatment. I’m tricking people into liking the traditional pop genre.” Get fooled when Cheese & Co. appear at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Shark Club, 14114 Lee Highway, Centreville. $5. (703) 266-1888. (Dave Nuttycombe)