SATURDAY

What do you tell an annoyingly tenacious suitor who is buoyed that you’re listening to a song called “It’s Hard to Turn Me On” every time he calls? No, oh tedious one, it’s just a coincidence. It’s Quasi. What? No, not Ozzy—Quasi. Too bad you keep missing Track 2, “I Never Want to See You Again.” Or the strikingly apt Track 10, “You Fucked Yourself.” Ah, but that was years (three) and albums (two) ago, back when Featuring “Birds”—sunny pop songs about the things that break us slowly whether we know it or not—was the representative snapshot of Quasi’s bloody-toothed grin. The Portland duo—Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss—then gave us Field Studies, often less poppy, slightly longer meditations on, well, the things that break us slowly whether we know it or not. The band’s latest, The Sword of God, again delivers us a blissfully binary package: arrows to sling at the people who rile us most (“I might have been around, but you’re not so chaste/You’re quick to put it down, but you still want a taste”), as well as visions of redemption and resignation dispatched with a pleasing variety of form. From the resplendent Big Star-taking-hits-of-Air-sounding “Fuck Hollywood” to the “Brown Sugar”-clogged bagpipes of “Rock & Roll Can Never Die,” The Sword of God is from beginning to end a sharp, bespangled instrument of pleasure, pain, and promise. Quasi plays with Ted Leo and Magic Magicians at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Jennifer Agresta)

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