10

THURSDAY

A year of puzzlements. First, I receive word that Belle and Sebastian isn’t a fop duo, and now I’m supposed to believe that the latest wave of the British Invasion hails from…Spain? It’s a band called Art School, and its hooks are the biggest things to come out of that Mediterranean country since the Armada. Which, if I recall my history correctly, never reached England. Still, Art School gets close enough to the Isle to pinch a few power-pop hooks from the Mod likes of the Who, Small Faces, and the Jam. Fact is, on 3 Close Mates these guys sound every bit as English as my British ex-girlfriend’s father, an old upper-class India hand who, upon being informed that I didn’t drink, announced straight-faced, “In the Raj, all the teetotalers died.” Move over, Almadóvar, here come the nice lads in Art School, who with D.C.’s own worthy practitioners of Brit-pop, the Phobes, are sure to put on a show only a party-pooping anglophobe could hate. It all goes down with Dateline Diamonds opening at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (Michael Little)