MONDAY

In our dreams, most of us write pop songs. Not bleeping manifestos that shred ears, but Rubber Soul-type pop songs, catchy tunes that aren’t arrogant. We want our pop songs as big as sweet, colorful, and eminently digestible cupcakes. In the late-’80s, pre-Nirvana world of mainstream music, those sugary pop songs meant for high school girls—but buried by all those hair bands—were sung by the Blake Babies. The Babies operated in a safe space between Dinosaur Jr. (whom they marvelously covered) and the Pixies, and wrote songs for beer swiggin’, not pot smokin’. The trio didn’t aspire to film-school motifs or endless solos—just, basically, unrequited love. And singer Juliana Hatfield always sustained an eternal yodel/yelp. (Think Sassy’s answer to the Carter Family.) With two flawless albums in the can, the Babies broke up, in 1991. And none of the members ever produced anything close to the intimacies they rendered as a unit. Hatfield topped out on her own with a second-stage appearance at Lilith Fair, finally getting her chance to play to 15-year-old girls who couldn’t care less. After 10 years, the Babies have reunited and recorded another flawless pop album, this time adding strings and droning highlights, as well as a cameo by Evan Dando (of course). And they had the good humor to call the 12-song set God Bless the Blake Babies. Go see your pop dreams realized when they play with Starlight Mints at 8:45 p.m. Monday, March 12, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $12. (202) 393-0930. (Jason Cherkis)