We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
British quartet Wire always made sure to balance its angular minimalism with pop catchiness, infusing both with deadpan art-school attitude. The band has been tremendously influential worldwide, but in D.C., particularly, Wire has something of a mythical reputation. From Minor Threat’s take on “12XU” to Second Wind’s version of “Mr. Suit” to Soulside’s interpretation of “Ex-Lion Tamer,” D.C. punk bands have covered Wire songs as a kind homage, in-the-know nod, and rite of passage. Although tribute-paying locals prefer the incendiary art-punk Wire of the late ’70s, the band was active, off and on, into the ’90s. Following the recording of the classic albums Pink Flag (1977), Chairs Missing (1978), and 154 (1979), the members of Wire went their separate ways in 1981 to pursue various other projects. But Wire returned with some gigs and the Snakedrill EP five years later. The second incarnation of the band (still singer/guitarist Colin Newman, drummer Robert Gotobed, bassist/vocalist Graham Lewis, and guitarist Bruce Gilbert) recorded The Ideal Copy (1987), A Bell Is a Cup Until it Is Struck (1988), Manscape (1990), and one-song-done-nine-ways release The Drill (1991), accenting its pop tendencies with the innovative use of new technology. Tonight, the reunited Wire will play selections from all of its albums, certainly a reason for the group’s hardcore Washingtonian supporters to show. With local outfit Tone at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (John Dugan)