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Under the aegis of Mass Particles, Chuck Bettis—who is also a member of the All Scars—has been celebrating D.C.’s emergent avant-garde underbelly since 1997 with a series of adventurous live music showcases and a modest catalog of hand-crafted records. Tonight’s Mass Particles-sponsored “Fire in the Brain” presentation boasts a potentially explosive lineup of ecstatic improvisation and extreme metal. RBM Cartel, a new Baltimore/Philly free-jazz supergroup of sorts, features saxophonist Evan Rapport (Companion Trio), guitarist Tom Boram (Pithot), and percussion veteran Toshi Makihara. Ixot-Noroctis, including members of Crom-Tech and the Cranium, will allegedly draw from the death- and black-metal subgenres for its debut set, which should be sublimely spastic if the members’ past musical endeavors are any indication. The Josh Blair/Gabriel Andruzzi Duo will kick off the bill with a set of percussion-and-alto-sax improvisations at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)