Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Roger Miller has been king of the post-punk and avant-rock road ever since his days leading one of Moby’s favorite bands, Mission of Burma. Miller picked up the electric guitar as a teen, but he’s been a pianist since age 6, and that’s the instrument he plays in the Binary System, a duo with drummer Larry Dersch. Favoring pounding chords in the middle and lower registers, Miller creates darkly pulsating chamber music. When paired with Dersch’s rock-heavy poundings, Miller’s playing creates a menacing chase-scene-evoking sound that wouldn’t seem out of place on the legendary Planet of the Apes soundtrack. (And, because a new version of that classic flick is imminent, Miller should get in on the gig by exercising some of the soundtrack clout that has gotten him work with everyone from ESPN to Sesame Street.) Miller also employs prepared-piano techniques, using alligator clips, bolts, ear plugs, and combs to make his piano—already a percussion instrument—into even more of one. During the prepared-piano tracks on the Binary System’s new CD, From the Epicenter, the duo sounds like a gamelan percussion orchestra. See two guys take the high road to lowdown grooves with Poem Rocket and Pleaser at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $6. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)