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17

SUNDAY

The Buzzcocks’ reunion shows in 1992 were perhaps too good to be true. Just as grunge was breaking in America, the Buzzcocks (with ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce) came to the U.S. not so much to cash in but to make an important historical point: On any given night, they could be the greatest band ever. Grunge seemed desperately uncool after you saw razor-sharp-suited Buzzcocks Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley command the stage and the crowd and pose like ’60s London gangsters armed with Rickenbackers. One of the essential British punk groups of the late ’70s, the Buzzcocks were but a small part of a British invasion, in which the Clash landed most successfully. Still, the Buzzcocks arguably were the closest punk came to producing a timeless songwriting style that could turn abject loneliness, naive love, and paranoia into a three-minute scorcher. Though the Buzzcocks have just released their second album of new material in the ’90s, Modern, it’s nevertheless the early singles and albums such as Love Bites and Another Music in a Different Kitchen that will keep the harmony in your head. With Down by Law, Lunachicks, and Candy Snatchers at 8:15 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15 (202) 265-0930. (John Dugan)