We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Upon my arrival in Prague in 1991, the first thing I tracked down after securing a cheap flat downtown was recordings by Plastic People of the Universe. The Plastic People—formed during the Prague Spring of 1968, officially banned in 1970, and finally arrested and tried in 1976—were the cornerstone of the alliance of artists and intellectuals that became Charter 77, a group instrumental in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Vaclav Havel was inspired by the band’s iconoclasm. The secret police sometimes burned down venues where the band had played—in 1980, an unfortunate pal’s house in lower Bohemia. The band has reunited after a stint under the name Pulnoc (Midnight). Its live record from 1997 features dark, surging musical dramas influenced by the Fugs and the Velvet Underground—a violin or synth often propels the music, and long passages of spacey saxophone set the mood. Its rebellious spirit is rooted more in a rollicking, timeless bohemia than in commercially driven Western rock ‘n’ roll. At 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (John Dugan)