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


German quartet Die Sterne (the Stars) come to North America (aided by the Goethe Institut) with four albums to their credit and a deal with Sony/Epic to introduce them to the rest of the world. They are perhaps the most accessible and varied of “the Hamburg school” of young bands that includes Tocotronic, Blumfeld, and Die Goldenen Zitronen. Blumfeld made a politically conscious, wordy yet focused prototype for the new German sound on 1994’s L’Etat et Moi that put the Hamburg scene on the map. Die Sterne’s persona is less grave and more inviting. On Stell Die Verbindung Her(Make the Connection Now) Die Sterne sing in German over music that sometimes emulates old-school naturalistic funk a la Sly and the Family Stone, sometimes resembles the clever bubblegum of a continental Blur. “Trrrmmer” is a good example of the funkier retro side of Die Sterne’s appeal, with its subtle discolike dynamic and odd chorus that translates as “We had sex in the debris, and we dreamt. We believed we were really important.” Spilker’s lyrics aren’t very descriptive or emotional, but, rather philosophical and blunt—not unlike some German students I’ve met. Opening is Mark Robinson’s (formerly of Unrest/Air Miami) new vehicle, Flin Flon, which includes members of the Cold Cold Hearts and True Love Always. Whatever they play, some smart aleck is bound to request “Bavarian Mods.” At 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (John Dugan)