There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Pure Frosting, the Presidents of the USA’s farewell B-sides-and-outtakes collection, is consistent with (in fact, as good as or better than) the band’s two proper studio albumsnot hard for such an enjoyably slight outfit. The Seattle pop trio’s last recordings include, typically, entertainingly goofy treatments of subjects like a “Mobile Home,” a waitress at the “Love Delicatessen,” and touring “Japan.” “Man (Opposable Thumb)” turns out to have more going for it than a great title, proving to be a clever dissection of both machismo and human nature. Live versions of three cuts from the Presidents’ platinum debut are redundant but fit with the record’s agreeably slapdash nature; a sophomore-effort number, “Tiki God,” is included here in its bongo-driven “Lounge” incarnation. And while a CD-single version of Plastic Bertrand’s immortal “ça Plane Pour Moi” isn’t here, two other covers do end up highlights: “Video Killed the Radio Star” (a staple of the group’s live show cut for The Wedding Singer) in a version that reminds you that its take on disposable culture lifts it far above the status of trivial New Wave-era novelty, and a torrid, totally apt rendition of Ian Hunter’s “Cleveland Rocks” (this season’s Drew Carey Show theme). Gone from the ranks of active bandsnot to mention radio playliststhe Presidents may be, but Pure Frosting argues convincingly that they shouldn’t be forgotten.