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27

WEDNESDAY

Bikinied girls shaking. Beach balls lit on fire. Shredded cheese. This is what the Oblivians’ music is about: bad girls, torched garage rock, and grinding, thick, thumping guitars. Thankfully, despite retro motifs, the Oblivians don’t pretend to play garage rock or the blues, or any style. The band is just rock ‘n’ roll. While garage rock and punk rock have entered the mainstream, the music has become a paint-by-numbers art. This chickenshit formula has pure Tarantino logic—exploit the best samples from punk’s past to meet the Teenage Tasteland. Unlike most neo-garage rock bands, such as the New Bomb Turks, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and the Delta ’72, the Oblivians’ sideburns are real. They don’t play the theremin like Spencer or use retro album covers to sell tickets. As heard on their Crypt albums, Popular Favorites and Soul Food, as well as their upcoming gospel-tweaked disc, the music has more passion than gimmicks. Check your ego at the door when they play with the Prissteens and the Jerks at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $6. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)