We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
If you buy into the notion that American indie rock cultivates an open society for discards and dweebs, Blur would seem a highly unlikely band to seek membership in the club. The Brit-rockers aren’t widely known for shunning glamour. When the band released The Great Escape in ’95, Blur turned its play for celebrity into a kind of multimedia concept piece, looking down on British social mores from the implied perspective of rock aristocracy and griping in the press that the band wasn’t as huge as Oasis. With its latest eponymous CD, Damon Albarn has retooled his quest to conquer the States by making it seem as if that’s no longer the goal. Instead of sticking to the course of post-Beatles pop-rock, Albarn takes his cues from the American underground. Nothing is left untweaked: The rhythms are fidgety, the vocals are textured, and the guitars meander, chiming one moment and revving like stock cars the next. Blur is not exactly Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted, but Albarn exhibits his pop smarts by keeping the endeavor from sounding contrived and has even spawned the band’s first stateside hit. Riding the heels of its latest, Retreat From the Sun, opener That Dog could be headed for similar acceptance. At 9 p.m. at the Capitol Ballroom, 1015 Half St. SE. $16.50. (202) 554-1500. (Brett Anderson)