4

SUNDAY

The forthcoming Set You Free finds the already unshackled Chisel spreading out. The sonics are thicker than on last year’s brittle, brilliant 8 a.m. All Day, with arrangements encompassing organ swirls and horn blasts, and styles ranging from chunky garage punk to limber acoustic folk-pop to, yes, jaunty British Invasion swagger. Add Ted Leo’s chattering lyrics and leaping vocal lines, tempos sometimes so headlong that it’s hard to keep up with him, and a nearly hourlong running time (to which Leo responds, “Well, baby, we were born to run”), and the guys in Chisel might appear a bit too clever for their own good. But they’re too smart for that, keeping things moving with melodies so juicy and rhythms so toe-tappingly infectious that even my rock-hating wife (who this year also gives the nod to Fountains of Wayne and, um, Help!) finds it impossible to resist. With Karate and World Inferno Friendship Society at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (Glenn Dixon)

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