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MAY 3

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Despite being tagged as both jazz-rock and post-rock, Chicago’s the Sea and Cake breaks the confines of critspeak on its new CD, The Fawn. Unlike Guyville bands of yore, the Sea and Cake refuses the Rust Belt banner designed by rocker Steve Albini and humped around town by Touch and Go. As produced by Tortoise’s John McEntire (who is also on drums), The Fawn is a dreamy, drifting collection of repetitive riffs that is inexplicably reminiscent of both Prefab Sprout and Neu! (with kisses to Tortoise’s shell). The Sea and Cake’s Thrill Jockey labelmate, Trans Am, plays an even stranger hybrid of music on Surrender to the Night, an album that hijacks power balladry, electro funk, Southern boogie, and industrial blats, brazenly and wondrously driving them toward their logical horizons. With Rex at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)