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28

FRIDAY

The pictures on Plexi’s debut, Cheer Up, show tattooed rock boys, dripping makeup, admiring their mirrored reflections with drug-addled admiration. It didn’t seem promising. But despite the L.A. Guns-meets-London Suede imagery, Plexi is one of the finest rock bands I’ve heard in ages. Cheer Up is a spacey glam slam that oddly mixes early Psychedelic Furs and Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World metallism with alternately obvious and obtuse wordplay. (On “Forest Ranger,” singer/bassist Michael Angelos says Huey Newton, Che Guevara, Salman Rushdie, Carl Lewis, Louie Louie, and Phyllis Diller are his fellow guardians of the green.) Guitarist Michael Barragan’s atmospherics are hazy but heavy, gothic clouds of sound, and Norm Block is a drummer who, you know, hits things. Despite Cheer Up’s ironic title, it does just that for me. With Coach Johnson and Anne Summers at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)