We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
One of the great tragedies of ’80s American rock was that the Rave-Ups broke up before breaking out. But just a few bars into Dingus, the latest release from the Cravin’ Dogs, it appears that maybe that wrong can be righted. The best portions of the peppy new album feature the same folksy themes and toe-tapping tempos that made the rootsy quintet’s 1994’s El Camino so attractive, though the Vienna-based outfit’s chief songwriting team of Caldwell and Stewart Gray has grown noticeably more melodocentric. Todd Baker’s electric violin, now every bit as prominent as any of the band’s guitars, brings the Dogs a little too far into Dave Matthews territory at times, but praise Jesus, this sure ain’t Kansas. The Figgs and Triple Fast Action opens at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $6. (202) 667-7960; the Dogs appear at 9 p.m. Tuesday at Iota, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $2. (703) 522-8340. (Dave McKenna)