Sure, American Music Club‘s recent San Francisco displays the same melancholy late-night-walk-in-the-fog formula that the band captured on previous releases. Sure, singer Mark Eitzel’s long-faced tales of woe could use more memorable choruses. But even with these compositional weaknesses, Eitzel’s passionate vocals and the Club’s salutary instrumentation manage to convey a certain lachrymose charm that remains affecting. New England’s intriguing atmospheric popsters Helium open at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Steve Kiviat)