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Four out of five 9:30 Club aficionados agree: The place stinks like no other indie rock den in town.

There’s a particular odor in the 9:30 Club—a certain combination of keg slop, butts, cloves, puke, and sweat-sopped polyester that stays with you—literally. Sashay into the club for the briefest of moments—to make an appearance or pick up a schedule—and you’ll be marked with the bar’s scent like a tree on your pet’s turf.

Deadheads have their patchouli, 9:30 denizens this mephitic perfume. It’s the musk of the truly hip, the scent of the great unwashed moshers.

Scientists say that of all the senses, smell has the greatest power to trigger memories; take a whiff of grandpa’s sweater, the dead guy materializes before your eyes. So go into the joint, take a deep breath, and trip and gag down memory lane to the first time you graced the dance floor. And perhaps if your palate is discriminating (or indiscriminate) enough, you can tag the punkers’ putrescence.

A Washington City Paper T-shirt will be awarded the person who can best identify the stench of the 9:30 Club. Aromatic analyses will appear in next week’s edition if they reach us by Tuesday morning. Send your description or explanation to: Mysteries, Washington City Paper, 2390 Champlain St. NW, Washington, DC 20009. Our fax number is (202) 462-8323, or e-mail us at Mysterieswashcp.com. No phone calls, please.