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The quota on cutesy duos who sing upbeat, saccharine odes to each other—such as Matt and Kim or Mates of State—has officially been met. Bring on the couples whose dual vocals create complex characters and narratives. Perhaps not being romantically involved anymore allows The Brunettes’ core couple to explore an emotional state other than being so damn giddy in love. Drawing heavily from ’60s garage, twee, and bubblegum pop, the Auckland, New Zealand, export makes a strong attempt to carry the torch of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood cocktail hour duets without sounding dated or kitschy. However, indulging audiences with charming retro-pop isn’t the pair’s only achievement: With one toss of their shaggy dark tresses and manufactured sexual tension, Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield shatter the long-held myth that blondes have the market cornered on sex appeal. The Brunettes perform with Ferraby Lionheart and the Fairline Parkway at 9:30 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $12. (202) 388-7625.