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Four boys with thorns in their sides, the members of Gene don’t always sound like the Smiths—only when they’re at their best, which is not bad at all. Opening is Menthol, an engaging Illinois trio that’s more American and eclectic, if not necessarily more original. At 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Mark Jenkins)