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Pinching 1980s pop-rock is an obvious move these days, so it’s easy to wonder what The Soft Pack was thinking when it recorded Strapped, the followup to its self-titled 2010 debut. The band’s first album—produced by Brooklyn’s Eli Janney, a D.C. expat—had no-frills immediacy and at least four casually excellent hooks; Strapped is a consciously pro effort and has significant quantities of saxophone. If that sounds like careerism, so be it. MORE >> (Joe Warminsky)

The Soft Pack plays with Heavy Hawaii and Browns at 8 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. blackcatdc.com. (202) 667-4490.


The hip-Mex craze continues with the opening of Fuego Cocina y Tequileria today. You can grab a seat at the bar of the new Clarendon spot as early as 3 p.m., and the kitchen opens at 5:30 p.m. Fuego is the latest restaurant from Passion Food Group, the people behind DC CoastAcadianaDistrict Commons, and more. Mexico City native and chef Alfredo Solis is serving up nine varieties of tacos (two for $7), including beef tongue, Jalisco-style roasted goat, and Yucatan-style roasted squash. Entrees ($15-24) include chgrilled chicken with green mole sauce, copper pot slow-cooked carnitas, and a Veracruz-style red snapper with tomato, green olives, capers, and jalapeños. Fuego will also offer botanas or snacks ($8-13) like flautas with shredded duck confit, Oaxaca cheese, and mole negro, Dos Equis beer steamed mussels, and tuna tartare taquitos. Guac goes for $9. And, oh yes, tequila. The restaurant has more than 100 varieties, including some “sipping tequilas.” A traditional margarita costs $6 while other frozen specialties including the hibiscus margarita are $8.50. Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, 2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington; (571) 970-2180; fuegova.com. (Jessica Sidman)


You might need drinks to get through tonight’s presidential debate. We recommend you watch it at either the 5th and K NW or 14th and V NW location of Busboys & Poets or at H Street NE’s The Pug, which usually has a “no politics” rule but makes an exception every four years.

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