Cinema Hearts
Cinema Hearts; Credit: Sammy Hearn

When Cinema Hearts played the MLK Public Library’s rooftop terrace this summer—part of a live series put on by the DC Punk Archive—their set opened with frontperson Caroline Weinroth walking out in a tiara and pageant sash, handing roses to audience members while the Miss America theme played over the sound system. It ended in classic rock ’n’ roll fashion, with a frenzied breakdown where drummer Aaron Grossman fell over the cymbal stands. That show marked the release of “Your Ideal,” the lead single from the band’s official debut studio EP of the same title. D.C.’s own Bartees Strange produced the album, which narrates Weinroth’s time as a Miss Virginia competitor in five tracks full of surfy guitars and girl-group harmonies. They’re the kind of songs only she could write, blending pageant queen glamor with power pop melody and punk ethic. That also translates to a one-of-a-kind stage presence; Weinroth seems just as comfortable on barroom stages as she is in the talent portion, slaying snarky ’50s pastiches like “Fender Factory” (a tell-off to the misogynistic gatekeepers of the guitar world) and “I Want You (But I Don’t Need You)” (self-explanatory). Cinema Hearts play at 10 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Comet Ping Pong. $18.54. Other falls shows: Oct. 21 at DC9 and Oct. 28 at Songbyrd.

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