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Preview: Deleted Scenes 

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the Washington D.C. band coming to Circle Bar April 16

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The joy of pop music lies in giving your brain exactly what it wants, before it knows it wants it. In this respect, Deleted Scenes is both pop and anti-pop: The Washington, D.C., band revels in doing the exact opposite of what you'd expect — and in making that the thing you now crave. It's a tricky proposition, and one perfected on Lithium Burn, the group's third LP and first original release on Park the Van Records. (The former New Orleans label signed Deleted Scenes in 2012, reissuing its second record Young People's Church of the Air with an appended track list.) Cluttered and messy like a smart kid's room, Lithium Burn takes its predecessor's album-long collision of ideas and complicates matters further. First single "Stutter" crams in screeching-halt synthesizers, flippant lip noises and spazzy, Max Headroom-style lead vocals; it takes a few spins to settle in, but somehow it all works. "House of Dust" sits an elegant falsetto ballad astride an attack-and-decay echo, and "Let's Not Try to Fix Everything At Once" uses the same dreamy vocals in the service of a sobering prog wake-up call ("I'm not paying off my loans/ I'm not saving up for home"). Pop — it's also the sound of a bubble bursting. De Lune Deluge and the Ben Jones Band open. Tickets $10.


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