There’s been no shortage of ’90s alt-rock reunions lately. These days, it seems like every Tom, Dick, and Superchunk who ever laced up a pair of Simples or wore a ringer tee is taking advantage of its audience’s revived interest to help offset a mortgage payment or two. So in a landscape where the Pixies and Pavement find themselves playing to packed amphitheaters, the second-string bands are looking to reclaim their stake on the mid-level club. Cue Man or Astro-man?’s resurgence, a reintroduction that started at seminal Chicago label Touch & Go’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2006 and is beginning to resemble a full-fledged second act. The band’s theatrical, sci-fi-inspired surf-punk has always been an acquired taste, though its associations with nerdy epochal touchstones like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Space Ghost Coast to Coast helped provide the band with a few minutes of glory. Whatever its legacy, the band’s debut album Is It...Man or Astro-man? is an unimpeachable document of the Ventures-meets-Forbidden Planet loopiness that has its theremin firmly planted in cheek.
MAN OR ASTRO-MAN? PERFORMS WITH THE DEX ROMWEBER DUO AND NIGHTMARE WATERFALL AT 8 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14th ST. NW. $15. (202) 667-4490.