Tonight: Matmos and So Percussion at the Triple Door, Ball of Wax 5th Anniversary Celebration at the Sunset

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Matmos and So Percussion. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 8 p.m. $20. All ages. In the past, electronic music duo Matmos' glitchy, synthesized mash-ups have consisted of everything from the amplified neural activity of crayfish, to the rattling of rat cage bars, to semen. But on 2008's Supreme Balloon, M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel decided to abandon the bizarro sampling in favor of a new challenge: creating an album that consists of synthesizers and synthesizers alone. The result is an oddly compelling amalgam of sunny, pixellated songs that come off like the soundtrack to an obscure '80s video game. Listen to it on your headphones while you're trying to cross a busy downtown street. It's the closest you'll ever come to a real-life game of Frogger. SARA BRICKNER

Ball of Wax 5th Anniversary Celebration, with Wesafari, Slow Skate, Kelli's Starlight Wishes, Levi Fuller, Virgin of the Birds, Brad Dunn, A.W. Feldt, Colin J. Nelson, The Graze. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 8 p.m. $7. This month marks the twentieth edition of Levi Fuller's quarterly audio compilation Ball of Wax, and to celebrate, some of the artists that've been around since the very first year of BoW will perform. Per usual, much of the compilation consists of obscure local songwriters (Brad Dunn, A.W. Feldt), indie pop (Slow Skate, Wesafari) and lo-fi folk acts (The Graze), except that Fuller's expert ear has filtered out the noise to find the gems in the coal. As always, a copy of the compilation is included in the cover charge for the show. If you haven't acquainted yourself with this local institution by now, here's the perfect opportunity to do so. SARA BRICKNER

 
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