It's funny how stereotypes linger long after they cease to reflect reality. Most rock fans think of English bands as being edgy and morose, like the Cure or the Smiths, while Swedish bands are all as happy and sappy as ABBA.
Not true. Just look at the Swedish double bill coming in to the 9:30 Club in Washington this Tuesday. Headlining the show are the Cardigans, a quintet whose dreamy, disco-inflected 1997 hit "Lovefool" seemed to support the Swedes' ABBA image - until you noticed the dark sarcasm in the words Nina Persson so sweetly warbled. "Gran Tourismo," the band's latest, has even more of an edge, making the Cardigans seem every bit as drolly dark as Brit raves like Pulp.
Opening the show is Kent, whose stirringly original "Isola" makes a strong case for the argument that the guitar-rock era is far from over.
Kent hits the stage at 8:45 p.m. at the club, 815 V St. N.W., so don't be late. Admission is $12; call 800-841-7328 for tickets, 202-265-0930 for information.