There's nothing new about playing up the contrast between warm flesh and cold machinery, but few bands have done it as deftly as Garbage does. In the studio, the quartet makes excellent drama out of the textural differences between Shirley Manson's throaty sensuality and the electronic precision of the band's processed-and-programmed guitars, drums and samplers. That approach has earned the quartet a passel of alternarock hits, including "Only Happy When It Rains," "Stupid Girl," "Push It" and "I Think I'm Paranoid."
Despite the techno-style title of its current album, "Version 2.0," Garbage is hardly just a virtual band. Indeed, word is that the group's current live show packs even more punch than its recordings. See for yourself on Sunday, when Garbage plays Bender Arena at American University in Washington.