Twenty-four years after its founding in Silver Spring, Slumberland Records—once the label of Velocity Girl, Stereolab, and The Aislers Set; now the home of Frankie Rose, Veronica Falls, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart—remains a caretaker of the past and future of noisy indie pop. But at tonight’s showcase at Comet Ping Pong, expect a telling reversal: It’ll be the veterans who look for jaunty new pathways, and the rookies who look back. On Enterprising Sidewalks, its first album in 18 years, Lorelei contorts new and unexpected tensions out of the shoegazey jangle pop its members have played in the District since the early 1990s. Glasgow’s Golden Grrrls and Oxnard, Calif., band Sea Lions (shown), meanwhile, show rewarding fealty to some old templates: in the case of the former, the lollipop rawness and sing-song harmonies of The Pastels; with the latter, the proto-sophistipop of late ’80s groups like James Dean Driving Experience and The Field Mice. With both bands, the tweaks to the genre are about refinement, not forward momentum. All indie-pop groups need, they remind us, is three chords and the youth.
The Slumberland Records Showcase featuring Sea Lions, Golden Grrrls, and Lorelei takes place at 10 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10. (202) 364-0404. cometpingpong.com.