Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Like a musical Ikea, Stereolab has a record to fit almost any stage of modern life. With its clanging guitars and leftist lyrics, 1993’s Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements was the de rigueur soundtrack for days spent smoking cloves in front of the college dorm. Then came the classy fusion melodies of 1996’s Emperor Tomato Ketchup, which helped ease the transition into having to iron your clothes every day. When the passions of youth started to feel trying and pretentious, 1999’s indulgent Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night mirrored that sentiment. On its new record, Chemical Chords, Stereolab scales back and simplifies, ditching epic pastiche for straightforward girl-group pop. It’s a record for settling down and adjusting your expectations, but the simple melodies should at least help make that autumnal moment a little less bittersweet. STEREOLAB PERFORM WITH ATLAS SOUND AND CHESSIE AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE 9:30 CLUB, 815 V ST. NW. $20. (202) 265-0930. —Aaron Leitko