Nearing their 15th year together, free-pop designers Stereolab haven’t ceased inventing. After 2003’s black silence following the death of guitarist/co-chanteuse Mary Hansen and the romantic disengagement of the band’s twin visionaries, Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane, the group returned in ’04 with the sprightly, sublime Margerine Eclipse, and Sadier released her first solo disc. Ditching the duophony implied in her other band’s name, she opted for Monade and collected her private tapes of years past. The resulting Socialisme ou Barbarie: The Bedroom Recordings was less Space Age bachelor-pad music than bare-room avant-garde MOR. But minus Gane’s monochord churns and studio garlands, Sadier revealed herself to be the true pocket symphonist: The recently released A Few Steps More finds this so-called side project evolving into a day job. Peeled of the Lab’s Moogy ebullience, Monade is comparatively sober, but Sadier’s swoony melodies still shine through the trinitone jangle and cardboard bossa nova. Monade plays with the Zincs at 8:30 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Bernardo Rondeau)

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