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Thanks to clever hooks and arrangements, and the self-created aura of mystery surrounding the group, Belle & Sebastian have made indie-popstrummed, pretty guitar chords and soft-voiced vocal chorusesthat’s more than just a retro formula. New York’s Monterey and D.C.’s Honeymoon Diary, fledgling combos consisting of record-collecting fans of such U.K. groups as Tallulah Gosh and the Field Mice, aspire to reach that level. Monterey, a six-piece, offers its back and forth, sweetly emoted male and female vocals over an assortment of instruments, including melodica and vibes. Honeymoon Diary, a duo of transplanted Philadelphians, including Washington City Paper staffer Leonard Roberge, offers the dulcet intonations of Jenny Robbins over comparatively minimal guitar, keyboards, and drum-machine arrangements. With WMUC music director Ara Hacopian DJ-ing at 8 p.m. at the Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-8646. (Steve Kiviat)