THURSDAY

New York band Ivy’s latest, Apartment Life, is about as heavy as a glass of San Pelligrino, but it sparkles like one, too. Singer Dominique Durand and her lads suffer from metropolitan ennui, but they’re never too worked up. Apartment Life can be slightly melancholy, but that’s more Brit-indie convention than anything that connects. Rather, Durand is a maddeningly distant, insouciant chanteuse who nonetheless makes her vague explanations sound somehow alluring. Not dissimilarly, Lena Karlsson of opening band Komeda occasionally sounds like Nico would have if she hadn’t fallen in with the wrong crowd. Named for the late Polish composer, the Swedish Komeda, like compatriots the Cardigans and Ray Wonder, recall champagne—they’re best when sounding ebullient and vintage, as they do on “It’s Alright Baby,” from their first U.S. full-length, What Makes it Go?. They can’t be chagrined by Stereolab comparisons, however, since their sci-fi Euro-indie new wave sounds could echo down the corridors of the same research complex. A certain moodiness and production touches like horns, organ, moogy keys, and unnecessary strings do nothing to dispel that impression. The evening’s odd men out are Firewater, and not just for want of a woman’s voice. Tod Ashley (ex-Cop Shoot Cop) and members of the Jesus Lizard, Laughing Hyenas, and Soul Coughing soak the machined modern honky-tonk of their second LP, The Ponzi Scheme, in 80 proof but never quite set it ablaze. Though his unruly accomplices craft Ashley a sturdy soapbox from which to testify, he lays it on too thick, like a frontier charlatan who doesn’t know quite when to let up. After an album’s worth of pitches, he’s still stuck with a wagonful of fancy junk potion. At 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (John Dugan)