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W E D N E S D A Y

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Hard to believe it’s been five years since Slumberland released the first Velocity Girl and Lilys singles, and more than four years since the label relocated from Silver Spring to Berkeley, Ca. Despite the change of scenery, the label’s still home to the most innovative and delightful pop bands anywhere. Sacramento’s lush, jazzy Rocketship named its debut, A Certain Smile, a Certain Sadness, after the wonderful Astrud Gilberto album of the same name. Singer Dustin Raske imbues his songs with both smiles and sadness at once: Wistful cellos blend with tra-la-la choruses, bright organs, and his own dreamy vocals. Henry’s Dress, on the other hand, though produced by Raske, dropkicks bubblegum pop into the ’90s by drenching its two-minute melodic noise-bursts in plenty of fuzz and distortion. With D.C.’s ever-excellent Ropers at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $5. (202) 667-7960. (David Daley)