The Apples in Stereo was spawned by the DIY/indie-rock scene (leader Robert Schneider runs the Elephant 6 Recording Co.), but the Denver-based psych-pop band has one characteristic that distinguishes it from many of its peers: talent. Being inspired by the Zombies’ Odyssey and Oracle and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds is practically de rigueur for burgeoning indie outfits, but only a few have the songwriting prowess or musical skill to merit comparison to their heroes. With Racecar and My Life in Rain at 8:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Christopher Porter)