Arts Desk

ToDo ToDay: The Jewish Music Festival Is Not For Alter Kockers

It’s not easy for a Jewish music festival to break certain associations in the public’s mind—namely, the ones that involve a lonely Hasid sitting on a roof, fiddling away. But Jewish music doesn’t end with klezmer, as the Jewish Community Center’s annual showcase demonstrates. Sure, it may begin there, with acts like Abraham Inc. (shown), led by clarinet wiz David Krakauer. But then things get complicated; Krakauer’s band also includes James Brown’s former trombonist, Fred Wesley, and DJ SoCalled, who mixes Eastern European Yiddish tunes with hip-hop. Other highlights include Klezmatics co-founder Alicia Svigals performing the score to a 1918 silent film, a Sephardic indie-rock band singing in Ladino, and a DJ set by Diwon, who blends Middle Eastern traditional music with club beats. In other words, this isn’t music for alter kockers. The 13th annual Washington Jewish Music Festival runs May 3 to May 21 at various venues. Ticket prices and schedule information at wjmf.org. (202) 518-9400. (Mike Madden)

DFA, the record label co-founded by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, is embraced by techno and house fans, disco freaks, retired punk rockers, and flavor-of-the-minute Pitchforkians alike. For the last decade, DFA has built a bridge between electronic dance music and rock; its signees (Hot Chip, The Juan MacLean, Yacht, Hercules & Love Affair, etc.) have made huge waves in the indie-dance world, and there's no doubt some local DJs have been influenced by the label. So tonight, DJs Philip Goyette and Lxsx Frxnk host "Beats On Repeat: A DFA-Inspired Night" at the Velvet Lounge, where they pay homage to the label that helped make disco cool again. 9 p.m. at 915 U St. Free.

When the contemporary-dance duo Eiko and Koma performed last fall at the Clarice Smith Center—where they are artists in residence—we called them "trippiness embodied." Why? "The Japanese-born duo," wrote Amanda Abrams, "are described as modern dance performers, but it’s not the kind of dance most audience members are familiar with. There’s music, yes, but no obviously choreographed movements, no neo-ballet vocabulary—in fact, no discernable vocabulary at all." Through today, the pair is presenting "The Caravan Project," a highly nontraditional piece that they perform inside an open trailer outdoors. Viewers can stop by and view it from any perspective, and leave whenever they want. And of course, there's no admission fee. See more information on the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's website.

Museum parties: A great way to drink while looking smart at the same time. Thank God for 'em! Tonight, there are two good ones: the ever-popular Phillips After 5, which is celebrating all things Dutch in honor of the Dutch artists in the museum's ongoing "Snapshot" exhibit. The highlight? A double-dutch jump-rope performance from the D.C. Retro Jumpers. Then there's the year's first PM at the TM at the Textile Museum. Bring a tatami mat to the gardens and watch Honeymoon in Hell: Mr. and Mrs. Oki's Fabulous Trip while sipping a beverage and snacking from a Kushi bento box. Phillips After 5 begins at 5 p.m. at 1600 21st St. $12; reserve tickets here. PM at the TM begins at 6 p.m. Movie shows at 7 p.m. 2320 S St. NW. One drink included in the $15 ticket price.

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