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Jazztronica trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer did a strange thing for his third album, 2002’s NP3: He left ECM, a well-known jazz indie label that has worldwide distribution, in favor of the Universal-affiliated EmArcy, which doesn’t. As a result, the buzz Molvaer generated in the United States with his two groundbreaking ECM CDs (1998’s Khmer and 2001’s Solid Ether) quieted somewhat, leaving such American musicians as Matthew Shipp and Dave Douglas to make most of the noise in the still-burgeoning genre. But thanks to the Kennedy Center’s “Norwegian Visions” program, D.C.-area fans can catch up with Molvaer’s electrifying blend of acoustic improv and wired grooves for the just-right price of free. Blazing guitarist Elvind Aarset, drummer Rune Arnesen, and DJ Strangefruit join Molvaer at 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. Free. (202) 467-4600. (Christopher Porter)
Only in Norway could a black-metal album go Top 10. (And only in Norway could a black-metal album go Top 10 along with country-popper Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2.) That is, as long as you still consider Dimmu Borgir black metal. Despite the requisite corpse paint, the Norwegian sextet’s latest, Death Cult Armageddon, often sounds more like an American nü-metal disc battling the Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack. That’s because Death Cult finds Dimmu Borgir (Norwegian for “We love Cradle of Filth”) pairing its chugging Vin Diesel power chords with the 46-member Prague Philharmonic Orchestra for what the band’s Web site calls that “authentic feeling.” Now, if by “authentic” the band means “grandiose and baroque,” then it’s got authentic feeling in spades. Or maybe it just means “whatever it takes to stay in the Top 10.” It’s got that, too. Dimmu Borgir plays with Nevermore, Children of Bodom, and Hypocrisy at 8:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Brent Burton)