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MONDAY

Former Talking Heads front man and music industry chameleon David Byrne landed a byline in last Sunday’s New York Times with a piece titled “I Hate World Music.” Byrne attacked so-called world music as a pseudo-genre designed to make Americans feel musically sophisticated. As usual, he was shocking, eccentric, and dead-on right. Despite its sign, Tower’s “Top 10 World” rack serves up mostly Latino fare—almost exclusively by the musical kin of the nebulous Afro-Cuban All Stars. Listeners buying up CDs by the elder Cuban masters need to know that Afro-Latino music has been penetrating our borders for centuries: Pep bands across the country pay homage to the obscure “El Loco Cha Cha” every time “Louie Louie” is butchered at halftime. Tonight, master Latin percussionist Steve Berrios joins a panel discussion on “The Afro-Latino Presence in the Sounds of U.S. Music”—and performs with his band afterward—at 7 p.m. at the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 357-2920. (Dan Gilgoff)