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Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo vehemently defends her frequent substitution of disco beats for indigenous African ones on her recordings by arguing that no one demands that Paul Simon or David Byrne restrict himself to American folk music. Kidjo’s correct in claiming her freedom to try whatever she wants, but that doesn’t mean her experiments always work. On too much of her latest, Oremi, the drum programming is run-of-the-mill, and her vocal hooks lack the candy-sweet simplicity offered by the most successful house divas. Kidjo, a highly touted live performer in town to help celebrate District Curators’ 20th anniversary, should sound best when performing Oremi’s most unadorned cuts, such as “Loloye,” a radiant lullaby that features guest vocals from her daughter. At 7:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $16. (202) 393-0930. (Steve Kiviat)