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23

FRIDAY

Perhaps the most ironic of the slights Native Americans continue to receive from whites come at the hands of supposed sympathizers. New agers consistently present American Indians as nature-boy avatars of mystical intouchness, their nobility, talent, and humorlessness increased via the well-known mechanism of societal oppression. But a spare, propulsive new Rykodisc release, American Warriors: Songs for Indian Veterans, mitigates the world-beaten model, proving that Indians are susceptible to the same bad ideas as anybody else (e.g., that U.S. military service is necessarily an honorable thing) and equally capable of gloating displays of malice and wit. Edgar Red Cloud’s wry translations on “Lakota (Sioux) Little Bighorn Victory Songs” make for the funniest listening I’ve come across since Chris Rock. A CD release celebration includes Menominee performances by Neopit, Wis.’s Smokeytown Singers and an appearance by executive producer Mickey Hart, and starts at 11 a.m. on the National Mall grounds’ future site of the National Museum of the American Indian, 3rd & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Glenn Dixon)