Emotional and aesthetic ravishment; mallet-wielding as a vociferous musical threat.


Keeping Score

I would love to retire, once and for all, that old cliché about the best film music being film music that goes unnoticed. Of course, it can function merely as aural wallpaper, but in the best examples, from Fantasia to the shower scene from Psycho, images and music combust to produce an emotional and aesthetic ravishment greater than they could individually. Northwest Film Forum is honoring the art of movie music all month: In tonight's kickoff event, composers Stephen Cavit, Steve Fisk, and David Wingo gather for a panel discussion about their craft. Then in the following weeks, three composers will be spotlighted, with Wednesday and Thursday screenings of one well-known and one obscure film from each: Bernard Herrmann, possibly the greatest of them all, with Vertigo and On Dangerous Ground (Feb. 14–15); Ennio Morricone, with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and The Battle of Algiers (Feb. 21–22); and Michel Legrand, with his heart- stoppingly gorgeous cine-opera The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Cléo From 5 to 7 (Feb. 28–March 1). Actually, considering the zingy neon colors of the interiors in Jacques Demy's Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I may have to also retire using "wallpaper" as a metaphor for self-effacement. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, Panel and each film $5–$8.50; complete series $25–$35. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT


Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle

The vibraphone has tended to be a gentle-man's instrument in the jazz world, approached with the exquisite elegance of Milt Jackson or the artful sonority of Bobby Hutcherson. But it's gotten a new life on the avant/jam-band circuit, where bands like Black Frames have turned mallet wielding into a more vociferous musical threat. One of the chief instigators of the vibes revival is Dillon, a New Orleans–based percussionist who's put together a new trio with bassist JJ Jungle and drummer Go-Go Ray. Together they shred funk, jazz, and varied brands of clatter, but what sends this show into the essential category is the participation of Skerik (Dillon's bandmate in the Frames and other projects), who is certain to give this power trio a wallop. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., $10. 9 p.m. MARK D. FEFER

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