Chaos Theory

In Pop Music, It’s Anyone's Guess

Headlined by the new grandfather of all guaguanco—manic pianist Eddie Palmieri, guesting a tribute to Tito Puente with his surviving orchestra—the festival boasts an orgy of still-slammin' soneros. There's the flexible yet commanding Oscar D'Leon, Hector Lavoe portraitist Domingo Quiñones, the bugaloo Barry White-ish Tito Nieves, island romantic Tony Vega, new jack Michael Stuart, and '70s favorite Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez. Not to miss: teen favorites, salsa-r&b fusionists Son by Four, and the dance-funk of Tito Puente Jr., which is a real curiosity. (Morales)

September 16
Jones Beach Theater, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, Long Island, 516-221-1000

Stay tuned for the Go-Betweens reunion.
photo: Bleddyn Butcher
Stay tuned for the Go-Betweens reunion.

Renowned as blues' greatest showman for 40 nonstop years, King is permanently delighted with his own wondrous shtick. He never stints on openers, either, and this bill is more impressive than most. Many would call the rough-voiced, fast-fingered Guy our greatest living bluesman, period. As for young electric guitarist Tedeschi, she gets more respect than any woman ever to venture into this man's man's man's man's world. (Christgau)

September 17
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 545-7536

Even a song expressing the singer's only semiforbidden cousin love becomes a strident but nonetheless moving protest anthem for "the voice of Kurdistan" (the disputed area straddling Turkey and Iraq), who bemoans the loss of his homeland in a dozen handsomely plaintive ways. Exiled from Turkey since 1976, this expressive singer accompanies himself on the lute-like tanbur, and will be joined by musicians on violin, flute, kanun (zither), percussion, and double-reeded zurna and duduk. (Gehr)

September 18-20
Joe's Pub, Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, 539-8777

Along with samplings from her eclectic 25-year career, expect the gorgeous-voiced Harris, backed by her superb crew Spyboy, to showcase the self-penned songs from her moody new Red Dirt Girl, the first album of her writing since 1985's critically acclaimed Ballad of Sally Rose. (George-Warren)

September 19
Centro-fly, 45 West 21st Street, 627-7770

When he first arrived on the scene in the early '90s, Bukem's soft-spoken ambient take on drum'n'bass was a welcome change of pace for a genre that had grown increasingly sour-faced. Though his long-awaited debut, Journey Inwards, failed to crack the gloomy landscape—it needed a bit more teeth to do that—a live Bukem gig is a sultry experience, which is rare for drum'n'bass. (Romano)

September 23
Wetlands Preserve, 161 Hudson Street, 966-4225

The pimp-and-pussy poet and blaxxxploitation icon also known as Dolemite prefigured Blowfly and subsequent raunchy rap on '70s house-party LPs like Eat Out More Often. His dirty dozens about cockpits and signifying monkeys are living links to narrative verse of black oral (and anal, and vaginal) tradition, and he's been a filthy old man since before your stanky ass was born. Fuck the Titanic; get it in the water and swim like him. (Eddy)

September 25 and 26
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 260-4700

They're turning into road animals, braving the most unavoidable and dangerous of all musical challenges. The May show I caught seemed just slightly flat, but I've seen them peak, and sane reports from the next night were transported. Passionate Corin Tucker we knew about first, defiant Carrie Brownstein next. So listen hard to Janet Weiss and try to imagine them without her. Betcha can't—even though they made two great records without her. (Christgau)

September 27 and 28
Madison Square Garden, 1260 Sixth Avenue, 247-4777

She insists it's the last time she'll reprise her greatest hits in person. Fans may believe her, especially longtimers who recall that early on she'd act out her live-performance aversion by not showing up. Listening now will be rewarding, natch, but here's what to look for: how she allows only the left profile to be seen even if it means walking backwards. (Finkle)

October 1
Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 840-2824

This 20-member group was the German record company Jaro's answer to the original ensembles first recorded by Marcel Cellier as far back as the 1950s. More tightly composed than was originally suggested by the shrewdly marketed "Mystère des Voix Bulgares" albums, the chorus employs discordant seconds, mesmer- izing drones, and tunes tossed back and forth by groups of singers—all in colorful hilltop drag. (Gehr)

October 1
Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, Long Island, 516-794-9300

Though her voice retains considerable luster and her legs are as famous as Betty Grable's, the living icon has elected to quit while she's way ahead, at 61. She says this is the last chance to see her live, and she's too proud not to try and amaze you. Support act Cocker, for whom luster has never been an issue, is only six years her junior, yet is guaranteed to seem both more ravaged and more immature. (Christgau)

October 21
Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, 564-4882

Still riding the success of Play more than a year after its release, techno's darling returns to the main arena. The vegan born-again Christian and great-great-grandnephew of Herman Melville surprised many critics—who were used to the artist's bratty displays of self-indulgence—with the heartfelt Play, which combined tender Lomax recordings and Moby's synthetic symphonies. (Romano)

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