STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS+DEAD MEADOW Calling all indie-poppers, acidheads, prog geezers, and girls from Queens named Vanessa: SM & the Js' latest non-statement unreels whorls of epic guitar and babbling-brook melodies perfect for basking in live. "(Do Not Feed the) Oyster" even ends with a concert-ready, applause-encouraging, rave-up outro. The darkly pastoral psych-metal threesome Dead Meadow may be from D.C., but they've expanded their minds way beyond straight-edge local post-punks Fugazi. With Azita on Thursday. WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Catucci)

MASTODON+DYSRHYTHMIA+CEPHALIC CARNAGE+ UPHILL BATTLE This lineup could be metal's future. Atlanta foursome Mastodon set lickety-split progcore to pachyderm-thick riffage and ferocious words about trilobites and sea monsters. Steve Albini-produced Philly trio Dysrhythmia churn out a heftily long-winded instrumental math/fusion/Zappa/Mahivishnu rock with no less gravity for its zillion attractive paradiddles. Denver's vomit-vocaled grind-prog weirdos Cephalic Carnage can't decide whether songs should last 20 seconds or 20 minutes, but know backwards stuff, spoken-word parts, silent interludes, and acoustic passages about cannibalism belong in there. Santa Barbara's more orthodox Uphill Battle also scream a lot, albeit through time changes that Meshuggah and Converge beat them to. THURSDAY AT 8, Downtime, 251 West 30th Street, 212-695-2747. (Eddy)

JACKIE MCLEAN He turns 72 on Saturday, but he's still the baby of the Harlem-bred bebop brigade, an early acolyte of Charlie Parker who had his own sound from the beginning. A caustic, radiant player, he made common cause with the New Music in the '60s, creating with Grachan Moncur a valuable repertory and even recording with trumpet player Ornette Coleman, before disappearing into academia, making only periodic visits to Manhattanland. His Christmas weeks at the Vanguard are the stuff of modern legend, so call this sighting Christmas in May, a birthday present from an ageless wonder. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 8 AND 10, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ALSO AT 11:30, Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212-582-2121. (Giddins)

Guy Maddin's Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary opens Wednesday at Film Forum (see film).
photo: Bruce Monk
Guy Maddin's Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary opens Wednesday at Film Forum (see film).

TED NASH A reliable saxophonist and clarinetist associated with the Jazz Composers Collective and several big bands, Nash has, as the leader of club gigs, taken the zeitgeist tack of appearing with various ensembles—in this instance, two in the same week. One might have thought Odeon would be enough, but the personnel for Still Evolved (Wednesday and Thursday only) suggests two visits may be warranted for the fun of it: Marcus Printup, who's still evolving for sure, and the JCC's primary rhythm team. Still, Odeon is the ensemble that's carved its own territory, buoyed by Wycliffe Gordon's tuba, spiced by violin and accordion, charmed by a book of old and new, and an attitude of agreeably raucous dignity. WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY AT 9 AND 11, Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212-255-4037. (Giddins)

BOBBY SHORT During an L.A. trip a few weeks back, the entertainer fainted in front of the Louis Vuitton shop. He must have seen a price tag, because there can't be anything wrong with a man who just started year 35(!) at this posh venue as if popped out of a champagne bottle. Of course, he tootled "Just One of Those Things." Since he added the horn section, he's gotten even better. At this point in his performing life he is, in Porter's shiny phrase, "the quintessence of joy." TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 8:45 AND 10:45, THROUGH JUNE 28, Café Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, 212-570-7189 (Finkle)

'AN EVENING WITH LINDA THOMPSON' It was 17 years between solo albums for the former Mrs. Richard, and while the first one could have been livelier, the reason was that unlike Richard she sensed how much she needed a collaborator. Her vocalist-guitarist-songwriter son Teddy proved just the man for the job. He'll back her at this show, which picks up on her celebrated 2002 Fashionably Late. MONDAY AT 8, TUESDAY AT 7, THROUGH MAY 21, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212-239-6200. (Christgau)


RAY K. METZKER These 15 vintage prints from Metzker's first public exhibition—all made in 1957 and '58, during his first years at Chicago's Institute of Design—are not just exceptionally confident for student work, they find the artist already in command of the visual vocabulary that defines his work to this day. Like Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan, both early influences, Metzker mines the rich, layered territory between representation and abstraction. His pictures, mostly urban street scenes, pivot around reflections, disjunctions, shapes, shadows, and light without ever feeling self-consciously arty, and there's not a bad one here. THROUGH JUNE 27, Laurence Miller Gallery, 20 West 57th Street, 212-397-3930. (Aletti)

'SYLVA' With 65 pictures both classic and contemporary, this show of tree photographs is both seasonally appropriate and immensely satisfying. Cleverly, Meyerowitz mixes the idyllic and the eccentric, juxtaposing Zeke Berman's tabletop maple-twig contraption with Susan Derges's photogram of a leafy branch on a running stream and Jeff Whetstone's camouflaged Deer Hunter perched high on a tree with Judy Dater's famous shot of Imogen Cunningham coming across as a nymph-like nude on the other side of a thick trunk. There's pleasure in profusion here (look for Gus Powell, Sally Mann, Ruth Bernhard) and a welcome woodland respite for the weary gallerygoer. THROUGH MAY 31, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, 120 Eleventh Avenue, at 20th Street, 212-414-2770. (Aletti)



'A BAD FRIEND' Jules Feiffer, deeply missed at this paper, is famous for his work in eight panels, but his latest foray into political tragicomedy derives from only one: the House Un-American Activities Committee, whose notorious hearings in the McCarthy era proved once and for all that congressmen don't need a pen of Feiffer's acuity to turn them into a cartoon. Instead, Feiffer's new play focuses on the damage blacklisting stirs up in an early-'50s Brooklyn family. Jerry Zaks's cast features Larry Bryggman, Jonathan Hadary, and Jan Maxwell among its luminaries. PREVIEWS BEGIN THURSDAY, OPENS JUNE 9, Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center, 212-239-6200. (Feingold)

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