NORTHERN STATE+BUCK 65+OPTI-GRAB Having finally released Dying in Stereo for the record, the white-femme rap trio will be out to prove they haven't lost a drop of juice. But the Long Islanders will be hard-pressed to top a rapper from a less likely island, Nova Scotia. I hear Buck 65 spent last summer in Paris, and how I know is a yarn he told involving a Rollie Fingers look-alike at a boulangerie at the Knit, where his showmanship, storytelling, and band sense set a live standard few alt-rappers will ever match. I read nice things about mixed-sex locals Opti-Grab, too. THURSDAY AT 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Christgau)

PANJABI MC+DJ REKHA+EDDIE STATS Bhangra is the new dancehall, which was the new hip-hop. Follow? The man behind hip-hop's hottest jam finally arrives on U.S. shores and if he's to move the crowd (unless Jay-Z actually shows up), it'll be on the strength of his make-'em-clap, dhol-drum beats. He's already blurring the lines between Bombay, Kingston, and the Bronx, but just in case, Rekha and Stats will do their part, too. With Phil Money. WEDNESDAY AT 10, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Patel)

RADIOHEAD Hail to the Thief isn't the anticipated return to The Bends. Rather, Thom Yorke and the Amnesiacs find their swagger between 1997's magnum opus OK Computer and 2000's iconoclastic Kid A. Quit your whining; every band grows up, but Radiohead's evolution shows no signs of slowing down: "Sail to the Moon" marries "No Surprises" with "You and Whose Army," while "Myxomatosis" and "There, There" rawk like "The National Anthem" and "I Might Be Wrong." The 40-minute slot at Field Day is a bad deal, but this MTV2 "$2 Bill" concert can't be beat as one of the best live acts around play a two-hour set for two bucks. THURSDAY AT 8, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Kim)

Decked out: Radiohead station themselves at the Beacon theater (see music).
photo: Tom Sheehan
Decked out: Radiohead station themselves at the Beacon theater (see music).

LOU REED Last time I caught Reed and his can-you-top-this band, in 2000, he and they were as kick-ass and committed as I'd ever seen them. Shows vary, of course, but phoning it in and going quietly are career options he's plainly determined to avoid. TUESDAY AT 10, THROUGH JUNE 11, Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 212-840-2824. (Christgau)

ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS Their album was the best anybody put out last year, despite being recorded back when its subtitle says: Live From Punk Ground Zero, Cleveland 1975. Before one of rock's all-time greatest bands turned into Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys, they'd concocted the darkest Velvets-and-Sabbath-infused cold wave ever, obsessed with mushroom clouds and evolutionary theories, final solutions, and how life stinks. David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome, and Craig Bell will be there tonight; Richard Lloyd pinch-hits for Peter Laughner. At this rate, maybe they'll tour again in 2031. With the Blondes on Friday and New Gay Motherfletchers on Saturday. FRIDAY AT 9 AND SATURDAY AT 10:30, Village Underground, 130 West 3rd Street, 212-777-7745; MONDAY AT 8, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201-653-1703. (Eddy)

MARTIAL SOLAL His records, when you can find them, are delightful (the new one, on Blue Note, was recorded at the Vanguard during his last visit), but you have to see him live to get the full mesmeric effect. Solal's infallible fingers do the bidding of a Pentium-processor brain, deconstructing and recasting familiar tunes, frequently with humor, always with originality. Arguably the most impressive European jazz artist since Django, he's been saddled with the epithet "musician's musician"—not unlike Lee Konitz, the great altoist who will join the pianist's trio Thursday through Sunday. They've worked together many times, and their music brims with ingenuity. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 8:30 AND 10:30, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ALSO AT MIDNIGHT, Iridium, 1650 Broadway, 212-582-2121. (Giddins)


KATE CLINTON & RENO These two deans of queer comedy have never performed together—until now. See them in "Patriot Acts," a two-woman act of subversion, benefiting WBAI and United for Peace and Justice. WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, TUESDAY, AND JUNE 11 AT 8, Washington Square United Methodist Church, 135 West 4th Street, 212-598-2181. (Goldstein)




ROBERT ADAMS This group of 40 definitively deadpan black-and-white landscapes, made in Colorado between 1968 and '72, were cut from Adams's 1974 book The New West. Exhibited here for the first time, these small, pristine vintage prints are models of insight and restraint, their elegance so cool, casual, and matter-of-fact as to seem almost accidental. Adams's subjects are gas stations, motels, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, and newly built tract homes—dumb symbols of ennui and alienation that he turns to much more interesting and ambiguous ends. However regimented, however stifled, the West's promise endures here. THROUGH JUNE 14, Roth Horowitz, 160A East 70th Street, 212-717-9067. (Aletti)

CINDY SHERMAN In 1981, a year after completing the 69 black-and-white "Untitled Film Stills" that would only later make her famous, Sherman produced a series of 12 big color photos she called "Centerfolds." Turning the conventions of the cheesecake spread to her own ends, the fully clothed artist crouches or sprawls across the horizontal frame, occupying it with an expressiveness that, no matter how theatrical, is both physically and emotionally convincing. Though her outfits and wigs change, Sherman is otherwise undisguised, so the photos, which are among her most unabashedly beautiful, are also unexpectedly, unironically intimate. THROUGH JUNE 14, Skarstedt Fine Art, 1018 Madison Avenue, at 77th Street, 212-737-2060. (Aletti)

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