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ART

FRANCESCO CLEMENTEIt's hard to decide whether the latest mythopoetic paintings of this transavant-gardist are awful or awesome. In a show that starts out pale, wan, and amniotic, the canvases and frescoes proceed in proscenium increments on a mournful yet flippant post-existential journey that culminates in a group of indigo denim self-portrait shrouds. Simultaneously enervated, grandiose, desolate, and laden with symbolic portents, they'd make great stage decor. The catalog essayist calls Clemente "an artist without a discourse." And yet Clemente propels stylized irrelevance into a weird limbo that jibes with our current mood of dismay. THROUGH JUNE 21, Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, 212-741-1111. (Levin)

JONATHAN HOROWITZ & ROB PRUITTHaving transformed the big old Victorian house they bought together in the Catskills into the ultimate creepy punk-gothic manse and named it Peacock Hill, they now offer it for sale (pumpkin patch, cemetery, and all) in a collaborative installation titled "Surreal Estate." With black walls, eerie pictures, a spooky chandelier, and video voices from beyond, it's supremely silly. But the main action takes place in Fleischmanns, New York, where they're holding a summer-long open house. Pruitt calls it "a big sculpture you can live in." Horowitz says it's also about "decorating as a historically gay form of expression." THROUGH JUNE 28, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, 436 West 15th Street, 212-627-5258. (Levin)

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).

DANCE

'FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE'Doug Varone and Dancers, virtuosi of both the rhythmic and the emotional, offer two world premieres to music by Steve Reich, performed by four members of Reich's ensemble, in this most valuable (because committed to live music) of dance series. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 8, Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-5400. (Zimmer)

FLAMENCO VIVO CARLOTA SANTANAThis locally based flamenco troupe celebrates its 20th anniversary in two places with the same program in the same week: first at the fabulous "dance farm" in upstate Tivoli, and then in Chelsea. The new Bailes de Ida y Vuelta explores the influence of Latin American music and dance styles on flamenco; choreographed by Antonio Hidalgo, it features 10 dancers and original live music. Completing the bill are early works paying tribute to the company's co-founder, the late Roberto Lorca. SATURDAY AT 7:30 AND SUNDAY AT 2:30, Kaatsbaan Studio Theatre, 120 Broadway, Tivoli, New York, 845-757-5106, and TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH JUNE 15, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800. (Zimmer)

FILM

'THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND'Sam Green and Bill Siegel's documentary vividly evokes the particular quality and extent of the madness that possessed many young, idealistic Americans during the course of the longest foreign war in the nation's history. Despite the filmmakers' unwillingness to ask their subjects any tough questions and a coy disinclination to discuss how the Weather Underground managed to function, this often gripping account of Vietnam-era terrorists makes present what the French call a mentalité—a unifying state of mind that characterizes a social formation over an extended period of time. OPENS FRIDAY, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110. (Hoberman)

'THE WAY THINGS GO'+'RADIO BIKINI'Rarely screened Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss's 1987 half-hour home-movie of one of their convoluted, studio setup chain reactions is not just funny but disquieting. It's all the more so for being shown with Roger Stone's documentary account of America's 1946 operation on Bikini Atoll—at once nuclear test and publicity for weapons of mass destruction. SUNDAY AT 8:30, Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-782-5188. (Hoberman)

MUSIC

ACEYALONE+PRINCE PAUL+EYEDEA+UGLY DUCKLINGA strong, strong alt-rap bill from top to bottom, which I doubt is indicated by the above order, with L.A.'s Ugly Duckling riding a surprisingly successful new concept album. Freestyle Fellowship big man Aceyalone has a pretty good new album out himself. Since Prince Paul's new concept album is merely surprising, be glad he's got hits in the bank. And Chicago's Eyedea got more than one—eyedea, not hit. Got no hits at all, yet. TUESDAY AT 10, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Christgau)

REGINA CARTERPlaying the priceless 1943 Il Cannone violin once owned by Paganini, Carter steps into the virtuoso's shoes with Paganini: After a Dream (Verve), not always a perfect fit, but more often than not pretty captivating—she relies on dreamy impressionism rather than impish speed and makes her case for improvising on Ravel, Debussy, and Fauré as well as Bonfá, Piazzolla, and Morricone. How she'll bring it off live without the string orchestra is the question. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 9 AND 11, Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 212-581-3080. (Giddins)

THE CLEANAppropriately named kiwi rockers, they've cultivated a spare sound since their beginnings over twenty years ago. All the recent hoopla over neo-garage bands unfairly glosses over how these guys have been doing the same for so well for so long. Though they've had an on/off hiatus for some 10 years now, a stalwart two-CD collection on Merge is as good a reason as any for them to come together and celebrate their history. WEDNESDAY AT 8, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006. (Gross)

'THE DEFINITIVE JUX SUMMER SPECTACULAR'At the midpoint of 2003, Definitive Jux is in full flower. Label head El-P is poking through on MTV2. Cannibal Ox have reunited after a too-long hiatus to record their second album. Every few months, it seems, RJD2 drops a few more pastiche gems, and new signee C-Rayz Walz is more anarchic than the rest of indie rap combined. But despite the success, there likely won't be anything "summery" about this show; joy isn't on the label agenda. Also performing are Rob Sonic, a big man with a calculatedly small sound, and SA Smash, who bring thuggery to the underground in a safe enough fashion to avoid scaring the NYU kids. With Hangar 18. SATURDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Caramanica)

NORTHERN STATE+BUCK 65+OPTI-GRABHaving 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 STATSBhangra 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)

RADIOHEADHail 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)

LOU REEDLast 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 TOMBSTheir 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 SOLALHis 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)

OPEN CITY

KATE CLINTON & RENOThese 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)

 

 

PHOTO

ROBERT ADAMSThis 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 SHERMANIn 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)

THEATER

'THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW'Though better remembered now for his novels, D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) spent a good part of his early career as one of the better-known faces on London's playwrights' workshop circuit, rarely making it to the full-production stage. The extent of his efforts wasn't known till his complete plays were published, and many produced, in the rejuvenated London theater of the 1960s. They have yet to make a dent over here. Maybe the Mint Theatre's resuscitation of this one, about a family crisis set against the background of a 1911 coal strike, will start a trend. PREVIEWS BEGIN SATURDAY, OPENS JUNE 15, Mint Theatre, 311 West 43rd Street, 212-315-0231. (Feingold)

'GHOSTS'The Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden returns with another too brief bout of Bergman at BAM, our theatrical equivalent of manna from heaven. People used to say Ibsen's 1881 masterpiece was medically dated; then came AIDS. But the founder of modern drama knew what he was doing: Really a study of family secrets and Christian hypocrisy in a repressive time, his play couldn't arrive at an apter time (bring your Evangelical friends) or in a production likely to be more exciting. Pernilla August, previously Bergman's Ophelia and Nora, plays Mrs. Alving; Jan Malmsjo, her Manders, was the devilish Hummel in the director's Ghost Sonata. OPENS TUESDAY, THROUGH JUNE 14, BAM Harvey Theatre, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100. (Feingold)

'THE NEW YORK CITY HIP-HOP THEATER FESTIVAL'Because life is so fresh when word becomes flesh, the crimes of rhymes are the rage on the stage. At least, they will be for these two weeks, when hip-hop takes over P.S.122 and New York Theatre Workshop (79 East 4th Street) for its fourth annual celebration and demonstration of what the new lyricism can do to change your dramatic view, with rappers, knee-slappers, and even some tappers. For the windup show, they've got Danny Hoch's Flow, and you know he ain't slow. So go. THROUGH JUNE 14, VARIOUS VENUES; Will Power in FlowPREVIEWS JUNE 12, OPENS JUNE 26, P.S.122, 150 First Avenue, 212-477-5288. (Feingold)

'THE PERSIANS'The tragedy of defeat, as felt on the home front, described by the victors for the victors. No, it's not CNN in Iraq, but one of the world's oldest surviving plays, written by Aeschylus, who was there with the Greek invaders. Ellen McLaughlin's adaptation, starring Len Cariou and Roberta Maxwell, is the latest effort of Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS TUESDAY, Schimmel Center, Pace University, Spruce Street and Park Row, 212-239-6280. (Feingold)

'SAVANNAH BAY'Would a once great retired actress have much to say, in a blissful seaside villa, to the granddaughter they're meeting for the first time? You know they would in a play by Marguerite Duras (1914-1996), mapper extraordinaire of generational confrontations. Duras's duologue may get an extra charge in Les Waters's production from the lauded actress playing the grand lady: Kathleen Chalfant, fresh from her Obie-winning turn in Talking Heads. Marin Ireland, who teamed with Chalfant in last fall's Far Away, is her partner for this game of emotional tennis in the French style. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS TUESDAY, Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street, 212-677-4210. (Feingold)

WORDS

JAMES GLEICKThe Devils had a lot of momentum going into the Stanley Cup finals; the Yankees have recently suffered bouts of inertia—such sentences, ripped screaming from the local sports pages (not really—I just made them up), are proof positive that we are all Newtonians. James Gleick's new biography of Isaac Newton traces how this son of an illiterate farmer, whose life was contained in 150 miles (and who never had a romantic relationship), made knowledge "a thing of substance"—establishing principles that we call his laws. THURSDAY AT 7, Housing Works Used Books Café, 126 Crosby Street, 212-334-3324. (De Krap)

CARTER G. WOODSON CULTURAL LITERACY PROGRAM BENEFITThis Brownsville/Bed-Stuy-based reading initiative cares about the kids in its beleaguered community—and so do some spectacular talents, who come together for this worthy benefit. Noted songwriters (including David Byrne and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore) join everyone's favorite authors: Jonathan Franzen, Mary Gaitskill, and Colson Whitehead. MONDAY AT 7, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 866-468-7619. (Park)<!— This document created using BeyondPress(TM) 4.0.1 For Macintosh —>

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