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TRACY CHAPMAN+JOSEPH ARTHURThe fact that Chapman was once a superstar never ceases to amaze me. I mean, of course the combination of her harrowing, minimalist songwriting with a voice like a warm, fuzzy blanket should have led to massive fame, but how often do dreadlocked African American female singer-songwriters break through to the mainstream? With Joseph Arthur, an ethereal folkie likened to Nick Drake, Jeff Buckley, and Leonard Cohen, who marries rootsy Americana to lush orchestration. TUESDAY AT 8, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Phillips)

DE LA SOUL+JONZI DThey're old, but they're not creaking yet. Long Island's finest are between record deals—Tommy Boy won't have them, nor will anyone else in the Warner system. Does that make De La Soul any less relevant, or their history any less crucial? No, it just proves how shortsighted the game is. If the Supreme Court can uphold affirmative action in the university system, certainly someone can give the gods a deal, eh? Jonzi D is a Brit rapper turned hip-hop-theater advocate, with all the good and bad that comes with the turf. SATURDAY AT 3, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, mid-park, at 72nd Street, 212-360-CPSS. (Caramanica)

DIBLO DIBALA+MATCHACHAThe greatest Zairean guitarist of the Afro-Parisian era, Dibala pointed Kanda Bongo Man toward speed soukous before going his own way with Aurlus Mabele in Loketo and then with his own changeable band, which has proved far subtler than his magic fingers would have suggested. An affecting singer who's sure to leave the hard stuff to someone else, Dibala is above all a showman leading a dance band, which when the music is right is a good and all too rare thing. FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT AND 2 A.M., S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Christgau)

The Kirov Opera reinterprets Verdi's Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Festival (see theater).
photo: Monika Ritterhaus
The Kirov Opera reinterprets Verdi's Macbeth at the Lincoln Center Festival (see theater).

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERSExuberant key-pumping guitar pop from Canadian mass-romantics that burns like a coke oven. In conjuring the heady days of Tesla (not the band, dude, the inventor of alternating currents!), conductor supreme Carl Newman sings about things like sound streaming out of magnets and the course of empire. His secret sonic weapon: the alt-country über-babe clarion girl Neko Case. With the Organ and I Am Spoonbender on Friday and the Lonesome Organist and the Organ on Saturday. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Sinagra)

'OUTDOOR PARKING LOT'Last summer, when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Liars played a show in this same vacant lot, it was a total scenester media circus, yet still ended up being the coolest show I saw all year. This time the bands are way less hyped, which means it will probably be even more fun. The Numbers and Measles, Mumps, Rubella play damaged, herky-jerky new wave, Dan Melchior's Broke Revue are neo-garage royalty, and the Rogers Sisters throw a punky girl-group party. SATURDAY AT 2 P.M., corner of Wythe Avenue and Broadway, Brooklyn. (Phillips)

DARYL SHERMANA canny singer-pianist with a high lilting sound in the tradition of Ethel Waters and Mildred Bailey, Sherman has an engaging style in both roles. She'll be focusing on the music of Richard Rodgers, the subject of her new CD, A Hundred Million Miracles(Arbors), a big canvas taking in the Hart and Hammerstein eras. In addition to her trio (two guitars, including Joe Cohn, and bass), tenor saxophonist Houston Person and singer-pianist-songwriter Bob Dorough will appear as guests to add ballast and wit to a lively show. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 9, ALSO 11:30 ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, Algonquin Hotel Oak Room, 59 West 44th Street, 212-840-6800. (Giddins)

CECIL TAYLORResplendent as ever, Taylor succinctly accepted the Jazz Journalist Lifetime Achievement Award a few weeks ago, and while I doubt that he gives a rat's ass about what anyone thinks at this late date, it was a savory moment to see the critics come around and him graciously thank them. He will have his trio in tow for two nights, four sets. You don't get to share your life with many giants, so this summer is a jazz lover's dream—Ornette last week, Rollins to come, and now Taylor. If you've never seen him, take a chance, drop everything, and head downtown. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT 8 AND 10, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006. (Giddins)

PHOTO

DAVID MAISELThe subject of Maisel's six large, square color photographs is not at all apparent on first or even second glance. Though the pictures appear to record aspects of the natural world—dried blood? spilled ink? flayed rawhide? mold?—there's something in their scale and perspective that belies all these guesses. That's because they're all aerial views of an arid, unpopulated valley in southeastern California, where a long-drained lake bed had eroded into a toxic salt flat. With virtually no landscape markers, Maisel's chaotic, abstract, and weirdly beautiful images prompt us to meditate on the nature of representation—and the representation of nature. THROUGH SATURDAY, Von Lintel Gallery, 555 West 25th Street, 212-242-0599. (Aletti)

LUIS MALLOMallo's large-scale urban landscapes—most made in his Brooklyn neighborhood—are cleverly realized perceptual puzzles. In each photo, chicken wire, slats, net, or fencing of some sort occupies the picture's foreground, interrupting but not entirely obscuring our view of the factory, parking lot, or construction site beyond. Like a curious passerby, our eye is drawn to the open spaces and tears in these heavy-duty scrims, and Mallo invites us to fill in the entire landscape based on the strips and swatches we see. Both thwarting and redirecting our vision, the work is as perverse as it is engaging. THROUGH JULY 18, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, 212-627-4819. (Aletti)

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