By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Through October 25, David Zwirner Gallery, 525 West 19th Street, 212.727.2070
'ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL'
The Ramones revival continues with the midnight book of their lone commercial feature. Cast as the Beach Boys of the Bizarro World in this candy-colored, self-consciously drive-in-inflected vehicle, the band seems a bit lost. You can't complain about the score though. HOBERMAN
At midnight, through Saturday, Landmark Sunshine Cinema,
143 East Houston Street, 212.777.FILM
Practically wizened elders of the Brooklyn scenejust check out singer Tim Harrington's wooly beard and growing forehead if you don't believe methese Providence art-school transplants quirk the fuck out of their post-emo with somersaulting riffs, lurching song structures, and lyrics about kidnapping and disco. You must see them live, if only to witness Tim climbing the rafters and acting like a deranged kitten. With TimandEric. com, Cause for Applause, and Thunderbirds Are Now. CATUCCI
At 9, Northsix, 66 North 6th Street, 718.599.5103
Even before joining forces with Sonic Youth, the range of this gadfly's productions and guest appearances was only matched by the range of his musical offeringsAmericana to avant-noise to laptop creations. While he's slated to re-create "Cede," a 1995 large ensemble electro-acoustic epic piece worthy of his Krautrock forefathers, he also cautions, "As usual, expect the unexpected." GROSS
At midnight, Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street, 212.358.7501
ARNO RAFAEL MINKKINEN
Minkkinen appears in all his photos as a nude, faceless figureoften just a muscular limb or twothat molds or interacts with the landscape in a playfully godlike way. He walks on water, cups the setting sun, shapes a range of hills with the arc of his arm, and tweaks a distant mountain as if it were a lover's breast. As confident as he is clever, Minkkinen isn't communing with nature, he's remaking the world. ALETTI
Through October 4, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 724 Fifth Avenue, 212.262.5050
CHARLES TOLLIVER BIG BAND
He shows up so rarely you may not know the name, though he was everywhere in the '70s as trumpet player and co-founder of the Strata-East label with Stanley Cowell, another long-time-no-see musician, who will be here along with a lot of other people you surely do know: Gary Bartz, Craig Handy, Howard Johnson, and Cecil McBee among them, for what may be the most unexpected debut of the jazz year. GIDDINS
Today and Sunday at 7:30 and 9:30, Saturday also at 11:30, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212.576.2232
'VIVA EL MERENGUE Y SUS ESTRELLAS'
This star-studded extravaganza is tribute to "El Rey" Joseito Mateo and Johnny Ventura, two guys who first put merengue on the map more than 40 years ago. Happily this is not a posthumous tribute and both will be on hand to show us what they got. The night is rounded out by performances by Fernandito Villalona, Ramón Orlando, Kinito Mendez, Jossie Esteban, Rubby Perez, and others. Don't forget your dancing shoes. HENDRICKSON
At 8, Madison Square Garden, 31st Street and Seventh Avenue, 212.465.MSG1
'THE BELLE'S STRATAGEM'
Just as the Broadway musical has found its way back to silliness after decades of earnest gloom, 18th-century English comedy had to drag through decades of soggy sentiment before it learned to laugh again. One of its chief neo-ticklers was the now forgotten Hannah Cowley (1743-1809), who knew how to bury the period's moralizing under just the right amount of sauciness. This 1780 confection, being revived here by West End Theatre for the first time in nearly a century, became her signature piece, a standard rep item well into the 1890s. Davis McCallum directs. FEINGOLD
Opens today, West End Theatre, 263 West 86th Street, 212.352.3101
'AN EVENING WITH TONY CONRAD'
Minimalist musician, structuralist filmmaker, and '60s survivor, Conrad is scheduled to alternate austere excerpts from Articulation of Boolean Algebra for Film Opticals (1975) with more recent "burlesque pieces" like Tony's Oscular Pets. HOBERMAN
At 7, Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space, 70 North 6th Street,Brooklyn, 718.782.5188
These bands travel country music's dusty roads to different destinationsCalifone to high lonesome desert soundscapes and skewed honky tonk rockers, Clem Snide to melancholy indie-folk and raucous alt-country. On their latest records, both groups travel even farther from their Americana roots. Califone's noise experiments often succeed on Quicksand/Cradlesnakes, but Clem Snide's peppy pop pap falls flat on Soft Spot. However, they still rock live. PHILLIPS
At 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212.533.2111
'RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS'
But maybe they're funny too? Craig Wright's play about two kids who go through with a blind date on 9-12 despite the events of 9-11 is said to be "absurdly" comic as well as moving. We'll see. But any play that exposes Joyce Carol Oates as a sock puppet can't be wholly false to reality. FEINGOLD
Opens tonight, Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, 212.279.4200
Spurred by Lydia Davis's refreshing new translation of Swann's Way, my friends and I start the Proust Club. The inaugural meeting is spent dissecting the jaw-dropping first paragraph. Intense. The second meeting we comment on the length of the sentences and decide that the Proust Club will be more like a support group. Then we hie it over to this event, to listen to writers Francine Prose, Jonathan Franzen, André Aciman, and Ben Marcus talk to the translator herself about Marcel, Swann, and Combray back in the day. PARK