Familial attachments: Andrej Shetininas and Alexei Nejmyshev in Father and Son (see Friday).
photo: Wellspring
Familial attachments: Andrej Shetininas and Alexei Nejmyshev in Father and Son (see Friday).



"The War Series 1966-70" is nearly 40 years old, but its watery images on paper are absolutely consequential—and timely. The groundbreaking series that Spero called "manifestoes against our incursion into Vietnam, a personal attempt at exorcism" is multivalent, scatological, horrific, and spiritual: The malevolent helicopters, spurting heads, bomb angels, and scrawny eagles impaled on swastikas are barely there but perfectly calibrated. LEVIN

Through December 6, Galerie Lelong, 528 West 26th Street, 212.315.0470



Don't go expecting the secret of the universe. Title notwithstanding, the saga has devolved from metaphysical migraine to action spectacular—not necessarily a bad thing. Once Matrix Revolutions locks and loads for Zion's last stand, the mayhem is even more shamelessly aesthetic, not to mention abstract, than in Kill Bill. Sensational graphics short-circuit anything resembling abstract thought. HOBERMAN

Opens today


'CALI COMM. 2003'

Lyrics Born, of Latyrx, brings complex melody to delicate, dense lyricism on his solo debut, Later That Day. Abstract Rude, a homie of Aceyalone's, is one of the L.A. underground's great unheralded talents, but the gem here is his city-mate Pigeon John, a sing-rapper with a heavy dose of self-doubt and a sly spiritual streak—peep his excellent new album, Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister. With the insipid Ugly Duckling and Grouch & Eligh, of the Bay Area survivors Living Legends. CARAMANICA

At 8, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212.243.4940


He can swing as hard as anyone and maintain a lilting lyricism that, combined with his frequent brashness, may, at times, remind you of the sainted Clifford Brown. His quintet is tight as a drum and features saxophonist Jimmy Greene, pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Quincy Davis. GIDDINS

Through Sunday at 9 and 11, Saturday also at 12:30 a.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.4037



Anna Montgomery and Steve Conn open for early show only. Shelby Lynne's last album—Love, Shelby, produced by MOR-man Glen Ballard—wasn't the unmitigated failure critics entranced by her surprise 2000 comeback wrote it off as. She still wrote a mean lyric and sang it with heart. For the haters, though, her new album, Identity Crisis—a broad collection of roots music, embracing everything from country to gospel—should beguile. So there. CARAMANICA

Today and Thursday at 6:30 and 9:30, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.539.8770


A better post-rap lineup you will not see this year, or next. Prefuse 73 is the breakbeat-happy project of Atlanta's Scott Herren (his new mood album as Savath + Savalas is pure genius), the alias he uses when producing for MF Doom or Aesop Rock. Dabrye reps for Ann Arbor's Ghostly International (and moonlights as an Amen destroyer on Rewind) and makes stunning, broken hip-hop. Both beatmakers would be perfect partners with Beans (formerly of Anti-Pop Consortium): He raps like they produce. With Def Jux's Shadow-alike RJD2. CARAMANICA

At 8, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212.533.2111; Saturday at 9, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.230.0236


The impressive contralto, who breathes dotted whole notes just to warm up, continues to affirm her jazz standing—and, once again, with the Eric Reed Trio, no less. She's got a terrific ear for songs that time has forgotten, warm timbre, dependable pitch, and relaxed rhythmic feeling. GIDDINS

Today, Thursday, and Tuesday at 9, Friday and Saturday at 9 and 11:30, through November 15, Algonquin Hotel Oak Room, 59 West 44th Street, 212.840.6800



Never one to shy away from big issues, Fuss takes on life and death in this ambitious show. One room contains 103 snapshots of Fuss as a child reproduced as enameled oval gravestone cameos; another, 14 daguerreotypes of human skulls, the mirrored surfaces of which bring viewers right into the frame for an unexpected postmortem dialogue. A life-size, silhouetted silver figure with an erection is the show's ruling satyr, saluting life amid the elegant memento mori. ALETTI

Through November 15, Cheim & Read, 547 West 25th Street, 212.242.7727



"Dancing about architecture" is a stock phrase for writing about the inexpressible. But something like it may actually take place in Oren Safdie's satirical drama about a controversy over a student's thesis project for a public swimming pool. Praised Off-Off, it's moving to an Off-Broadway run, with Rent's Anthony Rapp now heading the cast. Call it Commedia dell'Architettura, maybe. FEINGOLD

Opens today, Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, 212.239.6200






This Oklahoma native won a Bessie in September for under/world, a 40-minute trio that plumbed sexuality, body politics, and ritualistic behavior, to music by Gavin Bryars and Kenneth Atchley. You can see that and the brand-new duet Rearrangement (or a Spell for Mortals), which has a new score played live by composer Atchley. ZIMMER

At 8, and Friday and Saturday, and November 13 through 15, the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 212.255.5793, ext. 11



This annual event pushes the definition of documentary to the limit. Subjects range from genital mutilation in Kenya to soccer in Iran to the search for footage of Pancho Villa; there are portraits of avant-garde actor Joe Chaikin and Guyanese leader Janet Jagan and a new old film by Bill Morrison. HOBERMAN

Through Sunday and November 15 and 16, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, 212.769.5200

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