By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
"The War Series 1966-70" is nearly 40 years old, but its watery images on paper are absolutely consequentialand 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
'THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS'
Don't go expecting the secret of the universe. Title notwithstanding, the saga has devolved from metaphysical migraine to action spectacularnot 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
'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 streakpeep 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
TOM HARRELL QUARTET
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 albumLove, Shelby, produced by MOR-man Glen Ballardwasn'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 Crisisa broad collection of roots music, embracing everything from country to gospelshould 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 standingand, 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
'PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES'
"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
ROSEANNE SPRADLIN DANCE
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
'MARGARET MEAD FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL'
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
Personal turmoil's brought Lyle's themes closer to home in his first new songs in seven years. They tend toward the upbeat and nearly danceable, not the famously quirky and sardonicwith a higher percentage of outright honky-tonk and western swing than he's offered since his first records, labeled "country." His longtime core band will be on hand to do the fine new twang and pop true justice. MAZOR
'THE LADY NEXT DOOR'
A love affair between neighbors leads to increasing complications in Leon Kobrin's 1916 comedy. If that sounds like the setup for a British farce comedy, you know what they say: Think British, speak Yiddish. The latter is precisely the language Kobrin wrote in, and that's how the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater plays it, under Allen Lewis Rickman's direction. Relaxthey've got supertitles. So go already and laugh a little. FEINGOLD
Opens today, Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, 212.239.6200
In her last exhibition, Hill produced and hosted a TV talk show. For her current venturethe latest incarnation of Volksboutiquethe entrepreneurial artist performs office tasks, develops products, and mans the reception desk in a fragmentary old-fashioned "Home Office," replete with wainscoting, wallpaper, steamer trunks, ledger books, and other irresistible vintage details. Is it art as life or social sculpture as theater? She calls it "an exercise in labor." LEVIN
Through November 15, Ronald Feldman, 31 Mercer Street, 212.226.3232
'ANOTHER RUSSIA: A TRIBUTE TO LENFILM STUDIOS'
The Soviet off-Moscow studio provided a home for many less conventional filmmakersnotably the "eccentricist" team of Kozintsev and Trauberg, Alexei Guerman, and Alexandr Sokurov, during the silent period, the '60s "thaw," and the days of perestroika. This 30-film tribute spans 75 years, from rediscovered silents to Sokurov's latest, Father and Son. HOBERMAN
Through December 4, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, 212.875.5600
'IN MY SKIN'
In Marina de Van's body-horror tour de forceeasily the year's best debut featureself-mutilation is not (as in so many other movies) a self-esteem issue but an expression of existential panic and extreme corporeal alienation. Witty, beautiful, terrifying, at times almost unwatchable, it's as gruesome and inspired a riff on the mind-body split as we've ever seen outside the Cronenberg oeuvre. LIM
Opens today, Angelika, Houston and Mercer streets, 212.777.FILM
After a long layoff to consider their life options, Missouri's greatest alt-Americans have put together their sharpest album in nearly a decade, revising their lineup and folkifying their studio approach as they go. Live I bet they still boogie. Live you'll still hang on Brian Henneman's every word. With the Hangdogs. CHRISTGAU
At 9:30, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.230.0236
GERARD PETRUS FIERET
There's something alarmingly obsessive about Fieret's '60s portraits and nudes of young women, not the least of which is the eccentric Dutch poet-photographer's compulsion to scrawl his signature and rubber-stamp his name all over their images. This strange need to claim and disfigure the photosalong with the ruined condition of the prints themselvesrenders them fetish objects, an impression only underlined by the dark, furtive, and fiercely sexual nature of the pictures themselves. ALETTI
Through November 29, Deborah Bell, 511 West 25th Street, 212.691.3883
'ANNA IN THE TROPICS'
Because you always really wanted to know what might happen if somebody read Anna Karenina aloud in a cigar factory, Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning play will finally hit New York, in a production from Princeton's McCarter Theatre. Director Emily Mann's cast, headed by Jimmy Smits, includes Obie winners Priscilla Lopez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and John Ortiz. Be careful crossing the railroad tracks. FEINGOLD
In previews, opens November 16, Royale Theatre, Broadway and 45th Street, 212.239.6200
'THE BEARD OF AVON'
If you're one of those snobs who won't believe Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, Amy Freed's play will help to fuel your suspicions. But we sane people might have a good time at it too, given that cunning director, Doug Hughes, and a cast headed by Tim Blake Nelson as Will and Mary Louise Wilson as good Queen Bess. As Larry Hart once said, "She could not have been a prude or/She would not have been born a Tudor." FEINGOLD
In previews, opens November 18, New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, 212.239.6200
This punk-plus-rap billing might seem a TRL-worthy novelty, but it's way better than that: Blink's brat-punk ethos has given way to mature emotional spills lately, and their snappy rhythms and unstudied tunefulness are thankfully still in place. Bubba's also downplayed his novelty appeal even as he's played up his redneck roots, and his twangy, eccentric flow is among the best the Dirty South has to offer. With the Kinison. HOARD
At 7, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212.777.6800
You can say lots of mean things about KRS-One: He's out of step with the genre he's so integral to; he's a cipher to the young people; he's a bit senile, maybe. But here's one bad thing you can never say: He puts on a half-assed show. His back catalog is as energizing as Jay-Z's, and his commitment to stagecraft is damn near unmatched. CARAMANICA
At 10, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212.243.4940; Monday at 9, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.230.0236
DYLAN THOMAS: 'RETURN JOURNEY'
The sexual impostor, dipsomaniac, brassy orator, genesis-dreaming poet laureate of incantatory lyricism is revived by fellow Welshman Bob Kingdom in his one-man show based on your man's poems, plays, and stories. Dead at 39, Thomas nevertheless managed some of the most passionate writings in the languageraging against the dying of the light, mapping love's contours, defying death's dominion, and inspiring a cruelly nostalgic Don Henley hit. REIDY
At 7:30, and November 10 at 8, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 212.415.5500
BELLE & SEBASTIAN
Their new DVD retrospective is smartly called Fans Onlythey aspire to, and inspire, the cultish devotion enjoyed by bands much smaller than themselves, even while they aim for Great Pop Moments. Highlights of the new album: Stuart Murdoch endorses prayer in his jaded-choirboy tenor, and the whole frail ensemble rediscovers garage-rock. With mod/new wave flag-wavers My Favorite (Monday) and cello-goths Rasputina (Tuesday). WOLK
Today and Tuesday at 8, Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 212.840.2824
Take a theater in a newly built student center, turn it into a Latino cabaret, and fill it with NightClub, a world premiere in three parts conceived by artistic director Tina Ramirez and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, Alexandre Magno, and Sergio Trujillo, to music by Astor Piazzolla, Tito Puente and Pink Martini, and a mix of DJ St. Germain, Gotan Project, and XAlfonso, respectively. ZIMMER
At 8, and November 12 through 16, Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, 212.992.8484