"People won't confuse my spaghetti for a crucifix," said this pop artist, whose work never had Warhol's deadpan perversity or Lichtenstein's brittle wit. Its oversize spliced images always seemed a bit ponderous, and rarely repaid interpretation. And he surely never aimed to be the last salon painter or first photo-realist. But if his later, shredded, warp-speed paintings still confound, his early workwith cinematic cuts and fadesseems prescient. And F-111 is powerfully political. LEVIN
Through January 25, Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 212.423.3500
PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER+'CAMP SONGS: URI CAINE & BEN PEROWSKY'
World music has splintered into so many categories that it's no longer fresh when bands crossbreed genres and call it eclectic, but Pharaoh's Daughter stitches Torah to Indo to jazz to pop and calls it eclectic by balancing spirituality with cultural pluralism. Totally beautiful. The group operates tabla-guitar switchboards, quickened by interplay, nourished by syncopation, sweetened by airy exoticism. "Camp Songs" is keyboardist Uri Caine (toughest jazz Fender around) and junk-yard percussionist Ben Perowsky, who chat it up to raise funds for Downtown Synagogue during this Oy Fest '03. KING
At 6, Knitting Factory Main Space, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006
Although Spencer's "American Documents" are pitched a little too obviously to the market for nationalist nostalgia, their iconic effect is hard to resist. Reserved, handsome, and meticulously crafted, these large-scale, soft-focus prints have been scorched, toned, and tattered at the edges so they look like relics. Spencer's visions of classic Americanagalloping horses, Main Street, a plantation house by a riveremerge as if out of a dream, or maybe just a fantasy of the way we were. ALETTI
Through January 3, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, 52 East 76th Street, 212.517.3766
'IT'S A DANCE THING!!!'
Celebrate the end of carol season with Nicky Paraiso's eclectic roster of young downtown choreographers, plus La MaMa resident choreographer Potri Ranka Manis. Divided between two programs will be dances by Ayo Janeen Jackson, Shaneeka Harrell, and Daniel Kubert (all members of Bill T. Jones's troupe), Julian Barnett (a man-about-downtown with wonderful technical chops), Manis, John Peruzzi, Jenny Seastone Stern, DJ Mendel, Christopher Williams, Pedro Jimenez, Kindra Windish, Karinne Keithley, and Luis Lara Malvacias. Go twice. ZIMMER
At 7:30, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 and 7:30, La MaMa E.T.C., 74A East 4th Street, 212.475.7710
Digitally scrubbed and newly remastered, Charlie Chaplin's most elaborate feature (first released in 1936) is part Metropolis, part Mickey Mouse. The artist's conscious, if sentimental, attempt to locate his Little Tramp in the context of class struggle was a political statement; the movie's greatest gag is the feeding machine, demonstrating a situation where one eats to work, rather than vice versa. HOBERMAN
Opens today, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212.727.8110
'VICTOR SJOSTROM: A PIONEERING INNOVATOR RESTORED'
The first Nordic master all but invented Swedish cinema but made some of his greatest movies in Hollywood: The Scarlet Letter and especially The Wind, both with Lillian Gish, are two classic late silents. Many of the 20 films showing are newly restored, and there's a recently rediscovered fragment from a lost Greta Garbo film, The Divine Woman. (The title is apt; she glows.) HOBERMAN
Through January 18, MOMA at the Gramercy, 127 East 23rd Street, 212.777.4900
The clown-prince-human-beatbox-extraordinaire has enough old-school clout to get P. Diddy on his most recent album, Weekend Warrior, and not enough new-school clout to get anyone to listen to it. Never mind the wallops, though. Biz Markie can be an enchanting stage performernovelty songs "Just a Friend," "Pickin' Boogers," and "Vapors" elevate to high humor in front of an enthusiastic crowd. CARAMANICA
At 10:30, the Roxy, 515 West 18th Street, 212.645.5156
A decade ago, when this quartet jumped into existence, the inclusion of backbeats and electric guitar signaled the fragrance of fusion, an ostensibly dirty word. But saxophonist David Binney and guitarist Adam Rogers have always come at the norm with revitalizing perspectives, and when they reunite with drummer Ben Perowsky and bassist Fima Ephron, they'll have 10 years of new tricks up their sleeve. That means electro-acoustic textures, freebop riddims, unk-fay attitudes, and much deeper chops. Experience counts. MACNIE
At 10, 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, 212.929.9883
Conner, known primarily for sublime panoramic landscapes, turns to the female figure for her terrific new show. The twist: All her subjects are quite visibly pregnant, and most of them are nude. Photographed at home or outdoors in especially crisp black-and-white, the women are fiercely alive and individual. Their vivid, creaturely presence is all the more stunning in the large-scale vertical panoramas here; they occupy the frame like fertility goddesses, serene and sculptural. ALETTI
Through January 21, Laurence Miller Gallery, 20 West 57th Street, 212.397.3930
'UNREPENTANT EGO: THE SELF PORTRAITS OF LUCAS SAMARAS'
Samaras gets the old-master treatment in a sober array of nearly 400 pastels, drawings, boxes, and Polaroids (transformed, recycled, spliced) thatfilling a dozen galleriesis nearly as compartmentalized as his boxes and just as dazzling. This focused slice of his multifaceted work reveals, finally, his subtle influence on nearly everyone who has photographically explored issues of identity, transformation, and gender over the past decades. LEVIN
Through February 8, Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, 212.570.3600
FORCES OF NATURE DANCE THEATER COMPANY
The 23rd Annual Kwanzaa Regeneration Night Concert, preceding the Third Annual Unity Ball, is graced by four of Abdel R. Salaam's ballets, including Seven, which celebrates the power, rhythm, and energy of that number in modern, African, and vernacular dance; Sea We, which journeys under the sea; and Hot and October Ashes, which touch on the fashion world. Earlier in the day there's a showcase and a marketplace. ZIMMER
At 7:30, Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue, 212.650.7148
'NORTON RECORDS SOUL SHAKE SPECTACULAR'
Norton loves its r&b obscurities, and it has dug up a bunch of ace old-timers for this revue: King Coleman (the DJ who hollered on "[Do the] Mashed Potatoes" in 1959), sleazemaster Andre Williams (of "Jail Bait" infamy), Nathaniel Mayer (what, you don't remember "Village of Love"? No. 22 in 1962!), Gino Washington, and the Mighty Hannibal. And the MC is Rudy Ray "Dolemite" Moore. WOLK
At 7:30, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.230.0236
CHUCHO VALDEZ QUARTET
The Cuban piano virtuoso has always been impressive in a Tatum-esque senseall those fingers, all those ideas. But his music has occasionally seemed technique driven. As James Carter knows, it's hard to downplay the flash when you're naturally flashy. But Valdez's New Conceptions suggests that editing and judiciousness have inched up his agenda. It contains a "You Don't Know What Love Is" that's a perfectly calibrated dynamic marvel. Expect a new level of depth on stage. MACNIE
At midnight, and Tuesday at 9 and 11, through January 4, Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.4037
'THE SEVENTH VICTIM'
Now 60 years old, this hard-to-see Val Lewton production is one of the purveyors of literate horror's most effectively atmospheric B movies. The Seventh Victim also deserves to be a local favorite, dealing as it does with a coven of satanists in Greenwich Village. This downbeat cult favorite may be short, but it sure ain't sweet. Kim Hunter stars as the gothic heroine. HOBERMAN
At 7:15, Walter Reade Theater, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212.875.5600
BUDDY GUY+DOUBLE TROUBLE+INDIGENOUS
Ahhh: a rare chance to see equally worthy representatives of the three latter generations of the blues. Not only do they wield mighty axes but they are almost shockingly diverse. Since Sweet Tea, Guy has deservedly been enjoying a bit of a renaissance. And one would much rather see him play elder statesman to Mato Nanji than the typical Southeastern suburban teen pretender. CRAZY HORSE
Tonight and Monday at 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212.777.6800
Warren Haynes and Matt Abts continue their peerless tradition of rockin' out the old year and rolling in the new all along I-95. The Mule remain among the elite
best of what modern rock has to offer, so the real story here will be whether the support acts can keep up. Maceo's golden, Landreth probably, but the Spin Doctors' moment has likely passed. CRAZY HORSE
Tonight and Tuesday at 8, through December 31, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212.496.7070
PATTI SMITH & BAND+BACK IN SPADES
Other than the Times Square bash, we can always count on the return of the punk goddess to her old stomping grounds to ring in the New Year here. On album, she might never raise the roof as she did back in the day, but she's still got the spirit and her band to transport her (and you). GROSS
Tonight and Tuesday at 9, through December 31, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212.533.2111
LOVE & TAXES
Solo performer Josh Kornbluth, applauded when he was last here with Red Diaper Baby, is back with this new piece, chronicling adventures of the heart that get mixed up with the more surreal adventures provoked by that favorite target of both red-diaper and super-patriot babies, the maze-like bureaucracy of the IRS. What better topic for producing both laughs and pain? FEINGOLD
Through January 11, Bank Street Theatre, 155 Bank Street, 212.868.4444
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.