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





"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



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 sardonic—with 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

At 8, Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, 881 Seventh Avenue, 212.903.9600



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. Relax—they'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 venture—the latest incarnation of Volksboutique—the 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



The Soviet off-Moscow studio provided a home for many less conventional filmmakers—notably 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 Marina de Van's body-horror tour de force—easily the year's best debut feature—self-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



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 photos—along with the ruined condition of the prints themselves—renders 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





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


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






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 language—raging 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



Their new DVD retrospective is smartly called Fans Only—they 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

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