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Break dancing meets kung fu and blaxploitation mixes with chinoiserie in this exploration of a cross-cultural fascination that began in the ’70s. Curated by Christine Y. Kim, with site-specific and other work by 19 American artists of African, Asian, and mixed descent—Rico Gatson, Patty Chang, Ellen Gallagher, Michael Joo, Paul Pfeiffer, and David Diao among them—it puts a new spin on identity issues. David Hammons plans a surprise. LEVIN

Opens today, through January 4, Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 West 125th Street, 212.864.4500



What better way to authenticate a reading of the Northern Irishman’s violent and literate crime novel, Dead I Well May Be, than with several pints of one of the best pours in town? Learn to fear the “Belfast six-pack,” Mexican prisons, and mob boss Darkey White, and enjoy the craic. REIDY

At 8, Rocky Sullivan’s, 129 Lexington Avenue, 212.725.3871



The most mannered of New York City’s rock revivalists, these suits haven’t hit a home stage since last frost, if memory serves. What better way to greet overcoat weather than with their ruminative, iced-out double-time dirges? Plus, if anything suits the too-large, dick-staffed Ballroom space it is Interpol’s reverb-obscured epic Sturm. Unlike the Strokes, they’ve no new album on the way, but here’s to the possibility of previews. CATUCCI

At 6, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, 212.307.7171; Tuesday at 7:30, Roseland, 239 West 52nd Street, 212.777.6800


I&W’s Sam Beam nests in Miami with his loving wife and two kids, teaches film at a local college, and sports a woodcutter’s beard—an image not evident from the sad songs on his new EP, The Sea & the Rhythm. Singing like Simple Simon, whispering and plucking like Nick Drake with a shadow of Neil Young melancholy, Mr. Beam shines a light on sorrow. With Papercranes and Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter. KIM

At 8, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006


Every recent Murray concert has been an event, and this one whets the appetite on two levels. First, the program will begin with his new quartet including the brilliant drummer Hamid Drake, who is not often heard here; second, he’s got a lot of strings—10, not including his own bassist—conducted by Craig Harris, and one can scarcely imagine how he’ll deploy them. GIDDINS

At 8:30, Zankel Hall at Carnegie, Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th streets, 212.247.7800



Who would’ve thought that Rod the Bod would someday headline a “lite” radio station bill? Simply Red’s latest is their danciest in years. The only chart on which Seal’s still doing well is the one that reports club play, and McLachlan’s had more than her share of trance mixes. Is dance-pop the new adult contemporary? Guess there’s nowhere else for adult ex- and non-rockers to go. WALTERS

At 8, Madison Square Garden Theater, 31st Street and Seventh Avenue, 212.465.6741



Sugiura’s latest photograms record the often life-size silhouettes of scientists and artists projected as shadows on photographic paper. Since Sugiura’s process involves performance, her subjects always manage to round out the format’s inherent flatness, usually with the aid of characteristic props. Yayoi Kusama sits under a flower-decked umbrella in back-to-back positive and negative images; Keith Sonnier grapples with a tangle of neon; and a portly geneticist blows a small galaxy of soap bubbles. ALETTI

Through October 25, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, 535 West 22nd Street, 212.255.8450




Anne Bogart’s meditation on post-World War II New York’s most freewheelingly agglutinative artist deploys her SITI company on a set that’s a giant American flag. Charles L. Mee’s text Rauschenbergianly collages into itself words by Whitman, the Beat poets, Merce Cunningham, and the artist himself. Rumors that this reviewer was offered the role of the stuffed goat are flatly untrue. FEINGOLD

Through Saturday, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718.636.4100






Noemie Lafrance’s Bessie-winning site-specific journey, unfolding in a 12-story stairwell, sends a dozen women, representing members of the servant class, sprawling down to their destiny. Wear comfortable shoes; you’ll be following them. ZIMMER

At 7 and 8:30, Friday and Saturday at 7, 8:30, and 10, and Sunday at 7 and 8:30, through November 23, City Court Building Clock Tower, 108 Leonard Street, 212.868.4444



It’s been more than a year since their self-titled debut, and nearly four since winning the Best Unsigned Band at the Latin Alternative Music Conference, so you know that this action-packed five-piece from Monterrey, Mexico, will turn S.O.B.’s into one big groovy fiesta with a booty-shaking mix of house beats, Latin rhythms, and good old-fashioned (i.e., lascivious) rock ‘n’ roll showmanship. HENDRICKSON

At 10, S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick Street, 212.243.4940


One of the great contemporary singers, she is a figure with little precedent in jazz: a diva who writes most of her material and sings standards with autobiographical urgency—as on her new CD, It’s Me. The forebears who come to mind are Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, but they sang of survival while faltering; Lincoln incarnates revitalization and strength. She phrases with queenly resolve, singing from deep down and underscoring her lyrics for maximum impact. GIDDINS

At 8 and 10:30, through Sunday, Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street, 212.475.8592






A stark, glowing square at one end of Ace’s grand hall and a spotlit circle at the other achieve taut Platonic perfection. Between them, radio scanners emit random real-time chatter. The rest of the show—which revives Sonnier’s experiments in black light, live video, laser, and vivid neon (running rings around incandescent bulbs or scattered like pickup sticks) from the late ’60s and early ’70s—is handsome but not quite so sublime. LEVIN

Through December 31, Ace Gallery, 275 Hudson Street, 212.255.5599



Bringing together all Robert Bresson’s ideas about acting, sound, and editing, as well as grace, redemption, and human nature, his heartbreaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar—the story of a donkey’s life and death in rural France—is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers. Amazingly, this 1966 movie never had a New York commercial release. HOBERMAN

Opens today, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212.727.8110



Playwright A.R. Gurney takes on the scholarly establishment in this pair of one-acts, one about a married couple whose dual infidelity presents publishable, or perhaps perishable, prospects; the other features a highbrow artistic director whose theater has a curious way with guest lecturers. Paul Benedict, a good comic actor himself, directs a cast that includes another droll playwright, Keith Reddin. FEINGOLD

In previews, opens Tuesday, Primary Stages, 354 West 45th Street, 212.333.4052






Getting a two-week jump on Hollywood, AMMI corners the Hungarian-horror-ham market. Saturday offers Bela’s career-making Dracula and two far superior follow-ups: White Zombie and The Black Cat. Sunday adds the 1932 Murders in the Rue Morgue and two career-ending Ed Wood outings, the ineffable Glen or Glenda? and Bride of the Monster. HOBERMAN

Today and Sunday, American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue and 36th Street, Astoria, Queens, 718.784.0077



With little of the clowning around that usually puts solo acoustic over, fanzine editor and songwriting super-strummer John Darnielle holds his own on intelligence and intensity—both of which rev higher as you grasp the words. Word is, the newest ones are the best of his blossoming life and/or career. Also: Coco Rosie. CHRISTGAU

At 9, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212.219.3006



Like so much of Sugimoto’s work, the “Architecture” series is almost forbiddingly flawless—a combination of minimalist restraint, conceptual purity, and luxe presentation. Here, he’s given iconic buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Frank Gehry, Antonio Gaudí, and others the soft-focus treatment, turning them into fuzzy black-and-white memories or the perfect embodiments of their creators’ dreams. Though the Eiffel Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the UN look more like scale models than actual structures, Sugimoto bathes them in such a romantic fog it hardly matters. ALETTI

Through November 1, Sonnabend Gallery, 536 West 22nd Street, 212.627.1018






The ultimate underground movie, Ken Jacobs’s epic assemblage annotates a lyrical junkyard allegory, shot in late-’50s New York, with chunks of mainly ’30s American movies. This six-hour version adds more found material, plus updates on Iraq. Jacobs alternates between marshaling evidence and showcasing manic performances—mainly the young Jack Smith, a fabulous whirligig fearlessly making a public spectacle of himself. HOBERMAN

At 3:30 and 8:30, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, 212.875.5600



Luckily, for the last few years, NYC’s been blessed with annual visits from these premier Japanese psyche demigods. Led by eccentric 11-guitar lord Haino Keiji—who conducts the band’s brutal noise-rock improvisations with Butoh-like foot stomps and necromancing hand gestures—they melt the boundaries of rock and free jazz. The Japanese canon of noise owes much to these legends. Pure transcendence, sonic satori. BOSLER

At 8 and 10, Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street, 212.358.7501






Once a year in Manhattan, impresario Donald Smith arrives in blue suit, white shirt, and conservative tie to suggest what’s hot, and by omission, what’s not in boîtedom. The bill for the first two nights—the second tagged “Julie Wilson’s Birthday Party”—includes the birthday girl herself, Karen Akers, Blossom Dearie, John DePalma, Jessica Molasky, Tom Andersen, and Sally Mayes. Not to mention some Smith-anointed up-and-comers. FINKLE


Today and Tuesday at 6, Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 212.840.2824






Schmidt’s first novel, The Bride of Catastrophe, is as disconcerting and comically beautiful as its title. In polished, nearly Austenian prose, she blurs the lines between nostalgia and self-examination, inanity and tragedy, as the misguided Beatrice tries her hand at love—of all sorts. With Elizabeth Strout (Amy and Isabelle). REIDY

At 7, Barnes & Noble, 240 East 86th Street, 212.794.1962



BWith his lush movement vocabulary, Brown celebrates Nina Simone in a new ensemble work, and commemorates the late Stephanie Reinhart in a new solo. The Bessie-crowned Walking Out the Dark and High Life complete the program. ZIMMER

At 8, and October 22 through 26, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212.242.0800


Her Sleeping Beauty and Other Stories delves into issues of isolation, connection, rescue, and change, burrowing down to explore the nature of difference. Jane Shaw mixes the soundscape; Douglas Stein assembles a set from factory windows. ZIMMER

At 7:30, and October 22 through 25, BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718.636.4100



The Russian composer Vladimir Dukelsky was born 100 years ago this month, and if you’re wondering what that has to do with the theater, Musicals Tonight will explain, through this concert staging of one of the great musicals he wrote after moving to America and becoming Vernon Duke. A 1943 folktale involving African Americans, it originally starred Ethel Waters. She won’t be around, but the immortal songs Duke wrote with John LaTouche will. FEINGOLD

Opens today, through November 9, 14th Street YMHA, 344 East 14th Street, 212.868.4444

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