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Edited by Carly Carioli
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Touted from time to time as yet another next big thing from New York, White Light Motorcade have very little to do with the garage-rock revival. They're more of a sleazy, heavy, motor-glammy modern-rock band -- their Thank You, Goodnight (Octone) is way closer to Placebo than to the Strokes, and more like an American version of the Wildhearts, or D-Generation on cleaner drugs, or Buckcherry with a sequencer. Also, they're all butt-reamin' ugly, which means you'll probably never have to see their faces on your little sister's wall. Tonight they're downstairs at the Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, with former Trent Reznor protégés Prick; call (617) 864-EAST.


The Beatings We've been waiting for someone to write a decent rock song about playing the basement at Jacque's, and now our wishes have been answered on the Beatings' new EP, The Heart, the Product, the Machine and the Asshole (Midriff Records): "It's late at night, the bars are closed/Can't go to sleep in my pantyhose/Transvestite bar's got the best of me." Better yet, on "Transvestite Bar," the band slip their foggy-brained tale of gender confusion into a seven-minute wash of Velvets-style jangle, strangle, and hum -- which makes it their "Walk on the Wild Side"? The Beatings play a CD-release party upstairs at the Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, with Officer May, the Mobius Band, and the Autumn Rhythm. It's 18-plus and $10. Call (617) 864-EAST.

Meanwhile, next door, the man Beatings singer Tony Skalicky is most often accused of sounding like, former Pixies frontman Frank Black, sends his ace country-rock backing band, the Catholics, home early and pulls up a chair for a pair of rare solo gigs tonight and tomorrow at the tiny restaurant/bar Zuzu. The place seats about 50, so good luck packing in. (If you can't get a ticket, you can always try buying a drink at the Middle East upstairs and, after emptying the glass's contents, putting it up to the wall.) Zuzu is at 474 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-3278.

And at the Milky Way Lounge and Lanes, former Count Zero, Natalie Merchant, and Tanya Donelly keyboardist Elizabeth Steen celebrates the debut CD, Mockery (self-released) by her new band Fritter. Her backing outfit includes members of Count Zero and Merchant's band, and Donelly may drop by tonight to help out on stage. The Pee Wee Fist and Kill Henry Sugar open. That's at 405 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain; call (617) 524-3740.


If you want an up-close-and-personal look at the dancers of Boston Ballet, you'd do well to check out "Raw Dance," a popular event that gives those dancers, and their counterparts in the Boston Ballet II farm team, a chance to choreograph for one another -- and provides audiences a more intimate than usual glimpse of their talents. Performances are tonight through Saturday at 8 at the Boston Center for the Arts' Cyclorama, 539 Tremont Street in the South End. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door; call (617) 426-2787.

Over at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, meanwhile, the Rebecca Rice Dance Company teams up with acclaimed photographer and Burberry designer Martin Cooper for a collaboration entitled The Altis Vignettes, in which Rice's company, outfitted in costumes designed by Cooper, provides a series of "short movement studies" to accompany his photo exhibit depicting "a mythological fantasy where women, defying the law, participated in the Olympic Games in ancient Greece." Performances are tonight through Saturday at 8 at the CMAC, 41 Second Street. Tickets are $20; call (617) 577-1400.


Pianist Donal Fox takes his "Inventions in Blue" in the direction of the Modern Jazz Quartet with the addition of vibist Stefon Harris to the band. (See Jon Garelick's column "Giant Steps," in Arts.) That's at the Regattabar in the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett Street in Harvard Square; call (617) 876-7777.

Phil Woods is one of the great avatars of Charlie Parker-style alto sax, and he comes to Scullers with a line-up that includes fellow altoist Jon Gordon, pianist Alain Mallet, bassist Steve Gilmore, and drummer Ron Vincent. Scullers is in the DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road at the Mass Pike; call (617) 562-4111.



Summer is the time to indulge the follies and frolics of youth, especially at the box office. A young fish plays hooky from school and ends up in a tank in a dentist's office in Finding Nemo; his distraught dad undergoes innumerable perils to find him. This computer-animated comedy features the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, and Geoffrey Rush and is the first film for director Andrew Stanton. Six teenagers take a Wrong Turn and end up in a part of West Virginia inhabited by cannibalistic, inbred rednecks in this horror flick directed by Rob Schmidt and starring Eliza Dushku. A youngster takes a baseball bat to a kid's head and ends up in a mental hospital in Manic, a latter-day Cuckoo's Nest directed by Jordan Melamed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Another teenager has dreams in Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen, trying to put his entrepreneurial talents to good drug-dealing use so his mom can find a measure of happiness in the slums of Glasgow. And another delinquent makes it to the White House in Horns and Haloes, a documentary from Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky about the struggle to publish Fortunate Son, a controversial biography of George W. Bush focusing on his alleged wild and crazy cocaine days in the '70s. It also screens at the Coolidge Corner. Speaking of heists: a gang of thieves plan to make off with millions under cover of a massive LA traffic jam in The Italian Job. Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron star in this remake of the 1969 Michael Caine movie; F. Gary Gray directs.

Most people associate Marxism with dreary things like gulags and socialist-realist filmmaking. But Italian Communist Elio Petri had a sophisticated and sardonic touch, as is demonstrated by the Harvard Film Archive retrospective "The Films of Elio Petri." Perhaps he's best known for the sexy sci-fi fable La decima vittima/The Tenth Victim (1965), in which Marcello Mastroianni plays a contestant in a futuristic game show involving legalized murder. Ursula Andress co-stars in this precursor to reality TV, sporting a .38 caliber brassiere. It screens at 7 p.m. Then Un tranquillo posto in campagna/A Quiet Place in the Country (1968) belies its title with a terrifying tale of an artist who seeks some R&R with his wife at a rural retreat and is instead tormented by a comely local ghost and his own demons. Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave star; it screens at 9 p.m. The HFA is in the Carpenter Center, 24 Quincy Street in Harvard Square; call (617) 495-4700.


They're from Boston and they're called Dirty Water: how can you go wrong? In Sinners and Saints, former Ducky Boys dude Mark Lind and his brother Rob turned in their hardcore-punk badges for melodic hard rock in the vein of Social Distortion, Guns N' Roses, and Oasis; now, in Dirty Water, Mark is flying the same flag even higher. The liner notes to Dirty Water's homonymous debut, on Seattle's Street Anthem Records, proclaim, "No image/No Gimmick/No Bullshit," and the songs follow suit: no-frills, three-chord, meat-and-potatoes rock and roll that wouldn't sound out of place on a Dropkick Murphys album. Tonight the band play a CD-release party at T.T. the Bear's Place, 10 Brookline Street in Central Square; call (617) 492-BEAR.


You can get a jump on Bloomsday (June 16) by checking out the Auros Group for New Music's special program "James Joyce: Songs of the Earth and Air." You'll hear readings from Joyce's book of poetry, Chamber Music, as well as an audio presentation of Joyce reading from Finnegans Wake, plus John Heiss's Five Songs from James Joyce; Luciano Berio's Thema (Omaggio a Joyce), with original dance by the Commonwealth Ballet Company; John Cage's Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs and Nowth upon Nacht; and Stephen Albert's To Wake the Dead. Soprano Janna Baty and reader Michael Ouellette assist the ensemble. That's at Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street in Harvard Square, at 8 p.m. There will be a pre-concert discussion at 7:30 with conductor Michael Adelson. Tickets are $20, or $10 for students and seniors; call (617) 323-5444.


Cremaster 1
The greatest contemporary artwork of its time or The Matrix Reloaded for the art crowd? Artist-of-the-moment Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle -- it's named after the muscle that elevates the testicles -- has bedazzled and bewildered and bored its way into a cultural event, and this five-film meditation on the creative process, kinky sex, and the redemptive power of Vaseline begins its stint at the Museum of Fine Arts' Remis Auditorium with a screening of the climactic three-hour centerpiece, Cremaster 3 (2002). It stars Barney (who's also Björk's baby daddy, so he must be doing something right) and the sculptor Richard Serra in an opulent operetta of downfall and renewal that includes one of the most disturbing dental scenes since Marathon Man. Show time is at 6:30 p.m., and the MFA is at 465 Huntington Avenue. The series runs through June 15; call (617) 369-3300.


Audra McDonald
Juilliard-trained, a three-time Tony winner, and drop-dead-gorgeous, soprano Audra McDonald lights up Sanders Theatre tonight. The diva won Broadway's big award for her turns in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime, but she's not humming Rodgers & Hammerstein, or even Terrence McNally, tonight. Instead, she offers a program promoting younger, lesser-known songwriters, including Bat Boy composer Laurence O'Keefe and promising musical-theater stalwarts Ricky Ian Gordon, Michael John LaChiusa (in whose Marie Christine McDonald starred on Broadway), and Adam Guettel (Richard Rodgers's grandson). There's also a song by the late Rent composer Jonathan Larson and several poetry settings by Jeff Blumenkrantz and Steve Marzullo. If McDonald can't make their work sound good, no one can. Sanders is at 45 Quincy Street in Harvard Square, and tickets are $45 to $58; call (617) 496-2222.


Sleater-Kinney at Rock N' Roll Camp
If there's one thing that we learned by listening to the '80s hard-rock group Girlschool, it's that the world would be a better place if there were an actual school that taught girls how to rock. As it happens, there is now such a place. It's called, simply enough, the Rock 'N Roll Camp for Girls, and it's a bona fide non-profit located in Portland, Oregon; each summer it serves 100 girls between the ages of 8 and 18, no previous experience required, and the instructors have included such heavyweights as Sleater-Kinney. Tonight, local indie promoter Aliza Shapiro -- who'll be one of the instructors this summer -- throws a benefit for the camp at the Berwick Research Institute featuring scads of indie-rockers (Alicia Champion, the Silent Wheel, SpoilSport, Shumai, the Sprites, Sallie), poets and spoken-word artists (Amatul Hannan, Toni Amato, Talia Kingsbury, J*Me), and a yard sale/raffle with goodies from indie labels (Kimchee, Mister Records, Villa Villakula) and artists (photographer Beth Driscoll, poet Sara Seinberg). There's also a kissing booth. That's at 7:30 at the Berwick, 14 Palmer Street in Roxbury. Call (617) 442-4200.

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Self-proclaimed as "New England's Tiniest Magazine" (it measures about 5-1/2 by 4 inches), Button celebrates its latest issue with a reading by novelist and WGBH-FM Sound and Spirit host Ellen Kushner, poets Diana Der-Hovanessian, Jean Monahan, Andrew Lear, Jack and Ann Cobb, and Button editor (as well as Globe and Phoenix contributor) Sally Cragin. That's at the Longfellow Carriage House, 103 Brattle Street in Harvard Square, at 3 p.m. Call (617) 876-4491.

"Gay-friendly" may not be the first thing that pops to mind when you think of Disney World, but the joint does offer a form of domestic-partner benefits to its employees, and it gives tacit permission to an annual "Gay Day" at the park each June that attracts some 100,000 participants. And the Disney empire will be a little more friendly now thanks to Out magazine editor and Newton native Jeffrey Epstein, who with Eddie Shapiro has written a book titled Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks (Alyson Publications). The tome provides scads of "outspoken and outrageous" practical pointers to the out-and-about traveler to Walt's world, from the "Top 10 Spots To Have a Gay Moment in the Magic Kingdom" to warnings about taking a ride on Dumbo the Magic Elephant. Epstein and Shapiro show up to discuss the finer points at 4 p.m. at We Think the World of You, 540 Tremont Street in the South End. It's free; call (617) 574-5000.


The cult fascination with Hong Kong martial-arts filmmaking engendered by the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Matrix movies might get a reality check from Sammo Hung's Enter the Fat Dragon (1978). To judge from this wacky spoof, these guys don't take themselves nearly as seriously as their Hollywood imitators. Hung himself plays a corpulent part-time pig farmer and part-time waiter whose fixation with the late Bruce Lee gets him into slapsticky situations. It screens today at 4 p.m. as part of the "Black Belt Theater" series at the Bombay Cinema 3 (formerly the Allston Cinema), 214 Harvard Street; call (617) 734-2501.


Now located on Washington Street in Chinatown, Oni Gallery, one of the city's coolest and most vital alternative art spaces, began its tenure at 84 Kingston Street, a building that was torn down to make room for a high-rise office building. But before the suits moved in, the Kingston Street building was home to a hive of activity by local artists and musicians, and a new CD compilation -- From 84 Kingston Street: A Benefit for Oni (released by Sealed Fate and Imperial Phonographic Recordings) -- celebrates the space's milieu with live and previously unreleased material by present, past, and soon-to-be-gone outfits including Mary Timony, the Sheila Divine's Aaron Perino, the Damn Personals, the Wicked Farleys, the Ivory Coast, Cracktorch, and the Humanoids. Tonight and tomorrow, the Middle East plays host to a pair of CD-release parties. Tonight, the top draw is a reunion of Milligram/Drug War drummer Zephan Courtney's '90s indie-rock duo Chevy Heston, in their day one of Boston's brightest, weirdest, and most volatile outfits. They're joined by Helms, Seana Carmody, Bright's Mark Dwinel, and Certainly, Sir. Tomorrow, Oni curator Tim Bailey heads up the bill with his horror-punk outfit the Humanoids, along with Destructathon, the Stoves, and Radar Eyes. The Middle East is at 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (6170 864-EAST.


Ted Leo Ted Leo's fascination with the English mod rock of the Jam and the blue-collar rebel rock of the later Clash was apparent as far back as Chisel's 1996 album 8 a.m. All Day (Gern Blandsten), which provided a road map to legions of post-hardcore outfits seeking a path out of indie-rock complacency. For a couple of years, he got a little fancy. But he's worked all that out of his system, and since signing to Lookout!, he's been bashing out searing sweaty power pop with hints of reggae, folk rock, and R&B. On his new Hearts of Oak, which may prove to be his entrée into the rock mainstream, he comes off as a worthy heir to Joe Strummer, Thin Phil Lynott, and Elvis Costello. He's been touring so fiercely that he blew his voice out last month, but he's recovered in time to make it to the Middle East tonight for an FNX-sponsored show. That's at 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-EAST.

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No, there's no sign of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, or Jeff Beck in the version of the Yardbirds that appears tonight at the House of Blues, kicking off a tour behind the group's first studio album in more than 30 years. But founding rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty are on board (see our preview in Arts). And though the big guitar guns are absent, fans of the most legendary folk/garage/psych-pop band of them all -- their best-known hit being "For Your Love" -- may well conclude that some is better than none. The House of Blues is at 96 Winthrop Street in Harvard Square; it's a 9 p.m. show, and tickets are $22.50. Call (617) 491-BLUE.


The Delta-blues-inspired duo Scissormen -- namely Devil Gods guitarist (and frequent Phoenix contributor) Ted Drozdowski and former Nine Pound Hammer drummer Rob Hulsman -- continue their "Bad Critter" series of wide-open collaborations tonight at the Midway Café. They're bringing along country dude Stan Martin and Barrence Whitfield's Hillbilly Voodoo; everyone will do his own set and then they'll congregate. The series continues at its regularly scheduled meeting place -- first Friday of the month at the Zeitgeist Gallery, in this case on June 6 -- with Waits-like bluesman Frank Morey, the Lodge, 'Til Tuesday's Joe Pesce, and others for a show that'll end with everyone chipping in on Howlin' Wolf's "Evil." The Midway is at 3466 Washington Street in Jamaica Plain; call (617) 524-9038. The Zeitgeist is at 1353 Cambridge Street in Cambridge; call (617) 876-6060.

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In 1992, the Colombian-born educator Robert Arévalo began teaching inner-city kids how to make their own movies and videos as a way to document their lives and to get concrete filmmaking experience. Under the auspices of the Mirror Project, he's helped more than 150 teens create their own documentaries. Tonight, the Underground Film Revolution screens "The Mirror Project Retrospective: A New Approach to Social Documentary," which includes four teen-made films and another by Arévalo himself. That's at 9 p.m. at the Milky Way Lounge and Lanes, 405 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. Admission is $5; call (617) 524-3740.


The Chicago trio Venue just picked up a Diesel-U-Music award (highly coveted in the underground-dance-music world) for "best electronic performer," and it's not hard to see why. They sculpt open-ended, heavy-synth new wave over progressive, break-danceable beats -- think Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" retuned for the 21st century. And they have a distinctive visual presence thanks to Chris May, a member of the Windy City performance/art collective Synesthesia. Tonight they're at the Middle East. Previously-announced openers Winterbrief and RedCarWhiteCar cancelled at the last minute; local "femcee" Cathy Cathodic and NYC electro/rap dude Houston Bernard will fill in on the undercard. That's at 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-EAST.

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All Kindsa Girls
Next week at the Coolidge Corner, long-time behind-the-scenester Cheryl Eagan-Donovan (a former band manager and publicist) will premiere her first feature-length film, All Kindsa Girls, a documentary about garage punk in general with a special emphasis on Boston legends the Real Kids. Tonight, a fundraiser for the film features acoustic performances by the Real Kids, the Downbeat 5, and the Dents, with the Explosion's Damien Genuardi sitting in as guest DJ. They'll also screen excerpts from the film -- which, if it makes any money, will devote a portion of its proceeds to the Joey Ramone Place Fund. The benefit takes place at 9 at the Zeitgeist Gallery, 1353 Cambridge Street in Inman Square; call (781) 729-6204.


Formalizing garage punk's self-imposed stylistic conservatism, Copenhagen's the Raveonettes wrote all of their debut mini-album, Whip It On (Crunchy Frog/Columbia), in the low, evil key of B-flat minor, and they limited themselves to three chords. Nonetheless, they came up with a stark, raving-mad rock noir -- an enlightened distillation of black-leather biker blooz from Link Wray and the Shangri-Las up through the Cramps, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sonic Youth. They're at the Paradise, 969 Commonwealth Avenue, with the Vue and the Sounds; call (617) 423-NEXT.

We still don't understand why Verbena aren't the world's biggest rock-and-roll band. Their '97 debut, Souls for Sale (Merge), twisted and distorted '70s Stones-style rawk until it blistered and burned like Fun House-era Stooges; their '99 major-label bow, Into the Pink (Capitol), elevated Nirvana worship to an art so refined that even Dave Grohl couldn't complain -- hell, he produced. And after several years of Cobain-like drug-fueled disintegration (during which frontman Scott Bondy's female foil, Anne Marie Griffin, left the group), Bondy has pulled himself, and the band, together for a stunning comeback disc, La Musica Negra (Capitol), that distills the best impulses of the previous two albums into an instant modern classic. Tonight the band land at the Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-EAST.

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Back in 1968, venerable playwright and Gloucester Stage Company artistic director Israel Horovitz, then 29, hit Off Broadway running with a tough one-acter called The Indian Wants the Bronx, which starred the then-unknown Al Pacino as one of two bullies heckling a non-English-speaking East Indian waiting for a bus to the Bronx. Tonight New York's Barefoot Theatre Company brings its 35th-anniversary Off Broadway production of the piece to Gloucester (where it will not be retitled The Indian Wants the Beach), on a bill with two more recent, short Horovitz plays, Security and A Mother's Love. The latter, which the troupe performed this year at the Boston Theater Marathon, is an ambitious piece contrasting the attitudes of a trio of American women toward war with the ritual of Muslim parents preparing their son for his turn as a suicide bomber. The plays continue Wednesday through Sunday through June 22 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street in Gloucester. Tickets are $20; call (978) 283-6688.


One of the busiest provocateurs on the Boston scene, saxophonist James Merenda hits Inman Square with his Masked Marvels. Expect Merenda's exuberant take on Mingus and a whole lot more. The line-up includes pianist Art Bailey, trumpeter Doug Olsen, and Timo Shanko of the Fully Celebrated Orchestra on tenor sax instead of his usual bass. That's at Ryles, 212 Hampshire Street in Inman Square; call (617) 876-9330.


Artists suffer for their art, and all too often audiences suffer with them when filmmakers try to put these tortured geniuses' lives on the screen. Not so in the case of Frida (2002), Judy Taymor's visually stunning, dramatically intense, and often quite illuminating portrait of Mexican painter and feminist deity Frida Kahlo, who's played with role-of-a-lifetime commitment by Salma Hayek, and her lover Diego Rivera, who's played brilliantly by Alfred Molina. Kudos also to Geoffrey Rush as Leon Trotsky -- who knew the doomed revolutionary was such a stud? You can see it today at 4:45, 7:15, and 9:45 p.m. at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street in Harvard Square; call (617) 876-6837.

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The self-described "circus free improv sextet" Beat Science begins its month-long residency at the Lizard Lounge with legendary avant-garde trombonist/composer Roswell Rudd as a special guest. The regular Beat Sciencers include leader/trumpeter/filmmaker Brian Carpenter, saxophonists Charlie Kohlhase and James Merenda, banjo player/guitarist Brandon Seabrook, tuba player Ron Caswell, and drummer Jerome Deupree. That's at 1667 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Sets are at 8 and 10:30, and tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door; call (617) 547-0759.


One of the unexpected pleasures of last year's Boston Jewish Film Festival was Lina and Slava Chaplin's A Trumpet in the Wadi (2001). A diminutive but plucky Russian-Jewish immigrant takes a room in the Arab section of Haifa, and his self-depreciating drive, sense of humor (he's like a shorter, cooler Robin Williams), and mournful trumpet playing win the heart of his charming downstairs Arab neighbor. A reminder that the Romeo-and-Juliet story always puts in perspective the most inveterate conflicts, it screens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue. Call (617) 369-3300.


LA Drugs Boys and girls, meet LA Drugs. They're a spastic, filthy, cockeyed trio -- Ryan, Paul, Sandra, no last names -- whose turn-ons include drugs (of course), noise, and doing it on the dance floor. If the dance floor is too crowded, or perhaps not crowded enough, Sandra, the singer, wouldn't mind doing it in the bathroom stall. Their homonymous debut ($4 from Massive Distribution) is the most genius sleazoid seizure we've heard in the last five minutes. It sounds as if it had been recorded on their answering machine: 10 tracks of manic, cop-baiting, Casio-drums-guitar ineptitude. Their shows invariably involve lots of broken stuff. Think Fat Day with a girl singer who makes that chick from Phantom Pregnancies sound like Avril Lavigne. Imagine if Gerty Farish and Tunnel of Love had an abortion. The CD is getting a vinyl release from Twisted Village, and the Drugs have been on tour with Wayne Rogers & Kate Village's "Twisted Village Rolling Revolution Tour," which ends tonight at the Milky Way, 405 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. Call (617) 524-3740.

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