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Art attacks
Dueling musicians, nightmarish art, and more

Fight club

Wanna see the guy who had Jack White seeing red? In case you hadn’t heard: in the White Stripes leader’s barroom-brawl debut, he cold-cocked Von Bondies frontman Jason Stollsteimer, bringing to a boil months of bad blood between the two, a feud made all the juicier by the fact that White had produced the Von Bondies’ debut, Lack of Communication. If you’ve seen the photos of Stollsteimer that the Detroit Free Press ran after the fracas — his face seems to have been trampled by a seven-nation army, with one eye completely swollen shut — you’re wondering how the guy’s even opening his mouth these days. As it happens, the Von Bondies will soon be giving Jack a run for his garage-punk buckaroos thanks to a big-shot major-label debut, Pawn Shoppe Heart (Sire). The disc won’t be out until March, but samples are streaming now at www.vonbondies.com, and the band will be in Cambridge to preview it on February 23 with a gig at the Middle East, 472 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-EAST.

Art punk

Even in the irreverent, anarchic world of post-"Sensation" British modern art, the skull-ring-wearing couple of Tim Noble and Sue Webster stand out. Equal parts trash and bling, their work skewers modern media and marketing with a savvy grasp of tabloidish chicanery. These hot shots of the London art scene have described their output as "your worst nightmare of what art can be," and you can experience that nightmare when they get their first US museum show at the Museum of Fine Arts this spring. The f-bomb-dropping titles of their work read like the track list of some long-lost Brit-punk classic; their iconic neon sculptures look like the kind of scribbled cartoons Sid Vicious would’ve produced in a drug-induced stupor; and their self-portraits appear at first glance to be random piles of garbage — but when cast in the right light, they produce unnervingly lifelike silhouettes. "Tim Noble and Sue Webster" is on view April 21 through August 15 at the MFA, 465 Huntington Avenue in Boston; call (617) 267-9300.

Back in black

One of our favorite scenes from the Jerry Seinfeld documentary Comedian comes when Chris Rock corners Jerry to tell him about the greatest stand-up set he’s seen recently — a guy working huge theater audiences, three shows a night, two and a half hours a show, and not only is he funny, he’s also bitter and edgy. The comedian? Bill Cosby. With Richard Pryor out of commission and Eddie Murphy consigned to big-screen family pictures, the pudding man might be Rock’s only competition. Having honed a new act in small-club venues recently (including Boston’s Comedy Connection), Rock has his stand-up back on point — recently, he’s been asking how it is that the government can track down Saddam in a spider hole on the Tigris but still can’t figure out who shot Tupac. His "Black Ambition" tour is heating up — he’s already sold out a show at the Orpheum, 1 Hamilton Place in Boston, on February 20; but a return gig on March 13 has just been added. Tickets are $41 to $61; call (617) 931-2000. If you’re in the mood for a drive, you can also catch Rock at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on February 6 and 7. Tickets are $82 and $110; call (800) 200-2882.

Fresh air

The Minneapolis-bred rhyme mechanic Slug crawled out from under a rock to emerge as indie hip-hop’s great half-white hope (he’s the son of a black father and a white mother), and his scurrilous verses about lost love have led some to tag him as rap’s answer to emo. His group Atmosphere signed to Epitaph last year and released their most accessible disc yet in Seven’s Travels, and they’ll be back for a show at the Roxy, 279 Tremont Street in the Theater District, on February 10. Tickets are $16.50 in advance, $20 day of show; call (617) 931-2000.


Issue Date: January 23 - 29, 2004
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