Volume 75, Number 32 | Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2005

The A - List

Heavy Metal Drummer When musicians go solo, it’s typically with dynamic instruments like guitars or pianos. But Wilco’s drummer Glenn Kotche plays with percussion like a mad scientist in a basement lab. At a recent show, he plucked guitar-like strings attached to his drum set; tapped on an electric xylophone, and flipped open dozens of tiny boxes that filled the room in a chorus of cricket chirps. In short, he’ll change your notion of what it means to be a drummer. He plays with Mike Patton of Faith No More fame this Wednesday and Thursday, December 28 and 29 at Warsaw, 165 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn (718-387-0505; polishnationalhome.com/warsawconcerts.htm).By Michael Wilson

Like Woodstock, Minus the Mud The best deal of the New Year might just be on New Year’s Day. For $17, you can ring in 2006 at St. Marks Church, where the Poetry Project will sponsor its 32nd Annual Marathon Reading. Beginning at 3 PM, Patti Smith, Hal Sirowitz, Penny Arcade, Eric Bogosian and 130 or so other performers, poets, musicians, and multimedia artists will put on what one Villager writer calls “the literary equivalent of Woodstock, except without the mud and the attitude.” Arrive early to snag a seat and a space on line for the homey buffet food. 3 PM to 2 AM January 1-2, St. Mark’s Church 131 E 10th St. at Second Ave. (212-674-8194; poetryproject.com). By Jefferson Siegel

Brrrrrring in the New Year Since 1903, members of the Coney Island chapter of the Polar Bear Club — the oldest in the country — have met every Sunday in winter to take a dip in the icy Atlantic, and this Sunday, New Year’s Day, happens to be the biggest swim of all. An estimated 700 “bears” will plunge into the frigid ocean, though with the weather forecast at press time a balmy 45 degrees, you might be tempted to join them. January 1, 1 PM, on the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Visit www.polarbearclub.org for more information. Courtesy MV Gallery

Street Life New Year’s Day is filled with forward-looking thoughts, but Walfred Moisio’s photographs are worth stepping back in time for. The never-before-seen prints by the former Works Progress Administration (WPA) photographer, now on view at the MV Gallery, expose forgotten scenes from 1930s and 40s New York. There are pictures from the 1939 World’s Fair, Coney Island in its heyday, a 1932 Thanksgiving Day Parade, and vintage shots of the Village. The exhibit closes Jan. 19. MV Gallery of Photography, 33 Little W. 12th Street #204, (212-929-3036; mvlabs.com/html/gallery).Gordon Gattsek

Truth, Lies, and Rashomon Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 classic “Rashomon” is a cinematic achievement that endures to this very day. Only a few months ago, the Public Theater’s “See What I Wanna See” modernized the story in two acts, first as the traditional murder mystery in 1950’s New York City and second as a post-9/11 questioning of faith and hope. Next month, the animated screen comedy “Hoodwinked” reconfigures “Rashomon” into the world of warped fairy tales. But while imitation may suit some, the Pioneer Theater returns to where it all began. This Wednesday, December 28, it revives both “Seven Samurai,” the inspiration for “Star Wars,” well as “Rashomon,” the artist’s most enduring work, which will screen again January 4 and the 26th. Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B (212-591-0434;.twoboots.com/pioneer). — Steven Snyder. Courtesy Pioneer Theater — Steven Snyder

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