arts 02.3.05


Roomful of Blues has been around since 1967 and has 18 albums under their belt, including the just released "Standing Room Only." So how come their music sounds so fresh? Maybe because it's the happiest blues imaginable. They're at Joe's Pub tonight at 9:30pm. $20.

Gifted composer William Finn returns with a musical called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Second Stage, 307 W. 43rd [8th] 212.246.4422.

At Metro Pictures, 519 W. 24th [10th/11th] 212.206.7100, artist T.J. Wilcox has an exhibition (through February 19th) called "Garlands" — 16 short, silent, rich and beautifully observed films.

The Ha-Ha by Dave King (Little, Brown, $23.95) is a first novel, the story of a Vietnam vet who hasn't spoken in 30 years. Generating a lot of buzz.

Tonight at the Corner Bookstore, 1313 Mad [93rd] 212.831.3554, 6pm, Jess Row, author of The Train to Lo Wu (Dial Press, $23) reads from his collection of short stories set in Hong Kong.

Gary Robins' Asian-American food at the Biltmore Room, 290 8th [25th] 212.807.0111, invariably lifts our spirits. We've been tracking this chef since his days at Aja and, forgiving his periodic bouts of wanderlust, consider him one of this town's treasures.
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