arts 02.16.06

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movies and music… We pride ourselves on being able to encapsulate most things in a few sentences for your delectation. But this event has us stymied. Margaret Leng Tan, the well-known pianist who plays not only piano but toy piano, will be performing. There will be surrealist silent films and films relating to chess. And music relating to chess, including the recently rediscovered "Chess Pieces" from 1944 by John Cage. Ms. Tan has a new CD that's part of this. And it's also related to the Noguchi Museum's "Imagery of Chess" exhibition. Perfectly clear? There are two shows, this Friday and Saturday, 8pm, at Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. [2nd] 212.505.5181.

indie rock… Oh My Rockness picks: This weekend, wolves attack Northsix: We Are Wolves, Saturday 2/18 & Wolfmother, Sunday 2/19. Plus, New York Dolls play Motherf*cker's Presidents Day Freakout at Avalon on Sunday night. Coming Soon: The Go! Team 3/20 & 3/22.

movie…Here's the apparently true premise of Unknown White Male: "Sometime between 8pm on July 1st and 7am on July 2nd, 2002, Doug Bruce lost himself. That morning, riding alone on a New York subway headed towards Coney Island, he could not remember his name. Where he worked. Who his friends were. How much money he had in his bank account. He was without his identity."

shopping… Up to 50% off wood furniture from designer John Kelly, 77 Franklin [Bway/Church] 212.625.3355, through the end of April.

book… We dare to disagree with the Times' formidable Michiko Kakutani at our peril. Nevertheless, Ms. Kakutani gave a fairly negative review to Julian Barnes' new book Arthur and George, calling it "sluggish," and we didn't find it any such thing. MUG found it a great read — a rich and rewarding story about Arthur Conan Doyle, a true-life miscarriage of justice, and a look at "Britishness" that, for us, was also a page-turner. Highly recommended.

art…Those oldies but goodies color and light get a fresh look from artist Julian Jackson in his one-man show "The Apparent Stillness of Small Spaces" at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, 529 W. 20th [10th/11th] 212.366.5368. Included are several 'Vermeer Studies.' Opens tonight, 6-8pm.

travel…Travelzoo has another hard-to-resist deal this week: Round trip on Air Tahiti Nui to New Zealand, with a free (optional) stop in Tahiti is $728, exclusive of taxes. Book by 2/22, travel by 6/10.

cabaret… It's always good to have "the hardest-working middle-aged man in show business" — Murray Hill — back with us. You can catch him on Saturday nights through April 29th, 10pm, at Mo Pitkins, 34 Avenue A [3rd] 212.777.5660. Tickets, $15, here.

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