Young Miss America

(Pias America)

For the uninitiated, the journey from Gold Chains on wax to Gold Chains on stage is quite the crying game. GC's lone MC, Topher LaFata, has a bottomless, mouthful-of-tar authenticity in his flow, a cocktail of Ol' Dirty Bastard and Tricky. That drawl conjures a ripped, retro-jersey-representin' Allen Iverson look-alike. Now, um, just picture the complete what-the-fuck opposite . . . although LaFata does sport a cane and Run DMC fedora. Luckily, Young Miss America ain't ironic suburban posturing, but a triumph of beat transition, contorting from minimalist indie thrash to fat, single-note keyboard belches to pelvis-pounding, racetrack d'n'b. "Code Red" and "Several Times Defined" are consecutive mission statements that hint at the self-aware upstart behind the MC mask; LaFata calls us out to "start an emo-tek-rap-punk band, self-destruct onstage, and move out to Oakland" in the rat-a-tat verses, but transforms to master pimp daddy in the roof-raising payoffs, leering, "Do you like it on the side, do you like it from behind, or do you like it on the ground?" The do-me braggadocio inevitably thins after 11 tracks but sizzles against nasty girl counterflow. Amy Morrell's guest snaps on closing ho jam "Let's Get It On" single-handedly make the preceding bombtracks a bit more hollow. Does wink-wink, Caucasian, college hip-hop get old? Wigga, pleasetry sitting through a Har Mar Superstar record sometime. LaFata may be stuck rapping about the only thing he knowsbootybut unlike Har Mar, his Mac has back. ANDREW BONAZELLI


The American Analog Set specialize in microcosmic rock based on three scientific-enough principles: repetition, precision, and control. The Dallas quartet defined its intimate intent with the title of its 1997 album, From Our Living Room to Yours. Emboldened by lo-fi pop (the stilled psychedelia of Galaxie 500, the quietude of Low) and '70s Krautrock (the lulling, locked rhythms of Can, Neu!, et al.), the group attracted college-radio devotees looking for a subdued fix. The new Promise of Love (Tiger Style), the Set's fifth album, strikes a concise balance between Know by Heart's lovelorn pop songcraft and the extended, Stereolab-like grooves of earlier records. Graceland. $8 adv. 7 p.m. Wed. July 2. MATTHEW FRITCH


It's hard to find a quality house icon in New York who doesn't have some connection to this man, from Erick Morillo to frequent collaborators Armand Van Helden and fellow "S-Men" DJ Sneak and Roger Sanchez. Like them, Junior represents a league of quirky, soulful house DJs who have established superstar status internationally, mainly by way of Ibiza and Brit superclubs like Fabric and Godskitchen, but whose talents have been pushed disturbingly far underground back home. Unlike them, Junior has yet to scale the heights as a producer, having only made an impact with 1999's pleasant but forgettable "B With U" and a few high-profile remixes. But he certainly can pick the tunes. Baltic Room. $12. 9 p.m. Thu. July 3. DANIEL WERNER


PWe're still not sure why all the now-nationless Lilith fairies have yet to jump on Mirah's hot little motorboat. After all, she's got the gently melodic guitars, the sweet, clear voice, and the engagingly confessional lyrics. But then again, she's also a strange, intense little artist on K Records who sings unabashedly about romantic obsession from every angle, and does so approximately 4 million times better than any of the gooey-eyed, Pier One candle-scented crap inhabiting the main stage at most of those womynly festivals. Go buy a copy of the daunting, haunting, straight-up amazing Phil Evrum-produced Advisory Committee and see for yourself. Told you. Vera Project. $7. 8 p.m. Sun. July 6. LEAH GREENBLATT

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