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Never underestimate the characters a goody-goody suburban girl can meet while baby-sitting. Back in the ’70s, after I’d managed to keep my eyes open longer than whichever little sprog was in my Saturday-night charge, I fell in with the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players—and, by association, with Candy Slice, Gilda Radner’s wiry, wired screamer-songwriter who pledged her love to Mick Jagger, between belches, with “Are you woman, are you man?/I’m your biggest funked-up fan.” The anti-girliness, the hangin’ with the bad boys, the suggestion of being a razor’s width from hell—Candy Slice distilled Patti Smith. But what I didn’t know, and what Patti’s downtown cronies and worldwide critics didn’t know, either, was how long Patti would last. She’s flourished into a new millennium, both changing the world and waiting it out: as women learned new ways to be women, as evil empires rose and fell, and as Sylvia Plath, James Dean, Janis, and Kurt all waited at the gate for the new kid who never came. She’s not only still around for a career retrospective, Arista’s Land (1975-2002); she’s ready to make it out of date. Or, to put it in her words: “I haven’t fucked much with the past, but I’ve fucked plenty with the future.” Join her and her biggest funked-up fans Saturday, Jan. 4, on the Kennedy Center’s free “Millennium Stage,” and at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Pamela Murray Winters)