MUSIC

Adult Books
Monday, 9 p.m.
O’Brien’s Pub
3 Harvard Ave., Allston
$10, 18+, 866-777-893
www.ticketweb.com

This Los Angeles outfit started out as a classic basement punk act, but they’ve since taken a direction many early punks did, towards moody, synth-assisted pop, recalling the danceable melancholy of the Smith or New Order. This newer sound comes into full flower on their new album, “Blows”, which, if you didn’t know better, you might guess was from 1983. 

Make It New
Thursday, 9 p.m.
Middlesex Lounge
315 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Cover TBA, 21+
www.facebook.com/events/887495711366816/

This evening of electronic dance music features Italian producer Massimiliano Pagliara, whose bio describes him as having been raised on a “steady diet of everything.” Expect music that blurs the lines the already blurry loines between EDM sub-genres. Pagliara will be joined by Wrecked NYC and DJ Mike Swells—and of course you, the audience, who will be dancing. 

Reykjavik Calling
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Middle East Downstairs
480 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Free, 21+
toircbos16.eventbrite.com

The general public knows two musical acts from Iceland: Bjork and Sigur Ros. Now, Iceland’s a small place, but it’s not so small that there aren’t other bands there. At this concert you’ll get to see two, Axel Flóvent and Ceasetone. Both play gentle, atmospheric folk-pop that’s considerably less avant-garde than the two aforementioned bands, but communicates a similarly desolate beauty. 

Potty Mouth
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Cuisine en Locale
156 Highland Ave., Somerville
$10, all ages, 877-987-6487
www.ticketfly.com

Northampton’s Potty Mouth is one of the bands putting Western Massachusetts back on the indie rock map. Their 90’s-style punk-pop is so authentic it practically outshines antecedents like the Breeders and Veruca Salt. Their video for “Cherry Picking,” with its VHS vibe, will have you seriously wondering if the Pioneer Valley is some kind of time vortex. The answer: probably.  

ART

Wintersport! Prized Vintage Posters from the Golden Age of Skiing 1900-1960
Through March 15
International Poster Gallery
205 Newbury St., Boston
Free, 617-375-0076 
www.internationalposter.com

In an age of obnoxious pop-up ads, these bold, sleek travel posters look even more beautiful than they originally did. Taken together, this collection shows the development of skiing from a hobby to an industry. On Thursday at 5 p.m., Yale art historian Jim Lapides will give a talk at the gallery, digging deeper into the bygone world of these images.  

Contemporary Realism: Impressions by Four Boston Artists
Friday through March 27
Piano Craft Gallery
793 Tremont St., Boston
Free, PCHboston@gmail.com
www.pianocraftgallery.org

Here are four contemporary painters — Renee Caouette, Dave Kaphammer, Diane Reed Sawyer and Janet Schwartz—who are still realists. None of them will tempt you to make the classic philistine comment, “My kid could do that!” Your kid definitely could not. Together, these artists show a keen eye for everyday beauty — precious moments of stillness in a seemingly hectic world. 

THEATER

Inferno! Fire at the Cocoanut Grove: 1942
Through April 3
Plaza Theater
539 Tremont St., Boston
$30-$40, 617-933-8600
www.bostontheatrescene.com

The Core Theatre presents this historical drama by James Hanson Price, telling the story of the 1942 fire at the popular Boston nightclub Cocoanut Grove. The tragedy that claimed the lives of 492 people and briefly eclipsed World War II in the national headlines. Almost forgotten today, the horrifying event led to greater safety standards and innovations in the treatment of burn victims. 

The Launch Prize
Thursday through March 20
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$14-$40, 617-933-8600
www.bostontheatrescene.com

Bridge Repertory Theater presents this topical play by local playwright MJ Halberstadt, about a quartet of art students competing for the titular career-making award. Each was allowed to reveal or withhold their racial and gender identifies. Without yet knowing the winner, the artists debate whether or not the contest is biased. Is any contest fair in an unequal society?

COMEDY

Stand Up Sampler
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Durgin-Park
340 S. Market St., Boston
$5, 21+, 617-227-2038
www.eventbrite.com/e/stand-up-sampler-at-the-hideout-tickets-22367000300

Alex Gettlin and Dylan Krasinski — no relation, as far as we can gather, to Massachusetts native and “The Office” star John Krasinski — co-host this evening of comedy at the Hideout— in the basement of the legendary Durgin-Park restaurant — featuring Dana Jay Bein, Ryan Chani, Sam Ike, Gabe Stoddard and others yet-to-be-announced. 

Tim Lee
Friday and Saturday
Davis Square Theater
255 Elm St., Somerville
$9-$38, youtubecomedian@gmail.com
somerville2016.bpt.me

Like Bill Nye, this Australian comedian has a background in science—before he got the comedy bug, he was studying population dynamics as a biologist, and his bio describes his PowerPoint-driven standup act “a cross between your high school chemistry teacher and George Carlin.” In other words, it’ll satisfy both your left and right brains. 

MOVIES

Ten Canoes
Thursday, 6 p.m.
Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology
24 Oxford St., Cambridge
Free, 617-496-1027
www.peabody.harvard.edu/ten-canoes

You may surprised to hear that this 2006 film is the first from Australia to feature dialogue in an indigenous Australian language. It’s inspired by anthropologist Donald Thomson’s documentation of the people of Arnhem Land, a section of the county’s Northern Territory, and it centers on an indigenous story teaching the responsibilities of men. 

The Black Maria Film Festival
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston
$5-$10, 617-824-8400
www.artsemerson.org

This annual festival happens annually in New Jersey in honor of Thomas Edison’s motion picture innovations—“Black Maria” was the name of his original movie studio. Here you’ll get to see a collection of this year’s selected shorts, featuring an international mix of animation, narrative, experimental. It’ll be a great survey of the possibilities Edison’s developments opened up over a century ago. 


VARIETY

24 Hour Performance Marathon Telethon
Friday, 10 a.m., through Saturday, 10 a.m.
Somerville Community Access Television
90 Union Sq., Somerville
Free, dan@brain-arts.org
www.bostonhassle.com/telethon
 
Boston’s underground arts scene, represented by the non-profit BRAIN Arts, will be in full force for this event, broadcasting a staggering variety of performances in an effort to raise funds, PBS/Jerry Lewis style, for their long-time dream: opening their very own, fully legit venue. You can watch the whole thing on SCATV Channel 3, or stream it on the channel’s website. 

BOOKS

Susan Jacoby
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store
1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Free, 617-661-1515
www.harvard.com

This author will discuss her book “Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion,” in which she seeks non-spiritual explanations for the phenomenon of religious conversion, exploring both sides of the spectrum, from the empowering, life-changing experiences of many people to coercive theocracies and violent conversions by sword. Not limiting herself to supernatural faiths, she also explores atheistic belief systems like Stalinism.