Friday and Saturday Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Ave., Boston $40, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org
Not willing to confine herself to pure dance—whatever that’s supposed to mean, anyway—Camille A. Brown integrates animation, original music, theater and comedy into her choreography. Contemporary dance can often give off an otherworldly, rarified vibe, a vision of an abstract, spiritual realm, but Brown’s angle is different—determinedly from this planet, rooted in this ongoing history.
Looking Through a Glass Onion: Deconstructing the Beatles’ White Album
Beatles expert Scott Freiman returns to the Coolidge with another extensive multimedia Beatles lecture. The “White Album” saw the Beatles change direction from psychedelic chamber pop to, well, pretty much everything and anything. Freiman picks the mammoth record apart from every angle—recording technique, songwriting style, the band’s personal lives and more, utilizing rare demo recordings and video.
Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Laugh Boston 425 Summer St., Boston $25-$35, 617-725-2844 www.laughboston.com
It’s easy to think of Gilbert Gottfried as the guy who squints and does that voice—nasal, grating, almost perfectly obnoxious. But behind the voice lies a devious comic mind that earned him great respect among his fellow comedians, long before anyone knew him as Iago from Disney’s “Aladdin”, the Aflac duck or his endless other cameos.
Local actress Obehi Janice describes this one-woman show, a comedic memoir written and performed by herself, thusly: “A multi-culti 20-something navigates the collisions between her Nigerian heritage, her American lifestyle and the loaded promise of Prozac.” Given the Prozac comment, we’ll assume the collisions between Nigerian heritage and American lifestyle are not entirely peaceful.
David Kinsey’s radical, eye-popping works have elements of a depictive street art, varying between cartoons and realism, mixed with more purely abstract, theoretical elements. What’s interesting is what this juxtaposition does to the depictive forms. They, not the abstractions, become the stranger, the more deeply abstract element. The familiar becomes foreign, the Earth becomes an alien planet.
Beasts of Burden
Thursday through May 5 Harvard Allston Educational Portal 175 North Harvard St., Allston Free, 617-657-4278 www.unboundvisiualarts.org
This multimedia exhibition brings together 13 artists around the theme of humanity’s relationship with other animals, which curator Jane O’Hara describes as “schizophrenic.” We’re not sure if she means “schizophrenic” in the vernacular sense, of exhibiting multiple personalities, or the clinical sense, of having hallucinations and delusions, but either way the point is well taken—our relationship with animals is not terribly sane.
New England-based indie rock singer-songwriter Mark Mulcahy has two generations of fans. The first know him from his 80’s band, Miracle Legion, and the second from his 90’s project Polaris, which provided the music for “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”. His released his first solo album in 1997; his most recent, “Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You”, appeared last year.
Mates of State
Saturday, 8 p.m. David Friend Recital Hall 921 Boylston St., Boston $18, 617-747-2261 www.berklee.edu
This piano-drums indie pop duo from Kansas, consisting of married couple Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, formed in 1997, and they’ve spent most of their career hovering in that sweet spot between indie and mainstream. It’s sort of remarkable, after all this time, that their band hasn’t broken up their marriage, or vice versa. Maybe they’re just super well-adjusted people.
Middle Class Rut
Sunday, 7 p.m, Brighton Music Hall 158 Brighton Ave., Allston $13, 18+, 800-745-3000 www.ticketmaster.com
This angsty guitar-drums duo from Sacramento, California play a kind of stripped-down grunge that evokes that unstable period in the late 90’s, when the grunge boom gave way to a seemingly endless number of mutations on its moody, heavy formula. They make up for their low head count by sheer force of charisma, singing and playing twice as hard.
Saturday, 2 p.m. Boston Public Library 700 Boylston St., Boston Free, 617-536-5400 www.bpl.org
This author will discuss her book “The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie”, a deliciously complete history of said treat, including several recipes—because you’d have to be inhuman to hear all about cookies and not want one. Did you know the chocolate chip cookie was invented in Witman, Massachusetts? Score another one for the Bay State!
Flat Earth Theater presents the New England premiere of this play by Ann Marie Healy, a work of dystopian science fiction depicting an unpleasant future where society is broken into two castes: the genetically enhanced “Keepers” and the genetically unenhanced “Tradepacks.” Meanwhile, our heroine, author Macy O. Blonsky, fights against censorship of her new novel, a thinly veiled critique of this society.
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
Friday through March 23 Brattle Theater 40 Brattle St., Cambridge $8-$10, 617-876-6837 www.brattlefilm.org
This is a survey of Polish filmmaking between 1957 and 1987, hand-picked by Martin Scorsese, encompassing everything from historical epics to a distinctly Polish interpretation of New Wave. Though it’s a highly diverse collection, many of the films seem suffused with a peculiar sense of hauntedness—not surprising given Poland’s traumatic history in the 20th century.
Erik Satie: Sports and Diversions
Thursday, 7 p.m. Community Music Center of Boston 34 Warren Ave., Boston Free, 617-482-7494 www.cmcb.org
Minimalist French composer Erik Satie is best known for his melancholic “Trois Gymnopedies”, but he also composed this more whimsical piece, inspired by the popular sports of the day, for piano and violin, performed here by Vytas Baksys and Anne Hooper Webb. Originally accompanied by poems and sketches, it’s presented here with a dance choreographed by Anne Lemos Edgerton.
For this show, titled “Paper-Scissors-Stone”, the Cloud Ludlum Ensemble will improvise over contemporary classic and jazz pieces. Cool enough, but these guys aren’t content for you to just watch, slack-jawed—you’ll be given the means to make your own musical phrases and the group will play them live. Awesome. They also promise puzzles for the audience and visual art projections.
The Boston String Players: Re: Color
Friday and Saturday Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 465 Huntington Ave., Boston $16-$20, 800-440-6975 www.mfa.org
Accompanied by a light and color display, The Boston String Players will perform a diverse program including works by C.P.E. Bach, Stravinsky and Florence and the Machine—told you it was diverse. Before or after both shows you can hang out in the MFA’s café for a Q and A with the group, their conductor Motoki Tanaska and arranger Amy Fajardo.