Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way, Boston
$12-$27, 617-278 5156
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has hosted classical concerts since the days when its founder still resided there, but it’s only recently that they began to feature pop artists in the RISE series, performing in the unique, cubic Calderwood Hall. This week it’s singer-songwriter Will Dailey, who’d snagged a Boston Music Award in his genre a whopping five times. Kara Hess opens.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Middle East Upstairs
472 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$10-$12, 18+, 866-777-8932
This New York band mixes two popular strains in contemporary indie rock: post-punk and psychedelia. It’s an intriguingly contradictory fusion, dreamy and shimmering, but taught with anxious punk energy. The passionate vocals of bassist Julia Cumming and guitarist Nick Kivlen’s Cure-like guitar lines are standout elements. Be sure to come early and catch Secret Lover, one of Worcester’s best active bands.
Friday, 10 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10-$12, 21+, 800-745-3000
In their bio, local band Township boasts with deserved pride to have survived as an act for nearly a decade. Rather than simply holding pattern, they continue to evolve their 70’s-style classic rock sound —theyeven just added a new member, keyboardist James Rohr, this past year. This show celebrates the release of their latest bit o’ vinyl, “Light Years.”
Saturday, 8 p.m.
128 Brookside St., Jamaica Plain
Helder Tsinine, frontman of this local band, survived a war-torn upbringing in Mozambique before arriving in Boston in 2007. Despite the suffering of his early life, his music is infectiously upbeat, reflecting his commitment to spread peace in a world always sorely in need. Kina Zore will be filming this live show. Come dance—with their hip-shaking beats, it won’t be hard.
One Plays Cricket
Saturday, 7 p.m.
48 South St., Jamaica Plain
Get lost in a digital universe of electronic sounds at this show, featuring Blevin Blectum, Joss, Domestique and Miru Shim. Electronic music means a lot of things, but these artists are farther from the pop and closer to purely artistic soundscapes. It’ll also be your last chance to see the Aviary Gallery’s current art show, Ricky Katowicz’s “Stitched Portraits.”
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
279 Harvard St., Brookline
This novelist will read from her debut novel, “13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl”. Rather than providing a fully linear narrative, Awad takes us through 13 vignettes about key points in the life of her main character, exploring the (preposterous) demands of body image in today’s culture. Critics are already praising the book’s deft movements from humor to pathos.
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
Berklee students perform this acclaimed Stephen Sondheim bloodbath, which has changed many a theatergoer’s feelings about pie. It’s a great example of Sondheim’s ability to create musicals that deconstruct the genre even as they become classics in their own right. The story, however, dates back to mid-19th century London. Legends that Todd was a real person are, thankfully, unsubstantiated.
Through March 13
525 Washington St., Boston
Boston Playwrights’ Theater presents this famous absurdist play by Eugene Ionesco, about a town in which everyone is turning into rhinos. Of course, it’s not purely absurd—there’s an obvious critique of mass movements, with individuals all becoming the same big, dumb, rampaging animal. But the calmly bizarre way the story unfolds makes it something stranger than the usual social commentary.
“Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall”
Through March 17
Boston University School of Theology
745 Comm. Ave., Boston
If the U.S.-Mexico border wall is discussed, it’s usually about the human cost and the politics of immigration, but this series of photos by Krista Schlyer explores the wall’s less-discussed environmental impact, and, more broadly, the environmental impact of all human-made structures. It’s a reminder that “the issues” debated by the left and right are rarely the only issues.
“Art of Jazz: Forms/Performance/Notes”
Through May 8
Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art
102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge
It may be convenient to compartmentalize the various art forms, but it can also obscure the fact that they’re always in dialogue. In this show, featuring over 70 works including paintings, photography, album covers and sound installations, we see how jazz music, particularly as a mode of African-American expression, has inspired visual art, from the beginning to the present day.
T: an MBTA Musical
Fridays through May 20
40 Prospect St., Cambridge
Ah, the T: it’s noisy and old but we love it—at least when it’s functioning. You’re probably reading this on the T right now, and it’s probably stopped inexplicably somewhere. If and when you make it out alive, check out this musical comedy from the minds of ImprovBoston, winner of 2011’s Best New Musical on BroadwayWorld.com. You’ll find it highly relatable.
“B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West-Berlin”
Sunday, 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St., Brookline
This documentary surveys the cultural scene in 1980’s West Berlin, an enclave of freedom in the midst of Communist East Germany, where chaotic, hedonistic creativity reigned. It’s told from the perspective of Brit Mark Reeder, a native of Manchester, England, who found himself in many roles—but never far from a wild time—during his years “stranded” in the walled-off city.
“The Three-Sided Mirror/The Fall of the House of Usher”
Friday, 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy St., Cambridge
The Harvard Film Archives presents these silent films by Jean Epstein, his two most famous works, with live accompaniment by Martin Marks. Silent films are often characterized by frenetic-looking movements, but 1928’s in “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Epstein used slow motion to eerie effect. The shorter “Three-Sided Mirror” from 1927 expresses a surprisingly progressive gender consciousness.
“Searching for Signal”
Through March 4
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
Because it forces an audience to reflect on their own bodies, dance seems like an ideal medium to discuss the weird disembodiment of Internet life. This piece from Touch Performance Art, creators of the AcousticaElectronica show at Oberon, does just that, explores the modern split between digital and flesh-and-blood selves through a romance told in dialogue, dance and video.