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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Arnold Shamis

20 awesome things happening in New York this week

By Jaz Joyner
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Dec 8

Angel Olsen + Jaye Bartell + Lionlimb; Bowery Ballroom, Lower East Side, 9pm. $18–$20.
It's no wonder the intense folkster, supporting this year's rough-and-tumble gem Burn Your Fire for No Witness, continues to pack venues.

TimesTalk: Glenn Close Lindsay Duncan and John LithgowThe TimesCenter, Midtown West, 6:30pm. $40.
Listen as these three brilliant actors talk about their play, A Delicate Balance.

The Invisible Hand; New York Theatre Workshop, East Village, 7pm. $35–$75.
Pulitzer-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) takes on Pakistani-American relations and the banking system.

Franklin Park Reading Series; Franklin Park, Crown Heights, 8pm. Free.
Every month, we look forward to host Penina Roth’s impeccable reading lineup, and we’ve never been disappointed. Drop by tonight for the talents of Rivka Galchen, Jess Row, Bridgett M. Davis and more.

BETTY: Annual Holiday Show; City Winery, SoHo, 7pm. $30–$40.
Have glass of wine as comedy/music trio BETTY jams for the holidays with some of its greatest hits. And stay tuned for a special appearance by feminist advocate Gloria Steinem.

Jamie T; Music Hall of Williamsburg, 9pm. $20. 
Scruffy Brit Jamie T makes eclectic tunes that set hip-hop-inspired vocals against pop-tinged DIY rock—it's no wonder Damon Albarn handpicked him to remix the Gorillaz's "Kids with Guns."

Smart Alecks for Smart Kids: An 826NYC Fund-Raiser; The Bell House, Gowanus, 8:30pm. $25.
Eugene Mirman, Reggie Watts, Sarah Vowell and Fred Armisen team up to deliver a hilarious show in support of 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the creativity of students 6–18.

Dec 9

Common + Jay Electronica; Irving Plaza, Gramercy & Flatiron, 7pm. $36.
Chicago rap vet Common returns to Manhattan on the heels of his latest LP, Nobody's Smiling—a welcome comeback for the MC after a three-year hiatus.

Matmos performs Robert Ashley's "Perfect Lives"; Issue Project Room, DUMBO, 8:30pm. $45–$100.
Electronic production duo Matmos perform scenes from Perfect Lives, Robert Ashley's late '70s/early '80s comic opera, which was a precursor to music-television. A mash-up of two generations of experimental maestros.

Angel Olsen + Jaye Bartell +Lionlimb; Bowery Ballroom, Lower East Side, 9pm. $18–$20.
As an old soul trapped in the feverishly creative and restless mind of a young artist, Angel Olsen has a lot to say, and it often comes out in a torrent of hot-blooded emotion.

John Baptiste and Stay Human; Blue Note, Greenwich Village, 8pm & 10:30pm. At tables $35, at bar $20, plus $5.
Louisiana pianist-singer Jon Batiste and his band, Stay Human, offer a catchy, easygoing blend of NOLA jazz, modern funk and retro soul.

Women of Letters; Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, Greenwich Village, 7pm, $20. 
The Australian literary salon returns stateside, inviting notable women writers and performers to air their dirty laundry in the form of personal let ters crafted just for the occasion. 

Marcos Valle and Stacey Kent; Birdland, Midtown West, 8:30pm and 11pm. $45 plus $10 minimum.
Brazilian keyboardist-composer Marcos Valle teams with American singer Stacey Kent to serve up a smooth blend of bossa nova and jazz, as heard on their 2013 live effort, Ao Vivo.

Dec 10

Selected Shorts: Teju Cole and Salman Rushdie; Symphony Space, Upper West Side, 7:30pm. $29, 35 and under $15.
PEN/Hemingway Award-winning Teju Cole and the legendary Salman Rushdie present tales of exile, heartbreak and home. 

"Can We Talk?" Remembering Joan Rivers; Museum of Jewish Heritage, Financial District, 7pm, $15, students and seniors $12, members $10.
Comedians gather to honor Joan Rivers and hilariously pay tribute to the late comedy icon.

Ingrid Michaelson's Holiday Hop 2014; Webster Hall, East Village, 8pm. $40.
This year she released Lights Out, her latest big-seller, and on Dec 10 she plays her annual festive shindig—those lucky enough to have a ticket will have a gay old time.

Rome Fortune + Tunji Ige + Jon Waltz + Chaz French + Ace Cosgrove; The Studio at Webster Hall, East Village, 8pm. $10. 
He wrote a song about the 5 Second Rule and now the Atlanta based, electronic-driven MC has made his way to NYC to perform dope tracks from his new album Small VVorld. 

Dec 11

Mary Ruefle and Christian Wiman; 92nd Street Y, Upper East Side, 8:15pm. $15.
Some folks may argue that Mary Ruefle is our greatest living American poet. We wouldn’t disagree, so don’t miss her reading and conversation with fellow bard Christian Wiman.

Smokey Robinson; Barclays Center, Prospect Heights, 8pm. $50.45–$120.90.
You mean that Smokey Robinson? The legendary crooner behind "Tears of a Clown"? Why, yes, the very same.

What’s Nu: The State of Brooklyn’s Jewish Delis; Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Heights, 6:30pm, $10.
Deli historian Ted Merwin explores these sandwich shops’ trials and tribulations, as well as how they’ve thrived over so many years.

"I Only Read it for the Cartoons"; School of Visual Arts, Chelsea, 7pm. Free. 
It’s the art form known for sparking social commentary. Now the School of Visual Arts will hosts a free panel discussion with The New Yorker’s Edward Koren, Lee Lorenz and Victoria Roberts—three of cartooning’s cognoscenti.

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