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20 wonderful things to do in NYC this week

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Mon 13

NPR’s Ask Me Another The Bell House; 7:30pm; $20–$25
Put your brain to the test at this popular hour-long NPR show, in which host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge puzzle masters, audience members and special guests with brainteasers and trivia tidbits. This installment features special guest Mozhan Marnò.

Queerball UCBEast; 10:30pm; $7
Improv wizard Timothy Dunn welcomes veteran and newbie performers to take the stage at this bonkers variety show, which aims to create a safe space for LGBT acts. Witness musical comedy, stand-up, contortionism, improv and drag, and, if you're feeling brave, join Dunn onstage for a wild time of your own.

Bully + Aye Nako Music Hall of Williamsburg; 8pm; $18
This Nashville grunge-rock outfit certainly has echoes of the Breeders and other ’90s acts, but it's no mere nostalgia act. Fronted by Alicia Bognanno, the group's featured songs on its exhilarating summer debut, Feels Like, are unusually poignant meditations on coming of age. In the opening set, local queercore quartet Aye Nako plays from its complex, fractured new album, Silver Haze.

Tyler, the Creator Terminal 5; 7pm; $36
Anarchic Odd Future leader Tyler Okonma moves beyond the now played-out shock rhymes and into surprisingly earnest territory on his latest, Flower Boy. From liberatory lines like "Tell these black kids they can be who they are" to sexual revelations ("I've been kissing white boys since 2004"), the rapper tapers his confrontational tactics in favor of newfound relatability. It's a new side of Tyler, the Creator, but make no mistake—though more elegantly hewn, his rougher edges remain as sharply anti-social as ever.

Tue 14

Impact Play 101 at various locations; 8pm; $50
Sex educator and pro domme Lola Jean teaches you how to safely and pleasurably practice dominance, submission and slapping in the bedroom.

Dead & Company Madison Square Garden; 7pm; $75­–$525
More than fifty years after forming the Grateful Dead, longtime members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir are still out there truckin'. As Dead & Company, the crew teams up with Allman Brothers bassist Oteil Burbridge and ax slinger John Mayer to bring its exploratory jams and time-tested Americana to the masses.

This Will Destroy You Knitting Factory; 8pm; $25, at the doors $30
These Texan post-rockers create swirling, cinematic soundscapes that tend to erupt into noisy squalls. In an unexpected left-turn, the band has been hard at work since 2014's epic, palatial Another Language, composing a soundtrack for, uh, Chef Jordan Kahn's new spaceship-themed restaurant Vespertine. Yes, it's an offbeat endeavor, but the outcome of the effort—the new single, "Kitchen"—is a wonderfully celestial slow-build that will hopefully get the live treatment here at the Knitting Factory's 30th anniversary celebration.

Show My Goodness Bushwick Public House; 8pm; free, at the door $5
You can always count on Maria Wojciechowski, Evan Morrison and Albert Kirchner and their funniest friends to provide solid sets at this reliable Bushwick stand-up night.

Ground Floor Live Brooklyn Art Library; 8pm; free
The team behind the fan-favorite Ground Floor video series hits the stage for a night of stand-up featuring sets from Ana Fabrega, Catherine Cohen, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, Brad Howe, Meaghan Strickland, Tim Lamphier and more. There's no cover, so you can save your money for more important things, like beer, which is available for purchase at the bar.

Stone and Stone Show Peoples Improv Theater; 7pm; $10
Adam and Todd Stone (who warmed hearts on Last Comic Standing and went bananas at the roasts of Dennis Rodman and George Takei) come at the crowd with stand-up, videos and sketch, plus sets from Dave Hill, Cyrus McQueen and Everett McMahan. 

Salty Brine: Welcome to the Jungle Pangea; 7:30pm; $20–$25, plus $20 minimum
The outré actor-writer continues his terrific Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret series, in which he weaves classic pop albums into funny, perceptive tapestries of queer storytelling. This edition somehow mashes Harry Nilsson's Nilsson Schmilsson with Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

Wed 15

Deep Night with Dale Slipper Room; 8pm; $10–$25
At this hourlong show, comedian James Bewley becomes Dale Seever, the black turtleneck–wearing host of the talk show Deep Night. The show explores the "dark art of comedy" with guests like Jo Firestone, Sasheer Zamata, Ilana Glazer, Bridget Everett and Cole Escola. This edition invites Lola Kirke, Wanjiko Eke, Kiley Lotz and Sarah Lazarus to the stage. Theremin accompaniment by Cornelius Loy keeps things otherworldly.

Badass Brooklyn Festival Littlefield; 7pm; $75–$250
Ruff week? Head to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue's third annual fundraising event, where you can bid on an auction, win raffle prizes, nibble eats from Taqueria El Atoradero and sip drinks from Sixpoint Brewery, Tito's Handmade Vodka and Van Brunt Stillhouse Whiskey. Stick around for the post-bash dance party to shake a leg on the dance floor.

Unitard: Tard Core – There Are No Safe Words Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; 7pm; $20
Satanic and satirical sketch-cabaret trio Mike Albo, Nora Burns and David Ilku launch their twisted residency at Joe’s Pub. Delight in tongue-in-cheek chokes about Ann Coulter, protest culture and our current president from a crew of ball-gagged performers who have been at it for two decades. Time to submit to the masters.

Rent Party Union Hall; 10pm; $8–$10
Yedoye Travis, Farah Brook and their backing band the Original Lineup host this cheerful monthly variety show, where you’ll find some of the city’s best stand-ups. This month's lineup includes Dulcé Sloan, Noah Gardenswartz, Jane Harrison, Eudora Peterson, Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon. 

Tantra Night! Ripley Grier Studios; 7:30pm; $50, at the door $60
At this new-user-friendly, above-the-clothes night of sensual experimentation, learn how the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Tantra can inform the way you meet, make contact and become a better mate. 

Thu 16

WhiskyFest New York New York Marriott Marquis; 6:30pm; $275
Take a trip around the world with more than 400 globally sourced whiskies, bourbons and scotches—including Welsh, Canadian and Taiwanese varieties—at this 20th annual brown-spirits blowout. Sip limitless samples of top-shelf booze, then get schooled at workshops from whisky-making bigwigs. Beyond the peaty stuff, find selections of gin, tequila and cognac.

John Cale: The Velvet Underground & Nico Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); 8pm; $35–$95
The Velvet Underground cofounder hits BAM for a three-night, two-part stint to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band's seminal 1967 debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Program A (November 16 and 17) sees him performing the album in its entirety with the help of Brooklyn collective Wordless Music Orchestra. For Program B (November 18), Cale revisits songs from across his career, including selections from his 1973 art-pop landmark LP, Paris 1919. Expect the Welsh musician to maintain a delicate balance in these shows: breathing new life into classic songs while still honoring Velvet Underground's enduring legacy.

Stars Rough Trade NYC; 8pm; $31
Though this atmospheric Canadian indie-rock combo started out making whispery drum machine ditties on its 2001 debut Nightsongs, the crew has since asserted increasingly grandiose aspirations. More than 15 years later, Stars is turning out celestial, big-room synth-pop, which you'll hear at this south-of-the-border appearance in support of their new LP, There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light.

The Art of Getting What You Want: Hacking Fear and Creating Your Own Luck WeWork Gramercy; 6pm; $9­–$20
Part lecture and part workshop, this event offers "fear shock therapy," so you can finally quit that dead-end job or ask out that cutie at the coffee shop. Guiding you through the exercises is the mononymous Rachel, whose past conquests include improv comedy, moving to China and starting her own business.

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