The Decemberists + Alvvays; Beacon Theatre, Upper West Side, 8pm. $46.
The Decemberists are back after a three-year break to gig behind their new LP, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. Make sure to show up early for superb Toronto indie-pop crew Alvvays.
David Foster Wallace Symposium; Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, Greenwich Village, 2pm. Free.
The day includes a round table on Wallace and religion, a discussion with the author’s biographer D.T. Max, and a very special sneak peek of the upcoming Wallace-inspired play A (radically condensed and expanded) Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.
Makthaverskan; Saint Vitus, Greenpoint, 8:30pm, $10.
The lyrics for Makthaverskan's excellent 2014 album, II, are riddled with f-bombs—"Fuck you for fucking me / When I was 17," belts vocalist Maja Milner on "No Mercy—but what's so captivating about the band is the way it contrasts angsty sentiments with bittersweet, at times even blissful-sounding postpunk.
6th Annual Spring Cocktail Party; Superfine, Dumbo, 7pm. $40, $30 advance.
It's time for a true celebration of the season, where your admission includes hor d'oeuvres, two drinks and a chance to win a raffle full of items from choice Brooklyn vendors.
Dark Sparkler; Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, Soho, 7pm. $15.
Amber Tamblyn celebrates her new book like a true celebrity: with a one-of-a-kind bash hosted by badass poet Dorothea Lasky and live music from Yo La Tengo. $15 gets you in and free drinks all night.
"Heaven and Hell"; Skarstedt Gallery, Chelsea, 9:30am. Free.
This exhibit mirrors William Blake’s poem, Marriage of Heaven and Hell, through Haring’s lesser-known paintings made between 1984 and ’85.
Frantic; The Stand, Gramercy & Flatiron, 10pm. Free.
The weekly show features regulars like Judah Friedlander and Aparna Nancherla so expect those big, hearty belly laughs. No polite chuckles here.
Five Boroughs Food Talk: Street Food; Symphony Space, Upper West Side, 7:30pm. $15.
Feed your brain during discussion about the evolution of street eats led by Every Day with Rachel Ray food features editor Gabriella Gershenson.
Breakout Artist Comedy Series: Evan Williams; Carolines on Broadway, Midtown West, 7:30pm. $16.50.
Tonight's show introduces Evan Williams, our pick for Joke of the Week, whose stylings combine his clever style and some pre-sobriety stories.
Stargazing on the Highline; The High Line, Meatpacking District, 7:30pm. Free.
Use high-powered telescopes to see past the city's glow to the rest of the cosmos. No really, nature really is that fascinating.
Chet Faker + XXYYXX; Output, Williamsburg, 10pm. $TBA, advance $20.
Fresh off their triumphant sold-out three-night Terminal 5 stand, Chet Faker and XXYYXX make the short trip over the river to perform DJ sets at Output, proving they can basically do anything.
Punderdome; Littlefield, Gowanus, 8pm. $7, advance $6.
"The past, present and future walk into a bar. It was tense," and other puns take center stage in this 18-person wordplay competition.
Stephen Petronio Company; Joyce Theater, Chelsea, 7:30pm. $10–$59.
This season is an exciting one for Petronio, who unveils his Bloodlines series, in which he will add dances by master postmodern choreographers to his company's repertoire. The program includes Petronio's Locomotor Non Locomotor and Merce Cunningham's 1968 RainForest.
An Evening with Renata Adler; McNally Jackson Books, Soho, 7pm. Free.
Don't miss your chance to see the illustrious writer in person as she launches her much-anticipated new collection of nonfiction.
The Mash-Up Show; The Stand, Gramercy & Flatiron, 8pm. $15.
Two stand-ups with different styles share the stage and are forced to come up with a new set together on the spot. At the very least, this sounds wonderfully awkward.
Night Train with Wyatt Cenac; Littlefield, Gowanus, 8pm. 8, advance $5.
This weekly offering, hosted with a cool head and a warm heart by former Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac, welcomes great young New York comics and noteworthy out-of-towners.
Jo Firestone Presents: The Unexpectatashow; Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Chelsea, 11pm. $5.
Firestone is a fan of weird comedy, so what better way to celebrate it than creating a show where no one knows what will happen?
Ethel; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side, 5pm. Free with museum admission.
The contemporary-classical crusaders in this string quartet continue their Metropolitan Museum of Art residency gigs (which are free, after you pay the institution's flexible admission).
Helen Macdonald and Lev Grossman; Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene, 7:30pm, Free.
Macdonald’s a naturalist, a falconer and a brilliant writer; catch the fascinating, multi-talented woman in action when she talks about her new memoir H is for Hawk.
I DON'T GET IT: A Free Comedy Show; HiFi, East Village, 8pm. Free.
Matt Schwartzer and Gary Levitt host this comedy variety show featuring NYC's top stand-up comedians, sketch teams and improv groups.
Arca + Jesse Kanda; Bowery Ballroom, Lower East Side, 8pm. $25.
The Venezuelan-born, London-based producer helped create 2013’s Yeezus, FKA twigs’s LP1 and Björk’s Vulnicura. Come see the creative mind in his element, with beats from his very own mixtape &&&&&.
Helen Macdonald and Lev Grossman; Greenlight Bookstore, Fort Greene, 7:30pm. Free.
We can't promise any hawks, but we're still excited to catch Macdonald discussing with Grossman her memoir about falcony and losing her father.
Gigi; Neil Simon Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre, Midtown West, 8pm. $67-$147, premium $215.
Thank heaven for Vanessa Hudgens! The ex–Disney teen star makes her Broadway debut as Lerner and Loewe’s Parisian courtesan-in-training.
Freaks and Geeks Bingo; Videology, Williamsburg, 9pm. Free.
Nerdy games and dorkdom collide when this nerdy cult classic packs enough pop references (Bionic Woman costume, anyone?) and inside jokes for a weekly night of bingo.
The Sonics + Barrence Whitfield and the Savages; Irving Plaza, Gramercy & Flatiron, 8pm. $41.50.
Here, the Tacoma, WA, group turns up in support of a new comeback disc, This Is the Sonics, with support from veteran R&B crew Barrence Whitfield and the Savages.
Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2; Winter Garden Theatre, Midtown West, 8pm. $75–$147.
Brush up on your Tudor history, because Hilary Mantel’s double-doorstop novels are coming to the Great White Way in an epic adaptation.
Gillian Walsh; The Kitchen, Chelsea, 8pm. $15, seniors and students $12.
In her rigorous and cool (as in temperature) Scenario: Script to Perform, Walsh delves deeply into her ongoing investigation of formal structures alongside a sound score by Stefan Tcherepnin.