music… Any day with a Laura Nyro song is a day improved—the late singer-songwriter remains, to our mind, the most up-and-down New York musician there ever was. We missed that superb Broadway performer Judy Kuhn's sold out concert last year at the Lincoln Center American Songbook Series, called Serious Playground, a tribute to Ms. Nyro. But there's a CD based on that concert that includes "Sweet Blindness," "Stoned Soul Picnic," and "Mother's Spirtual," a lesser-known Nyro tune that's a favorite of ours. Ms. Kuhn will be performing the Nyro songbook at Iridium January 10, 17, 24, and 31, 7pm. Tickets are $30.
indie rock… Friday: The XYZ Affair bring their impossibly catchy power-pop to Mercury Lounge. [Photo: Meg Wachter] Friday: Jamie Stewart of eccentro-pop outfit Xiu Xiu plays solo at Lutheran Church of the Messiah in Brooklyn. Just Announced…2/12: Witch (with J Mascis). 2/23: Travis Morrison Hellfighters (of Dismemberment Plan).
art… At Metro Pictures, 519 W. 24th [10th/11th] 212.206.7100, artist Jim Shaw's exhibition "Dr. Goldfoot and his Bikini Bombs" reopens tomorrow with the addition of many new works. Human body parts as home decor and all the rest of his singular vision.
books… On Tuesday, January 8th, Eve LaPlante will be at The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, 122 E. 58th [Park/Lex] 212.755.8532, to talk about her latest book Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall (HarperOne, 2007). Sewall sentenced dozens of 'witches' to death, before repenting and becoming a promoter of women's rights. Ms. LaPlante is one of his descendants. Talks are free; reservations suggested.
shopping… All this month, Apartment 48, 48 W. 17th [5th/6th] 212.807.1391, will be selling select merch at up to 60% off as they get ready to move to Greenwich Avenue.
discussion… On Wednesday, January 9th, 6:30-8pm, Henry Stern will moderate a discussion about congestion pricing with Congressman Anthony Weiner and Rohit Aggarwala, head of the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. $9, at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th [104th]. Reservations required: 212.534.1672, ext. 3395.
Celebrate all things Jewish at Limmud NY! Join 1,000 Jews of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles over Martin Luther King Weekend at Limmud NY for an exciting, transformative weekend filled with learning, performances and discussions –- a celebration of all things Jewish. Customize your experience by choosing from 350+ event offerings that include music, text study, film, hands-on workshops and more! Specialized programming for children and teens, too. Limmud NY takes place January 17-21 at the Nevele Grande Resort in the Catskills. Don't get closed out –- register today at www.limmudny.org. Bus service available from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Visit Limmud NY'swebsite for information on scholarships and student fellowships, or call 212-284-6968.