music ‣ A singer who is fully comfortable threading pop, jazz and neo-soul, Devin Bing, along with his four-piece band The Secret Service, plays the Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd [5th/6th] 212.206.0440, January 16, 30 and February 28. $20, two-drink minimum. Mr. Bing is an abundantly-gifted, young old-soul who exudes the joy of music. His new album, Shaken Not Stirred, isn't out yet but you can hear clips from an earlier EP here.
art ‣ Pavel Zoubok Gallery and Mixed Greens present Hooray for HOLLYwood!, a show celebrating iconic gallery-owner Holly Solomon. It opens tonight, 6pm, at 531 W. 26th [11th/12th] and features the work of artists including Laurie Anderson, Christo, Donna Dennis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gordon Matta-Clark, Melissa Meyer, Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol and William Wegman.
concert ‣ We've got a pair of tickets to give away to Let Freedom Ring: A Concert To Benefit Free the Slaves with The Impressions, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, and The Inspirational Voices of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. It's been put together by Plymouth Church (which was a stop on the Underground Railroad) and takes place this Saturday, January 11, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. If you want to be entered into the random drawing, send us an email with the word Freedom in the subject. We'll announce the winner on our blog after 2pm.
restaurant ‣ If you can't remember whether or not you were ever at Empire Diner, 210 10th [22nd/23rd] 212.596.7523, that's a yes, you were. For many years, the Empire was one of the best places to stumble into after a night of cocktails, for a little Deco and a big plate of something to soak up the alcohol. Ah, the good old days. The Empire is back, after a long stint in rehab by the design firm Groundswell, who did the charming Talula's Garden Restaurant in Philly. In the kitchen, the talented Amanda Freitag. This time, you'll remember you were there.
music ‣ A celebration of Court and Spark, arguably Joni Mitchell's greatest album, which was released 40 years ago this year. On January 16, 8pm, at Park Slope's Old Stone House, 336 Third St. [4th/5th Aves.] 718.768.3195, singers will perform each song on the album. Sheila Weller, author of Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation, talks about Joni and her music.
event ‣ At 92Y, this Sunday, 1-3pm, Scones in the Studio, an open house of art, music, craft and dance classes (plus scones, coffee and tea).
books ‣ Joseph Tirella is the author of the new book Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America, a fascinating account of the Fair as a reflection of its times. Mr. Tirella will give a reading at the Astoria Bookshop on January 16, 7pm.