13. See Mixed Message Media
At Gladstone Gallery.
A perfect fit between the canny mind of curator Neville Wakefield and uncanny physical art. Two universes mesh as every work here teeters between looking one way, then acting another. A rug turns into cement, box springs are made of silicone, Bruno Jakob shows his work to a horse, an animatronic dog drops its head. A surrealist cabinet of quiet wonder. —Jerry Saltz
515 W. 24th St., through August 2.
14. See The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter
Not only because your parents said so.
I have a bad habit of neglecting children’s literature in these pages, so let me semi-rectify that by suggesting a visit to “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter,” a smart, charming, utterly engrossing exhibition at the New York Public Library. Though the underage set will adore it, you don’t need to bring a kid, because—in there among the purple crayons and the wild things—you will once again become one yourself. —K.S.
New York Public Library, through March 23.
15. Hear Gary Shteyngart
In his natural habitat?
Kid-unfriendly, squared. But if you’ve never been to any of KGB’s events after all these years—what, you hate books and booze?—this would be a good time to change that. —K.S.
85 E. 4th St., July 30.
16. See La Dolce Vita
You’ll want gelato afterward.
Nitehawk’s summer series (sponsored by Vice, with video intros by Martin Scorsese) continues with Fellini’s 1960 film, starring Marcello Mastroianni and the va-va-voomy Anita Ekberg.
Nitehawk Cinema, July 30, 9:30 p.m.
17. Hear The Gaslight Anthem
And see if Bruce shows up.
Brian Fallon and his band of Jersey rockers sing the kind of epic, nostalgic tunes that strongly call to mind the Boss (who’s sung with them on occasion). It’s rock for sweaty nights with beers hoisted to the sky; you can do precisely that when they play with another group elevating bar music to high art, the Hold Steady, on the 28th.
Pier 26, Hudson River Park, July 26 and 28, doors open at 5 p.m.
18. Hear the Gospel Sessions
Nothing compares 2 Sam?
What exactly do the feral Irish chanteuse Sinéad O’Connor and Sam Cooke have in common? Soul-baring and great pipes, which O’Connor will showcase on this night honoring her gospel idols; the backing band includes members of the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Soul Stirrers.
Alice Tully Hall, July 26 and 27, 8 p.m.
19. Hear Timo Andres
In collaboration with Wolfgang.
On his new album, the rising-star composer and pianist does the seemingly impossible: completing Mozart’s unfinished Piano Concerto No. 26 in D. Appropriately, he’ll participate in a chat about the anxiety of influence the same day, alongside The New Yorker’s Leo Carey and book-jacket designer Peter Mendelsund.
Nonesuch Records/Housing Works Bookstore Café, July 30, 7 p.m.
20. Hear Paul Weller
Three one-night shows for the onetime master of the Jam and, later, Style Council: at the Apollo, Webster Hall, and the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
July 25 through 27.
21. Watch Inside the American Mob
This encyclopedic treatment of the Five Families puts special emphasis on the seventies, when organized crime came into mainstream view via The Godfather, even as the Corleones’ real-life inspirations were destroying themselves and one another. —M.Z.S.
National Geographic Channel, July 28, 9 and 10 p.m.
22. Hear Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Punk with a twang.
Who’s hiding behind that great big beard? Why, it’s Bonnie “Prince” Billy, né Will Oldham, a.k.a. Palace, Palace Brothers, and Palace Music. He’s a man of many pseudonyms and a musician of many styles (folk, country, punk). Under whatever moniker, Oldham’s music holds tunefulness and an unshakable melancholy. —J.R.
The Town Hall, July 29.
23. See Paula Poundstone
Here’s a funny story.
A staple of eighties brick-wall comedy-club shows, Poundstone has found a big new audience (and a post-scandal, post-rehab career bump) via NPR’s hit Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!
July 26, City Winery, 8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
24. Attend Bust Magazine’s Twentieth-Anniversary Party
One more year till it can drink!
The little women’s mag with the sharp elbows is a survivor, and deserves a celebration. Vulture.com’s Julie Klausner will emcee; Cibo Matto, Amber Tamblyn, Har Mar Superstar, Murray Hill, and Jessi Klein will perform. And Kathleen Hanna and Gloria Steinem are coming!
The Bell House, July 25, 8:30 p.m.
25. Hear Beyoncé
On “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.”
Because this unknown up-and-comer really may be going places.
Barclays Center, August 3 through 5.