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Festival Fun

From bull riding to the sweet strumming of guitars, six festival events to get you out of the apartment this weekend.

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Put these three in a room and see what happens: Thurston Moore, Young Jean Lee, and David Cross.   

New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend
TimesCenter; 1/5–1/8.; 242 W. 41st St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-556-4300
The national newspaper of record invites you to explore the intellectual life of artists with two days of events where their reporting talents interview folks like David Cross, Alan Rickman, Phillip Glass, and Carey Mulligan. Tickets are selling out fast, but for those not able to make it down, they'll be live-streaming at new.livestream.com.

globalFEST
Webster Hall ; 1/8 at 6 p.m.; 125 E. 11th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-353-1600
One of the most all-inclusive global music events, globalFEST brings twelve artists to three stages, taking over one downtown venue. Included in the mix are the Paris-based Haitian political singer-songwriter BélO, jaw harpist (!) Wang Li, and the Silk Road Collective, although without its founder Yo-Yo Ma.


Yee-haw!   

Professional Bull Riders Invitational
Madison Square Garden; 1/6 and 1/7 at 8 p.m., 1/8 at 1 p.m.; 4 Penn Plz., nr. 31st St.; 212-465-6741
Not so much a festival as a weekend of down-and-dirty fun—literally—when, for the sixth year, MSG is turned into a bull-riding arena with cowboys, bulls, and, uh, more ruggedness than you can throw a beer at. Count us in.

New York Guitar Festival
Various Venues; 1/6–1/29;
Up for strings, strings, and more strings? Since 1999, the New York Guitar Festival has been exploring the nuances of the instrument, with this year's fest kicking off with a free performance at the World Financial Center Winter Garden celebrating the 30th anniversary of Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, his tribute to the NASA moon landings. Other programs include live scoring to silent films by the likes of Dan Zanes, Kaki King, and Lee Ranaldo; an "Alternative Guitar Summit" with Nels Cline and Thurston Moore; and much more.

COIL 2012
Performance Space 122 and other venues; 1/5–1/29.; 150 First Ave., at 9th St.; 212-352-3101
The annual festival of forward-thinking theater this year spans 25 days, and features shows such as the premiere of Spalding Gray Award-winner Young Jean Lee's "UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW" and an opening party at Ping-Pong playhouse SPiN with performances by choreographer Jack Ferver, DJ Spooky, and Reggie Watts.

Winter Jazzfest
(Le) Poisson Rouge; 1/6–1/7; 158 Bleecker St., nr. Thompson St.; 212-505-3474
Now in its eighth year, the Winter Jazzfest has become the city’s most comprehensive jazz festival, packing five Greenwich Village clubs for two heady (and often freezing) nights. Catch serious acts as different as the mischievous Millennial Territory Orchestra (playing Sly & the Family Stone), Miles Davis protégé Wallace Roney, and the relentlessly inventive Vijay Iyer Trio.


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