Punk rockers, VJ throwdowns, and more events this week

By: - Monday, May 12, 2014 - 4:10pm

6927975760_ff8596de4a_b (Photo credit: TogetherBoston/Creative Commons)

The Together festival kicked off last night, so we could have easily filled up this week’s event picks with performances, screenings, panels and parties. But the festival isn’t the only way to get some art and music in your life this week: Check out some improv comedy, live jazz, or just punk rockers wearing pasties. Sure, that counts as art.

What’s the only thing more essential to your existence than your smartphone? Coffee, obviously. Now you can get it for free, thanks to @BostonTweet’s #DownloadBoston campaign to raise awareness of apps developed here in Boston. Stop by Appy Hour this week at either Capitol One 360 Cafe location and get a free coffee when you’ve downloaded Breeze, the new active app from RunKeeper that keeps track of every step you take, in a good fitness-y way, not a weird stalker-y Sting kind of way. 5.12 to 5.16. 12 p.m. FREE 

Food writer Michael Pollan stops by Cambridge to talk about his new book, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.” The author traveled the world to discover the essential elements of cooking: fire (barbecue), water (braising), air (baking), earth (fermenting), and the fifth element heart must be invoked by the five corresponding Planeteers in order to summon Captain Planet to the dinner table. 5.12. 7 p.m. $5

The Midway Cafe’s Punk Rockin’ and Pastie Poppin’ Punk Rock Burlesque combines two things that make me vaguely uncomfortable but might be your thing, I don’t know. This month’s theme is Lewd Luau, which you probably associate either with lame frat parties or that one weird season of “Saved by the Bell” where they worked at the resort and Zack dated Kevin James’ wife. 5.12. 9:30 p.m. $10

* The Together festival brings out a special Tuesday night edition of AcousticaElectronica, Oberon’s mind-blowing ultimate dance party that blends elements of electronic and classical music, dance, circus arts and immersive theatre. I know, you were totally on board until “immersive theatre” and especially the “-re” spelling because that probably means you’re not seeing a movie and definitely not an action movie and why not just read a book? 5.13. 9:30 p.m. $25-55

* More from the Together festival, and nah, this VJ Competition isn’t anything like MTV’s “I Wanna Be a VJ” competition,” because YouTube exists and I don’t need Carson Daly to tell me to watch the “Happy” video every day. This competition at Wonder Bar in Allston is more about using video effects to accompany the music — it’s coordinated by Jon Bonk, VJ for the country’s longest-running weekly drum and bass night, Elements at Phoenix Landing. 5.13. 7 p.m. FREE

* This month’s edition of District Hall’s Welcome Wednesdays features a comedy show from their neighbors on the waterfront, Laugh Boston. The first 200 people will receive two tickets to any Laugh Boston show, and everyone gets to enjoy Sam Adams beer samples. 5.14. 5:30 p.m. FREE

* The Beer and Learn series at Workbar in Cambridge covers a range of topics relevant to small businesses and entrepreneurs, featuring free food, beer and knowledge (only one of those will stay in your system for more than 24 hours). This month’s guest speaker is author and screenwriter Gary Wolf, creator of the story and characters behind “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” If they’re booking guests responsible for movies I watched 400 times as an eight year old, may I suggest the director of “3 Ninjas”? 5.15. 6 p.m. FREE

* Providing the hot jazz in Thursday’s “Hot Jazz, Cool Neighborhood” benefit: the innovative Zwelakhe-Duma Bell le Pere Trio. And providing the cool neighborhood: Egleston Square, straddling the border of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury — the concert is an annual fundraiser for Egleston Square Main Streets. Hopefully it all comes together like that first bite of hot fudge and cold ice cream, before the fudge cools down and the ice cream gets all melty and I lost the metaphor and just really, really want a sundae right now. 5.15. 6 p.m., $10-15