Three Things to See: Andrea del Sarto, NASA’s Open House, and more

Welcome to Three Things to See, your weekly curated guide to the art, music, & cultural happenings around our stores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. This week’s guide features Tenacious D’s third annual comedy festival, a music festival featuring 1,400 live concerts across NYC, and the once-in-a-year opportunity to frolic inside of NASA’s labs in Los Angeles. Get your Moleskine planners ready, and keep on reading.


  1. CMJ Music Marathon (Oct. 13-17): Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the massive five-day CMJ Music Marathon kicks off next Tuesday, featuring over 1,400 live performances in 80 different clubs and venues. Whether it’s about discovering your new favorite band, learning more about the current state of the music industry, or capitalizing on the free booze, there’s something for everyone.
  2. AACM 50th Anniversary Festival (Oct. 9, 6, 23, 30): In honor of its 50th anniversary this year, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians is putting on a panel discussion + concert series every Friday for the month of October, featuring avant-garde greats from Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams to Wadada Leo Smith.
  3. Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action | The Frick Collection (Oct. 7th-Jan 10th): The new exhibit at The Frick — which carries some of the world’s most important pieces of Western painting and sculpture — focuses on the creative process behind a finished painting, comparing fifty drawings and sketches with three completed paintings by Italian Renaissance artist Andrea del Sarto.


  1. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open House (Oct. 10-11): If Matt Damon in The Martian left you thinking, “Hey, I could totally do that,” then here’s a chance to experience it all in real life.  NASA’s JPL opens its doors to the public this weekend, inviting visitors to explore the labs and machine shops where NASA’s engineers and scientists work to revolutionize space exploration. Plus, you’ll be able to check out a life-sized version of the Mars Curiosity Rover.
  2. Festival Supreme (Oct. 10): Hosted by Tenacious D (the Jack Black-Kyle Gass comedic musical duo), the third annual comedy festival features a solid lineup including Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Harmon, and more. 
  3. Giant Robot Bienalle 4 (Opening reception on Oct. 10, exhibit opens Oct. 11): A relic of Asian American alternative pop culture from the mid-nineties, Giant Robot is teaming up with the Japanese American National Museum for an exhibition that examines the evolution of the former icon’s humble beginnings in drawings to its manifestations in painting, installations, muralism, and photography.


  1. Litquake (Oct. 9-17): The annual 8-day festival celebrates the writing of the Bay Area’s local authors, from readings to panels to open discussion around the rich literary culture in San Francisco.
  2. San Francisco Open Studios (Oct., all month): Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, SF Open Studios gives the public the opportunity to meet the artists working in their neighborhoods, get an inside look into their creative processes, and buy one-of-a-kind pieces directly from their makers.
  3. The Art of the Brick | Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts (through Dec. 20): It’s not as utilitarian as it sounds: the bricks in question are actually LEGOs. For a manifestation of what happens when you combine a sculpture artist with an unlimited supply of LEGOs, head on over to the Lesher Center for the arts.

title photo by perledarte: Andrea Del Sarto, Annunciation / CC BY

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