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SEEING SILVERMAN

For all Sarah Silverman’s jokes about vaginas and poop — her self-proclaimed area of expertise—we love this former bedwetter because when it comes to politics, she’s got the singular ability to be serious without ever actually having to act serious at all. Her 2008 project The Great Schlep encouraged young Jews to visit their elderly grandparents in Florida (or threaten to withhold visits) in order to wring out votes for Obama, and her farewell tribute to George Bush praised all the idiotic things that Dubya didn’t do in office . . . like punch a giraffe. Much gratuitous Matt Damon–fucking and more than two decades in stand-up later, her faux-naive persona has become a staple on the comedy scene. Tonight, she revisits her stage act at the Wellmont Theatre in New Jersey.

Fri., April 26, 7 p.m., 2013

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Deftones

Even without considering the 2009 car crash that left founding bassist Chi Cheng comatose, we’d still have to call Deftones the greatest survivors of the nu-metal era, though on some level we’re all lucky have to escaped it alive. The two albums they’ve released since the accident are almost glowing with the same emotional potency that animated “Minerva,” “Digital Bath,” and “Be Quiet And Drive” all those years ago, with distortion as a warm blanket wrapped tenderly around thoughts and feelings, instead of a wet one being used to smother them.

Sun., March 10, 8 p.m., 2013

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DANDY RANDY

You might know him as Tom Haverford, the hilarious co-star next to Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation who’s more obsessed with one-liners and looking fresh in the office than maintaining his municipal job. Or you might know him as the erratic character “Raaaaandy!”—an alter ego of his that gained stardom through Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s website Funny Or Die and Judd Apatow’s heartfelt comedy, Funny People. But if you go by full names, you know him as Aziz Ansari, the “funniest man under 30,” according to Rolling Stone. The NYU Stern School of Business graduate and buddy of Kanye West begins his “Buried Alive” tour tonight, where he’ll go across the country and dress better than you—and make you laugh the entire time.

Sat., April 14, 8 p.m., 2012

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MAD AS HELL

When Stephen Colbert isn’t busy, as he recently said, “TiVoing the end of America,” he has been ruthlessly picking on the 1 percent. Oh, but not the super-wealthy 1 percent. As the political satirist broke it down so clearly: “There is a tiny minority of Americans who could be doing a lot more for our nation. A minority who live a lifestyle that the 99 percent could not imagine. You know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about military veterans.” (His criticism was aimed at members of Congress who have been in favor of cutting benefits for veterans to reduce the nation’s debt.) Tonight, head to Jersey to catch more zingers from Colbert at this talk with journalist Jonathan Alter.

Fri., Dec. 2, 8 p.m., 2011

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Lykke Li

The Swedish songstress is nearing the end of a tour in support of this year’s gloomy-but-aggressive Wounded Rhymes, on which Lykke Li’s gutsy goth-soul vocals make you pity her less than you do the fool who broke her heart. Her current show is a stylish study in alluring opacity. With First Aid Kit, fellow Swedes who do a lovely sibling-folk thing.

Thu., Nov. 17, 8 p.m., 2011

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Goo Goo Dolls

His songs might sound as horribly dated as you might expect from an alt-rocker in his mid-40s, but there’s still something expertly manipulative about Johnny Rzeznik’s heart-on-sleeve overemoting. It’s not unlike admiring a favorite Bond villain, albeit one who just spends all his time singing about girls with a jangly acoustic guitar under a swirling night sky. Once upon a time, this was the stuff teenage dreams were made off.

Fri., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., 2011

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Cyndi Lauper

Prior to acquitting herself as a celebrity apprentice and becoming a heroine to the LGBTQ community, Cyndi Lauper made her bones as a tomboy pop icon. Playing the granola-boho downtown foil to Madonna’s widescreen Euro-moll, Lauper injected 1980 radio with an undisguised emotionality and heart that belies the plasticine nature of her then-peers. Time hasn’t dulled the power of “True Colors” and “Time After Time” so much as it’s underlined those singles’ howitzer brilliance, that inimitable commingling of vulnerability and grit. With Dr. John.

Fri., Oct. 14, 7 p.m., 2011

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Explosions in the Sky

What better place to witness the cinematic grandeur of Explosions in the Sky than on the Wellmont’s proscenium stage? The group’s knack for putting echo-laden guitar melodies at the center of their expansive post-rock (meaning you might just be able to hum the tunes on your way home) and their ability to put on a compelling live performance (despite being an all-instrumental ensemble) could make tonight’s performance, particularly transcendent than usual, especially considering that theatrical setting. With the Antlers.

Mon., Oct. 3, 8 p.m., 2011

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HYPNAGOGIC WHAT?

It’s not unusual that Ernest Green (better known as Washed Out) recorded his first songs in his Georgia bedroom–plenty of artists’ original studios double as their sleeping quarters–but it is appropriate. Those songs went on to form the core of Green’s Life of Leisure EP, an immediate addition to the still-forming canon of “hypnagogic pop,” called such for the way the records recall the state of partial slumber. Today, Green is touring behind Within & Without, his debut full-length, and opening for Cut Copy, a group of Australians who make music with an equally soft focus

Tue., Sept. 13, 8 p.m., 2011