Formed in 1977 and still touring today, X is a band that encompasses everything good and weird about punk rock in Los Angeles. Now, cofounder and songwriter John Doe dishes on the scene in a new book, ‘Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk.’ Written with longtime friend and music aficionado Tom DeSavia, the book traces a punk movement born out of country music and Hollywood seediness, and features additional entries by X band mate Exene Cervenka, Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins and others. John Doe discusses and signs copies of the book on Sunday, Aug. 7, at Diesel Bookstore, 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur. 3pm. 415.785.8177.
Since forming in late 2014, the Alexander Valley Film Society has been engaging audiences in northern Sonoma County with culturally rich film screenings and programs, including an ongoing commitment to content by and for the LGBT community. This month, the society launches its latest film series, ‘Out in Alexander Valley: Celebrating LGBT Stories,’ with a screening of the 2015 Canadian film Closet Monster. Bold and assured in its storytelling, Closet Monster follows a creative teenager as he attempts to break free of his traumatic past and constricting environment. The film screens on Monday, Aug. 8, at the Clover Theater, 121 E. First St., Cloverdale. 7pm. 707.894.6347.
In the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia, researchers have found an ally in ballroom dancing. This week, Northern California group Ballroom Dance for Senior Fitness hosts its Awareness Gala in Yountville that will offer information on utilizing dance to boost brain activity and prevent dementia. Yountville mayor John Dunbar will be on hand to offer a declaration of the city’s support, and Napa musician Johnny Smith will lead big-band Opus to play the hits of the 1950s and ’60s as you dance the night away on Thursday, July 28, at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. 6:30pm. $25. 707.944.9900.
With three distinct gallery spaces, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts opens a trio of fascinating and diverse exhibits this week. In the large Galletta Gallery, the juried group show ‘Boundaries’ offers a wide selection of works in various media interpreting the titular theme by exploring geographical, political, social and emotional takes on the word. Gallery II showcases a solo installation of mixed-media book art by local artist C. K. Itamura, “w[o]rdrobe,” that blends fashion and text. Gallery III displays a photography project of Gary Kaplan, “The Continual Effect of Abuse: Using Photography for Healing.” These exhibits open with a reception on Friday, July 29, at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol. 6pm. By Donation. 707.829.4797.
Gather your magic wands and messenger owls, because fiction’s most famous bespectacled wizard, Harry Potter, is back in a new play, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ based on a story by J. K. Rowling and opening in London this week. For the rest of us Potter-heads, the play’s script, about an overworked adult Harry Potter and his youngest son struggling with the family legacy, is being released as a book this weekend, and several bookstores in the North Bay are celebrating with midnight release parties. Get your copy of the new adventure Saturday, Jul 30, at Copperfield’s Books in Sebastopol and Napa, Book Passage in Corte Madera and Napa Bookmine. All events begin at 11pm.
Singer-songwriter Margo Price is a fixture of the Nashville scene and is about to become a household name. Since her debut album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, was released back in March, Price has been hailed as country music’s next top star and even snagged an appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last season. Her voice has been favorably compared to country legends like Loretta Lynn, and her songs emanate the same enduring emotion and humanity of masters like Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Price plays a mix of honky-tonk jams and Americana ballads on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. 8pm. $35. 707.938.5277.
Born in Chicago on Valentine’s Day in 1968, guitarist and songwriter Toronzo Cannon has recently taken a place among other Second City bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. On his latest album, The Chicago Way, Cannon bears his soul and blazes on the axe for a hot and heavy debut on Alligator Records, the classic blues label that he grew up listening to. Making his way across the country this summer, Cannon fires into the North Bay as part of radio station the Krush’s backyard concert series and demonstrates the Chicago way on Thursday, July 21, at 3535 Standish Ave., Santa Rosa. 6pm. Free. 707.588.0707.
This summer marks 40 years for Wine Road, the association of 200 wineries and 50 lodgings located throughout the Dry Creek, Russian River and Alexander valleys. The group is throwing a birthday bash this weekend called 40 Years of Cheers. Aside from a full supply of local restaurants and wineries serving and pouring, live music, arts and crafts vendors, local authors and community organizations like the Healdsburg Museum and the Wine Library will be on hand. Kids will enjoy the face painting and craft tents, and adults will enjoy everything else on Saturday, July 23, at Healdsburg City Hall, 401 Grove St., Healdsburg. 11am to 4pm. Free admission. wineroad.com.
Known for his dynamically colorful landscape paintings, Sonoma County artist Jack Stuppin is getting a career-spanning solo show, ‘Past Tense, Present Tense,’ through Aug. 22. Stuppin, who spent many years as part of the Sonoma Four, a group of plein air landscape painters, hasn’t shown in the North Bay for five years. This new exhibit assembles work from throughout his career, all of which practically leaps off the canvas with exceptionally vibrant and engaging scenes of forests, meadows and coastlines. The show’s reception happens on Saturday, July 23, at IceHouse Gallery, 405 East D St., Petaluma. 5pm to 8pm. 707.778.2238.
The 36th annual Napa Valley Writers’ Conference returns with a week of focused writing workshops and fellowships in a picturesque setting. But it’s not just for authors. The conference presents several public readings throughout the next week. On Sunday, July 24, Harvard Review poetry editor Major Jackson joins UC Davis writing instructor Yiyun Li at the Napa Valley College Campus. On Monday, July 25, Philadelphia-based author Brian Teare reads alongside University of Iowa professor Lan Samantha Chang at Beringer Vineyards. Merryvale Vineyards and Domaine Chandon in Yountville also host readings on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26–27, and the conference continues until July 29. Readings take place at 7pm. $15. More info at www.napawritersconference.org.