Presented by the Mind Science Foundation, Dr. Alison Gopnik’s talk “The Philosophical Baby” promises to outline “new discoveries and their implications for the way we think about young children and ourselves.” An internationally recognized leader in the study of children’s learning and development, Gopnik has authored more than 100 articles in the academic and popular press and several books including Words, Thoughts and Theories (with Andrew Meltzoff), The Scientist in the Crib (with Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl), and The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Love, Truth and the Meaning of Life. Among other concepts, Gopnik's research suggests there are features of babies’ and children’s brains that "may actually make them more conscious than adults." $5-$20, reception at 5:30pm, lecture at 6:30pm, Q&A at 7:15pm Tuesday, Pearl Stable, 312 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 821-6094, mindscience.org.
2. 'Go West!'
Initiated by Ethel Shipton and Nate Cassie as “a forum for experimentation, development and celebration for San Antonio artists,” Vacancy Projects are one-time-only art happenings that take over often-underutilized spaces with themed exhibits and spontaneous energy. (Cassie’s Cammie Award-winning performance as the resident barber of 2012’s “Vacancy 02_Beauty Salon” stands out among memorable highlights.) For its fifth chapter, the project nods to manifest destiny via New York Tribune founder/editor Horace Greeley’s 19th-century quote “Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country” (advice explored in different capacities by Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, the Village People and the Pet Shop Boys). Organized by Julie Ledet, “Go West!” rounds up local artists Jimmy James Canales, Joseph Duarte, Ana Fernandez, Joe Harjo, Mat Kubo, Ken Little, Chris Sauter and Gary Sweeney for a two-hour adventure at Parchman Stremmel Gallery’s new digs in the former home of Harry Halff Fine Art. Free, 6-8pm Wednesday, PSG Fine Art, 7726 Broadway, (210) 824-8990, vacancy-sa.org.
3. Black Carl
The members of the "quintessential desert soul" outfit Black Carl (guitarist John Krause, vocalist Emma Pew, drummer Chad Leonard, guitarist/random small-instrument player Matt Noakes, and bassist Ian Woodward) are often quizzed about the origin of their band's name. As Krause explained to the Phoenix New Times, "Really, it's not that interesting. I was recording stuff and let my roommate hear the first song. He laughed and said, 'This is the Pink Floyd of hip-hop. You should call it Black Carl.'" Drawing inspiration from the likes of Otis Redding, James Brown, Led Zeppelin and TV on the Radio, the Arizona quintet delivers a gritty mélange of rock, funk, blues, and psychedelia melted soulfully together with Pew's smoldering vocals. About as challenging to imagine as a hip-hop Pink Floyd, the Black Carl experience has been likened to "riding a psychotic horse toward a burning stable." On tour to promote their sophomore album The Wheel, the odd bunch plays 502 with support from Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Jack Littmam, whose distinct sound incorporates synths, loops, Kaoss Pad beats and acoustic guitar. Cover TBA, doors at 8pm Wednesday, 502 Bar, 502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125, 502bar.com.
4. The Horrible ’80s Cocktail Party
In an attempt to “make the best of a horrible decade,” the boys at the Brooklynite revive such dated potions as the Kamikaze, Sex on the Beach, Blue Hawaiian and the Alabama Slammer (and hopefully a little flair). Free, 5pm-2am Wednesday; The Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn, San Antonio, (210) 444-0707, thebrooklynitesa.com.
5. Blue Exorcist The Movie
A big-screen continuation of an televised anime series, director Tensai Okamura's film Blue Exorcist follows Rin Okumura, an exorcist on a mission to avenge the death of his adoptive father by declaring war on his biological father: Satan. Just as the residents of True Cross Academy Town are preparing for a festival celebrated every 11 years, a “ghost train” goes berserk and barriers protecting the city from demons fall further into disrepair. Sent as reinforcements, Rin and his twin brother Yukio cross paths with a demon in the form of a young boy and a Senior Exorcist First Class from the Taiwan Branch. Please note that this is a screening of the English dubbed version of the film. $10, 7pm Wednesday; Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, 1255 S.W. Loop 410, San Antonio, (210) 677-8500, drafthouse.com.