Clench, and release and 15 other free things to do this week

clench and release charla lauriston

The comedy potential in handshakes often goes unexplored, so we like this

1. All-female comedy show Saw Her Stand Up There comes back to Spike Hill for more patriarchy-smashing laughter (Monday)

2. See the America-trotting documentaries and strange exploitation-camp of local filmmaker Courtney Sell at Videology (Monday)

3. Comedian Charla Lauriston is showing the debut episode of her web series Clench & Release, and following it with performances from comedians in the show, including Girls tour guide Sasheer Zamata (Monday)

4. The Simpsons Club barrels into the show’s eighth season, with “You Only Move Twice,” the best Simpsons episode ever, on the schedule (Monday)

5. The Sacket Street Writer’s Workshop is bringing literary agents to BookCourt to share advice on what not to do when sending your query, and talking about some of the stranger things they’ve received at their desks (Monday)

6. New York Times blogger Adrian Boneberger talks about his experiences in Afghanistan (remember the war in Afghanistan?) at a release party for his book Afghan Post (Tuesday)

7.  Just in time for you to accept you’re not getting rid of that post-holiday weight, comedy variety show Backfat is back at 61 Local, with the Lucas Brothers and Emmy Blotnick (Tuesday)

8. The Brooklyn Public Philosophers host professor Linda Alcoff for a talk on what the future holds for white people trying to be less racist as hell (Wednesday)

9. You know more than just The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, so go dominate all those posers as the Trash Bar’s J.R.R. Tolkien trivia (Wednesday)

10. Passenger Bar is throwing some outlaw action into drink and draw by having you get drunk and draw women posing on motorcycles (Wednesday)

11. Comedy show Heavy Metal Laser Plane will feature a set from Dan St. Germain, and is the only comedy show in New York that promises random schwag from the Village Voice music desk mailroom (Wednesday)

12. Author Teddy Wayne brings you a journey through the life of a super-rich 11-year-old pop superstar (relevant!) in a discussion of his book The Love Song of Johnny Valentine (Thursday)

13. Tom Zoellner will talk about riding the great globe-crossing railroad tracks of the world, like the Trans-Siberian Railroad, at WORD (Thursday)

14. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so get your first dose of anti-Valentine’s events with readings about intercultural love, dating and relationship’s at 61 Local (Friday)

15. Dance night Rhythm Nation at Baby’s All Right is pulling out all the R&B jams you love, but especially the Janet Jackson ones (Friday)

16. Soul crooner Har Mar Superstar is down on his knees begging you to come see him at his free show at the Knitting Factory (Friday)