By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
FRIDAY, February 16
When I was traveling in a mule-drawn carriage from tiny village to tiny village in Romania, the highlight was pulling into the town square around dusk and getting out our instruments. With no introduction we’d break into our rollicking music, blending klezmer, flamenco, Balkan and other influences. It wouldn’t take long for a crowd to gather, and the dancing would go long into the wee hours. Wait — that wasn’t me. That was Fabrice Martinez and his amazing Fishtank Ensemble. Tangier, 2138 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Feb. 16, 10 p.m.; $10. (323) 666-8666.
SATURDAY, February 17
Pied-billed grebes, brown pelicans, double-crested cormorants, snowy egrets, American wigeons, green-winged teals, buffleheads, ruddy ducks, American coots, black-bellied plovers, American avocets, marbled godwits, western sandpipers and black skimmers. Yes, those are some of the many birds that call the Southland home. And you can get up close to them at The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Winter Nature By Kayak Trip. Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve (map sent upon reservation); Sat., Feb. 17, 9 a.m.-noon (also Sat., March 17); $58, includes kayak. (562) 590-3100.
SUNDAY, February 18
Can’t get enough Oscar talk? Join movie experts at a live taping of KPCC’s FilmWeek Academy Awards Preview with Larry Mantle. Local critics Scott Foundas of the L.A. Weekly, Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor, Jean Oppenheimer of New Times, Henry Sheehan of henrysheehan.com and others will discuss the hot topics. Why should you listen? Because when someone says, “You know, they say Forest Whitaker deserves the Oscar,” these people are the “they” they are talking about. American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Feb. 18, 1:30 p.m.; $11. (323) 466-FILM.
MONDAY, February 19
Just seeing the words “Harlem” and “Globetrotters” together can get you whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown” all the livelong day. They’re still the original “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” and there’s nothing snarky to say about ’em. Staples Center, 11th & Figueroa sts., dwntwn.; Mon., Feb. 19, 1 p.m.; $16-$135 (what?). (213) 480-3232.
TUESDAY, February 20
Still as easy on the ears as ever, ladies and gentlemen, James Taylor. Fun fact: “Fire and Rain” is all about his time as a drug addict, and the line “Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you” is about a fellow patient at a rehab hospital! Wilshire Theater Beverly Hills, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tues.-Wed., Feb. 20-21 & Fri.-Sat., Feb. 23-24, 8 p.m.; $49.50-$99.50. (213) 480-3232.
WEDNESDAY, February 21
Be the biggest know-it-all at your Oscar party after attending The 25th Annual Celebration of Academy Awards Documentary Nominees.All the nominated doc shorts will be honored with clips and some sorta presentation, teaching you to know your Jesus Camp from your Iraq in Fragments, while you sip and nibble with filmmakers. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Wed., Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.; $85. www.documentary.org
THURSDAY, February 22
Finally — laughing at Oscar’s expense. Cold Tofu’s Spectacular Salute to the Oscarsfeatures the heralded improv troupe in “an uproarious satire of the pomp (and sometimes pompous) and circumstance that is the Oscars.” Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St., dwntwn.; Thurs., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m.; $8, $5 seniors. (213) 625-0414.
Give Love, Give Life is a benefit concert for ovarian cancer, so there will be no jokes. Well, okay, just one. What’s 40 feet long and has eight teeth? The front row at a Willie Nelson concert. Along with Mr. Nelson, Jackson Browne and John Trudell lend their considerable talents for a very worthy cause. Gibson Amphitheatre, CityWalk, Universal City; Thurs., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.; $39.75-$89.75. (213) 480-3232.