Patti Smith at The Strand

The iconic punk musician and recent National Book Award-winner Patti Smith heads to the Strand today, where she'll be reading from Woolgathering, her 1992 collection of poems/autobiography, which has been reissued and expanded, and explores Smith's struggle with what it means to be an artist.

The Strand, 828 Broadway. 7 p.m. $25. (Price of admission includes a copy of the book, and a Strand tote bag.)

Amy Ray at Housing Works

Tonight, Amy Ray, best known for being one-half of the Indigo Girls, sings from her forthcoming solo album (it's out tomorrow), Lung of Love, considered to be her strongest solo record to date. She's joined by Seatttle-based, "souther gothic" singer-songwriter Lindsay Fuller.

Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby St. 7:30 p.m. $25.

Brisket King of NYC at Santos Party House

Over ten of the city's finest brisket-makers (chefs from the likes of Edi & the Wolf, Murray's Cheese, Jimmy's No. 43, Bierkraft, among others) will be competing to make the best slow-cooked beef product at tonight's second annual Brisket King of NYC event. $55 will grant you unlimited brisket as well as free-flowing artisinal spirits, beers and two signature cocktails. Proceeds benefit the New Amsterdam Market.

Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St. 6:30 p.m. $55.