Five things to do this weekend: Jan. 5-7

Dire Literary Series reading from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at The Middle East Corner, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free.

The monthly reading series is in its 16th year, and – with the departure of the Out of the Blue Art Gallery from Central Square late last year – in a new location, and at a different day and time; instead of serving up a weekend night entrée, organizer and author Tim Gager has made the readings more of an afternoon appetizer. This 202nd reading includes Cambridge’s Laura van den Berg (above, in a photo by Paul Yoon), whose second novel, “The Third Hotel,” is set for publication in August; Mark Saba, a poet, writer and illustrator and graphic designer for Yale University who has published “Ghost Tracks: Stories of Pittsburgh Past” about his childhood home; and Lowell’s Meg Smith, who has recently published a second poetry book, “Dear Deepest Ghost.” Information is here.

One Night Band at 9 p.m. Saturday (doors are at 8 p.m.) at The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Harvard Square. Tickets for this 18-plus show are $15. Information is here.

One Night Band is a daylong music experiment in which 40 Boston musicians are shuffled randomly into bands of five on a Saturday morning. These newly formed bands take the day to write three original songs and prepare one cover to play in front of an audience that night – in fact, this night. This reboot of a 2009-12 annual event benefits Zumix, an East Boston nonprofit that works to empower youth who use music to improve their lives, communities and the world. Information is here.

Photo: Henry Santoro via Twitter

No-Pants Subway Ride from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday around Greater Boston, but starting at Pemberton Square (behind the rounded Center Plaza building across from Boston City Hall Plaza and the Government Center T stop) and ending at Haymarket with a 21-plus chance to tell stories, food and drink starting at 3:30 p.m. at the (very) nearby The Point bar. Free.

This is actually the 11th annual funny-not-offensive-or-sexy No Pants Subway Ride, which began in New York City and has been spread to more than two dozen cities around the world through the efforts of its flash-mobby founders, Improv Everywhere. How do you take part? Watch the video here for what to bring (at the 60-second mark) and where to bring it (at the two-minute, 50-second mark). Obviously this isn’t fully a Cambridge and Somerville event, except that the cities’ red and green line T stops almost guarantee the city will be collectively wearing somewhat fewer pairs or pants than on a typical winter Sunday. Information is here.

Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team Semifinals from 7:30 p.m Sunday to 1 a.m. Sunday at The Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave., between Harvard and Porter squares. Admission is $7.

Things are getting serious in this first of two semifinals for the 2018 Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam Team, which means as good as Jeff Robinson’s Slam & Jam is every week, the poetry and spoken word talent is getting truly sharp. Competitors angling to be among the top four and continue on to the Jan. 28 finals include Erik Andrade (above, in a photo by Norman Paille); Anaiis Azur; Michael W. Bonds; Art Collins; Usman Hameedi; Kayla Kennedy; Crystal Raso; and Joseph A Santosuosso Jr. Information is here.

Pindrop Sessions 4 cabaret from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Aeronaut partners with WGBH and 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston for the fourth irreverent pop-up transmutation of the brewery space into a nightclub meant to rival the heyday of dimly lit Manhattan cabarets and piano bars. Brian Calhoon’s Marimba Cabaret percussion duo is joined buy hand-picked singer-performers such as Ariel Strasser of Minnesota, Kyle Hemingway – Boston’s answer to Oscar Wilde, Cole Porter and RuPaul – and Somerville’s Jason McCool (above). Information is here.

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