Ayelet Waldman Mother's Day may have passed, but that's no reason not to parse the ways the poor woman can be blamed for any number of transgressions. Waldman hoists her heavy artillery into the Mommy Wars with "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace," a book-length response to the firestorm of controversy surrounding an op-ed piece she wrote for the New York Times in 2005. She'll be in conversation with author Susan Straight. Richard J. Riordan Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., L.A. 7 p.m. Free. (213) 228-7025. www.aloudla.org.
Saint Vitus An unholy melding of heavy metal and hard-core punk led this Lomita doom metal stalwart to release four influential albums on legendary L.A. punk label SST in the early '80s. Despite lineup changes and long periods of inactivity, the craggy, hirsute rockers still have no trouble dishing out plentiful helpings of thunderous hard rock. Viper Room, 8852 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. 8:30 p.m. $20. (310) 358-1880. www.viperroom.com.
Elizabeth Streb and Philippe Petit Two individuals who have demonstrated the amazing potential of the human body will engage in a free-flowing discussion as part of the Hammer Conversations series. Streb is a choreographer, dancer and MacArthur grant recipient, and Petit is a high-wire artist best known for a tightrope walk between the twin towers in 1974. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Free. (310) 443-7000. www.hammer.ucla.edu.
Engaged Observers The Getty opens an exhibit dedicated to post- World War II photographers that broke with traditional methods of photojournalism to blur the lines between subjectivity and objectivity, exploring a critically engaged form of photography. June 29-Nov. 14. 1200 Getty Center Drive. Free. Check website for hours of operation. (310) 440-7300. www.getty.edu.