Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 6:30 pm
The New York- and Munich-based photographer appears at MMoCA's First Friday event to talk about the new exhibit Probst: Exposures. Probst uses arrays of coordinated cameras to capture events -- a family walking across a city street, say -- from several angles simultaneously.
Electric Earth Cafe, 546 W. Washington Ave., 7 pm
A grab bag of Madison bands teams up with Indiana-bred psych-rock experimentalists Everything, Now! for an evening packed with garage, glam, noise and more. Also playing: Pax Americana, Alethio, Social Science Riot, El-Tin Fun, Hunger Strike Riot.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Dec. 6 & 7
The annual Christmas spectacular -- with selections from Handel, Puccini and Mel Tormé, among many others -- features not only John Demain's MSO, but also the Madison Symphony Chorus, the Madison Youth Choirs, the Mount Zion Gospel Choir, Madison Area Concert Handbells and Samuel Hutchison on the big organ, plus soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine and tenor Gregory Turay. Now that's what we call a Christmas spectacular.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based film composer Adam Diller leads a double life as the sax-playing frontman of the hip-hop-free-jazz fusion group $.99 Dreams. Think Sun Ra meets Lord Finesse, with the score of a Kubrick movie thrown in for good measure. Also appearing: Local saxophonist JoAnne Powers.
Four-man alt-country outfit The Sadies helped spur the late-'90s alt-country movement in their native Canada as well as here in the U.S. In addition to collaborating with groups such as the Tragically Hip and acting as Neko Case's live backup band, they've released eight albums of their own, including last year's New Seasons, from which they'll play songs at this week's show. Also playing: Tim Easton, Jentri Colello.
Pert' Near Sandstone
Cafe Montmartre, 10 pm
Like Old Crow Medicine Show and other string-music revivalists, the energetic Twin Cities combo Pert' Near Sandstone serves up an acoustic, old-timey country sound without getting hung up on bluegrass orthodoxy. Good stuff.
Fair Trade Holiday Festival
Monona Terrace, 9 am-4 pm
Attention, holiday shoppers: Still no need to panic. There's plenty of time till your gift-swapping winter holiday of choice, and you can pick up socially conscious art and crafts from Bali, Guatamala, Kenya and all points in between at this confab, brought to you by Community Action on Latin America.
Madison Hours Holiday Trade Fair
High Noon Saloon, 11 am-3 pm
If you'd like to keep your holiday-shopping bucks in the community, visit this daytime expo at one of downtown's coolest nightspots, featuring vendors purveying locally made food, beauty products, clothes, crafts and other goodies.
Booked for Murder, 1 pm
Madison native Kaye, a philosophy professor at Ohio's John Carroll University, comes to talk up The Aristotle Quest, Book One: A Dana McCarter Trilogy, a sexy suspense thriller about an academic researcher who encounters hitherto undiscovered Aristotelian writings.
Disney Live's Winnie the Pooh
Alliant Energy Center's Coliseum, 1:30 pm
Bring the kids to this extravaganza, featuring the singing and dancing of Pooh, Piglet and the gang. Many of us grew up with Disney's take on A.A. Milne's characters, and we still can't get that willy nilly silly tune out of our heads.
The Frequency, Dec. 6, 7 pm
On his latest album, the brand-new Carry the Weight, Philadelphia singer-songwriter Witmer performs appealing, folkish rock propelled by his sweet tenor voice and fingerpicked acoustic guitar. "Carry the weight of your neighbor," he implores on the langourous title track; we can dig it. Also appearing: Ben Weaver.
Dance Wisconsin's The Nutcracker
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday, Dec. 7, 2 pm
The holiday arts season is in full swing, which brings us to this production by the local troupe for young dancers. The performance features guests Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, among the principal dancers of American Ballet Theatre.
Madison for World Health Concert Ebony Fashion Fair Athens
Majestic Theatre, 7:30 pm
You may have seen the CDs around town, but the benefit concert hosted by Madison for World Health is sure to be one of the year's most memorable. CD contributors such as Rob Dz, Amy Curl and Dan Kennedy, Jim Schwall and Mark Croft will all make appearances, as well as the Fountain of Life Gospel Choir and 105.5's Jonathan Suttin, who is emceeing the event. Learn more about the concert -- and its mission of fighting the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria pandemic in developing nations -- in this week's music feature, and visit
Monona Terrace, 8 pm
Nothing chases away the cold-weather blues like haute couture, and this traveling show features designs by Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and others. On hand is model Jada Collins, who's promoting her self-help book Be-You-Tiful: The Three Fold Process to Becoming You.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
Athens casts a gothic shadow over its brand of jangle pop with spooky vox and synth sounds and lyrics that are creepy at one moment, comical at the next. Also playing: American Fiction.
Ebony Fashion Fair