Madison's arts and nightlife scene returns to full throttle this weekend after a holiday breather. The calendar includes: the Home Expo; an opening reception for a Jennie Nuese and Juliette Crane exhibition; performances by the Madgadders, Madison Youth Choirs, and Solon Pierce; the Rock 'N Roll High School punk tribute, an Elvis Birthday Blast, and benefit concerts for the Loft and the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund; and, more live music from Mars Williams with Kent Kessler and Paal Nilssen-Love, Snowbirds, The Josh Harty Band, Sleeping in the Aviary with Crane Your Swan Neck, Nathan Kalish & the Wildfire, and Madtown Vipers.
BIRTHDAYS: News anchor Katie Couric, 1957; actor Nicolas Cage, 1964.
Monona Terrace, 2-8 pm. Also Saturday (10 am-8 pm) & Sunday (10 am-5 pm), Jan. 8 & 9
Remodelers, builders, and design professionals showcase the latest innovations. Homeowners can check out exhibits on kitchen and bath remodeling, roofing, flooring, home security, water conditioning, insulation and windows. And don't forget landscaping -- spring is around the corner. Isn't it?
Absolutely Art, through Jan. 31. Reception: 5-9 pm.
Nuese offers place-oriented photos, while Crane throws spray paint, pastels, origami paper, vintage sheet music and wallpaper into her mixed-media works. Tonight's reception features music by Bradley Fish and catering by Bunky's Cafe.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
Five local bands will revive that fightin' spirit and up-yours attitude of the original punk posse at this night of tributes: Whisky Pig will honor the Sex Pistols, Scanner Dan & the Master Plan will revere the Clash, the Gusto will morph into the Misfits, Direct Hit! will channel the Dead Kennedys, and Start from Scratch will do their best rendition of the Ramones. DJ Schnitzengruben will get the crowd riled up by spinning some old-school favorites.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
This trio of three Grammy-nominated improvisational wonders, which includes the Psychedelic Furs' touring saxophonist, a double bass player with a penchant for punk, and a visionary Norwegian drummer, will lure you deep into the recesses of free jazz. Trombone-piano project the Bobby Avey-Samuel Blaser Duo will kick off the show with a scorching warmup set.
Madison Turners Hall, 8 pm
Elvis doppelgangers Shawn Sharp and Tony Rocker will perform the King's hits, from his early rockabilly adventures to his Aloha From Hawaii days, with the help of host Jimmy Prince. Wish happy birthday to Elvis yourself by participating in a karaoke sing-off, or twist the night away to the sock-hop tunes of the Starlites.
Frequency, 9 pm
This Milwaukee quartet blends a splash of Whiskeytown with a bit of Pernice Brothers to create some sharp pop that pulls hard on the heartstrings. Be sure you've got a warm hand or a cold beer to cradle. With Conrad Plymouth and Derek Pritzl.
Mr. Robert's, 10 pm
The skilled singer-songwriter who's opened for B.B. King, Keb Mo, Iris Dement and other big names will transform a near-east-side dive bar into a country-blues haven for the night.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The suave multi-instrumentalists of local indie outfit Crane Your Swan Neck will ready the stage for kooky ex-Madison pop jocks Sleeping in the Aviary, who'll perform some old favorites and some new tunes from their just-released Great Vacation! With Buffalo Moon and Cribshitter.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer/actor/Thin White Duke David Bowie, 1947; author Dave Eggers, 1970.
NOTEWORTHY: 14-year-old Bobby Fischer wins his first U.S. Chess Championship, 1958.
Overture Center Rotunda, 9:30 am, 11 am & 1 pm
Overture's free Kids in the Rotunda series gets 2011 off to a lively start with Madgadders, a band of kids and adults in fabulous costumes. Their taste in music runs to Beatles and Elton John, suggesting that the adult members had an unfair advantage in choosing the repertoire.
First Congregational Church, 4:30 & 7 pm
Come hear the kids' heavenly voices in music by Purcell, Praetorious and Handel. It's good for what ails ya.
Loft at Goodman Community Center, 5:30 pm
At least a half-dozen bands will storm the community center's teen hangout to raise some much-needed cash. The bill features lots of metal, hardcore and progressive acts, including Burn the Ides, Whispered Hallows, Climbing the Aggrocrag, Look I'm Burning, Stealing Aphrodite, What Lies Ahead and This Ship Will Sink.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Five fantastic local acts -- United Sons of Toil, El Valiente, Squarewave, Superstar Fantastico and Owen Mays -- will help fill the coffers of the statewide nonprofit that helps needy families heat their homes during the cold winter months.
Frequency, 9 pm
Americana, psych-pop and punk are the main ingredients in the sonic stew this five-piece from Grand Rapids, Mich., cooks up at each show. Get a taste of the band's forthcoming EP, which is slated for a March release, as you enjoy a great example of Midwestern fusion rock. With But It's the Labor That Kills.
Crystal Corner Bar, 10 pm
The Vipers' rust-belt rock is influenced by Black Sabbath, the Replacements, the Velvet Underground and lots of classic punk bands. Seven Stone Weaklings and Isthmus Band to Band Combat finalists the Media will get the Corner rockin' and rollin' as well.
BIRTHDAYS: Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page, 1944; New York Doll David Johansen, 1950.
NOTEWORTHY: Progressive magazine's first issue published, 1909.
Chazen Museum of Art, 12:30 pm
The classical pianist has a penchant for new music and rarities. As part of the free Sunday Afternoon Live at the Chazen, he performs Shubert's "4 Ländler" from D. 171 and Mily Balakirev's "Reminiscences of Glinka's 'A Life for the Tsar.'"