This holiday work week is anchored by a pair of Martin Luther King Day celebrations on Monday, followed a couple of days later by the panel discussion "Taking Stock of Race & Racism." The calendar also includes a production of Little House on the Prairie: The Musical; a book reading by Temple Grandin; and, live music by Three Days Grace, Jim James & the Damn Shames with Ghost Town Council, The Expendables, Trapper Schoepp & the Shades, Peace of Mind Orchestra, (This is the) Squirrel Hunters, and Brighton MA.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. BIRTHDAY (OBSERVED)
Martin Luther King Day Celebration
The city, county and state all pay homage to Martin Luther King's civil rights dream. The state's tribute gets under way in the Capitol Rotunda at noon. The city-county program (Overture Center's Capitol Theatre, 6 pm) includes a keynote address by Dorothy Cotton, who was education director, under King, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and County Executive Kathleen Falk present the Dr. King Awards, and a community choir performs.
Three Days Grace
Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, 7 pm
The Canadian alt-metal band visit the Coliseum to show off their latest album, Life Starts Now, as well as the new releases of tour mates Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf.
BIRTHDAY: Motels vocalist Martha Davis, 1951.
Jim James & the Damn Shames, Ghost Town Council
High Noon Saloon, 6 pm
Merle Haggard and the Drive-By Truckers are just a few of the folks who've shaped Ghost Town Council's country routes, while Jim James & the Damn Shames visit the genre through the roots of blues, jazz and rockabilly.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Wednesday & Thursday, Jan. 20 & 21, 7:30 pm; and through Jan. 24
Back in the pioneer days, the 1970s, Melissa Gilbert was a child star in the Little House television family drama based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's indelible books. Now Gilbert is Ma in the stage musical. We hope there's a number about the fever brought on by eating melons (see
Central Library, 5:30 pm
The UW Center for the Humanities presents a panel discussion with professors from the UW's departments of Afro-American studies, Asian-American studies, history and political science.
Annex, 7 pm
Who says the party can't start on Wednesday? Surf rock meets skate punk with dueling guitars, California style and a festive attitude -- even on a cold and quiet weeknight -- when these guys visit town. With Iration, Passafire, Pour Habit and Roots Down Below.
Borders Books West, 7 pm
The scientist and autism activist, the subject next month of an HBO biopic starring Clare Danes, discusses Animals Make Us Human, about how to fulfill animals' emotional needs.
Trapper Schoepp & the Shades
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Milwaukee folk-rock band is young in years but full of ambition, getting more polished and distinct from their influences -- Dylan, Wilco and a lot of '60s rock -- with each release, including a new disc that's slated to hit the Internet and the college radio circuit in February. With The Sensationalists and Marty Finkel.
Peace of Mind Orchestra
Frequency, 10 pm
Their name signals long, trippy jams, but this duo's got so much Big Easy funk in their sound that you shouldn't need any substances to appreciate their sound. With Venice Gas House Trolley.
BIRTHDAY: Oscar-winning actress/Olympic-caliber archer Geena Davis, 1957.
(This is the) Squirrel Hunters
Frequency, 6 pm
The local five-piece whips up some traditional bluegrass with fiddle, banjo, mandolin and more, showing off foot-stompin' tunes such as "Fireball Mall" and "Pig in a Pen."
Frequency, 9 pm
The four-year-old rock group from Chi-Town has been turning heads in Hollywood, landing songs on Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Castle as of late, as well as playing bills with Old 97's, Mason Jennings and Man Man. The five Death Cab-loving dudes of Elsinore open the show, along with Jentri Colello and her renamed-yet-again band, Flight.