Madison ushers in the New Year with a week-long live music lineup that includes the Chicago Blues Tuesday Band with John Primer at the Frequency, Mad Toast Live featuring Willy Porter at the Brink, and Thrash Thursday at the Frequency, along with shows by The Dirty Shirts, Nellie Wilson & the Hellbound Honeys, Rana Santacruz, Marcy Playground, and MC Starr & DJ Pain 1. A exhibition by quilt artist Kent Williams also opens at the Madison Central Library.
BIRTHDAY: Actress Helena Bonham Carter, 1967.
Madison Public Library-Central Branch, through Jan. 31 Here's one way to stay warm during the cold days ahead: drape yourself in quilts. During January, nationally recognized quilt artist (and former Isthmus staff writer) Kent Williams is presenting a small selection of his fiber work, arranged into pairs to show how an idea gets developed over time.
NOTEWORTHY: Pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura sworn in as Minnesota's 38th governor, 1999.
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
This local honky-tonk five-piece composed of members of the Cajun Strangers and the Cork 'n Bottle String Band will fill your pants with ants and your beers with tears.
Frequency, 7 pm
Local guitarist A.J. Love is moving his weekly Chicago Blues celebration back to the Frequency in 2011, and he's recruited a topnotch talent to get the year started: Grammy-nominated vocalist and guitarist John Primer, Living Blues magazine's 2010 musician of the year and longtime tourmate of Magic Slim & the Teardrops.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
Porter is from the Milwaukee area, but his career got rolling here in Madison in the late 1980s. The singer and guitarist released a studio album called How to Rob a Bank last year and a live album with the Carpe Diem String Quartet this year. Hear him at Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines' weekly variety show (and podcast).
NOTEWORTHY: Wyoming's Nellie Ross sworn in as first female governor in U.S., 1925.
BIRTHDAYS: Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, 1969.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Lasso up a good time as the crackpot country band releases a new album called Taking the 'O' Out of Country and kicks off a Midwest tour. With the American Dead and Jared Grabb.
BIRTHDAYS: Filmmaker John Singleton, 1968.
High Noon Saloon, 6 pm
This accordion whiz is also a vibrant vocalist and storyteller who's spreading Mexico's ranchera tradition throughout America like a musical Johnny Appleseed, accompanied by a band that includes violin, cello, saxophone, guitarrón, vihuela and tuba.
Annex, 8:30 pm
The rock band that scored a hit in 1997 with "Sex and Candy" also cooks up a fine folk song and quite a few melodies that could double as kids' tunes. Get to know the tracks from their 2009 studio album, Leaving Wonderland...in a Fit of Rage. With the Nod.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
How to exorcise those nasty feelings that cold weather brings about? Sweet, sweaty catharsis awaits you at this thrash-metal show featuring at least three bands hailing from the land between Madison and the icy Minnesota border: Birth of Tragedy, Climbing the Aggrocrag and the Valkyrie Beside Me.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The two performers in this local MC-DJ duo have been friends since their high school days almost 10 years ago. Expect an energetic show packed with sharp lyrics and crackling beats. With JDante & Man Mantis and Corey Park.