Keep the warm spirits of the holidays flowing and make the first full week of 2009 count with: Mad Toast Live with Andy Moore and Greg Dierks and a WORT benefit with Tani Diakite and Tropical Riddims Sound System; more live music from Charlie Parr, Greensky Bluegrass, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, Frank James, Catfish Stephenson, Jim Schwall; and, a performance by the MadKings.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 6:30 pm
Photographer Probst uses arrays of coordinated cameras to capture events -- a family walking across a city street, say -- from several angles simultaneously.
Mad Toast Live with Andy Moore and Greg Dierks
Brink Lounge, 7 pm Moore and Dierks both pick with local bluegrass favorites -- and cut-ups -- the Cork 'n Bottle String Band, so expect good-humored fun at the latest installment in the weekly musical variety show hosted by Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines, of Stellanovas fame.
Cafe Montmartre, 7 pm
Though he jokes about being "some old loser from Duluth" on his MySpace page, Charlie Parr is a one-man band of sorts, playing banjo and a variety of guitars in addition to singing. Some of his songs are originals, some are old-fashioned country blues, and pretty much all of 'em take things up a notch on what's usually a slow night of the week for live music.
WORT benefit with Tani Diakite and Tropical Riddims Sound System
Cardinal Bar, 8 pm
Malian blues performer Tani Diakite ventures beyond his monthly gig at the Weary Traveler to help raise money for the local not-for-profit radio station, along with the reggae DJs of Tropical Riddims Sound System.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
The nine-year-old bluegrass outfit out of Kalamazoo, Mich. is best known for its live concerts, or, more accurately, Appalachian jam fests. Americana-tinged rock band Cobalt & the Hired guns drops by from Chicago to open the show.
Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
The Madison combo play an energetic brand of blues and roots music. They're pretty new on the scene, but earlier this year they topped the Local Blues Band category in our readers' poll. Later this winter, in Daytona Beach, Fla., they're slated to play the Harley-Davidson stage at Bike Week, which is pretty badass.
Tricia's Country Corners, 8 pm
In the early 1980s, singer and songwriter James lived in Nashville, where he wrote for a game show on The Nashville Network and palled around with one Randy Ray, later known as Randy Travis. These days he holds down the fort at Tricia's, the marvelously authentic honkytonk near McFarland.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
You've heard of drag queens? Meet the local troupe of drag kings, part of a movement that is largely -- but not entirely -- about women who dress and perform as men. The Kings are playful and subversive when it comes to gender, and they've been known to do a bang-up rendition of the "They Both Reached for the Gun," the showstopper from Chicago.
Up North, 9 pm
With his cowboy hat and ornate steel guitar, Stephenson is one of Madison's signature street performers. This time of year, of course, it's a lot more appealing to see him play heartfelt blues in the cozy confines of the Up North.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
Schwall is a master of the electric guitar, and he's steeped in the blues. Expect him to play like there's a hellhound on his trail.