Here is this week's critics' choice calendar. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison.
NOTEWORTHY: Last original weekday Peanuts comic strip published, 2000.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, through Jan. 5
It's your last chance to see MMoCA's survey of the best in Wisconsin art, so don't put it off any longer. The exhibition features more than 100 works in photography, painting, sculpture, video installation and other media. Expect to be awed and intrigued (see Art).
Center for Photography at Madison, through Jan. 26. Reception and artist's talk: Thursday, Jan. 2, 7 pm
Barnard has shown his photography at the Chazen Museum of Art and the Fanny Garver Gallery. He focuses on the play of light in an exhibition called "Sculpting with Shadow & Light."
Virginia Rose & Eugene White
Absolutely Art & Café Zoma, through Jan. 31. Reception: 5-9 pm
It's the slow season for Madison culture, but you can still enjoy a night of art and live music on the near east side. At tonight's reception, check out Rose's hand-colored photographs and White's acrylic paintings.
Atlas Improv Company
609 E. Washington Ave., 8 & 10 pm. Also Saturday, Jan. 4, 8 & 10 pm
At the 8 pm shows on both Friday and Saturday, the local troupe's skillful improvisers engage in fast-paced games that rely on audience suggestions; the 10 pm shows focus on long-form bits. The committed comedy fan will want to stay for both installments.
Wild Hog in the Woods concert featuring Nancy Rost
Wil-Mar Center, 8 pm
Once a street musician busking with a toy piano, Rost has won awards for both her jazz-piano stylings and songcraft. When she isn't writing or recording, she's a local piano teacher. With Dana Perry.
Wisconsin Reggae Festival
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Get to know some of the most prominent artists on the Wisconsin reggae scene at the first of four genre-themed mini-fests this month at the Majestic. The featured performers are Natty Nation, RAS Movement, T.U.G.G. and DJ Trichrome. For an extra helping of island sounds, catch Natty Nation at a free concert in the Overture Hall lobby on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 6 pm.
Frequency, 10 pm
This Wisconsin band's super-fun pop-punk can turn the most dismal winter night into a raging party. With the American Dead and the Moguls.
Phil Gnarly & the Tough Guys, The Willies
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
A contender for the title of Madison's greatest bar band, Phil Gnarly & the Tough Guys broke up in 1990 but are back together for a night of psychedelic surf-punk. They'll be supported by local '80s pop act the Willies, who've won the hearts of notable local music enthusiasts like Marco Pogo.
NOTEWORTHY: Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura sworn in as governor of Minnesota, 1999.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 10 am
This month's installment of the free series is called "Twisters, Glaciers & Sunshine: An Interactive Morning on Climate Change and Energy Resources." Learners of all ages can view weather-satellite images, chat with a rep from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, participate in a "drawing jam" with cartoonist Lynda Barry and create a tornado in a bottle. Whatever you do, don't open that bottle!
Davey Doodle & the Red Hots
High Noon Saloon, 11 am
If the kids are getting stir crazy during break, let them work off a little energy at this concert by children's entertainer David Baumler (a.k.a. Davey Doodle), who'll perform songs from his album Jumping Town. He's a multi-instrumentalist, including expertise on the difficult-to-master "invisible trumpet."
Tina Azubuike Osuocha
Hawthorne Library, noon
The local author hails from Nigeria, and she'll tell you all about how they cook back home in a discussion of her new West African Cuisine & Cultural Cookbook.
Sing-Along The Sound of Music
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 1 pm
We know you sneered at Carrie Underwood's performance on NBC's live production of The Sound of Music last month. Well, here's your chance to see if you can do any better. Overture screens the 1965 movie about a woman who leaves the convent to become a governess to a widower's seven children, but in this special version, there will be subtitles for the songs so audience members can croon along with Julie Andrews and company.
Uncle Ragnar's Mead & Metal Fest
High Noon Saloon, 2 pm
Head-banging and mug-raising are highlights of this Viking-themed celebration of rock featuring heavy guitars and alcohol made with fermented honey. Local acts the Garza, Lords of the Trident and Subatomic will provide the tunes, and Bos Meadery will sell six flavors of booze.
Rebecca Williams Spindler & Madelyn Spindler
Yola's Café, 2:30 pm
The local mother-daughter duo collaborate on the middle-grade book series The Tale of Two Sisters, with Madelyn providing an authentic middle school perspective. They'll discuss the final installment in the series, Moving Out & Moving On.
Best Western Plus InnTowner, 7 pm
Don 19th-century duds and mingle with other eminent Victorians at this benefit for the OutReach LGBT Community Center.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
The local gypsy swing outfit has received both MAMA nods and national recognition over a 20-year career. Highlights of their live act include outstanding jazz mandolin and guitar from Sims Delaney-Potthoff and lovely vocals by his wife and frontwoman, Maggie.
Jacob Martin Band
Red Zone, 8 pm
Straight outta Nashville, with a fresh new record to boot, this touring act should put on the country show of the week.
Nathaniel Bartlett/Sound-Space Audio Lab
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 8 pm
Bartlett harnesses his marimba to a computer and eight loudspeakers arranged in a cube so the audience can experience complete immersion in the "sound environment." He'll perform a new composition called "in balance."
Wisconsin Folk Festival
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Hosted by talented local Americana outfit Count This Penny, the second of the Majestic's genre-themed mini-fests features national touring act Field Report, whose founder, Milwaukeean Chris Porterfield, is a former bandmate of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. (See Music.) With Blessed Feathers, Whitney Mann, the Corey Hart Band and J.E. Sunde.
Lucas Cates and Friends
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
Members of popular Madison acoustic-rock group the Lucas Cates Band reconvene to perform their signature blend of pop, folk and jam-rock influences. With the Grizzly Sons.
Frequency, 9 pm
Fueled by whiskey and the works of Flannery O'Connor, this local band merge garage rock's scrappiness with lyrics that verge on poetic. With Surgeons in Heat, Jeremiah Nelson and Robby Schiller.
NOTEWORTHY: Ford Motor Company announces a minimum wage of $5 a day, 1914.
Max Dvorak, Gabe Burdulis
True Coffee Roasters, Fitchburg, 8 pm
Grab a cappuccino and get acquainted with some of Madison's most promising young singer-songwriters. Dvorak often veers into folk-rock territory, while Burdulis has evolved into a showman specializing in poppy rock. With Andrew Larson and Kate Klein.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
With a likable indie-rock sound that echoes Wilco but brings in elements of classic rock, State Maps are a worthy addition to the local scene. Check out their 2012 tune "John Cazale" for a taste. With Jimmy Whispers and An Unfortunate Woman.
Frequency, 8 pm
The Texas pop-punk act sings fast-paced, heartfelt tunes about love and loss; they just released an album of original Christmas music. With The Way Back, Everyone's My Enemy and Acyuta.
NOTEWORTHY: President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate begins, 1999
NOTEWORTHY: Mona Lisa exhibited in U.S. for first time, 1963.
NOTEWORTHY: Apple unveils first iPhone, 2007
A Room of One's Own, 6:30 pm
The Wisconsin Public Radio producer and author discusses her latest book, Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine. Janik explores the fascinating oddities that passed for healing in the 19th century, from the likes of hydropaths, mesmerists and other charlatans. (Healing tubs, anyone?) But she also shows how, in some cases, such quackery formed the basis of scientifically proven methods in use today.
The Madpolecats, Copper Box
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Madison's Madpolecats perform reggae-ska-punk fusions on traditional bluegrass instruments, and Oshkosh-based act Copper Box rev up the crowd with accordion-fueled rock featuring hints of zydeco. (See Tour Stop.)
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
This former member of Rasputina uses a cello to create gorgeous melodies and intriguing percussive effects. She makes her live shows especially haunting by manipulating these sounds with a foot-controlled laptop. With Brandon Beebe.
Frequency, 9 pm
Though their name refers to Brew City, this summery folk-rock group live in chilly Minneapolis. They'll perform selections from their new album, Can't Please You, Can't Please Me, which has earned accolades from American Songwriter. With the Buscemies.
Edited by Itztlacoliuhqui