Winter may be weighing heavy in this post-holidays season, but Madison stages are keeping things lively this weekend. The calendar includes: a production of Hot 1 Baltimore and performances by The Madgadders; the latest Madtown Throwdown; a Rocky Horror screening; Piano Fondue and a Launchpad benefit; and, more live music by the Jon Hoel Quartet, The Getaway Drivers, Blueheels, Melissa Czarnik & Eric Mire, Cameron McGill & What Army, Danny Paris, Honor Among Thieves, Oakwood Chamber Players, Garnet Rogers, The Fancy, and So So Radio.
NOTEWORTHY: President Bush the Elder blows chunks on Japanese prime minister at state dinner in Japan, 1992.
BIRTHDAYS: Brief historian of time Stephen Hawking, 1942; David Bowie, 1947.
Cardinal Bar, 5 pm
With his combo, saxophonist Hoel, of Roots Collective and Que Flavor! fame, kicks off January's schedule of happy-hour Friday jazz performances at the newly resuscitated downtown nightspot.
High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
The local alt-country-meets-Americana band will showcase new tunes and release an EP with a little help from their friends Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys. Learn more about the Drivers and stream their new song "Salt, Blue & Bone" at this week's MadTracks review.
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Jan. 9, 3 & 7:30 pm
Madison Theatre Guild presents Lanford Wilson's 1973 work, the very model of a successful off-Broadway play. Members of an ensemble cast portray the downtrodden residents of a hotel slated for demolition.
Brink Lounge, 9 pm
The team of Christopher Lange and Joshua Dupont tickle the ivories of matching baby grands and belt out tunes by the likes of Elton John, Patti LaBelle and Sir Mix-A-Lot. A request process whereby audience members use tips to veto one another's requests is too complicated to explain here.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Black With Envy, the Skintones, Breech and Cutting Room Floor team up to raise money for Launchpad, the statewide music competition for high schoolers' rock bands and rap crews.
Frequency, 10 pm
Milwaukee rock trio Surgeons in Heat formed over the summer and haven't even released an album, but they've been getting lots of thumbs-ups from rock critics and college radio DJs. Local rock 'n' roll rabble-rousers Blueheels will grab the headlining spot -- and your imagination. With Old Panther.
NOTEWORTHY: Progressive magazine's first issue published, 1909.
BIRTHDAYS: Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page, 1944; New York Doll David Johansen, 1950.
Overture Center's Rotunda Stage, 9:30 & 11 am, 1 pm
What started as a local babysitting co-op is now a full-fledged live-music act starring adults and kids. The idea is to teach youngsters in the audience the sublime wonders of the Beatles and They Might Be Giants. A Kids in the Rotunda event.
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 6 pm
When the economy is tanking, many of us walk around fearful, anxious, even enraged. But don't do anything rash! Instead, get your aggression out by watching the men of Madtown Throwdown beat each other.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
Czarnik's been shaking up the Milwaukee music scene for a while, but her latest project, armed with sweet beats, sharp-and-sassy rhymes and the instrumental wizardry of Eric Mire, is arguably her best. Her debut album, Strawberry Cadillac, showcases her flow and her keen sense of observation, but you'd be well advised to catch this act live. With Evergreen.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
The Chicago singer-songwriter's music has drawn comparisons to Ron Sexsmith, but it's also influenced by Neil Young, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Catch him at the Frequency with a full band and learn more about his new EP, Two Hits & a Miss, in this week's Tour Stop. With Jeremiah Nelson and Miles Nielsen.
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
Paris serves up rockabilly with 1950s twang, while James and the Shames add a bit of blues to their Americana recipe. With Earl Foss & the Brown Derby.
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
The venerable local act has long served its dance-happy constituency with a distinctive melange of blues, rock, klezmer, jazz and funk. Just the thing to warm your frigid toes.
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
Velvet Darkness, Madison's chapter of the international league of Rocky Horror zealots, used to perform in sync with the cult-classic film all the time. Opportunities are fewer now, though, so seize the chance to see a funny and unique spectacle and to enjoy the movie's very catchy songs.
NOTEWORTHY: Time Inc. buys Warner Communications for more than $14 billion, 1990.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning '80s pop star Pat Benatar, 1953; concert violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, 1961.
Chazen Museum of Art, 12:30 pm
The local ensemble graces Wisconsin Public Radio's Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen broadcast with music of Beethoven and Mozart, as well as the "Sextet" of Theodor Blumer, the German post-Romantic composer.
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
The Madison Folk Society brings Canadian singer-songwriter Garnet Rogers to town. Since he's visiting Wisconsin, he'll probably play fan favorite "Garnet's Homemade Beer," a story of homebrewing gone awry -- and a parody of "Barrett's Privateers," which his brother, folk legend Stan Rogers, made famous.
Frequency, 8 pm
Tattooed chamber music is the specialty of Brooklyn, N.Y., quartet the Fancy, who use a bit of body art and lots of keyboards, vox, viola, voices and bassoon to leave a mark on your memory. Local trio El Valiente takes you to the Wild West and beyond with atmospheric post-rock, free jazz and melodies that filter in and out like gunsmoke. With Sonmi, Skye Carrasco.
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
The band that claims to reside in "Nowhere in Particular, Wisconsin" makes Madison its home for the night, sharing a year's worth of indie-pop creations. These include "Moenjodaro," the So So Radio single that appeared recently on Scrubs and that's been turning heads via Amazon, iTunes and WORT. With Noise Floor and sleepcomesdown.