Holiday Art Fair
The Holiday Art Fair and a performance by Mannheim Steamroller offer more opportunities for seasonal shopping and celebrations this pre-holiday weekend. The calendar also includes: a Recall Walker pep rally; the Madison Women's Expo; a production of Bat Boy: The Musical; shows by Atlas Improv; stories and readings by Jeff DeMark and Margot Peters; performances by the Wisconsin Chamber Choir, Wisconsin Singers, Pro Arte Quartet, and Wingra Woodwind Quartet; an Old-School Hip-Hop Edition of '80s vs. '90s; and, a bounty of more live music from Guy Clark, Sunspot, North Mississippi Allstars, Joe Hall & the Louisiana Cane Cutters, Bitch, Furthur, Matt Kearney, MiMOSA, Ra Ra Riot, Pert' Near Sandstone, the Ruth Moody Band, Girl in a Coma, Trevor Hall, and Pink Mink.
NOTEWORTHY: Congressional Iran-Contra report assigns "ultimate responsibility" to President Reagan, 1987.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 2-8 pm. Also Saturday (10 am-5 pm) & Sunday (10 am-3 pm), Nov. 19 & 20
Hear that? It's the sound of pages flying off a calendar as your gift-giving winter holiday of choice rapidly approaches. But don't fret if you're still empty-handed, because artists from these parts and beyond are selling their wares at MMoCA's big sale. There's entertainment by Madison Youth Choirs, Forward Theater Company and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Barrymore Theatre, 7 pm
The effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker is under way, and if you support it, you'll hear likeminded speakers at this bash, including elected officials (Reps. Peter Barca and Cory Mason), labor leaders (state AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt) and various politicos. There's also entertainment by Natty Nation, the Sean Michael Dargan Band and more.
UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Nov. 19, 7:30 pm University Theatre stages the 1997 show about the titular monster, who just wants to be understood and, sometimes, to bite people. The songs are wonderfully well written.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
A masterful writer of country songs, a mentor to rabblerousing troubadour Steve Earle, and a repairer of lutes and guitars, this septuagenarian is a West Texas Renaissance man if there ever was one.
Trinity Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm
The 12-year-old ensemble sings a program called "War & Peace," which gathers music (Ives, Ravel, Bach, Lee Hoiby, more) related to the 30 Years War, the U.S. Civil War, World Wars I and II and the Iraq War.
Overture Center, 7:30 pm
The UW's all-singing, all-dancing troupe performs a show called "Starstruck!," a doubtless exclamation-point-worthy agglomeration of movie tunes, pop hits and soul classics.
609 E. Washington Ave., 8 & 10 pm. Also Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 & 10 pm
The laugh machine that is Atlas Improv Company saw its long stint at Electric Earth Cafe conclude this past summer. After a hiatus, the comics are back in a new space, the old WYOU building. The key to improv is saying yes. Say yes to Atlas Improv Company.
Audio for the Arts, 8 pm. Also Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 pm
The Blue Lake, Calif., poet and raconteur presents two events: stories and songs on Friday (with musicians Andy Ewen and Tony Castañeda) and, on Saturday, a performance of his comedic monologue "Writing My Way Out of Adolescence." DeMark lived and performed in Madison in the 1970s and 1980s.
Frequency, 8 pm
The tireless Madison trio unveils a new album, The Slingshot Effect. It is, the Sunspot brain trust says, the group's electro-space rock record.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Blending the passion of Southern rock with bluesy licks and the improvisational flair of a jam band, this trio has been touring with Robert Plant and promoting a new album, Keys to the Kingdom. With Buffalo Killers.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 pm
Kick off your weekend with a celebration of fiddle-sawing, accordion-squeezing Creole and zydeco music fresh from Louisiana.
NOTEWORTHY: Jonestown massacre/mass suicide, 1978.
Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, 10 am-4 pm. Also Sunday, Nov. 20, 10 am-4 pm Brava magazine hosts its annual confab for women, with exhibitors and demonstrations touting wellness, beauty, food, recreation and what have you. This time the roster of celebrity guests is drawn from reality television: "Boston Rob" Mariano (Survivor), David Richardson (Heavy), and Amy and Marty Wolff (The Biggest Loser).
Plan B, 8 pm
The singer and violinist from queercore duo Bitch & Animal has opened for the Indigo Girls and acted in the movie Shortbus since Animal scampered off to graduate school. With Mercury Mad.
Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, 8 pm
Named after the psychedelic tour bus of countercultural hero Ken Kesey, this collaboration between the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and Phil Lesh performs Dead classics and newfangled tunes that prove that hippie jams are a vital part of protests both present and past.
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 8 pm
The centennial season of the UW's resident foursome continues with the world premiere of Paul Schoenfield's "Three Rhapsodies for Piano Quintet." Also on the program: Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 4 in D Major and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor. Schoenfield discusses his work starting at 7 pm.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
DJs Vinnie Toma and Fusion face off with 1980s and 1990s jams and classic videos by 2 Live Crew, LL Cool J, Gang Starr and other hip-hop notables, as the bar honors Snoop Dogg with supersized gin and juices.
Capitol Theater at Overture Center, 9 pm
Kearney originally lured a slew of record deals with the refreshing fusion of rap and folk that appears on his 2004 debut, Bullet. Seven years later, he's grown into an adult-alternative songwriter whose tunes have found a place in coffee shops, station wagons and TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Friday Night Lights. With Leagues.
Barrymore Theatre, 9 pm
This L.A. DJ seamlessly fuses dubstep, grime, glitch-hop and Moombahton with super-heavy bass beats and a charismatic stage presence. With Kastle and Sleepyhead.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
This Twin Cities bluegrass outfit won the battle of the bands at Yonder Mountain String Band's Northwest String Summit last year. Stomp your feet and clap your hands. With Sans Souci and the David Mayfield Parade.
NOTEWORTHY: Pop king Michael Jackson unveils his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, 1984.
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The author reads from Lorine Niedecker: A Life, her biography of the Fort Atkinson poet. It's a cogent narrative, the most solid Niedecker portrait written so far (see Books).
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 2 pm
Brilliant pianist Christopher Taylor joins the UW's ace ensemble in playing music of Poulenc, Albert Roussel and William Bolcom. Sans Taylor, the quintet plays Bernstein's "Five Anniversaries."
Overture Hall at Overture Center, 4:30 pm
Though this ensemble paints contemporary classical melodies with the sonic palette of a New Age band, most know it for its treatments of classic Christmas carols like "Deck the Halls" and "Carol of the Bells" (see Arts).
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
Last year the singer and songwriter with the Canadian folk trio the Wailin' Jennys set out on her own with a solo album, The Garden. AllMusic.com said it resembles Appalachian music -- "a delightful, subtle and restrained effort."
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Joan Jett recruited the punkish lady-rockers of Girl in a Coma for her Blackheart Records label five years ago, and since then, the gals have befriended Morrissey, the Pogues, and Tegan & Sara. Opening is the Coathangers, whose party-friendly rock is more aggressive, irreverent and fun the sloppier it gets, so keep the brewskis coming when they hit the stage. With Black Box Revelation.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The South Carolina-bred singer and songwriter performs shiny pop music reminiscent of Ben Harper's. His appealing tune "Other Ways" landed on the Shrek the Third soundtrack. Not a bad way to sell music these days.
Frequency, 8:30 pm
The new-ish projects of Minneapolis music maven Christy Hunt, who's also a member of Ouija Radio and the Von Bondies, this quartet channels the spirit of the Riot Grrrl movement as it rocks socks off with catchy hooks and melts faces with scorching guitar solos. With Venus in Furs and German Art Students.