he Madison Symphony Chorus and the Overture Concert Organ
Take a little time to unwind and catch a show amidst the seasonal frenzy over these last few days before the Christmas weekend. The entertainment this week includes: The Dan Potacke Show, Bach in a Backpack, Mad Toast Live, a performance by Anna Laube, the Madison Symphony Orchestra Community Carol Sing, and the Ultimate Hip-Hop X-mas Showcase.
NOTEWORTHY: Bomb brings down a Pan Am 747 at Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270, 1988.
BIRTHDAYS: Actor Samuel L. Jackson, 1948; actress Jane Kaczmarek, 1955.
Frequency, 6:30 pm
Every other week Potacke, alter ego of local funnyman Alan Talaga, hosts an evening of talk and laughs, and for guests he has managed to land such gets as Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. Tonight's holiday show is a 1970s-style variety show featuring Christmas songs by Shane Shane, the comedy of David Pickett and more.
NOTEWORTHY: Clash frontman Joe Strummer dies, 2002.
BIRTHDAYS: Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen, 1946; Tony-winning actor Ralph Fiennes, 1962.
Mermaid Cafe, 11:30am
The Mermaid Cafe rarely hosts musicians, but violinist Randal Harrison's engaging performances of Bach classics and much more -- jazz, original compositions and even a bit of Celtic music -- are a perfect accompaniment to the morning caffeination ritual. Read more about Harrison and "Bach in a Backpack" in this week's music column.
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
Remember the Kissers? Tonight's edition of the weekly variety show features acts whose members belonged to Madison's beloved Irish-rock combo: the Sean Michael Dargan Band and the Whiskey Lash All-Stars.
NOTEWORTHY: Filmmaker Woody Allen, 62, weds Soon-Yi Previn, 27-year-old adopted daughter of ex-wife Mia Farrow, 1997.
BIRTHDAYS: Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, 1964; Guns 'n' Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash, 1965.
High Noon Saloon, 6 pm
Laube's songs fall into the "heartfelt Americana" category, but her voice, which has been compared to Neko Case's more than once, is anything but timid. Beth Kille opens.
Time was an evening's entertainment meant gathering around the piano and belting out some familiar tunes. We don't sing together in informal groups nearly as much these days, which is a shame. But here's your chance to croon holiday songs to the accompaniment of MSO organist Samuel Hutchison.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Mix and mingle to a hip-hop beat with J.T. Roach, Def Crew, A.N.T. and DJ Fusion before you hit the road for the holidays.
NOTEWORTHY: Madison temperature plunges to minus 28, setting a December record for the city, 1872.
BIRTHDAYS: Motorhead bassist Lemmy, 1945.