It's the final week of 2010, and Madison offers plenty of opportunities to warm up for the big New Year's celebrations. The calendar features: Winter Wonder Week at the Madison Children's Museum; the return of the Harlem Globtrotters; a busy slate of live music that includes The Barley Brothers, Ridley, Jim Schwall, the Clyde Stubblefield Band, Rock Star Gomeroke, Honky Tonk Tuesday, the Barb Cheron Trio, 4 Aspirin Morning, Laarks, The Shtetlblasters, Daniel & the Lion, Wake & Prevail, Tani Diakite, and DJ Madcoins, and, a performance by Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies.
NOTEWORTHY: Anti-liquor zealot Carrie Nation leads her first raid on a saloon in Wichita, 1900.
BIRTHDAYS: Actor Gerard Depardieu, 1948; actress Maryam D'Abo, 1960.
Madison Children's Museum, through Dec. 31
The presents are unwrapped. It's miserable outside. You and your family members are eyeing each other warily. Now what? Easy answer: Head to the Children's Museum's gleaming new downtown facility for a week's worth of special activities, including music, demonstrations and crafts.
Alliant Energy Center's Coliseum, 7 pm
The venerable basketball showboats dribble into town for another Coliseum appearance. Expect fancy passes, trick shots and the kind of full-court comedy that never goes out of style.
Malt House, 7:30 pm
Ragtime, country blues and old-time string-band classics are just a few of the tricks up the Barley Brothers' sleeves. See what else they've got cooking as you sample topnotch brews from around the world.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The local ambient electropop group has been releasing its first full-length album, Planets, piece by piece over the course of 2010. Come behold the LP's songs live and find out what the band is cooking up for 2011. With Mr. Bruce and Denleschae.
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
The local songwriter and guitarist will show off songs from his new album, Short Stories, but don't be afraid to request some old favorites or even a tune by his buddy Loudon Wainwright.
Frequency, 9:30 pm
Stubblefield isn't just Madison's funky drummer. He's the original Funky Drummer that backed up James Brown, and his weekly gig at the Frequency is always a class act.
NOTEWORTHY: Actor Jerry Orbach dies, 2004.
BIRTHDAYS: Marvel Comics czar Stan Lee, 1922; Oscar-winning actor/hottie Denzel Washington, 1954.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Gomers provide the live karaoke backing, you provide the vocals. Here's hoping they save "Bohemian Rhapsody" for the shank of the evening.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
Jeremiah Nelson brings his carefully crafted country songs, a few cover tunes and, on some occasions, a special guest to the Willy Street watering hole for one of Madison's most consistently cool weekly events.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. troops massacre more than 300 Sioux at Wounded Knee, 1890.
BIRTHDAYS: Gravel-voiced singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull, 1946; actor Jude Law, 1972.
Brink Lounge, 7:30 pm
Local guitarist, composer and Madison Area Music Award winner Cheron will heat up this wintry Wednesday night when her trio performs some sultry jazz with a touch of the blues.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Ska and punk do a drunken slam dance when Madison's 4 Aspirin Morning take the stage. Meanwhile, Kill Junior adds metal riffs and a bit of grunge to its punk roots to rock you into submission. With Government Zero and Tiny Riots.
Frequency, 9 pm
These skilled Eau Claire indie rockers have a long list of influences that includes the Bad Plus, Death Cab for Cutie, Helmet and the Weakerthans. Learn more about the band and its debut album, An Exaltation of Laarks, in this week's Tour Stop. With Jeremiah Nelson.
Glass Nickel Pizza-Atwood, 10 pm
Eastern European music meets East Coast electrofunk in the basement of a Midwestern pizzeria. Join local five-piece the Shtetlblasters for their zany take on klezmer, the party music of Yiddish-speaking American immigrants from the late 1800s and early 1900s. With Weather Duo.
NOTEWORTHY: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics est., 1922.
BIRTHDAYS: Today host Matt Lauer, 1957; actress/comic genius Tracey Ullman, 1959.
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
Jimmie Linville, this year's winner of 105.5 Triple M's Project M songwriting contest, and his bandmates will create a chill atmosphere by playing some chillingly beautiful alt-folk tunes.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Turn off the TV, abandon the couch and prepare to rock your brains out. Local five-piece Wake & Prevail weld together several different types of metal and the most face-melting grindcore sounds they can muster. With Wall of Funk, Isodynamics and DJ Memory.
Alchemy Cafe, 10 pm
Mended from devastating injuries he suffered in a car accident earlier this year, Malian Diakite is back to fantastically funky music-making. If you're lucky, he'll play his kamele n'goni, the gourd harp that's a musical staple of his native Wassoulou region.
Natt Spil, 10 pm
Fill your belly with snacks and your brain with culture. DJ Madcoins' electronic medleys are rich with possibilities, often featuring hip-hop, early electro, soul and jazz from artists such as J Dilla, Afrika Bambaataa and Nina Simone.