Borders Books West, 7 pm
The best-selling novelist reads from Peony in Love. In 17th-century China, a repressed young girl is inspired by an opera.
Majestic Theatre, 7:30 pm
Nashville-based Barnes performs genial, R&B-inflected pop music. He built a national following via the MySpace-YouTube route, but he joined a label for his new release, Me & You & the World.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Cathy Dethmers may have saved the local rock scene four years ago when she converted part of the old Buy 'n Sell shop on East Wash into the High Noon Saloon. To mark the club's anniversary, psychedelic rockers Dead Meadow and Dark Fog roll into town.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The much-ballyhooed Detroit band play swaggering, at times soulful rock 'n' roll.
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The cofounder and editor of the epochal women's guide Our Bodies, Ourselves will discuss a new spinoff emphasizing pregnancy and birth.
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 7:30 pm
For his latest "Keyboard Conversation," the classical pianist discusses and performs music from Austria-Hungary, ranging from Liszt to Dvorák to Bartók.
Tegan and Sara
Barrymore Theater, 7:30 pm
With their exceptional 2007 album The Con, the Quin twins proved that their passionate, New Wave-influenced pop-rock is for fans of all stripes.
Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 6 pm
Robert Bluestone is a classical guitarist, wife Rebecca a fabric artist, and together they use their work to create a positive effect on patients and caregivers. They'll demonstrate the technique in a community forum/performance facilitated by medical professionals.
Walking with Dinosaurs: The Live Experience
Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 7 pm. Also Thursday, May 8, 7 pm; through May 11
A Tyrannosaurus rex, a Stegosaurus and other roaring, agile, life-size dino re-creations stomp into Madison as part of a touring show based on the BBC TV series. It traces the dinosaurs' evolution, treating wide-eyed kids and parents to the spectacle of oceans forming, volcanoes erupting and a comet striking earth.
Ben Kenney & DJ Kilmore
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Kenney and Kilmore take a break from their day jobs as bassist and turntablist, respectively, in funk metal band Incubus to shed some light on their solo projects. Hoodies optional.
Annex, 9 pm
Tantric's new CD is called The End Begins, a nod to a band overhaul that left singer Hugo Ferreira as the lone original member. They are joined on this metal-heavy bill by Nashville's Framing Hanley, Philly's Fosterchild and tiny Shullsburg, Wisconsin's Now Face West.
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 8 pm
A rootsy, mystical poet of things Southern and odd, White has his way with portentous country-folk, swampy rock, and ambient Americana on this year's Transnormal Skiperoo.