Borders West, 7 pm
Larson discusses Thunderstruck, the follow-up to his nonfiction hit The Devil in the White City. It combines the stories of an Edwardian-era genius (Guglielmo Marconi) and murderer (Hawley Crippen).
Kelly Joe Phelps
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Whether picking a banjo, guiding a slide down a guitar neck or concentrating on the words of a poignant story-song, the blues/roots virtuoso always dazzles.
Annex, 8 pm
The squeaky voiced MC leavens another grinding week of war, mayhem and Bush 43 with his swaggering nerdcore.
B-Side 25th Anniversary Party
High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
Feisty record stores like B-Side helped independents secure a place for themselves in a music landscape once dominated by corporate giants. The Runners Up and MaeRae provide the party's soundtrack.
Legacies of Al-Andalus
For its Humanities Festival, the UW's Center for the Humanities focuses on Al-Andalus (800-1492), the kingdom on the Spanish Peninsula that contained communities of Muslims, Jews and Christians. Among the highlights: Northwestern University's Regina Schwartz discussing "The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism" (Tuesday, UW Pyle Center, 7:30 pm) and the King's Noyse performing music from Renaissance Spain and its colonies in the New World (Wednesday, Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 7:30 pm)
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The thoroughly professional songsmith just scored a slot on Grey's Anatomy with his mood piece "Breathe in, Breathe Out." He dabbles in hip-hop, but Coldplay-esque stuff is what will put him over the top.
Barrymore Theatre, 8:30 pm
Some of the indie hip-hop kids who first cheered on Atmosphere as Slug splayed out his life in rhyme have kids of their own now. Imagine that. The indispensable DJ Ant works underneath with help from a backing band.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 7 pm
The director of the Center on the United States and Europe discusses the current state of the war on terror, as well as the status of Islam in Europe and the rest of the world.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
The hardcore punk-turned-raconteur grapples with the issues of the day and other stuff that bugs him in his current spoken-word tour, "Provoked."
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The harmonizing folk vets recall the halcyon days of Simon & Garfunkel.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Mason's productive years with Traffic get the most ink, but his creative friendships with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac and a spate of underappreciated solo recordings also underscore how much this still vital singer-guitarist contributed to the high rock era.
Best of Urban Theater
Brink Lounge, 4:30 pm
John Urban's long-running TV showcase of local acts celebrates the release of a compilation CD. Mike Massey and Bascom Hill provide the tunes.
Spotlight Film & Video
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
MMoCA's series of cutting-edge film showcases Syndromes and a Century by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who imagines his parents' lives before they were lovers.
Barnes & Noble West, 7 pm
The local entrepreneur is the founder of the Guild, an online source for art and crafts. She discusses her new book, The Artful Home, about decorating with art.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
The ultimate hippie folksinger, Guthrie is as affable a performer as you're likely come across. This year marks the 40th anniversary of his career-making story-song "Alice's Restaurant."
That 1 Guy
Annex, 9 pm
The dynamic one-man-band coaxes some astonishing electronic pop, metal and prog from the magic pipe, an intriguing instrument of his own design.
Eyedea & Abilities
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Freestyle maniac Eyedea and fellow Minnesotan DJ Abilities enjoy a funky symbiosis whenever they get together.