The end of the year approaches, and with it the remaining few weeks of the fall arts season. The calendar includes: talks by Steven Nadler, Ron Chernow, Anthony Shadid, and Ethan Canin; live music from Hypel, the UW Jazz Orchestra, Here Come the Mummies, and Koffin Kats; standup by James Adomian; the latest edition of Chick Singer Night; and, the Isthmus Band to Band Combat finals.
NOTEWORTHY: Beatles alumnus/Traveling Wilbury George Harrison dies, 2001.
BIRTHDAYS: Filmmaker Joel Coen, 1954; actor Don Cheadle, 1964.
NOTEWORTHY: Oscar Wilde dies, 1900; President Clinton signs Brady Bill, 1993.
BIRTHDAYS: Playwright David Mamet, 1947; actor/filmmaker Ben Stiller, 1965.
Frequency, 9 pm
The Minneapolis hip-hop artist's name stands for "hope, youth, power and everlasting life," and his forthcoming debut, My Name Is HYPEL, This Is My Story, is a personal tale told through beats and rhyme. Listen for hints of Common and Eminem as he flows from one keen observation to the next. With MC Starr, Cincere, Unfit to Print and Generation's Field.
WORLD AIDS DAY
NOTEWORTHY: Rosa Parks arrested in Montgomery, Ala., for refusing to give up her bus seat, 1955.
BIRTHDAYS: Comedian/actress Sarah Silverman, 1970.
Focus on the Humanities: Steven Nadler
Chazen Museum of Art, 5:30 pm
The UW philosophy professor talks about "Spinoza, the First Amendment and the Obama Administration" in this UW Center for the Humanities lecture. The 17th-century philosopher had particular views on toleration; there's never anything wrong with brushing up your Spinoza.
Borders Books West, 7 pm
The writer of popular biographies has earned huzzahs for books about American titans like Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Now he has come out with Washington: A Life, about one of the most titanic titans of all, George Washington. It's bound to make every best-of list this year.
UW Jazz Orchestra
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
New York saxophonist Matt Hong and UW prof Les Thimmig join the university's 17-piece big band for another event in the year-long tribute to jazz pioneer Mary Lou Williams. The group will perform, among other things, tunes Williams composed for Benny Goodman's orchestra.
Here Come the Mummies
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
This band of mummy-costumed musicians will blow your mind with their fantastically funky jams, but they'll never show you their faces. Find out why in this week's Tour Stop.
Annex, 10 pm
No one does spooky, self-loathing psychobilly quite like Detroit's Koffin Kats, who started out as a joke seven years ago but have gone on to release five studio albums. Expect to hear quite a few tunes from 2009's Forever for Hire at this show. With the Few, Operation Stillborn, Whiskey Pig and Venus in Furs.
BIRTHDAYS: Angelic actress Lucy Liu, 1968; singer Britney Spears, 1981.
UW Pyle Center, 4:30 pm
The Pulitzer-winning New York Times correspondent talks about "The Truths We Tell: Reporting on Faith, War and the Fate of Iraq." The event is presented by UW's Center for Journalism Ethics and the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions. Shadid graduated from the UW and also interned a little ol' newspaper called Isthmus. We are proud.
6191 Helen C. White Hall, 7 pm
Canin gave up a medical career to write such well-regarded novels as For Kings and Planets and America America and teach at the venerable Iowa Writers' Workshop. He'll read from his work.
Frequency, 8 pm
It's the rare appearance of a touring comedian on the Frequency's stage as Last Comic Standing finalist Adomian does his thing. He's a noteworthy impressionist who's made numerous appearances as George W. Bush on The Late Late Show. With Alan Talaga, Joanne Poniatowski and David Leon.
Chick Singer Night
Brink Lounge, 8 pm
The latest edition of Beth Kille's lady-musician showcase will feature piano pop by Shawni Marks, Ida Jo's fiery fiddling and the clubby creations of East High student Kaya Rosenthal, who's been working with Madison's Paradyme Studios while chasing stardom in L.A. Also playing: Briana Hardyman, Lyndsay Evans and Anna Vogelzang.
Isthmus Band to Band Combat Finals
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Watch and marvel as local bands Crane Your Swan Neck, Lucas Cates Band, the media. and Sleeping in the Stereo compete for the affections of Madison music fans. The winner gets 20 fun-filled hours of studio time at Madison Music Foundry's cool new Blast House Studios, plus a full year of bragging rights.