Krish Mohan

Krish Monan brings his Empathy on Sale show to Art Bar on Tuesday.

Wednesday 16

Former Yonder Mountain String Band singer/mandolin player Jeff Austin released his first solo album in 2015. It wasn’t bluegrass. Many didn’t like it. He knows that. So he’s created an all-acoustic namesake band that can fire up that bluegrass pickin’ with the best of them. The band doesn’t have an album out yet, but it’ll be bringing improv-heavy newgrass to The Senate to show the bluegrass purists that Austin can still get it done. Showtime is 8 p.m. with Fireside Collective opening, and tickets are $18 ($15 in advance). Visit thesenatecolumbia.com for more info. — Vincent Harris

The 3rd annual Katrina’s Kids Music Benefit supports the work that the nonprofit does in providing foster kids with after-school and summer enrichment activities that they so often miss, from music lessons to basketball camp. For a $50 donation, you get to rub shoulders with other do-gooders and take in a set from South Carolina musical statesmen The Blue Dogs, whose patented blend of beachy alt-country warmth and pop affability will be well-served at the Club Lounge at Spirit Communications Park. The benefit runs from 6  to 9 p.m. Head to katrinaskidssc.com to find out more. — Kyle Petersen  

Thursday 17

Before it was a boutique hotel, Claussen’s Inn was a bakery that was a key figure in Five Points and made significant contributions to the commercial and industrial development of Columbia. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been empty since the hotel closed in late 2017; today, Historic Columbia offers a behind-the-scenes tour before it reopens as boutique condominiums. Pay special attention to those baller original hardwood floors. The tour starts at 6 p.m.; admission is $50. Visit historiccolumbia.org for more information. — Patrick Wall

Friday 18

It’s still a month with an R in it, so River Rat Brewery — which coincidentally has a lot of R’s in its name — is throwing oysters on the fire to coax everyone out of the house on a Friday night. Smoked barbecue, a few fixin’s and, of course, plenty of craft beer will be on tap for the occasion. Tickets for the evening are $40 per person and can be bought through Eventbrite. — April Blake

With the celebration and salon recognizing the finalists for its Artist of the Year awards, The Jasper Project offers a choice sampler of some of the best and most vital sounds Columbia has to offer — from the haunted country spectres of E.Z. Shakes’ Zach Seibert to the colorful grit of beatmaker MIDIMarc to the wowing instrumental skills of guitarist Marina Alexandra and drummer Tony Lee. The night will also serve notice that the city’s poetry (Libby Bernardin and Monifa Lemons will read) and theater and storytelling (Darion McCloud will spin yarns) scenes also boast inviable talents. Hors d’oeuvres by chef Joe Turkaly and an open beer and wine bar will be included in the $15 admission ($40 VIP). Festivities run from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Seibels House. More info available at jasperproject.org. — Jordan Lawrence

Saturday 19

Set in a Rome whose papal rule has been disrupted by the invasion of Napoleon, Tosca is sparked by the efforts of a not so ethical chief of police using the plight of an escaped prisoner as an opportunity to steal the woman he wants away from her artist. You know, opera stuff. Take in all the complicated drama and resounding singing of Puccini’s celebrated classic as Palmetto Opera brings its production to the Koger Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $45. Find more info at kogercenterforthearts.com. — Jordan Lawrence

Sunday 20

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, but Freedom Rings: A Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. needed a bigger stage on a Sunday night. Hosted by the University of South Carolina in partnership with the Auntie Karen Foundation at the Booker T. Washington Auditorium on campus, the event will feature excerpts from King’s “Beloved Community” speech and gospel music from, among others, singer John Lakin and rapper Big Redd along with spoken word from The Watering Hole collective and a smattering of other performers. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m.. Tickets are $5 for USC students and $10 for everybody else. Head to sc.edu to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

We are not going for the easy joke here, where we say that Colonial Life Arena will have PBR this weekend and then we pretend not to realize that it stands for Professional Bull Riders, and not inexpensive beer. And that is because what these people do, trying to stay atop an angry, snorting, bucking bull for eight seconds to achieve fame and fortune, scares the crap out of us and we respect them too much. The bulls, we mean. The mean bovine fun for the whole family starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $18. Find more info at coloniallifearena.com. — Vincent Harris

Man, the South Carolina State Museum is not messing around with Lunar Eclipse Night. In addition to the eclipse viewing in the museum’s observatory at 11:41-ish p.m., the museum will be pulling out all the moon-related stops, putting on a laser-light show set to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon, 4D screenings of The Martian and Ice Age: No Time For Nuts, and keeping all four floors of exhibits open after hours. The whole party begins at 5 p.m. General admission is $5; museum members get in free. Visit scmuseum.org for more info. — Vincent Harris

Monday 21

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Columbia Museum of Art’s Friends of African American Art & Culture group honors the revered reverend and civil rights leader today with In Celebration of Dreamers, a day of art, culture and community that features craft projects, wellness stations, artist-led workshops, music, performances, gallery tours, food vendors and more. The celebration of Dr. King’s dream runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; admission is free. Martin had a dream: Visit columbiamuseum.org for more information. — Patrick Wall

Tuesday 22

The phrases “socially conscious” and “stand-up comedy” don’t always work well together, but those are the two threads that comedian Krish Mohan will attempt to bring together with his Empathy on Sale show at Art Bar. Mohan ties together commentary on Native American culture, education reform and our culture’s obsession with war and violence, a host of hot-button issues that he bathes in satire to make us think and, hopefully, laugh. Showtime is 8 p.m., and there’s a $5 suggested donation. Visit artbarsc.com for more info. — Vincent Harris

Author and “blue-collar historian” Tom Poland documents the disappearing rural and folk traditions of South Carolina and eastern Georgia with a voice somewhere between newspaper columnist and general store front porch raconteur. He’s got two events at the Newberry Opera House today — an 11 a.m. educational event entitled Lost Traditions of the South and a 7 p.m. author talk on SC Backroads followed by a book signing. Admission is free (although seating is limited at the former event). Head to newberryoperahouse.com to find out more. — Kyle Petersen

Wednesday 23

Bringing sincerity to jazz, serenity to R&B and adventurousness to Christian gospel, Damien Sneed’s background makes his We Shall Overcome program make total sense. Per the event description, the celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. will weave together sounds from across the African-American musical repertoire — from traditional and modern gospel to classical jazz and Broadway — with spoken word and recorded speeches from King. We Shall Overcome makes its lone South Carolina tour stop at the Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, returning Sneed to the area where he earned his orchestral conducting degree at the University of South Carolina. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show cost between $25 and $30. More info available at harbisontheatre.org. — Jordan Lawrence

Find more things to do at free-times.com/events.

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