Summertime fun stays hot this weekend with Maxwell Street Days, the Dane County Fair, the North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, Paddle & Portage, and Opera in the Park. The calendar also includes: the return of the Found Footage Festival; the conclusion of the Madison Early Music Festival; and, more live tunes by Fort Wilson Riot, The Dwarves, Anne Heaton, Hanah Jon Taylor, John Hiatt, The Bridge, Shoeless Revolution, Southern Culture on the Skids, Eric Daub, and Theodore.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. detonates experimental plutonium bomb in desert at Alamogordo, N.M., 1945.
BIRTHDAYS: Police drummer Stewart Copeland, 1952; actress Phoebe Cates, 1963.
State Street, 8 am-6 pm. Also Saturday (8 am-6 pm) & Sunday (10 am-5 pm), July 17 & 18
Downtown merchants revive the spirit of Chicago's old Maxwell Street Market by piling the sidewalks with their wares. The people-watching is primo, the bargains can't be beat, and there's music all weekend on the 200 block of State Street.
Alliant Energy Center, through July 18
The summer staple rolls on through the weekend with more judging of animals, including sheep (Friday), goats (Saturday) and horses (Sunday). There's also a hypnotist, a carnival and, on Friday, the driving of tractors.
Madison College-Truax Campus, 10 am. Also Saturday (10 am) & Sunday (11 am), July 17 & 18
From Ottawa and Winnipeg to Tempe and Tampa, devotees of the wild pastime of bike polo meet here for the continent's big dance. Sixty-eight teams are competing in the sport, which is like polo without the messy cleanup. Read a preview of the tournament.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Amy Hager and West High alum Jacob Mullis, a.k.a. Minneapolis' Fort Wilson Riot, are bursting with passion, politics and a whole lot of talent, especially when they bring their guitars, keys and trumpets to Madison. With the Pearl & the Beard, Nester and Anna Vogelzang.
Concerts at Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Building, 7:30 pm
The annual confab of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music winds down with a performance of Beowulf by Benjamin Bagby (Friday) and a choral presentation of Tudor music (Saturday).
Frequency, 9 pm
The fire-breathing miscreants who tore up both the grunge and hardcore scenes in the late '80s and early '90s are sitting on a new album, The Dwarves Are Born Again, with which they'll tease and taunt you when they visit the Frequency. With Turbo ACs, Knuckel Drager and Admiral of Black.
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 9 pm
Former Stoughtonites Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, now veteran writers with comedy outlets like The Colbert Report and The Onion, stop by with another touring show of laughably awful video footage. This time it's a movie: Computer Beach Party.
WORLD DAY FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE
NOTEWORTHY: Disneyland opens, 1955.
BIRTHDAYS: Excellent adventurer Alex Winter, 1965; rapper M.I.A., 1977.
James Madison Park, 10 am (registration begins at 8 am)
If you can paddle a canoe or kayak real fast, and also run real fast while carrying that canoe or kayak, you're a contender for this race. It starts in Lake Mendota, proceeds on foot across the isthmus to Lake Monona, then winds up in Olin Park.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
On her latest release, Blazing Red, the Boston-based songstress evokes the power of early Tori Amos with her breathy vocals and moody keyboard playing. With Rose Polenzani and Meg Hutchinson.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
The local avant-garde sax wizard and Madison Media Institute instructor brings his latest ensemble to the Willy Street coffee shop for an evening of musical magic.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The diverse list of big-name recording artists who've covered Hiatt's tunes is impressive, ranging from Bob Dylan to Iggy Pop to Keith Urban. Hiatt's chops are nothing to sneeze at either, whether he's rocking out on the guitar, crooning or tickling the ivories. This visit to Madison will focus on songs from his latest album, The Open Road, which was released in March.
Garner Park, 8 pm
Who says you need a tuxedo for opera? In this free event, Madison Opera invites everyone to spread out lawn chairs, blankets and picnic dinners for an evening of operatic and Broadway favorites. The performance features four guest soloists, the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Opera Chorus, all under the direction of John DeMain. It also includes a preview of Madison Opera's upcoming season at Overture Center (where, sadly, you can't bring a picnic dinner).
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
After winning the Baltimore City Paper's Best Band in Baltimore award in 2005, this six-piece took their tunes to the high seas as part of Jam Cruise, a wintertime music fest on a cruise ship. Though they've given up their sea legs, they're bound to get your land legs dancing to a hippie-approved blend of folk, funk, blues and bluegrass.
Orpheum Theatre, 10 pm
The Twin Cities rock band is originally from La Crosse, and Dave Matthews seems to be their biggest influence. Whether this is a revolution is up for debate, but their three-piece horn section and sizzling tempos are bound to put the crowd in celebration mode. With Roster McCabe.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
These silly North Carolinians don't just sing about fried chicken and dancing; they've been known to toss the finger-lickin' treat into the audience and invite fans onstage to shake their cabooses. Combine this with melodies that range from surf rock to rockabilly, and you've got the recipe for a picnic gone wild. With Whiskey Daredevils.
BIRTHDAYS: Leather-clad Village People biker Glenn Hughes, 1950; actress Elizabeth McGovern, 1961.
Farley's House of Pianos, 7:30 pm
The west-side piano outlet and intimate performance space hosts pianist Daub, a music professor at Texas Lutheran University and a UW graduate. He performs Beethoven's "32 Variations on an Original Theme," selections from Frederico Mompou's "Impresiones íntimas," Schubert's "Sonata in A Minor" and Ernesto Lecuona's "Andalucía."
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
This St. Louis band combine romantic, alt-country leanings with pouty, surly moments that occasionally erupt into sonic violence. With a Daytrotter session and two new CDs (Hold You Like a Lover and Dust From 1000 Years) under their belts, they're likely to get a lot more well-deserved attention in the months to come. With New Mountain Kickers.