Hot Rod Power Tour
Alliant Energy Center South Lot. Also Saturday, June 14
Thousands of hot rods, street rods, custom trucks and sports compacts from around the world gleam and roar on the Alliant lot. Ogle all you want, but scratch the finish and you die.
Reptile Palace Orchestra
Capital Brewery in Middleton, 6 pm
The Reptiles slither and squirm through their Balkan grooves and other eclectic fare as you quaff a cold one in the early evening sun. Freebie of the week.
Queer Shorts 3
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm), Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 12, 14 & 15
StageQ, Madison's LGBT theater troupe, presents its annual festival of short plays. The 11 one-acts were culled from almost 300 submissions from around the country, all of them offering a take on love.
Inferno, 9 pm
Dragdown swagger through a set of their burly metal to celebrate the release of a new CD. Rictus Grin and the Surrealia Divide also appear.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 9:30 pm
The series screens short indie films each Friday in June on MMoCA's rooftop sculpture garden. This week's program features experimental films by the late Helen Hill.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Thanks to their anxious, upwelling anthems, the Scottish indie-rockers ought to make plenty of new friends down at the Terrace tonight. Oxford Collapse also appears.
The Big Event
Having topped Money magazine's "100 Best Places to Live" in 2007, Middleton's got a reputation to uphold. So here we have the first annual Big Event, featuring events throughout the community: kids' activities, runs and walks, and a blowout concert (3:30-9:30 pm) at Airport Road and Deming Way. The show features the BoDeans, blues singer Koko Taylor, Clyde Stubblefield and the Stellanovas, followed by fireworks.
Cambridge Pottery Festival and U.S. Pottery Games
Lake Ripley Park in Cambridge, 9 am-5 pm. Also Sunday, June 15, 10 am-4 pm
The free event features works by 47 potters from around the country, as well as timed competitions that pit them against one another. Workshops and a learning center allow you to get your hands dirty too.
Penn Park, 10 am onward
Juneteenth celebrates the freeing of the last African American slaves in 1865. The Madison celebration kicks off with a 10 am parade starting at Fountain of Life, 655 W. Badger Rd., and proceeds to Penn Park for an event looking back to Martin Luther King and forward to Barack Obama.
Farmers' Market Concert
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 11 am
The Madison Symphony Orchestra's amazing 4,000-pipe organ won't sit silent over the summer -- yay! Pianist Stephen Nielsen joins MSO organist Samuel Hutchison in this free 45-minute concert.
Jazz in the Park
Wingra Park, 2:30-8 pm
The free event in one of Madison's prettiest spots features El Clan Destino and Glenn Davis & the Blues Commissioners with Westside Andy.
Showdown: Rockabilly Hot Rod Show
Inferno, 3 pm
The price of admission buys a chance to eyeball candy-colored hot rods, frisky burlesque queens and a half-dozen bands that add a frisson of menace to their rockabilly and garage rock. Knuckel Drager, Three Blue TearDrops, Mad Trucker Gone Mad, Honeybees, the Boneyard Brawlers, the Rebuilts and Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies are all scheduled to appear.
The Ghost Is Dancing Project Lodge, 7 pm
This big, Toronto-based indie-rock express crams into the Project Lodge to showcase its clever, upbeat, at times chaotic pop tunes. Although the band touches on some of the same territory as Arcade Fire, it definitely works its own brand of magic.
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday, June 15, Taliesen in Spring Green, 7:30 pm
The local chamber music group have become a summer resident of the Overture Center -- a well-deserved honor, given their excellent musicianship and uniquely playful approach to serious material. The first concert of the three-week series features typically diverse repertoire, including Mozart's "Violin Sonata in E Minor," K. 305; Debussy's sonata for cello and piano; and two works by rising young composer Kevin Puts.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm
Shakespeare's lost-in-the forest masterpiece is a perfect choice for APT's sylvan setting. The production is directed by Bill Brown, a Chicagoan with a knack for comedy.
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Nottingham Cooperative, 8 pm
Thanks to Jasmine Dreame Wagner's eerie, half-whispered vocals, CNC's airy psych-folk seems to descend from the spirit world. Geronimo and Zola Jesus open.
Annex, 8 pm
Nearly a decade on, the rap-metal stalwarts are interspersing melodic, funk-flavored hard rock with their more predictable bass-heavy grooves. Hatefist and Vendetta open.
This World Fair
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
After landing an aching pop-rock ballad on the Disturbia soundtrack, the melodic Twin Cities alt-rockers are on a mission to capture the hearts and minds of sorority sisters everywhere. Weaver at the Loom and Filligar open.