The Marqutte Waterfront Festival
Isthmus Jazz Festival
UW Memorial Union, 5 pm-midnight. Also Thursday (5 pm-midnight), Saturday (5 pm-midnight) & Sunday (11 am-3 pm), June 7, 9 & 10
Isthmus' annual jazz extravaganza offers four days of free concerts on the Terrace by some of Madison's finest players, including Richard Davis, Roscoe Mitchell, Jan Wheaton, Gerri DiMaggio, Madisalsa and Hanah Jon Taylor. It also features a ticketed concert by international sensation Madeleine Peyroux, a bluesy singer who makes an art of melancholy (Saturday, June 9, Wisconsin Union Theater, 8:30 pm). See IsthmusJazzFestival.com for more information.
Hometown USA Festival
June 7-10, Hometown Park in Verona
Verona's festival emphasizes small-town camaraderie, with a carnival, a parade and bingo. Only the dunk tank has the potential to spoil the good vibrations.
Booked for Murder, 6 pm
The mystery author reads from the latest in his celebrated Joe Pickett series, Free Fire. This time, the resourceful game warden investigates a murder in Yellowstone.
Wisconsin Union Galleries
UW Memorial Union, through July 24. Reception: 7-9 pm
A new set of exhibitions includes a retrospective of Santos Zingale, who taught at the UW and painted iconic images of the Union Terrace.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Never one to back away from highly personal subjects, the veteran singer-songwriter deals with the loss of her father and the inevitable changes that come with the passing of time on her subtle new CD, Over the Hills. The opener is another fixture of the fecund East Coast acoustic scene, pop-rock-friendly tunesmith Ellis Paul.
Wisconsin Wrights New Play Project
Hemsley Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Thursday & Saturday, June 7 & 9, 7:30 pm
The UW and the Madison Rep join forces for staged readings of three plays that won a statewide contest. Expect meaty drama from Greg Lawless' The Queen of Janesville (Thursday), Kurt McGinnis Brown's Recovering the Real Me (Friday) and Bruce Murphy's Normal Human Beings (Saturday).
Bartell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (2 & 7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), June 9 & 10
Madison Theatre Guild presents a revue based on Tom Lehrer's comic songs, satirizing romance ("Masochism Tango"), the arms race ("Who's Next?") and school spirit ("Fight Fiercely, Harvard").
The Long Christmas Ride Home
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), & Thursday (8 pm), June 9, 10 & 14
Mercury Players Theatre presents Paula Vogel's puppet play for adults, chronicling a disastrous family holiday. Vogel illuminates the wretched dynamics that lie beneath a Hallmark Card faade.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 9:30 pm
The series screens short films each Friday in June, inviting cinema buffs to set up blankets or chairs on MMoCA's rooftop sculpture garden. This week's theme is "The Strange World of Science Fiction," including Chris Marker's La Jetée and J.J. Murphy's Science Fiction.
Marquette Waterfront Festival
Yahara Place Park. Also Sunday, June 12
The fest offers food, sports and entertainment with a beauteous lakefront backdrop. The typically amazing musical lineup includes Kali Kalor, New York City's Forró for All, the Kissers and many others.
Parade of Homes
11 am-5 pm. Also Sundays (11 am-5 pm) & Mondays-Fridays (3-8 pm), through June 24
With this tour, the Madison Area Builders Association provokes oohs and ahhs and a fair amount of envy. You can see homes at Blackhawk (Madison), Wolf Hollow (Windsor) and the Southbridge Blue Ridge Addition (Waunakee). For details, visit www.maba.org.
Los Tigres del Norte
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, 7 pm
The platinum-selling band have revolutionized Mexican-American music with their accordion-soaked songs about immigration and the culture of drug smuggling.
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Pre-concert chat: 6:45
Every summer, the local chamber ensemble features an unbeatable combination: topnotch musicianship and a playful approach to performance. Over the next three weeks, each concert will have a theme, the first being "Rebel with a Cause," featuring rule-breaking works by Brahms, Beethoven, Ian Krouse and Ernst Bloch.
Wisconsin Pop Explosion!
King Club, 9 pm
This loose collective has promoted shows and recordings by local indie types. With key members moving on, there will be just one more explosion scheduled after this talent-rich celebration of Madison music featuring the Nervous System, the Grizzlies and the Pale Young Gentlemen.
The New Up
Orpheum Theatre, 9 pm
Front woman ES Pitcher sometimes sounds a whole lot like Siouxsie Sioux, mixing seduction and menace with gothic grace in the New Up's smoldering, post-punk-brushed dance-rock. Fever Marlene opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Sometimes dour, sometimes remarkably expressive, the New York-based band manage to pretty up Nick Cave, add some juice to Leonard Cohen and make modern composition accessible to the club crowd. They're already a critical success here and in Europe, and their excellent new album, Boxer, should only add to their reputation for making exceptional music. Shapes & Sizes and Talkdemonic also appear.
Cameron McGill & the Quartet Offensive
Café Montmartre, 10 pm
Chicago-based singer-songwriter McGill doesn't just sing his probing, literate folk-rock, he inhabits it. A masterful moodist, he really ought to be exposed to a much wider audience. For this gig, he appears with a string quartet.
Mounds Dog Fest
Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island, 10 am-3 pm
Pooches and their owners gather en masse for activities, contests and demonstrations. Come! Come!
Amy X. Neuberg
Cafe Montmartre, 8:30 pm
Neuberg, an engaging Oakland-based avant-cabaret performer, makes full use of looping and electronics to turn her elastic vocal work into a complex sonic tapestry. She's at home on both prog-influenced material and art music. The duo Beatrix*JAR opens and also hosts a workshop on circuit bending (6 pm), which uses creative short-circuiting to add new dimensions to effects pedals and other electronic gear.