Spring is right around the corner, and Madison gears up for the changing season with the International Festival; talks by Michael Smith and Renee D'Aoust; standup by Gabriel Iglesias; productions of The Irving Berlin Songbook, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and the Beatles tribute show RAIN; performances by Arto Jarvela with Kaivama, and the Oakwood Chamber Players; a kids show by Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players; and, much more live music from Breathe Owl Breathe, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nic Cowan, Vaski, Yelawolf, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men with Sam Llanas, Steez, The Brew, Riders in the Sky, Yonder Mountain String Band, Banner Pilot with Kurt Baker, Faux Firs with Solitary Ape and Animals in Human Attire, and Robert Sarazin Blake.
NOTEWORTHY: Dusty Springfield dies, 1999.
Arto Jarvela, Kaivama
Grace Episcopal Church, 7 pm
Jarvela, a master of the Finnish fiddle who served as an artist-in-residence at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, plays the music of his country in another of the church's Grace Presents concerts. He's joined by the Finnish-Americn combo Kaivama.
The Irving Berlin Songbook
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), March 3 & 4
Four Seasons Theatre presents a revue of tunes by the great American master of songcraft, whom we can thank for "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "White Christmas" and an infinitude of others. Does the show include our personal favorite, "A Couple of Swells," from Easter Parade? Fingers crossed.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
UW Vilas Hall's Mitchell Theatre, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, March 3, 7:30 pm
University Theatre presents August Wilson's play about the titular blues legend (see Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."
Breathe Owl Breathe Steep Canyon Rangers Nic Cowan Vaski Yelawolf Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men, Sam Llanas Steez Saturday 3.3 International Festival Michael Smith Oakwood Chamber Players The Brew Riders in the Sky Gabriel Iglesias Yonder Mountain String Band Banner Pilot, Kurt Baker Faux Firs, Solitary Ape, Animals in Human Attire Sunday 3.4 Justin Roberts & the Not Ready For Naptime Players Renee D'Aoust Robert Sarazin Blake
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Far from the lights and sounds of the big city, this band of small-town Michiganders crafts dreamy tunes that lures indie rockers into folk territory. Their latest project, The Listeners/These Train Tracks, pairs an original children's book with a handful of new songs. Find out more in this week's
First United Methodist Church, 8 pm
You may know this North Carolina bluegrass combo as the band accompanying comedy great Steve Martin on his recent banjo excursions. They're also fine pickers in their own right.
Regent Street Retreat Stage, 9 pm
This Zac Brown protégé hits the campus-area stage with his soulful Southern rock sound. With Brian Collins Band, Mojo Radio.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
This purveyor of electro-driven dubstep has left his Minneapolis home to introduce three continents to his latest sonic creations. Remind him why the Midwest rules as he turns the Majestic into a riot of beats and bass.
Barrymore Theatre, 9 pm
In addition to collaborating with rhyme-slinging celebs like Eminem and Missy Elliott, this energetic rapper has recently appeared on the small screen with singer Christina Milian, in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. See if the gig has bolstered his stage presence. With Carnage the Executioner, Sincere Life and DJ Vilas Park Sniper.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
After a set by BoDeans album Sam Llanas, Alvin showcases his latest album, Eleven Eleven, which is a guitar-powered fusion of country blues, mountain tunes and catchy lyrics.
UW Union South Sett, 11:55 pm
This funk-loving five-piece just finished recording a new album at Blast House Studios, which they're bound to preview at this free, all-ages dance party.
NOTEWORTHY: L.A. cops beat Rodney King, 1991.
Overture Center, 11 am-5 pm
Overture stages its wondrous, free annual event, which celebrates Madison's diverse cultures with food, a craft bazaar and seven stages hosting dozens of local acts representing world traditions, from Atimevu Drum & Dance to Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers.
Rainbow Bookstore, 2 pm
The attorney and author discusses the book he wrote with Michael Rattner, Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away with Murder, which says the Johnson administration had a hand in the death of the famous revolutionary.
Oakwood Village-West Auditorium, 7 pm. Also Sunday, March 4, UW Arboretum Visitor Center, 1:30 pm
The local ensemble performs music of Charles De Wailly (1730-1798), Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900), and Gwyneth Walker (1947-) in a program called "Aubade."
Redamte Coffee House, 7:30 pm
This quartet of Massachusetts dwellers stops by State Street's newest java joint to show off their new drummer and serve up their latest blend of radio-friendly pop and rock, a three-disc collection called Triptych. With Matthew Santos.
Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm
These Grammy-winning cowboys reach deep into the western tradition, drawing inspiration from folks like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers as they woo ears and tickle funny bones.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 8 pm
The comic brings his "I'm not fat...I'm fluffy" shtick to the big campus stage.
Orpheum Theatre, 8:30 pm
In addition to playing progressive bluegrass, this lively ensemble has started organizing music festivals that have drawn big-name performers such as Béla Fleck and Railroad Earth. Hit this show to see what they've learned from their idols.
Frequency, 9 pm
Fans of Dillinger Four and Jawbreaker can get their punk fix as this quartet of bookish lads unfurl their newest album, Collapser. Crooner Kurt Baker warms up the stage with tunes influenced by melody masters like Elvis Costello and Joey Ramone. With Masked Intruder and #9 Hard.
Dragonfly Lounge, 9:30 pm
Three fur-themed Wisconsin bands join forces to warm rock fans in the cool confines of Bellini's basement.
NOTEWORTHY: John Lennon suggests Beatles "are more popular than Jesus," 1966.
High Noon Saloon, 1 pm
Chicago-based singer and songwriter Roberts performs pleasant, indie-rock-inflected kids' music (kindie music, in the parlance). Tunes like "Stay-At-Home Dad" prove he has his finger on the pulse of parenting trends.
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The dancer and author, who trained at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, talks about her new book, Body of a Dancer, about the wild world of New York-based modern dance in the 1990s.
Indie Coffee, 7 pm
Though he hails from Bellingham, Wash., this folky speed strummer will fit right in here in Madison as he spikes his tunes with punk, Celtic rock and lyrics that celebrate the tenets of modern-day anarchism.
Steep Canyon Rangers
Dave Alvin & the Guilty Men, Sam Llanas
Oakwood Chamber Players
Riders in the Sky
Yonder Mountain String Band
Banner Pilot, Kurt Baker
Faux Firs, Solitary Ape, Animals in Human Attire
Justin Roberts & the Not Ready For Naptime Players
Robert Sarazin Blake