Foundation for Young Bassists
Mills Hall in the UW Humanities Bldg., 7 pm
UW professor Richard Davis has made Madison a bass mecca. This free concert -- part of his annual bass conference -- features state-of-the-art plucking and bowing by Davis and other nationally known classical and jazz types, including Rufus Reid and Donovan Stokes.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Canada's jokey a cappella group are a Madison favorite, crooning nostalgic doo-wop and modern pop songs. Three former members join the current quartet to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first Madison show.
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (4 & 8 pm), Sunday (2 pm), Wednesday & Thursday (7:30 pm), March 22, 23, 26 & 27
The Madison Repertory Theatre presents Thomas Gibbons' play about an art-gallery director who sparks a controversy by displaying a collection of African art alongside the European masterpieces. The performances are strong, and the racial issues are treated with an honest sense of inquiry.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Bartell Theatre, 8 pm. Also Thursday (7:30 pm) & Saturday (4 & 8 pm), March 20 & 22
Strollers Theatre nails Martin McDonagh's daft satire about an Irish Republican Army soldier run amok. It's a neatly calibrated cycle of violence and absurdity -- outrageous, but very funny.
Back Door Slam
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
This rising British blues-rock trio rolls and tumbles through accomplished updates of Clapton, Hendrix and the Peter Green version of Fleetwood Mac. Singer-guitarist Davy Knowles is a star in the making.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The air will be thick with punk nostalgia when the original lineup of the L.A. melody-makers takes the stage. No doubt John Doe and Exene's vocal harmonies will elicit plenty of sing-along action from their fellow boomers. Skybombers open.
Retribution Gospel Choir
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Low's Alan Sparhawk and Matt Livingston leave slo-core behind with a loud, changeable rock thing that samples pop-friendly guitar rock and throbbing dub. Will Phalen & the Stereo Addicts and Kaspar Hauser open.
Kids in the Rotunda
Overture Center Rotunda, 9:30 am, 11 am & 1 pm
Just a few more days till school's back in session, parents. Folk musician and storyteller Corinne Rockow buys you a few hours of peace is this free performance.
Easter Hat Parade
Capitol Square, noon
The annual parade allows you to see and be seen in your fanciest or silliest hat. Kids can make hats beginning at 10:30 am at the Madison Children's Museum or Capitol Kids, 8 S. Carroll St. The parade includes stilt-walkers and musicians; bring your own noisemakers.
The Black Swans
Project Lodge, 7 pm
Honest cerebral music is hard to come by in indie-land, which is part of what makes Leonard Cohen analog Jerry DeCicca and his violin-driven trio so compelling.
Annex, 9:30 pm
Grinding noise-core is just one of Only Flesh's attractions. You can be sure a lot of folks will come for the live body suspensions and other fleshly transgressions.
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
Punk energy and a willingness to move beyond the hallowed canon of down-home string-band music have helped Virginia's high-octane Hackensaw Boys keep the back-porch vibe alive in everything they tackle. Those Poor Bastards open.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Canadian psychedelians fiddle around with some English prog, but for the most part they swirl through the tripped-out involutions of a '60s black-light poster. Birds of Avalon and Nordic Nomadic open. Unbind-your-mind pick of the week.