Sing It Loud
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 7 pm
Back home in the Twin Cities, Epitaph-backed pop-rockers Sing It Loud debuted their buoyant new CD before their distaff teenage following at the Mall of America. This venue should seem downright microscopic in comparison. You Me & Everyone We Know and Take Cover open.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
Affable Boston-based power popper Chris Trapper (ex-Push Stars) showcases material from his next solo CD. Another good reason to attend: donations to the Joel Marino scholarship fund will be accepted at the door.
Madison Symphony Orchestra
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2:30 pm), Sept. 27 & 28
As the season kicks off, maestro John DeMain observes 15 years with the orchestra. To celebrate the occasion, pianist Garrick Ohlsson tackles Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto No. 3," the Wisconsin Ironman of piano concerti. Also on the program: Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 4," a.k.a. the Italian symphony, and Ottorino Respighi's "Pines of Rome."
War of the Worlds
Mitchell Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday, Sept. 27, 7:30 pm
University Theatre begins its season with a staging of Orson Welles' radio classic (based on the H.G. Wells novel) about Martians invading New Jersey and blowing stuff up real good. Welles scared the bejeezus out of the nation with his 1938 broadcast; with any luck University Theatre will scare the bejeezus out of the East Campus Mall.
Li Chiao-Ping Dance Company
H'Doubler Performance Space in UW Lathrop Hall, 8 pm. Also Thursday (8 pm) & Saturday (2 & 8 pm), Sept. 25 & 27
The UW dance program's Li presents "Points of Departure," a 1990 work she set to Steve Reich's "Different Trains." Also on the bill are "ETA Movements" and "Home on the Range," which is accompanied by the music of country singer Hank Williams, the drifter himself.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8 pm
If the weather holds up, expect these polished funk- and reggae-loving fusioneers to get plenty of undergrads up on the Terrace's alfresco dance floor. Mike Droho, Polydream, and Pearl Snap Saturday also appear.
Run, Faggot, Run
Broom Street Theater, 8 pm. Also Saturday (8 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Sept. 27 & 28
In the Willy Street troupe's seasonally appropriate latest, a blue-collar everyman's run for the presidency is hampered by the fact that he is a closeted gay. Remember, a faggot is a bundle of sticks.
Annex, 9 pm
The debauched Milwaukee-based industrialists pound and rage in the tradition of Marilyn Manson. So be sure to wear your favorite vinyl outfit, and show off those new piercings while you're at it. Cleobury, Lucid Prophecy and Mute Grey open.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Okay, so having more than a dozen lead singers take the stage at your gigs may seem kind of gimmicky. But Boston hard rockers Bang Camaro use the extra voices to take basic metal and AC/DC-style grinding to another level. It's little wonder they've found a place in both Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Road Agent Spin and Leslie open. Cold-one-in-a-can pick of the week.
UW Memorial Union Rathskeller, 4 pm
The internationally acclaimed post-rock instrumentalists haven't come to town in quite some time, which makes their headlining spot at the Snake on the Lake Festival that much more enticing. Damien Jurado, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Awesome Color, El Valiente, and the Pistols at Dawn also appear at WSUM-FM's free fete.
Pipers on the Prairie
Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 4:30 pm
The worthy center holds a fund-raiser featuring music by the Celtic Brigade Pipe Band and Madison Pipes & Drums. There will be fancy food and drink and a gigantic bonfire, to say nothing of those blasting bagpipes. They get the blood flowing.
Creating Buddhas: The Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas
Deer Park Buddhist Center, Oregon, 8 pm
Madison documentary filmmaker Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost profiles an American textile artist who mastered the craft of thangkas, Tibetan Buddhism's embroidered and painted banners. The film also will be shown at the Shambhala Center of Madison Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 pm.
First United Methodist Church, 8 pm
The folk legend doesn't come around here very often. But the man who wrote Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton's 1968 smash "The Last Thing On My Mind" is always welcome.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
A smooth R&B and soul singer with an ear for choosing material that flatters his expressive tenor, Broussard isn't in Stevie's or Marvin's league. Nonetheless, he's a would-be superstar, and the just-released Keep Coming Back is certain to set the mood for tens of thousands of spooning sessions over the next few years.
Cafe Montmartre, 9:30 pm
In recent years, the veteran Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden has had a lot of success charming NPR listeners in search of an indie take on mellow folk-rock. And, frankly, "Where and When," a mopey would-be hit off his 2008 CD In Field & Town has a ramshackle grace about it that's hard to resist. Marty Finkel opens.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
'Round these parts, Natty Nation (who celebrate the release of a new CD) set the standard for reggae acts who mean to bring a "roots" sound to a wider audience. Tonight they get some help from openers Urban Empress & the Urbanites and the Tropical Riddims Sound System.
The Bar Time Lovers
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
There's a place for early blues-rock proponent Jim Schwall in all the histories of rock music. Tonight the Madison-based blues man adds another chapter to his impressive career when he debuts his new band.
World/Inferno Friendship Society
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The punk-shaded cabaret orchestra adds some multimedia material to its stage show this time out as it expands upon last year's inspired CD about the lasting influence of bug-eyed film great Peter Lorre. The Gusto open.