Rafael Casal and Dahlak Brathwaite
Wisconsin Historical Society auditorium, 7 pm
The California spoken-word artists will treat us to poems that range from highly personal to staggeringly political.
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 8 pm
The world-class satirist reads from his work. Expect gentle absurdity and hilarious autobiographical oddities.
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm What's all this fuss about stem cells? Get caught up as UW professor Duncan lectures on "Stem Cells 101."
Barrymore Theatre, 7 pm
Flyleaf's goth-dipped hard-rocking gets most of its flair from singer Lacey Mosley, who can keen, ululate and scream on cue. She's apt to be the next Christian rocker to break through to the mainstream in a big way.
180 UW Science Hall, 7:30 pm
The president of the Wilderness Society gives Earth-dwellers cause for hope in a talk called "From the Death of Environmentalism to the Art of the Possible."
Overture Center's Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The sitar virtuoso who helped popularize Indian music in the West tours with his daughter Anoushka, also a sitarist.
Casper & the Cookies
Cafe Montmartre, 9 pm
Casper & the Cookies play dreamy, at times childlike guitar pop, which is charming but not enormously memorable. Omaha-based Coyote Bones are the sleeper here; their eclectic indie stylings are likely to get lots of attention in the coming months.
Chazen Museum of Art, 5:30 pm The Library of Congress' Dimunation gives a talk called "Forged in Fire: Building the Nation's Rare Book Collection." He takes us all the way back to the War of 1812, when the British destroyed our original stash of rare books.
A Room of One's Own, 6 pm
The UW-Milwaukee professor and labor activist discusses her book Taking on the Big Boys: Why Feminism Is Good for Families. She's introduced by Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, who's taken on a big boy or two herself.
Cafe Montmartre, 8 pm
A gifted country troubadour of dark places and gray moods, Russell looks deep into the abyss.
A Bitter Harvest
105 UW Psychology Bldg., 7:30 pm
The lecture series focuses on "Palestine, Israel and Lebanon Forty Years After 1967." This week, Gaza journalist Laila El-Haddad discusses "Democracy, Disengagement and Destruction: The United States, Israel and the Rise of Hamas."
Chazen Museum of Art, 7:30 pm
The Princeton prof specializes in Chinese Neolithic and Bronze Age art and archeology. He'll describe a stunning archeological discovery a lecture called "An Underground Palace in Ancient China: The Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng."
Orpheum Theatre's Stage Door, 8 pm Craig Minowa and his mesmerizing electronic-jam hybrid reach for the higher ground with excellent results on the just released Meaning of 8.
The Alternate Routes
The Annex, 8 pm
Ryan Adams comes to mind as the Alternate Routes switch off between earnest heart songs and breast-thumping roots-rock anthems.
JJ Grey & Mofro
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
These guys could twist out funky Southern soul and roots-rock all night long. Openers Backyard Tire Fire bust out some mighty canny Americana that takes its cue from early Wilco.