The Madison arts scene isn't showing any signs of slowing down during these dog days of summer. The calendar includes: The Magic Lantern Show; Exits and Entrances at APT; a reading by Susanna Daniel; the opening Jazz at 5 of the summer; a burlesque and bluegrass pairing with Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies and the New Mountain Kickers; and, more live music from Jeremy Messersmith, Achille Lauro, Rooney, Taylor Hicks, and John Statz.
NOTEWORTHY: Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia dies, 1995.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Melanie Griffith, 1957; singer/reality-TV star Whitney Houston, 1963.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The local variety show inspired by The Dick Cavett Show, the program that gave The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson a run for its money in the early '70s, will feature vintage commercials and chitchat with local rock band Cait & the Girls, whose new album is due to drop shortly.
NOTEWORTHY: Magellan probe lands on Venus, 1990.
BIRTHDAYS: Actress Rosanna Arquette, 1959; actor/model Antonio Banderas, 1960.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
The Minneapolis musician is a master at creating songs that fuse sad lyrics with happy melodies, especially on his latest release, The Reluctant Graveyard, the third disc in a trilogy about growing up, growing older and passing away. Find out more about the album -- and the show -- in this week's Tour Stop. With Conrad Plymouth.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
As an atmospheric rock band with shimmering vocals, Achille Lauro has probably been hailed as Denver's answer to Coldplay. Their sound's got a bit more pizzazz, though -- think Radiohead with hints of Santigold and '60s pop blended in at opportune moments. See if it translates well on ProLo's teeny-tiny stage. With Animals in Human Attire and Pioneer.
American Players Theatre, 7:30 pm
Playwright Athol Fugard grew up in South Africa, and his 2004 play explores the relationship between a young playwright and an aging actor. Their friendship spurs questions about art and life.
NOTEWORTHY: Mall of America opens in Bloomington, Minn., 1992.
BIRTHDAYS: Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak, 1950; rock guitarist Charlie Sexton, 1968.
100 block of State Street, 5 pm
Summer's glorious Jazz at Five series kicks off with Margaret, whose honey-smooth voice sweetens up almost any style of music, from jazz standards to funky blues numbers. Look to Madisalsa, meanwhile, to get everyone dancing.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The radio-friendly pop-rockers, who've toured with likeminded hit-makers the Jonas Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, Weezer and the Strokes, have ditched their major-label support (or vice versa) to release a new album called Eureka. The live rendition may rekindle your cast-off love of '90s boy bands, Britpop or both. With Violent Soho.
PERSEID METEOR SHOWERS PEAK
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. formally annexes Hawaii, 1898.
BIRTHDAYS: Dire Straits singer-songwriter-guitarist Mark Knopfler, 1949; folksinger-songwriter-guitarist Suzanne Vega.
Borders Books West, 7 pm
The Madison author has just come out with her debut novel, Stiltsville, which follows a Florida family over almost 25 years (see Books).
Inferno, 9 pm
It's a down-and-dirty night of burlesque and...bluegrass? Yes, you heard it right. The tassel-shaking, pasty-making laugh ladies are teaming up with one of Madison's finest purveyors of poppy, banjo-laced acoustic numbers that ring with plaintive grace. The combination may be odd, but it should be good in that pickles-and-ice-cream sort of way.
Annex, 9 pm
Though the winner of American Idol's fifth season hasn't become an overnight sensation like Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood, he's still making his fan base, the Soul Patrol, sweat with his soulful renditions of R&B and rock tunes. With Lube.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The Madison folk-rocker has released a new CD, Ghost Towns, just in time for him to move to Colorado (see Music).