The mid-summer celebrations continues this week with many more opportunities for fun on the town. The calendar includes: a South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition party; a talk by Carole MacNeil; a patriotic-themed Concerts on the Square; the second Isthmus Block Party of the summer; Star Wars in Concert; and, more live music from Cribshitter, One eskimO, The Ataris, Gerry Hemingway with Terrence McManus, Black Diamond Heavies, Jon Langford, and the opening of La Fete de Marquette with Les Sans Culottes.
NOTEWORTHY: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs National Labor Relations Act, 1935.
BIRTHDAYS: Band guitarist/songwriter Robbie Robertson, 1944; actress Edie Falco, 1963.
High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
Statewide, lovers of the nightlife -- and people who work at bars and restaurants -- can finally breathe easier as the ban on public smoking goes into effect. Celebrate with troubadour and sometime Madisonian Freedy Johnston and with disco-celebrating VO5.
NOTEWORTHY: T.E. Lawrence leads Arabs in seizing port at Aqaba from Turks, 1917.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith, 1954; rapper 50 Cent, 1976.
UW Pyle Center, 6 pm. Also Thursday, July 8, 6 pm
The UW Center for Nonprofits' summer lecture series, Building Civil Society Through the Nonprofit Sector, concludes with talks by MacNeil of the Global Youth Forums Project, who discusses "Youth Activism and Civic Engagement" tonight, "Making our Individual Contributions to Creating a Civil Society" on Thursday.
NOTEWORTHY: Syd Barrett dies, 2006.
BIRTHDAYS: Beatles drummer Richard Starkey, 1940; actress/producer Shelley Duvall, 1949.
Capitol Square, 7 pm
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's summer season rolls on with, appropriately for the season, "American Celebration," with "A Star Spangled Spectacular," Gershwin's "Summertime," the "1812 Overture" and more. Joining in is Broadway singer Amanda Huddleston.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8 pm
You haven't lived until you've heard a flowery Spanish-language version of "Oh Yoko," complete with tuba and synths that sound like a UFO landing might. Luckily, Cribshitter's got this ditty in their repertoire and might just haul it out at this comeback show, just to prove how much you've missed them. With the No & Maybe Game.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The indie-rock quartet from London made their way onto many Americans' playlists last year after touring with Tori Amos and being featured as Starbucks' pick of the week. Their most interesting project might be The Adventures of One eskimO, a series of animated shorts that accompany each of their songs. Find out how their creativity's been manifesting itself this year by heading down to the Majestic (see Tour Stop).
Annex, 9 pm
Sure, they describe themselves on MySpace as a black metal, tango and religious-music outfit, but they're still a pop-punk band, and a good one. This week they hit Madison to promote a 7-inch containing two brand-new tracks. With Gasoline Heart and Killer Cars.
NOTEWORTHY: Senate confirms Sandra Day O'Conner to U.S. Supreme Court on 99-0 vote, 1981.
BIRTHDAYS: Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Houston, 1951; actor Kevin "Six Degrees" Bacon, 1958.
Top of State Street, 5 pm
We at Isthmus present the second in our summer series of outdoor downtown parties, where the watchword is hearty beverages and terrific local music. This one features Mersey Sound revivalists the Midwest Beat and the jam music stalwarts Elf Lettuce. Sales benefit Porchlight, so it's all for a good cause.
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 6:00 pm
The Mekons drummer and Waco Brothers vocalist has blazed many of the trails that now link punk and country, helping Chicago's nascent alt-country scene grow into a national phenomenon in the early to mid-1990s. Old Devils, his new album with his band Skull Orchard, shines a light on these connections as well, using the premise that punk is a form of folk music to blend genres ranging from honky-tonk to old-school indie rock. With Walter Salas-Humara of the Silos, Mustard Plug and Deals Gone Bad.
Alliant Energy Center's Coliseum, 7 pm
You've seen all six Star Wars movies, collected all the action figures, even found a bootleg of The Star Wars Holiday Special somewhere. How else to consume this signature entertainment commodity? In the form of a music event, featuring a live orchestra playing selections from John Williams' scores, along with projected excerpts from the movies.
Capitol Lakes Grand Hall, 8 pm
Jazz musicians and longtime collaborators, percussionist Hemingway and guitarist McManus present an evening of improvised music. This stop on their tour is hosted by Surrounded By Reality, a local cooperative dedicated to hosting free jazz and experimental music.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
If MC5 and Muddy Waters had a jam session with the Black Keys, they might sound something like this rockin' Nashville pair and their dirty, punk-infused spinoff of the blues. With Purgatory Hill.
Frequency, 10 pm
The Brooklyn, N.Y. septet is un petit peu silly, with a name that means "without panties" and members called things like Edith Pissoff and Sid Vichyssoise. Their music, however, is seriously entertaining, ranging from French pop classics to Frenchified American rock songs. Catch them at this late-night performance or earlier in the day, around 7:30 p.m., when they kick off the four days of French-themed fun that is La Fete de Marquette. With Optometri.