Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee, through July 6
With so many acts to choose from, Summerfest is all about picking your spots. Want to hear some sci-fi-inspired metal? Rush are at the Marcus Amphitheater on June 27. Got the AM set to country? Trace Adkins is at the Miller Lite Oasis on June 28. On June 29, jam and funk fans can't do much better than Galactic's show at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, while toaster Matisyahu gives skankers of all stripes something to cheer about on June 30 at the Miller Oasis. On July 1, an imaginative pairing of Alicia Keys and Stephen Marley at the Marcus should please just about anyone who appreciates strong, soulful singing. July 2 finds the Crystal Method playing a danceable lakeside DJ set down at the Roadhouse, and July 3's a happy day for electronic music followers with Thievery Corporation commandeering the Miller Oasis.
Rose Polenzani and Meg Hutchinson
High Noon Saloon, 6:30 pm
Sweet-voiced Polenzani captures hearts and minds with honest, at times raw emotional poetry that carries her far away from the precious precincts many singer-songwriters inhabit. She's joined by introspective folkie Hutchinson. Rose Cousins also appears.
Found Footage Festival
Orpheum Theatre Stage Door, 7 & 9 pm
The touring festival features a new batch of funny footage from videos found at garage sales, thrift stores and warehouses around the country. Curators (and Stoughton natives) Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher will be on hand to offer commentary.
Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
Hemsley Theatre in UW Vilas Hall, 7:30 pm. Also Sunday (2 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), June 28 & July 3
University Theatre presents the off-Broadway parody of the American musical-theater tradition. Its five fast-paced acts spoof Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Kern, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Kander & Ebb.
Bobby Bryan & the Original Downtown Players
Brink Lounge, 9:30 pm
Singer/guitarist Bryan's L.A. roots show up in both his smooth traditional electric blues and funky, Hendrix-flavored blues rock. Several popular blues rags already have recognized that he's ready to move on to the national circuit.
Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The Dead, Pink Floyd, bluegrass, reggae and even a little salsa bubble up in these well-traveled San Francisco-based jammers' varied sets. Mad Sweet Pangs open.
Majestic Theatre, 9:30 pm
VO5's big disco express helps wipe away memories of the work week with Badger-pleasing originals and exuberant covers of Grace Jones and other stars of the Studio 54 era. They're paired with a screening of the funk-friendly '70s classic Car Wash.
Annex, 10 pm
The local power rockers are certain to rough up the cochlea as they celebrate the punk, metal and grunge hybrids that appear on their brand spankin' new CD. Kill Junior and 5 Man open.
Madtown Bloodbath VI
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The latest Bloodbath wraps up with some horror-show instrumentals by local greats Knuckel Drager and frenetic garage rockin' from Dayton, Ohio-based mad men Switchblade Serenade. Aquilonian and Foxy Veronica's Peach Pies also appear.
Rhythm & Booms
Warner Park, noon-11:30 pm
The Independence Day extravaganza packs many pleasures into one long day: bands, bingo, baseball, booms. The decorated-bike parade, military demonstrations, flyovers, skydivers and carnival are a prelude to the choreographed fireworks show at dusk, which lasts over a half-hour and pumps 15,000 shells into the air. Somewhere, the Founders are smiling.
Drums on Parade
Camp Randall Stadium, 4:30 pm
The Madison Scouts host 20 drum corps from around the country, here to make noise in a Drum Corps International regional event. Their volume level will give Rhythm & Booms a run for its money.
Intercontinental Summer Dance Festival
UW Lathrop Hall
The UW Dance Program hosts this event as part of its Summer Dance Institute. There are five free concerts on Saturday (6 pm), Sunday-Tuesday (6 pm) and Wednesday (noon), featuring a wide range of performers and styles. Participants include the UW's Jin-Wen Yu Dance and Li Chiao-Ping Dance, Kanopy Dance's Lisa Thurrell, and Chicago's Cindy Brandle Dance Company.
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Overture Center Playhouse, 7:30 pm
The inventive chamber group closes its summer season by mixing works by C.P.E. Bach and Handel with two new works by Pulitzer Prize-winning young composer Aaron Jay Kernis. "The Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine" will feature the Madison Symphony Orchestra's John DeMain as narrator, reading a Futurist tract from the 1920s about food of the future.
Mother Fool's, 8 pm
Geremia's encyclopedic knowledge of blues history is one reason to catch his historically minded show. His absolute mastery of acoustic blues guitar is another.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
The topnotch Milwaukee salseros craft their traditional sound with dancing in mind, so it's no surprise that the cover charge also includes a dance lesson. DJ Papi Love is also on the bill.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Milwaukee's kings of comedy rock provoke belly laughs with their Brew Town-informed japes. Testa Rosa and Underculture also appear.
Cafe Montmartre, 9:30 pm
This polished folk-rock duo offers heartfelt fare. Tim Schweiger & the Middlemen and Patchwork open.
Fast Forward Skate, 10 pm
The Madison expats will play their sexy electronic sounds in the middle of the rink while skaters cruise around them. DJ Real Jaguar also spins.
Colony of Watts
Frequency, 10 pm
The inventive, Madison-based post-punk updaters will close up shop for good in July, so this CD-release party also qualifies as their penultimate bow. Zebras and See the People open.
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
In her book Finding Josie, Bilen pieces together the life of her grandmother, who lived on a large dairy farm outside of La Crosse.
Madison Early Music Festival Preview
St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 3 pm
This year's festival runs July 12-19, emphasizing the music of George Frideric Handel. You can get a sneak peak in this concert featuring festival faculty members.
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
The rejuvenated group from Senegal plays a pan-African version of Cuban son.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The Dispatch alum specializes in rootsy, instantly recognizable rock tunes that cleave to the jam side of the equation. His old band was a DIY phenom; on his own, he's yet to reach those heights. Colourmusic also appears.