Summer eases into its apogee this week with a handful of performance perfect for winding down after a day in the sun. The calendar includes: a book reading by Michael Perry; stand-up by Nick Mortensen; and live music by Blind Pilot, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, The Ditty Bops, and Hercules and Love Affair.
NOTEWORTHY: Vice President Dan Quayle spells potato with an e at the end, 1992.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Holmgren, 1948; actress Courteney Cox, 1964.
BIRTHDAYS: Author Joyce Carol Oates, 1938; rapper Tupac Shakur, 1971.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
Portland, Ore.'s Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski (a.k.a. Blind Pilot) have been riding the wave of their iTunes feature of the week, "Go On, Say It," for nearly a year, which involved embarking upon a bike tour of the Pacific Northwest, pulling their instruments in trailers they built themselves. They roll into Madison on more conventional transportation but with the same friendly folk-pop tunes. Local Natives open.
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Aussie alt-country favorite Kasey Chambers has teamed up with her Down Under husband, singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson, to promote Rattlin' Bones, the 2008 album they made together. (See Tour Stop.) Justin Townes Earle opens.
NOTEWORTHY: Watergate break-in, 1972.
BIRTHDAYS: U.S. speedskater Dan Jansen, 1965; tennis star Venus Williams, 1980.
Barnes & Noble West, 7 pm. Also Thursday, June 18, A Room of One's Own, 6:30 pm
The author of Population: 485 discusses his latest comic memoir, Coop, a chronicle of a year spent on a Wisconsin farm with his family.
The Ditty Bops
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
The crystal-clear pop of the L.A. duo harks back to the heyday of ragtime piano at times, musical theater at others, with bluegrass and western swing sounds providing a little bit of country. Ruth Barrett opens.
NOTEWORTHY: Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space, 1983.
BIRTHDAYS: Rocker Paul McCartney, 1942; actress Isabella Rossellini, 1952.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The edgy Madison comedian with the smooth delivery gets a showcase on a big local stage.
Hercules and Love Affair
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
Over the past several years, New York DJ Andy Butler's been assembling a ragtag bunch of musical talents -- including Antony Hegarty of Antony & the Johnsons -- around a love of dancing and an obsession with the English synth-pop /New Wave band Yazoo. The group's disco-punk fusion is good and danceable but a bit dark, too. DJ Nick Nice opens.