A bounty of live music ushers in the second half of summer in Madison. The calendar this week includes: Black Diamond Heavies, the Old 97's, Reverend Horton Heat, a "Spanish Nights" edition of COTS, The Bastard Trio, Lollipop Factory, Chimaira, J. Wail, and Backyard Tire Fire.
NOTEWORTHY: Neil Armstrong takes "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," 1969.
BIRTHDAYS: Grammy-winning guitarist Carlos Santana, 1947.
Black Diamond Heavies
High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm
This is the show that's likely to bring together your Bukowski-reading roommate and your Harley-loving uncle: The Southern gentlemen of Black Diamond Heavies meld the gritty and the gutbucket with a fusion of punk, garage, blues and soul that includes nods to both R.L. Burnside and MC5. The High Plane Drifters and Those Poor Bastards open.
NOTEWORTHY: Scopes Monkey Trial verdict convicts John Scopes of teaching Darwin's evolution theory in violation of state law, 1925.
BIRTHDAYS: Oscar-winning actor/comedian Robin Williams, 1952; U.S. soccer star Brandi Chastain, 1968.
Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
The alt-country pioneers show off their 2008 album, Blame It on Gravity, plenty of other favorites from their 16-year career, and perhaps a few covers of old-fashioned country tunes and newfangled rock songs. Singer Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond open the show with their solo material.
Reverend Horton Heat
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The rockabilly/psychobilly torchbearer and his band return to town to preview an upcoming album and get the crowd jiving and swinging along. Nekromantix opens.
NOTEWORTHY: Feds gun down gangster John Dillinger outside Chicago's Biograph Theater, 1934.
BIRTHDAYS: Edgy actor Willem Dafoe, 1955; Indigo Girl Emily Saliers, 1963.
Concerts on the Square
Capitol Square, 7 pm
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra continues its summer season with help from guitarist and UW professor Javier Calderon. The concert is called "Spanish Nights" and features music of Rossini, Bizet, Manuel de Falla and more.
The Bastard Trio
Nottingham Cooperative, 9 pm
You can't go wrong drawing influence from Keiji Haino and his super-psychedelic band Fushitsusha -- if you've got the chops to pull it off. Thankfully, Madison's Bastard Trio does, blending the spacey style of the Japanese musician with other oeuvres such as prog rock and avant-garde jazz. Also playing: David Grollman & Valerie Kuehne, Lucio Menegon.
Frequency, 10 pm
The Columbus, Ohio, group have been living it up at venues across the country for more than a year in support of their 2007 album Away in a Trailer, layering almost-sweet vocal harmonies over a maelstrom of Sabbath-style guitar and unabashed rock 'n' roll pageantry. Underculture, Full Vinyl and Treatment open.
NOTEWORTHY: Sarah Ferguson marries Britain's Randy Prince Andy, 1986.
BIRTHDAYS: Gn'R/Velvet Revolver guitar virtuoso Slash, 1965; Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, 1989.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Some credit the band with bringing American heavy metal back into the mainstream in the '90s. Others simply like the blues-soaked lining of the Cleveland group's tunes and its raw, hardcore-style energy. Winds of Plague, Born of Osiris and Thy Will Be Done open.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
J. Wail's brand of funk features live electronics that, as the artist himself puts it, launch "mind, soul and booty into the upper stratosphere of sound." Figure out what the heck that means -- and catch a bonus performance by Agobi Project drummer Nick Wankel -- while trading stories with other Phish followers. Intelescope opens.
Backyard Tire Fire
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 9:30 pm
The names of the roots-rock band's albums, such as 2008's The Places We Lived and 2007's Vagabonds and Hooligans, may reflect its quasi-nomadic habits, such as its move from Asheville, N.C., to Athens, Ga., to Bloomington, Ill., over the course of a few years. Fortunately, these ramblin' ways have translated into feeling at ease -- and putting on topnotch shows -- while on the road.