Summer is waning, but the season burns brightly this weekend with the Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival and the Madison Roots Festival. The fun also includes: a live broadcast by Thom Hartmann, Dane Dances, and the Mallards alumni game; a production of Evita; the opening of a mezzotints exhibit at the Chazen; a Bitch Magazine benefit with DJ Raja and a performance by the Madtown Hellcats with the Wake; more live music by Bob Parins, Tantric, Needtobreathe, Twista, Rookie of the Year, The Rural Alberta Advantage, and The Cool Kids; and, a musical celebration of Jeff Hickey.
NOTEWORTHY: Hawaii becomes 50th state, 1959.
BIRTHDAYS: Clash singer/guitarist Joe Strummer, 1952.
Barrymore Theatre, 11 am
The progressive radio talker touches down to do a live broadcast from the spacious east-side venue. On deck: a chat with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of those socialists in Congress, except he is actually a socialist.
Monona Terrace Rooftop, 5:30 pm
The free, family-friendly event attracts a diverse crowd of Dane County fun-seekers every Friday in August. This week's grooves come courtesy of Primitive Culture, BBI, DJ Laurie.
Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival
Angell Park Pavilion, Sun Prairie, through Aug. 23. Corn served Saturday & Sunday, noon-7 pm
At this corn-lovers' conclave, you pile steaming ears into your box, shuck them, and usually burn your fingers in the process. But you don't care. You eat and eat and eat until you turn yellow. Then you head straight for the Tilt-a-Whirl and valiantly try to keep it all down. And believe it or not, you have the time of your life. There's also a parade, music and other wholesome fun.
Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival
Art in the Barn, 7 pm. Also Saturday, Aug. 22, 2 pm
The Gypsy jazz legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli gets a full reading from the Netherlands' Robin Nolan Trio, Chicago's Swing Gitan, L.A.'s Gonzalo Bergara and Madison favorites Harmonious Wail, Rumba Kings and Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble.
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm) & Sunday (2 pm), Aug. 22 & 23
Before Andrew Lloyd Webber became a household name with Phantom, Cats and those other massive spectacles, he and lyricist Tim Rice staged this peculiar (and generously entertaining) show about Argentine First Lady Eva Perón. Four Seasons Theater presents the most successful Broadway musical about Latin American authoritarianism (see Arts Beat).
Warner Park Duck Pond, 7:30 pm
Say congrats to your hometown baseball heroes for their winning regular season (38-29) at the Mallards/MLB alumni game. Special guest: former Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor. Say good-bye to summer -- sob -- while you're there.
Bitch Magazine benefit w/DJ Raja
Woof's, 8 pm
The LGBT bar's Ladies Night organizers team up with DJ Raja and a whole lot of cherry-bomb Jell-O shots to raise money for the queen bee of sassy feminist pop-culture magazines, which is fighting the good fight to keep its print edition alive.
Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 8 pm
Parins makes pop that's both fun and ever-so-slightly grown-up, weaving Pet Sounds-style harmonies with Elliott Smith's melodic sensibilities on his 2006 album The Kissing Rocks. This weekend he makes a pit stop at MoFo's to preview songs from his new CD, which is about to be released back home in New York.
Annex, 8 pm
The road got bumpy for the hard-rocking Kentucky five-piece two years ago, when a messy record-label fallout and drug-related problems threatened to end their career. However, thanks to some new blood, including Fuel drummer Kevin Miller and electric violinist Marcus Ratzenboeck, they've hardly skipped a beat, releasing a new album (Mind Control) just two weeks ago. With Burn Halo, Aranda, the Vegas Syn.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The South Carolina quartet practices a soulful, hook-inflected brand of Jesus music. With Griffin House, Green River Ordinance.
Remain in Night
High Noon Saloon, 10 pm
The High Noon goes techno-wild for an evening that's high-profile enough to get its own title. San Jose's DJ Moksha blends those incessant beats with house and breaks, while local DJ and producer Tinhead mixes them with the sounds of dub, grime, drum-and-bass, and more. Also playing: Kirk Leinenkugel, Prognition, Pat Fait.
Madtown Hellcats, the Wake
Frequency, 10 pm
Freud's two favorite drives -- libido and aggression -- prance and thrash across the stage in the form of, respectively, a burlesque troupe and a metal band. Also playing: Government Zero.
NOTEWORTHY: Richard III killed at Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485.
BIRTHDAYS: Martian chronicler Ray Bradbury, 1920; Bangles drummer-singer Debbi Peterson, 1960; singer-songwriter Tori Amos, 1963.
Mezzotints, Prints of Darkness
Chazen Museum of Art, through Oct. 25
Ah, mezzotint. The printmaking method, invented in the 17th century, is excellent for rendering shadows. Hence the name of this exhibit, which gathers from the museum's collection prints spanning four centuries.
Madison Roots Festival
Capital Brewery, Middleton, 1 pm
This outdoor confab features Milwaukee-area singer-songwriter Willy Porter, who'll play his folk-and-blues-flavored pop and jam-style guitar, as well as soul queen Bettye LaVette, distinguished singer-songwriter Maia Sharp, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons and Madison's own Natty Nation.
Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, 6 pm
Look out: It's not a tornado watch but a Category F5 Twista warning. The fast-rhyming emcee -- once the fastest in the world according to Guinness World Records -- blusters through town with his new album and perhaps some freestyling to bring down the house. Gorilla Zoe and Bobby Valentino open.
Rookie of the Year
Loft at Goodman Community Center, 6:30 pm
The Loft cements its reputation as teen emo wonderland by welcoming Rookie of the Year, who'll play hits from their Billboard-chart scorcher, 2008's Sweet Attention. With Fighting Aurora, Lualdi, Go Crash Audio, Good News First.
The Rural Alberta Advantage
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 8:30 pm
Indie folk-pop bands from Alberta, Canada (the Rural Alberta Advantage), New Jersey (Roadside Graves) and Eau Claire (the Daredevil Christopher Wright) converge at the Terrace to offer odes to the North American landscape and perhaps a love song or two.
The Cool Kids
Majestic Theatre, 10 pm
Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish, the twentysomething-year-old "kids" who form this hip-hop duo, couldn't have a better reference for the résumés: M.I.A., who they toured with a few years back. This time they're on their own tour, promoting a new mixtape named Gone Fishing.
NOTEWORTHY: Sacco & Vanzetti executed, 1927.
BIRTHDAYS: Singer Linda Thompson, 1947; Strokes vocalist Julian Casablancas, 1978.
A Musical Celebration of Jeff Hickey
High Noon Saloon, noon
On July 14, Madison lost a musical original when singer and songwriter Hickey died in an car accident. Today he's feted musically by Kristy Larson, Jim Hodges, Dave Sewell, Richard Wiegel, Bobbie & Bill Malone, SpareTime Bluegrass, Lefty Joe, Chris Powers, Harvey Reid, Moonhouse. Donations benefit the Hickey family.