Winter isn't over yet, but its days are numbered, the length of which are at the heart of the Sun Prairie Groundhog Days celebrations this week. The calendar also includes: a talk by Ayaan Hirsi Ali; a Humanities in the 21st Century discussion; and, live music by AA Bondy, Nick Oliveri with Helen Money, Zion I, the Matt Wilson Quartet, and Off With Their Heads.
NOTEWORTHY: Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunctions during Super Bowl halftime show, 2004.
BIRTHDAYS: Punk harpy Exene Cervenka, 1955; Outkast rapper Big Boi, 1975.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The breakup of Bondy's band, Verbena, proved to be a blessing. It allowed him to create a folky and fantastic solo debut, 2007's American Hearts, and an equally excellent follow-up, 2009's When the Devil's Loose, which features members of the Felice Brothers, Conor Oberst's Mystic Valley Band and Elvis Perkins in Dearland. With Willy Mason and Jentri Colello.
NOTEWORTHY: Vince Lombardi signs five-year contract to coach Green Bay Packers, 1959.
BIRTHDAYS: Former supermodel-turned-infomercial pitchwoman Christie Brinkley, 1954; singer Shakira, 1977.
Sun Prairie Groundhog Day
Cannery Square Plaza, 7:10 am
Punxsutawney Phil? Feh. We have our own meteorologically inclined groundhog, Sun Prairie's Jimmy, who will have something to say about our weather future at this cheerful annual event.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 pm
The Dutch feminist, born in Somalia, has received death threats for criticizing Islam. Now she's a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and she appears tonight in the Distinguished Lecture Series event.
Nick Oliveri, Helen Money
Frequency, 9 pm
Oliveri, a former member of Queens of the Stone Age, has been focusing his energy on a solo acoustic album, 2009's Death Acoustic. This year, he'll appear on Slash's first solo album, Slash & Friends, which is due out in April. Money (a.k.a. cellist Alison Chesley of Verbow fame) will swing by from Chicago to open the show with her cello-via-effects-pedals melodies, which appear on albums by Anthrax, Russian Circles, Broken Social Scene and others. With Droids Attack.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
The Oakland, Calif. hip-hop duo combine socially conscious rhymes with beats so fresh that they sound like they're from the future. Last year's The Take Over, which includes guest appearances by Brother Ali and Devin the Dude, contains Afrika Bambaataa-style synths and bangin' beats grand enough for the Majestic's stage. With A.N.T. and F. Stokes.
NOTEWORTHY: President Clinton lifts Vietnam trade embargo, 1994.
Humanities in the 21st Century
Chazen Museum of Art, 5:30 pm
Whither the humanities? Find out from the experts at this panel discussion: National Endowment for the Humanities chair James Leach, Mellon Foundation president Don Randel, American Council of Learned Societies President Pauline Yu and UW Chancellor Biddy Martin.
NOTEWORTHY: Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst, 1974.
BIRTHDAYS: Scary filmmaker George Romero, 1940; proto-shock-rocker Alice Cooper, 1948.
Matt Wilson Quartet
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
Wilson's earned numerous accolades for his skills as a drummer, but he may be most fun with his three sidekicks, who'll join him to perform some free jazz and bebop -- and explore the space in between.
Off With Their Heads
Frequency, 9:30 pm
The Minneapolis punk outfit often draw comparisons to their Twin Cities brethren Dillinger Four, which is a good thing. An even better thing is the new material they've been putting out, including their 2008 CD From the Bottom and two 7-inches released last year. With the Slow Death, Direct Hit and the Transgressions.