Madison welcomes the onset of a new season this week with an onslaught of live music that includes shows by Electric Six, Willie Nelson, Jeffrey Siegel, The Clientele, RJD2, Eric Church, Danú, Great Big Sea, Sister Hazel, and The Appleseed Cast. The calendar also includes the World Championship Cheese Contest, a pair of talks about future energy sources, a benefit for Girls Rock Camp Madison, and the LunaFest film festival.
IDES OF MARCH
NOTEWORTHY: Julius Caesar asks, "Et tu, Brute?" 44 BC.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The Detroit-based rockers are known for their 2003 single "Danger! High Voltage" and for an animated video that features their song "Gay Bar" along with guitar-playing puppies and dancing kittens in Viking costumes. With Butt Funnel and Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons.
BIRTHDAY: Heart sister Nancy Wilson, 1954.
World Championship Cheese Contest
Monona Terrace, 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Also Wednesday (8:30 am-4:30 pm) & Thursday (9-11:30 am), March 17 & 18
Cheese tasting is not yet an Olympic sport, but there'll be excitement anyway as more than 2,300 cheeses and butters contend for the favor of the judges. Taste for yourself at Wednesday evening's paid tasting (6 pm).
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
The UW bacteriologist discusses biofuel and sustainable energy sources in this Academy Evenings talk.
Overture Hall, 7:30 pm
The country music outlaw and icon visits town to promote his forthcoming studio album, Country Music, as well as 2009's well-received American Classic. Expect plenty of classics from the '70s and '80s, too.
UW Humanities Building's Mills Hall, 7:30 pm
The droll touring pianist and raconteur presents "Chopin the Patriot," focusing on the composer's polonaises and mazurkas.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The London-based psych-pop quartet is more popular in the U.S. than at home, in part due to sharing a label with big names such as Spoon and the Magnetic Fields. The group's 2009 release Bonfires on the Heath should be a treat live, with dreamy, hazy vocals. With Field Music.
Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
Known for his innovative instrumental hip-hop and for composing the theme to Mad Men, the Philly-based DJ and producer has begun adding his own vocals to his songs, most recently on 2010's The Colossus. With Break Science and Happy Chichester.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
NOTEWORTHY: Former Milwaukee resident Golda Meir sworn in as Israeli prime minister, 1969.
Orpheum Theatre, 7:30 pm
A feisty, regular-guy country singer with a touch of Steve Earle in him, Church deals with issues like class and capital punishment while still gussying up his trad-leaning country enough to please Nashville lovers. With Josh Thompson.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm
The sextet's reels and jigs are popular on the Irish-music circuit, thanks in no small part to the accordion playing of Benny McCarthy and the lovely singing of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh.
BIRTHDAYS: Olympic gold-medal speedskater Bonnie Blair, 1964.
US Bank Building-Capitol Square, 6 pm
The film festival promotes awareness of women's issues and showcases women filmmakers. It gathers 10 short films about topics like body image, motherhood and bicycling.
The Future of Energy
UW Pyle Cente, 7 pm
A panel discussion follows a screening of the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?
Girls Rock Camp Benefit
Brink Lounge, 7 pm
Locals Beth Kille, the Motor Primitives, Brett Newski and Bonobo Secret Handshake perform to help Girls Rock Camp Madison, which teaches better living through jamming.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
The Gainesville, Fla., rockers haven't topped their hit 1997 single "All For You," but they're still chugging along.
The Appleseed Cast
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
The band once compared to Sunny Day Real Estate have a different sound these days, bringing them into the post-rock genre and onto Graveface Records. They'll perform a blast from the past: both volumes of Low Level Owl, in their entirety. With Dreamend.