One might expect Madison to be fairly quiet over finals at the UW, but there are plenty of chances to hit the town along with the books this week. The calendar includes: a performance by the Rhapsodie Quartet; talks by Michelle Wildgen and Jeffrey G. Williamson; the Madison Young Playwrights Festival; live music by Seether, Halestorm, Murder By Death, Murs, Natalia Zukerman, Family of the Year, Nite Jewel, and The Knitters; and, a visit by Thunder From Down Under.
NOTEWORTHY: Nelson Mandela sworn in as South African President, 1994.
BIRTHDAYS: U2 frontman Bono, 1960.
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7:30 pm
Madison Symphony Orchestra's resident string foursome performs Haydn's "String Quartet No. 64" in D Major, Bartok's "String Quartet No. 2" and (with Karen Boe) and Schumann's "Piano Quintet" in E-flat major (in case you missed the Oakwood Chamber Players' performance of it yesterday).
NOTEWORTHY: Reggae great Bob Marley dies, 1981.
BIRTHDAYS: Perky original MTVJ Martha Quinn, 1959; actress Natasha Richardson, 1963.
Madison Senior Center, 1 pm
The local author discusses her novel You're Not You, in which a blackout hits Madison and trouble ensues. The New York Times deemed the book's characters "skillfully developed."
Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, 6 pm
The South African metal-rockers are likely to draw large crowd to the Alliant and perhaps play some new material, as well as songs from their popular 2007 release Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces and their hit 2009 single "Careless Whisper" (yes, it's a cover of the Wham! song). With Five Finger Death Punch, Hell Yeah, Drowning Pool and Lacuna Coil.
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
There's a reason this hard-rock band's called Halestorm: Lzzy Hale's voice is as crazy as an out-of-the-blue weather emergency. With Janus, Burn Halo and Madam Adam.
Jeffrey G. Williamson
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 pm
In this Academy Evenings event, the Harvard economics professor emeritus discusses "Why Third World Migrants Will Disappear from the United States by 2050." He's also an honorary fellow in the UW's economics department, where he taught for many years.
Madison Young Playwrights Festival
Overture Center's Playhouse, 7 pm
A vestige of Madison Repertory Theatre, the festival features staged readings of new plays by local high school students. Local actors, directors and technicians participate in the event, now under the aegis of Children's Theatre of Madison.
Murder by Death
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The alt-country-meets-post-punk quartet from Bloomington, Ind., likes to sing about zombies, demons and other spooky supernatural characters, but don't expect them to go making the soundtrack to the next Twilight movie. Their new album, Good Morning, Magpie, sounds like a musical travel journal, with cabaret flourishes, cowboy melodies and Welsh legends appearing in equal measure. With Ha Ha Tonka and Linfinity.
Orpheum Theatre Stage Door, 9 pm
The brainy, rhyme-slingin' rapper hasn't had a solo album since 2008's excellent Murs for President, but he's been collaborating up a storm as of late, releasing a disc called Fornever with 9th Wonder a month ago and planning the debut of Melrose, a collaboration with hip-hop producer extraordinaire Terrance Martin. With Sick Jacken.
NOTEWORTHY: Rolling Stones release Exile on Main Street, 1972.
BIRTHDAYS: Blockheaded rock singer/songwriter/actor Ian Dury, 1942; skateboard great Tony Hawk, 1968.
High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
The daughter of master violinist and symphony conductor Pinchas Zukerman, Natalia Zukerman has found her own musical path, which blends blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass and eschews the concept of verses and choruses (see Tour Stop). With Trina Hamlin.
Family of the Year
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The folk-loving indie-rock band from L.A. beat 700 other bands to land a spot opening for Ben Folds' performance with the Boston Pops, and then, within days, went on to wow fans at the CMJ Music Marathon. See if their momentum's still going at this performance, which will feature material from their debut LP, Songbook. With Gold Motel.
NOTEWORTHY: Actress Julianne Phillips marries Bruce Springsteen, 1985.
BIRTHDAYS: Edgy actor Harvey Keitel, 1939; Grammy-winning Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer Stevie Wonder, 1950.
Thunder From Down Under
Majestic Theatre, 7 pm
The naughty male revue is based in Las Vegas' Excalibur Hotel, with hunky Aussies -- blokes, as they're called in the parlance -- gyrating to pop music while dressed as firemen, cowboys and soldiers.
Project Lodge, 7:30 pm
The L.A.-based songwriter and multimedia artist composes her tunes by layering tape edits from a portable 8-track cassette deck. The results range from old-school haze to modern shoegaze, forming super soundtracks for dance club after-parties or, as in this case, collective chillouts at the local art space. With Rory Kane.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
The side project of X's Exene Cervenka, John Doe and DJ Bonebrake, the Blasters' Dave Alvin and former Red Devils member Jonny Ray Bartel was making alt-country long before the genre had a name. It also delves into rockabilly and bluegrass sounds on the well-received 2005 album The Modern Sounds of the Knitters, which is bound to get an even more modern treatment at the show.